The Boeing Company's Digital Distortion Analyzer (DDA) is a dynamic, portable system specialized for distortion testing of 3D scale models of the inlets used on missiles and aircraft. Data from the DDA is used to define and validate dynamic models of inlets by capturing the effects of unstart, restart, buzz, variable geometry, bleed and distortion.
Home for the DDA is the Flight and Laboratory Operations Group Polysonic wind tunnel test facility of Boeing Military Aircraft and Missile Systems in St. Louis, Missouri. The DDA is frequently transported to wind tunnels in other parts of the United States to conduct its specialized inlet distortion testing.
GE and Rolls Royce are among the manufacturers who frequently use the DDA to test and refine inlets for their engines. DDA tested inlets for the X-45A Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator designed by Boeing Phantom Works.
Boeing had purchased a previous DDA system in 1987. Although bought from Lockheed Martin, the old DDA was actually outfitted with instruments from various manufacturers, and by 2000 it was felt to be antiquated. "The chief issue with that system was its frequent falling apart," says Instrumentation Engineer Rusty Waymire of the Boeing Company. "We were always trying to get that system to start. Often, it would take a week after we transported it to get it up and running." Of special interest to Boeing was the high performance, prepackaged DAQ Director software that KineticSystems had developed to operate its data acquisition hardware.
"It's slick," is how Waymire summarized the VXI data acquisition system solution KineticSystems provided for their Digital Distortion Analyzer.
KineticSystems supplied its FOXI interface modules (V120) as Slot-0 controllers, Bridge Signal Conditioners (V246) as well as 16-bit Analog-to-Digital Converters (V207) to form the heart of the DDA's instrumentation.
The KineticSystems DAQ Director software can provide an unlimited number of user-defined configurations and required no programming to use the system as delivered. This combination of features allowed Boeing to speed-up setup while reducing the need for specialized skills to operate the system.
"KineticSystems also supplied the frame, all the termination panels, and gave us some big pneumatic tires for a portable, smooth ride." Says Waymire, "the data acquisition system only takes up about 1/6 the size of the previous system and it's a lot less power hungry. Reliability and ruggedness are the chief advantages of the KineticSystems data acquisition system. It's also far more durable than the old system. And it provides better accuracy."
"The old system was just a big headache. This new system has really done wonders for us. We have spare cards on hand. And KineticSystems tech support has been very good. We are very satisfied with this system," concludes Waymire.
The primary KineticSystems products used in this application are:
We encourage you to contact us and discuss your defense application in more detail with our engineering team. KineticSystems can provide tailored custom data acquisition hardware and software solutions to meet specific defense application requirements.