NAVAL AIR STATION POINT MUGU, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division engineers and scientists recently came together to update the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) telemetry system by reusing existing inventory, avoiding millions of dollars of cost to the Navy to develop a new system.
The first production unit of a modernized Telemetry Instrumentation Kit (TIK) was completed at NAWCWD, May 4.
This updated system transmits information about the weapon during captive carriage and free flight while giving operators the ability to safely self-terminate the weapon should it go off course.
"It was a pretty challenging project that touched on a lot of disciplines," project lead Mark Hall said. "One of the great things about developing the unit at China Lake is that I could go out to different groups on base and get all the resources I needed from idea inception and testing to production. That's capability you probably won't find at any other installation."
When a critical component became obsolete, the first thought was to develop an entirely new system. Instead, members of NAWCWD's Technical Program Office (TPO), the Airborne Instrumentation Systems Division, and others used the existing TIK inventory and off the shelf commercial hardware to update a design originally conceived in the early 1990s.
"We had some mechanical engineers, the structures group, and the machine shop design and make the mount for us while members of the Airborne Instrumentation Systems Division completed the harness design," said Dan Warren, JSOW TPO director. "We were able to switch out existing plugs and wires for the new hardware making it a very simple electrical fix."
Over a 14-month time frame, the NAWCWD team completed in-house design and qualification testing for a little over $1 million - much less than the potential cost of starting from scratch. Production of this unit speaks to the capabilities and potential projects at NAWCWD.
"This project really sets the groundwork for us to be able to leverage the base's capabilities to perform rapid development and delivery, reuse equipment and save money," Hall said. "It provides a springboard by supporting JSOW's efforts to update the existing telemetry kit and add additional capability to address current and future needs."
According to Warren, the plan is to start by updating 35 units and eventually modernize the entire inventory as needed.
The first three completed items were sent to Raytheon for installation into JSOW C-1 Captive Air Training Missile (CATM) test vehicles to be flown at China Lake later this year. The C-1 CATM will provide a highly desired fleet training aid for use after JSOW C-1, the first Network Enabled Weapon, enters service in 2016.
For more news from Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, visit www.navy.mil/local/nawcwd/.