Using Aircraft Crash Protected Recorders in Missile Test ApplicationsDownload PDF
Any flight test application creates difficult requirements for instrumentation systems due to the harsh environments encountered. Missile test takes these complications even further as there are even harsher environmental conditions that electronics must operate in and the equipment is typically destroyed during the test.
The solution is to use a proven reliable system that can telemeter data to the ground but this isn’t always possible as sometimes the link will be disrupted. This disruption is particularly true for penetrator type missiles (commonly known as ‘bunker busters’) which enter the ground, buildings or structures where telemetering reception is lost. The valuable data in these last moments is therefore also lost.
The solution is to use a system with a recording capability that can survive missile impacts. Such a recorder would require a special construction and is not typically available off-the-shelf for missile test operations. However, such recorders (known as Flight Data Recorders) are used extensively in commercial aircraft and increasingly in military aircraft too.
This white paper discusses how such readily available crash protected recording devices can be combined with rugged data acquisition and transmission systems. These systems can provide reliable off -the-shelf solutions to capture data for later analysis where telemetry isn’t possible.
Figure 1: Cross Section of Typical Guided Missile
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