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NASA Meatball NASA Dryden F-18 Systems Research Aircraft (SRA) banner
F-18 #845 Systems Research Aircraft (SRA) in flight F-18 #845 Systems Research Aircraft (SRA) in flight

Photo Number: EC91-436-8
Photo Date: August 16, 1991

Formats: 515x480 JPEG Image (81 KBytes)
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Description: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Systems Research Aircraft (SRA), a highly modified F-18 jet fighter, during a research flight. The former Navy aircraft was flown by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, to evaluate a number of experimental aerospace technologies in a multi-year, joint NASA/DOD/industry program.

Among the more than 20 experiments flight-tested were several involving fiber optic sensor systems. Experiments developed by McDonnell-Douglas and Lockheed-Martin centered on installation and maintenace techniques for various types of fiber-optic hardware proposed for use in military and commercial aircraft, while a Parker-Hannifin experiment focused in alternative fiber-optic designs for position measurement sensors as well as operational experience in handling optical sensor systems.

Other experiments flown on this testbed aircraft included electronically-controlled control surface actuators, flush air data collection systems, "smart" skin antennae and laser-based systems. Incorporation of one or more of these technologies in future aircraft and spacecraft could result in signifigant savings in weight, maintenance and overall cost.

NASA Photo by: Brown

Keywords: F-18; F/A-18; Systems Research Aircraft; SRA

Last Modified: February 6, 2002
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