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OAI is Prime Contractor for Propulsion Instrumentation Working Group

Photo caption: The F404 engine testbed in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Sea Level 1 engine test cell at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., will be used in maturing new turbine engine instrumentation. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Deidre Moon)

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. — Members of the Propulsion Instrumentation Working Group, or PIWG, visited Arnold Air Force Base in October to view the F404 turbofan engine test stand in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Sea Level 1, or SL-1, engine test cell.

Working with PIWG, AEDC team members are supporting the Engine Life Extension and Health Monitoring (ELEHM) Program at the request of Air Force Research Laboratory, Aerospace Systems Directorate (AFRL/RQ). As part of the program, an F404 engine has been set up as a laboratory testbed and is accommodating external investigators supporting the ELEHM Program.

“PIWG is a consortium of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), government agencies, universities, and the sensor supplier base working to advance state-of-the-art turbine instrumentation,” said Tom Serbowicz, engineering specialist at Williams International and co-chair of PIWG. “This particular ELEHM effort is being funded by AFRL with Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) being the prime contractor.

“Use of the F404 engine as a sensor demonstration testbed within the ELEHM program is a great opportunity for many PIWG members to put our mission into action.”

“PIWG has been in existence for over 25 years and is the brainchild of NASA and the engine companies to bring together sensor vendors and OEMs, and it has since grown from there,” said Carol Ann Cash, PIWG Program Manager with OAI. “When we had a meeting here at AEDC five years ago, there was a need for a demonstrator engine, and that’s how the F404 testbed came about.”

Bernie Williamson, the Air Force project manager, said testing is currently scheduled for the first quarter in the calendar year 2021.

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