Optomechanics – So Many Tiger Teams


Hold that Tiger…

I told you a while ago about attending a Massachusetts “TigerTeam” review of an external store for the F-16.  It took three days of talking about everything else to finally get to the crux:  High thermal gradients in the slab made the cavity unstable!  Surprise, surprise!  After the final session I got a tour of the brassboard’s laboratory.  The mechanical engineer confided to me that the brassboard would not work when it was up-side-down (talk about a tender cavity structure for a tactical aircraft application).

I’ve also told you about the two day “Tiger Team” in Texas for a laser, the brassboard of which worked just fine but the flight system lost power when a laboratory door was opened or closed.  In the final session the mechanical engineers described how the system’s flexure mounts for the cavity had been replaced (since they were not space-rated) with hex-head bolts!

Then there was the four-day “Tiger Team” in Illinois that reviewed the flight tests for a two-color recce system.  When I asked to see the imagery they declined and when I pressed for some quantitative data on the image quality they said they were unable to measure it.  And that was their “improved” design.

And the Culver City “Tiger Team” that couldn’t get their encrypted light back into their fibers.  The optical designer and I both stumbled onto the fix for that one at the same time.

Well, the Massachusetts folks managed to pull it out and Culver City folks went into production in Texas.  As “Tiger Teaming” goes two out of four ain’t bad.

…and, here comes 2018.  Hold onto your hats too!!!

Al H.

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