Vancouver's NGRAIN created better stealth inspection system

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spazsinbad

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Unread post16 May 2014, 19:45

How Vancouver’s NGRAIN created a better stealth fighter inspection system
16 May 2014 Richard Warnica

"Stealth fighters are deadly, effective and notoriously finicky. The exterior skin that keeps them stealthy is vulnerable to nicks and dents. And even the smallest one can render a plane suddenly visible to enemy radar. For decades, that meant that every time a stealth fighter landed, a technician had to walk around it holding a pen and paper, manually logging—and sometimes literally tracing—any damage found. It wasn’t an efficient system or accurate, but for a long time it was the only system they had. [COMPLETE BOLLOCKS for the F-35!]

Thanks to one Canadian company, that’s no longer the case. Vancouver’s NGRAIN found a way to digitize and streamline the stealth inspection process for Lockheed Martin’s new F-35 fighter, which is scheduled to be combat ready next year. “We said, let’s replace the pen, let’s replace the paper,” says Gabe Batstone, NGRAIN’s CEO. “Let’s get that technician walking around with a ruggedized tablet and a 3-D GPS pen that can trace the damage on the plane and upload it right onto a 3-D model.” The NGRAIN system proved so popular with the F-35 that it’s now being used on older F-22s as well [where it IS needed].

SELF-TEACHING:....

...ACCURATE: To work for the F-35, the NGRAIN models had to be accurate down to the millimetre....

...COMPACT: The original 3-D models of the F-35 were gigantic in computer terms, far too large to fit on a portable tablet. One of NGRAIN’s great breakthroughs was to find a way to crunch those models down to a usable size without sacrificing any accuracy."

PHOTO: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/wp-cont ... ngrain.jpg

Source: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/technol ... on-system/
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Unread post18 May 2014, 00:02

Here is a fiter wot requires this doodad....

F-22 MODERNIZATION GAO Report May 2014
Cost and Schedule Transparency Is Improved, Further Visibility into Reliability Efforts Is Needed

PAGE 10: "...According to an Air Force analysis of F-22 maintenance issues, work related to maintaining the stealth features of the F-22 accounts for almost half of the time that the aircraft are unavailable due to maintenance.10 Program officials noted that after repairs or modifications that involve removing a panel with stealth coatings, those coatings must be restored, which can take several days. As a result, minor repairs or modifications that would take a few hours on a non-stealth aircraft can require days of maintenance on an F-22. Therefore, when an aircraft is scheduled to enter a depot to receive modifications that need to be performed at the depot, the Air Force often plans to perform other major work that the aircraft is intended to receive at the same time, since the stealth coatings will need to be restored anyway....
_____________

10 The program is also addressing an issue with the aircraft’s stealth coatings that may require stripping the coatings from the aircraft and replacing them with a different coating."

SOURCE: http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/663196.pdf (0.6Mb)


What has happened to the plan to replace part or all of the F-22 stealth coat with one upgraded from that of OR part of the F-35 stealth?
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sferrin

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Unread post18 May 2014, 03:33

A "3d GPS pen"? Why not just use a hand-held laser scanner for god's sake? :doh:
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Unread post18 May 2014, 03:35

spazsinbad wrote:What has happened to the plan to replace part or all of the F-22 stealth coat with one upgraded from that of OR part of the F-35 stealth?


On the F-35 a lot of that is built right into the part. Unless you want to reskin the F-22 fleet (never gonna happen in a million years) there are limits.
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Unread post18 May 2014, 04:35

There is a thread about the F-35 skin issue or two with a comment about the F-22 receiving some benefits from F-35 stealth development repeated here (& I'll search for original post 2 years old on this forum)....

Majumdar similar story as the blog story below will be repeated below that because it ain't at the original URL....

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=15391&p=194449&hilit=Babione#p194449

F-35 Stealth Coatings Applied to F-22 Shane McGlaun (Blog) April 7, 2011

"...The F-22 & the F-35 are similar in that they are both fighter aircraft that are designed from the outset to have stealth characteristics to make them harder to see by enemy radar. With the F-35 being the newer aircraft, it has more advanced radar-absorbing coatings on the surface than the F-22. Lockheed has announced that it is now integrating some of the more advanced coatings the F-35 uses onto the F-22 fighters coming off the assembly line.

"Some of the [low observables] coatings system and gap-fillers that the F-35 had an advantage on, we have incorporated into the Raptor," said Jeff Babione, vice president & general manager of the F-22 program for Lockheed Martin. Defense News reports that Babione claims that the new coatings don’t change the radar cross section of the F-22. The coatings according to Babione are simply to reduce maintenance costs. He said, "[The F-35 program] had some more robust materials that were more durable & we were able to pull those back on to the F-22. So our system is better, & the life-cycle cost of the F-22 is reduced."

Analyst Dan Goure said, "It's not going to transform the airplane, but what it's going to really do is make it much cheaper to operate the F-22 fleet, which is terribly important given its small size." However, some doubt that the new coatings won't improve the radar visibility of the F-22. Goure also noted, "I would be very surprised if this wasn't an improvement in stealth characteristics."

Lockheed had to make some changes to the coatings to be used on the F-22 that the F-35 didn’t require. Goure said, "It's [the F-22] operating at a higher altitude typically and [at] faster speeds, and that would put different stresses on the material." The only F-22 fighters that are using the new coating for now are the most recent Lot 9 aircraft and other new and improved materials are still in the final qualification phase. Lockheed hopes to roll the coatings out to the entire fleet next year. At that point, all existing aircraft will be retrofitted with the new coating.”

SOURCE: http://www.dailytech.com/F35+Stealth+Co ... e21321.htm

JSF Radar Absorbent Coatings Applied to Raptor By DAVE MAJUMDAR : 6 Apr 2011

"The newest F-22 stealth fighters produced for the U.S. Air Force at Lockheed Martin's Marietta, Ga., factory have improved radar absorbent coatings derived from the company's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

"Some of the [low observables] coatings system and gap-fillers that the F-35 had an advantage on, we have incorporated into the Raptor," said Jeff Babione, vice president and general manager of the F-22 program for Lockheed Martin.

The new materials do not alter the F-22's radar cross-section, but do improve on the durability of those coatings. The benefit for the Air Force is a reduced maintenance burden, Babione said.

"[The F-35 program] had some more robust materials that were more durable and we were able to pull those back on to the F-22," he said. "So our system is better, and the life-cycle cost of the F-22 is reduced."

Dan Goure, an analyst at the Lexington Institute, Arlington, Va., agreed that retrofitting the F-22 with the F-35's coatings will save the Air Force a significant amount of time and money when it comes to maintenance.

"It's not going to transform the airplane, but what it's going to really do is make it much cheaper to operate the F-22 fleet, which is terribly important given its small size," he said.

Despite Lockheed Martin's statement that the F-35-derived coatings would not alter the F-22's radar cross-section, Goure said he suspects the new materials are likely to improve upon the Raptor's already impressive signature.

"I would be very surprised if this wasn't an improvement in stealth characteristics," he said.

Lockheed Martin only had to make minor tweaks to the F-35's radar absorbent materials in order to adapt the technology to the F-22. Though the radar cross-section requirements for the Raptor and the F-35 are slightly different, fundamentally the physics and chemistry of the coatings are the same, Babione said.

For installation into the Raptor, the F-35 coatings likely needed to be modified to deal with the high supersonic cruise-speeds and extreme altitudes at which the F-22 routinely operates, Goure said.

"It's operating at a higher altitude typically and [at] faster speeds, and that would put different stresses on the material," he said.

The Raptor can cruise at speeds around Mach 1.8 above 50 000 feet without afterburners.

At the moment, the latest Lot 9 production F-22s only have some of the new stealth coatings installed. Other improved stealth materials "are still in final qualification testing and will enter the field next year," he said.

Once testing is complete, plans are in place to retrofit the entire F-22 fleet with the coatings."

SOURCE: http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=6169019
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post18 May 2014, 08:01

sferrin wrote:A "3d GPS pen"? Why not just use a hand-held laser scanner for god's sake? :doh:



They use the pen to trace around the damaged area on the plane itself.

It would take longer to setup a scanner and scan the area, then note the area in the scan what is damaged.

It's much easier to walk around the plane tracing anything you find.
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Unread post18 May 2014, 12:04

So basically they've tagged the nicks and dents onto a digital model of the jet... are they then able to compute if these flaws are sufficiently detrimental to compromise the LO signature threshold and keep it from,flying? I recall reading years back that the F-22 maintainers used a laptop for this purpose.
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Unread post18 May 2014, 13:47

SpudmanWP wrote:
sferrin wrote:A "3d GPS pen"? Why not just use a hand-held laser scanner for god's sake? :doh:



They use the pen to trace around the damaged area on the plane itself.

It would take longer to setup a scanner and scan the area, then note the area in the scan what is damaged.

It's much easier to walk around the plane tracing anything you find.


I have a suspicion that this "3D GPS" isn't actually using satellite signals, but possibly the same kind of technology at a local level (i.e. using four or five "base stations" set up on tripods around the airplane to get position).

One should note that GPS chips and tech are dirt-cheap now. 3D laser scanners are more expensive.
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Unread post18 May 2014, 14:34

Bearing in mind this puppy is going to be at sea and in wasted lands then this is relevant:
The F-35: Creating a 21st Century Fighter
A White Paper By: Lockheed Martin

"...Field equipment will be able to assess RCS right on the flight line, using far less cumbersome gear than has previously been needed to make such calculations....”

Source: http://www.sldinfo.com/whitepapers/the- ... y-fighter/
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post16 Jun 2014, 19:31

gtg947h wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:
sferrin wrote:A "3d GPS pen"? Why not just use a hand-held laser scanner for god's sake? :doh:



They use the pen to trace around the damaged area on the plane itself.

It would take longer to setup a scanner and scan the area, then note the area in the scan what is damaged.

It's much easier to walk around the plane tracing anything you find.


I have a suspicion that this "3D GPS" isn't actually using satellite signals, but possibly the same kind of technology at a local level (i.e. using four or five "base stations" set up on tripods around the airplane to get position).

One should note that GPS chips and tech are dirt-cheap now. 3D laser scanners are more expensive.

Actually I suspect you are mistaken.

The 3D GPS refers to the GPS signal is received, but compared to local "reference" position. Industrial/Scientific GPS has extremely good accuracy (< 1 cm), when zeroed to a reference. "Cheap" consumer GPS isn't nearly that good.
http://www.topconpositioning.com/produc ... gps-paving

There is also inertial assisted, or Real Time Kinematic GPS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_Time_Kinematic

The combination of GPS "signal" and inertial reference, is very good for detecting changes in position. If they just used local signals, without GPS, then setup would be significantly more complex as they'd have to align the references manually.

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