The Development and Implementation of a New Surface Erosion Measurement Technique
During the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program it is a requirement to prove that the JSF aircraft can operate within existing military environments. Thus it is necessary to prove that the JSF aircraft can operate out of the same airfields, off the same aircraft carriers, and from within similar expeditionary environments that the USAF/USN/USMC and Royal Navy/Royal Air Force currently operate their existing fleet of aircraft. A major element in achieving this requirement is to determine the effect of the JSF STOVL variant’s hot JSF core jet efflux on the surfaces from which the aircraft is likely to operate. It is necessary to quantify potential damage to these surfaces (from a maintenance point of view) and establish whether the damage will be hazardous to the aircraft and/or ground crew/equipment. In order to fulfil this requirement a method of testing and accurately measuring surface erosion is needed.