HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - According to Wayne Hudry, the Deputy Product Manager for Apache Sensors, the Apache helicopter can fire 2.75 millimeter folding fin rockets, up to 16 hellfire missiles, and it also has a 30 millimeter cannon. With fire power like that, the flight crew wants to make sure they hit their target and the Mobile Apache Sensors Telemetry Trailer helps them do that.
Sensors on an Apache help with weapons systems to determine where a missile will land. It also helps in navigating through dangerous areas late at night when a pilot may not be able to see their surroundings. It's important to test the sensors in different scenarios, which is what makes this test trailer so unique. It can travel.
"We're able to deploy this trailer anywhere in the United States. High altitudes, sea level areas such as high humidity areas and also into desert areas and prairie areas," Hudry explained.
The trailer doesn't' travel alone. Engineers and developers travel with it. While the pilots are in the air for a test flight, they are in constant contact with the crew inside the trailer.
"At that point, as the pilots are radioing back changes that they would like to see our improvements in the systems, the engineers can start making those changes, put them onto the aircraft after it lands, and then have another flight with the new changes," he said.
The key issue with real time testing and tweaking is the cost savings. By eliminating multiple steps in the feedback process, the Army saves money, which is in turn saves tax payers money.
Although the trailer is based on Redstone Arsenal, it's rarely there for long. In February, it traveled to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida for a missile shoot. In March, it went down to Lockheed Martin in Orlando, Florida for some "fly-fix-fly" testing of one of the sensor systems.
The trailer is currently dedicated to the Apache Project Office, but it is also an asset to other organization for sensor testing.
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