Digital Acquisition and Signal Simulation Capability expands research, training opportunities at Arnold AFB

  • Published
  • By Deidre Moon
  • AEDC Public Affairs

Engineers and researchers at Arnold Air Force Base, headquarters of Arnold Engineering Development Complex, will soon have access to a 64-channel high-speed data acquisition and analog voltage signal generation capability, known as Data Acquisition and Signal Simulation Capability, or DAQSIM.

The proposal for DAQSIM, received during the 2022 AEDC Spark Tank event held in February, was selected to receive funding through the Innovation Center since it will extend capabilities there.

Steve Arnold, the technical adviser for the 717th Test Squadron, 804th Test Group, submitted the idea in order to “provide a state-of-the-art dynamic acquisition capability to all AEDC engineers.” At Arnold AFB, the 717 TS is responsible for testing propulsion systems using a suite of engine test cells.

“This capability will provide engineers with a portable data system to move around the Innovation Center to support their experiments through data collection,” Arnold said. “One of the first demonstrations of the acquisition feature was measuring thrust on a small engine test stand. The Propulsion team will have the ability to look closer at measurement data for small engine tests.

“The simulation features of the system will be demonstrated by programming DAQSIM to generate realistic analog voltages representative of an engine test. This capability will provide an improved simulation environment for more realistic training and data system acceptance tests.”

According to Dr. Justin Garrard, the Test Operations and Sustainment contract project manager for the Innovation Center, the project idea was “a win-win.”

”Not only were we able to add an exciting new capability to the Innovation Center, which all AEDC engineers can access, but we were also able to assist the 717th Test Squadron at the same time.”

While the 717 TS has already gotten use out of the DAQSIM, engineers from other mission areas can take advantage of the system as well.

“Other AEDC team members will be able to hook it up to the wind tunnel, perform stress measurement tests or calculate airflow through a pipe,” Arnold said. “The system can record data at over 1 million samples per second per channel so it can be used for a wide range of tests”.

The hardware required for demonstration of DAQSIM has already been delivered through several Small Business Innovative Research projects. The hardware is from the following small businesses: Apex Turbine Testing Technologies, Core Parts and Non-Contact Technologies.