USAF Chambers Due to Arrive at ETC for Final Assembly

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa., Nov. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 United States Air Force to be used to support the USAF's research needs.     

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 installation. 

About the RAC System:

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 conditions,
  • Test, qualify and man-rate aircrew equipment,
  • Conduct operationally focused aeromedical research,
  • Conduct Non-medical engineering test work for aircraft/weapons programs.

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 project.

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.

ETC's training devices are all the most technologically advanced equipment available and are all manufactured in accordance with ISO 9001-2008 Quality Standards.