Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 3 2016 Contents 27
Issue 3 2016 Defence
26 Defence Issue 3 2016
The Air Warfare Engineering Squadron has created
a cheaper, quicker and less intrusive sensor system
for flight tests, bringing installation time down from
months to hours
Air Warfare Engineering Squadron does on
a daily basis, according to the squadron’s
Commanding Officer, Wing Commander
The Air Warfare Engineering Squadron is part
of the Air Warfare Centre and was formed earlier
this year by combining the Aerospace Systems
Engineering Squadron and the Aircraft Stores
Compatibility Engineering Squadron.
The unit’s specialist engineering services, based
on cutting-edge technologies and cooperation with
technical agencies, range from weapons integration
through to the design and development of novel
data acquisition systems for flight tests.
“With fifth-generation capabilities coming
online in the RAAF, the Air Warfare Engineering
Squadron has adapted to expand services and
methodologies in support of these capabilities, with
a greater focus on the needs of our stakeholders
and customers,” Andrew says.
Working with Defence Science and Technology
Group (DSTG) and Defence Innovations, the
squadron is developing a revolutionary data
The non-intrusive flight test instrumentation –
or NIFTI – system does not require aircraft to be
permanently modified and can be installed and
removed in hours rather than weeks.
The Secretary of Defence, Dennis Richardson,
visited the squadron earlier this year and was
impressed with NIFTI.
Aeronautical engineer Jeremy Sequeira says
NIFTI is a wireless sensor system that records
Officer Cadet Oliver Jiang and Corporal Bill Solomou
such parameters as acceleration and strain,
which have classically been recorded using
wired systems that are expensive, have long
installation/removal times and are intrusive.
Stick-on sensors will be used to install the
system quickly to any platform.
“This will increase flexibility in flight tests
of any Defence aircraft, particularly our newer
platforms such as the P-8 Poseidon and the Joint
Strike Fighter, where we can’t afford to have
dedicated flight test aircraft,” Jeremy says.
“We provided a concept demonstration of the
system in late 2015, and hope to have a fully
functional system to use on flight tests from
Jeremy says his job is rewarding and he
enjoys working alongside ADF personnel.
“It’s the best place I’ve ever worked and
has provided a variety of challenges and
opportunities that I would never have received
anywhere else,” he says.
“The culture is great, the people I work with
are high quality and genuine, and professionally
I’ve had so many opportunities I would never
had have anywhere else.
“Working with ADF equipment is also
unique as we get to engineer the best new
aircraft and equipment.”
An Air Force aeronautical engineering
officer, Flying Officer Samyukta More, has
worked on numerous projects at the squadron.
She partnered with an avionics, software
and ground systems design engineer, Vera
Melissaratos, and an avionics designer, Flight
Sergeant Michael Humbler, on a modular flight
test instrumentation pallet that stores video and
data extracted from the aircraft data bus during
Samyukta says the system was first designed
to fit in the Hercules C-130J but has since been
modified to fit in a variety of wide-body aircraft.
“It has most recently been used to collect data
during Orion AP-3C vibration trials and the axial
tension loads data in the Multi Role Tanker KC-
30A advanced refuelling boom system during
air-to-air refuelling operations,” she says.
“This flight test instrumentation tray,
designed by both APS and ADF personnel, is
soon to be established as a generic capability to
support future flight-test activities in the ADF.”
Samyukta enjoys her role at the Air Warfare
Engineering Squadron, which she says provides
the opportunities to gain experience working
on various aircraft around the country and to
develop and increase her skill set through a
range of tasks with a diverse team.
“The APS personnel at our unit are an
essential part of our capability. They are
highly skilled and professional individuals,
most of whom have been contributing to the
organisation for over 10 years,” she says.
“Hence, they possess a wealth of experience
and knowledge, which would have been
difficult to develop and maintain within the unit
considering the rotation of military personnel
due to the nature of the posting cycle.”
Captain Michael Fairbanks-Smith and
Jeremy Sequeira, of the Air Warfare
Engineering Squadron, discuss the
construction of a ‘NIFTI’ wireless
sensor developed by the squadron.
Photos: Corporal Craig Barrett
Flight Sergeant Michael Humbler, Vera Melissaratos and Flying Officer Samyukta More collaborate on
an engineering design within the Air Warfare Engineering Squadron.
“THIS WILL INCREASE
FLIGHT TESTS OF ANY
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