The U.S. Air Force hosted a challenge on July 10 that called on engineers from Edwards Air Force Base to work with members of the Desert High School’s robotics team to create better ways to collect ground-based images of the F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft.
Three teams developed concepts to address issues associated with a repair verification radar system that the Air Force uses to gather ground-based radio frequency imagery of F-22 planes, the service branch said Monday.
Engineers need to move the 500-pound RVR to 25 places around an F-22 aircraft to conduct a full 360-degree analysis of the platform — a process that the Air Force deems time-consuming and costly.
Challenge participants used Lego robotics kits to build models of mobile platforms that could help engineers to maneuver the RVR.
The teams also outlined the specifications and implementation costs of their designs.
A panel of judges from various organizations within Edwards AFB selected Team 2’s mobile platform design that includes omni-directional wheels to allow the RVR to pan and tilt as well as lasers to boost the accuracy of the radar system’s locations.
The F-22 Combined Test Force will evaluate the winning concept further and discuss a possible implementation.
T.J. Wuth, a member of the 412th Test Wing’s Experimentation Center for Ideas/Technology Exploration team, said the 412th TW held the event to help Air Force participants gain experience on rapid technology development.
Wuth added that the challenge also gave students an opportunity to apply their knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as learn about government contracting.