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Shenk S, 2012. When in Rome, Code One Vol. 27 No. 3

Shenk S, 2012. When in Rome, Code One Vol. 27 No. 3

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Published by: Foro Militar General on Dec 30, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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By Sara Sk
easuring F-35 antenna perormance, or pole testing, began at RomeResearch Lab eight years ago. The joint Lockheed Martin-F-35 JointProgram Ofce engineering team realized in the early stages o the F-35program that a computer simulation could not adequately test therange, isolation, and overall perormance o the aircra’s antennas.And testing the antennas beore the program nished building therst production aircra was crucial.“We needed to validate the antennaperormance and ensure no major issues existedlong beore the irst aircrat were inished,” saidDavid Hamre, F-35 Radio Frequency Integrationand Spectrum lead engineer or Lockheed Martin.“Continued testing allows us to tweak the design o the antennas and make modiications to the aircratbeore ull-rate production begins.”By testing the F-35 antennas beore the jet was lying,the team could determine i the antennas were meetingrange and accuracy requirements, likely avoiding serious,and potentially costly, design modiications. The teamo engineers quickly determined that, to get the datathey needed beore an actual F-35 was produced, they would have to build an exact replica o the jet, installthe antennas, and begin testing antenna perormance.The team went to work constructing the irst model—an F-35 rame that would represent both the F-35Aconventional takeo and landing, or CTOL, and theshort takeo/vertical landing, or STOVL, variants.The iberglass and aluminum rame was subcontractedto ATI and designed so that dierent antennas can beinstalled at various positions to validate and test gainpatterns and perormance. The team completed themodel, replete with traditional Air Force markings and
 When In RoMe
David Hamre, F-35 RadioFrequency Integration andSpectrum lead engineer
Code One18
With a flashy black and yelloW tail adorned With a skull and crossbones, the
sleek fighter high above the us air force research laboratory at rome in
upstate neW york is hard to miss. this aircraft, Which is not actually an aircraftat all, is one of tWo full-scale models built by lockheed martin to measure theantenna performance of the f-35 lightning ii. the paint scheme mimics the insignia
of vfa-103, the famed us navy fighter squadron knoWn as the Jolly rogers.

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