Activities and innovations highlight the Brazilian Air Force’s (FAB) investment in the pursuit of excellence
Air Force Agency – IPEV, by Captain Tulio and Captain Guilherme Rocha
Articulated by the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA) and coordinated by the Institute for Research and Flight Tests (IPEV), Operation Tererê began on September 11 and will continue until October 6 at the Galeão Air Base (BAGL) in Rio de Janeiro (RJ). The aim is to carry out tests of the KC-390 Millennium aircraft’s in-flight refueling system (REVO) for the SC-105 Amazonas aircraft. In order to obtain this qualification, the mission involves gaining an in-depth understanding of the SC-105’s behavior when exposed to the turbulence wake of a jet. To this end, the “gradual approach” technique will be adopted, starting the tests with the KC-130 Hercules turboprop aircraft, which has less wake effect.
Instrumentation is a preparatory activity for the flight test operation and aims to install systems to collect information of interest to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). The preparation (relocation, compatibility checks, installation and testing of the equipment) took a total of six weeks, due to the extreme care and detail involved. The installed modules interconnect with the aircraft in order to collect relevant electrical information that affects the control systems.
The process requires meticulous data collection, with sensors installed on the aircraft involved to record vital technical information. Taking advantage of the mission, several innovations are being implemented by IPEV in its Test Instrumentation, including the derivation of Arinc 429 bus parameters, which represents a significant advance in the manipulation and analysis of crucial aviation data, and the installation of strain gauges to record structural stresses at various points on the receiving aircraft. The Institute of Aeronautics and Space (IAE) is responsible for coordinating and supervising this implementation.
In addition, the Master-Slave architecture is being introduced, which coordinates and controls communication between multiple Data Acquisition Systems, marking IPEV’s path towards technical excellence.
Two historic innovations also stand out in the Operation: the debut of the measurement of the forces applied by pilots on yoke-type controls (a semicircular column that the pilot must move to control the aircraft, a specific stick for transport aircraft), promising valuable data for the entire national aeronautical industry, and the launch of an application for visualizing data in real time.
“The app promises to revolutionize the way data is visualized and interpreted, significantly improving situational awareness and flight safety during operations,” comments Electronics Specialist Sergeant André Lourenço da Silva, from the Instrumentation Operations Section.
The Head of Instrumentation Engineering and the Instrumentation Operations Section, Captain Engineer Túlio Araújo de Medeiros Brito, emphasized IPEV’s outstanding performance in the independent installation of the strain gauges, highlighting the Brazilian Air Force’s (FAB) investment in training its military and civilian technicians. “This progress signals an era of greater technological autonomy, directly benefiting Brazil. IPEV’s ongoing commitment to the forefront of innovation and the pursuit of excellence and scientific rigor are reaffirmed through these advances, with an optimistic outlook for future revolutionary developments based on the rich experience and technical expertise accumulated in Flight Tests,” concluded the Captain.