Test and Evaluation Services: SIN 871-4
RTI is highly qualified in chemical engineering, having conducted multiple research, development, and engineering projects in filter science and testing for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We recently developed and verified a chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR)-oriented test method that evaluates the pressure drop and gaseous contaminant removal efficiencies of different commercial sorptive filters and, potentially, novel technologies. This test method refines and documents methods from previous RTI research for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and EPA, using challenge contaminants appropriate for the CBR application.
The chemical engineering expertise used in this project includes experimental design; adsorption of gases; preparation, handling, and measurement of chemical and biological aerosol challenges; and interpretation of the test results. Other aspects of this recent project work that RTI conducted include
- Prototype testing
- Environmental testing
- Independent verification and validation
- Simulation and modeling
- Quality assurance
- Physical testing of products and systems
RTI's aerosol research and testing program has been outstanding for more than 20 years, with bioaerosols added in 1990. RTI has extensive bioaerosol and microbiological facilities to handle and test bioaerosols. A room-sized chamber with controlled airflow, temperature, and relative humidity has specially designed containment for microbiological aerosols.
The RTI filter test facility is equipped with full-sized test ducts, aerosol generators, and particle instrumentation. Filters and air cleaners with flow rates up to 3000 ACFM can be evaluated. This equipment was used to develop the proposed ASHRAE 52.2 method of test.
In electrical engineering, RTI helped NASA Langley Research Center expand the capabilities of a real-time processing/display computer by correcting deficiencies noted during earlier flight tests and adding enhancements as required for additional real-time display capabilities during further flight testing. To accomplish the high-level requirements of the project, RTI provided the necessary expertise to
- Investigate alternative digital signal processing (DSP) configurations to facilitate upgrades and enhancements to the underlying system algorithms
- Investigate hardware changes needed to buffer data passed between recorder and processing computer
- Organize an integrated product team meeting to present the results of the investigations
- Add direct two-way communication paths between DSPs and the host
- Add the output of turbulence information to the avionics display via ARINC 453 bus
- Replace LabCVI graphics routines with OpenGL
- Generalize input DSP software to accept a wider range of turbulence waveforms
- Upgrade a network-accessible weather radar system in a van to serve as the test bed for the flight system
- Add a provision to play back 429 data time-synchronized with the I/Q data to simulate the aircraft environment for the real-time display/processing computer
- Provide flight test and validation support, including participation in instrument check flights, review of displays and recorded data, and corrections
This project illustrates RTI's electrical engineering qualifications and capabilities to modify and enhance a complex airborne sensor/detector/display system and to test and evaluate that system in its intended operational environment. We used a system engineering approach that followed ISO 9000 quality management system precepts to achieve project objectives.
Currently, RTI is working with SRS Technologies, Inc., to analyze, test, and evaluate flight safety for generally known and expected launch vehicles. RTI will provide expert personnel to
- Calculate impact probabilities and assess hazards and risks to life and property from launch vehicle flight failures
- Develop safety criteria and missile abort logic
- Develop mathematical models, algorithms, and computer programs for evaluation of instantaneous impact prediction
- Develop performance requirements for range instrumentation, processing equipment, and display systems for use in real-time launch support
- Evaluate hazards associated with launch vehicle launch operations
- Provide engineering and technical support to the Interagency Nuclear Safety Review Panel (INSRP)/Launch Abort Subpanel for Eastern Range missions
- Evaluate design requirements for range safety ground systems and flight safety support systems
This project illustrates RTI's mechanical engineering qualifications for testing and evaluating complex missile and space booster launch operations. RTI staff has the experience and expertise necessary to address all of the tasks described above and to achieve the overall objective of the project which is to support 45 Space Wing (SW) Range Safety and the 45 SW Commander in carrying out responsibilities for the safety of the public, the general Cape Canaveral Air Force Station population, and all range users as derived from the applicable public laws. We will perform this work by providing expertise in aerospace engineering, safety engineering and risk analysis, fluids engineering, statistical analysis, information storage and processing systems, dynamic systems and control, applied mechanics, advanced energy systems, fuels and combustion technologies, heat transfer, power, technology and society, non-destructive evaluation engineering, noise control and acoustics, and engineering management.