Thu, Dec 01, 2011
RAC System Used Research Affects Of Extreme Altitude On Pilots,
Three of the four chambers for the USAF Research Altitude
Chamber System are due to arrive at Environmental Tectonics
Corporation (ETC) within the next few weeks for final assembly.
ETC's Aircrew Training Systems (ATS) business unit is manufacturing
the RAC system for the USAF to be used to support the USAF's
Each of the chambers will be externally pressure tested prior to
arriving at ETC where final assembly of chambers will begin.
This process involves installing the major systems such as oxygen,
vacuum and ventilation, environmental control, medical monitoring,
and CCTV systems. Once these systems have been installed,
they will be fully tested at ETC, after which all four chambers
will be shipped to Wright Patterson Air Force Base for final
The RAC system will include a suite of four computer-controlled
altitude chambers with data acquisition systems, an accumulator,
environmental control systems, a cooling tower, and vacuum pumps.
All four RACs will be capable of reaching pressure equal to
altitudes of 100,000 feet. Chambers 1, 2, and 3 will be man-rated
and will be in compliance with ASME PVHO-1. Chamber 4 will
support biological and equipment research.
These devices will support the following research missions:
- Assess human performance in moderate and high altitude
- Test, qualify and man-rate aircrew equipment.
- Conduct operationally focused aeromedical research.
- Conduct Non-medical engineering test work for aircraft/weapons
All four research chambers will share resources including a
configurable vacuum pump system, power distribution and cooling.
The vacuum pump system allows shifting pumps between chambers for
flexibility, while maintaining dedicated pumps for precise altitude
control. The chambers are designed to meet the extreme performance
requirements and wide range of environmental control for this
The RAC System will have a digital video recording system and a
distributed data acquisition system. Distributed data
acquisition is facilitated by the inclusion of a dedicated computer
within each chamber control system.
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