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Stockbridge Research Facility

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate, Rome, N.Y., maintains three remote facilities in Central New York. These provide unique facilities to support current and future Air Force information technology needs. The facilities are located at Newport, Stockbridge and Verona. A broad spectrum of information systems and electromagnetic research, measurements and demonstration are conducted at the facilities. The research facilities are under the management of Information Directorate's Information Systems Division. Facility support is currently provided through a contract with the Rome Research Corporation.

The Stockbridge Research Facility is located atop a 2,300-foot hill 23 miles southwest of Rome, N.Y. in Madison County. Larger, strategic-type aircraft such as KC-135s, C-130s, B-52s and sections of a B-1B are tested at this site. The aircraft are mounted on a very large turntable and rotated as a special measurement probe rides up a 200-foot track that forms an arc over the turntable and airframe. Measurement data is collected over a complete hemisphere in this manner. The airframe is then flipped over and the measurement process repeated to collect data on the other hemisphere, thus providing antenna data over a complete, 360-degree sphere around the aircraft.

At Newport and Stockbridge, Rome scientists and engineers operate the "Upside Down Air Force," where aircraft which are no longer flight-capable are mounted atop large antenna positioners to evaluate the effects of airframe fuselage and external equipment on antenna performance. Whenever missiles, fuel tanks or other equipment are mounted on the outside of an aircraft, there is an effect on antenna patterns. Also, new materials used on modern-day aircraft can alter the antenna performance. These sites exist to determine what those effects are and how to minimize them. Ten minutes of testing in this manner is equivalent to 100 hours of actual flight testing, saving countless man-hours and millions of dollars each year. In addition, since the airframes can be tested a full 360 degrees and at various angles, pedestal tests are far superior and more complete than flight testing. Nearly every type of aircraft in the Air Force inventory, as well as some aircraft from other services, has been tested at either Newport or Stockbridge.

 



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