US Air Force F-35s exploit crowd-sourced approach for operational flight data
The USAF's 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES) has partnered with the service's Test Resource Management Center to develop the Quick Reaction Instrumentation Package (QRIP).
In March, an initial set of operational F-35 aircraft were equipped with QRIP, enabling the first combat air forces contribution to crowd-sourced flight data (CSFD).
Instrumentation packages like QRIP have traditionally been reserved for use on test aircraft, and have previously been too large and expensive for operational aircraft integration.
The compact QRIP hardware has capacity to record almost a terabyte of data per flight, increasing the amount of CSFD available to developers with rapid access.
Nineteen F-35 jets have been modified with QRIP to date, with several taking part in exercises outside of the continental US. The CSFD gathered so far has accelerated reprogramming changes, highlighted software deficiencies, enabled rapid debriefs, and provided new data products to pilots and intelligence officers.
While the technology is currently only implemented within the F-35 fleet, the intent is to expand to all fielded air force fighter variants, as well as other platforms.
'The more data we can collect from the air force’s diverse portfolio puts the crowd in CSFD and amplifies data sets we can use to gain competitive advantage against our adversaries and competitors,' Lt Col Nathan Malafa, 59th TES commander, said.
More from Air Warfare
Spike NLOS missiles fired from an AH-64E V6 attack helicopter successfully hit stationary targets in a live-fire test at Yuma Proving Ground.
A newly developed system for securing and transferring helicopters on the flight decks of Turkish I-class frigates is being rolled out to replace the Canadian-supplied ASIST equipment.
The Textron UAS is also deployed on three other USN ships.
US contractor Field Aerospace has finished upgrading the Turkish Air Force's Boeing KC-135R tanker fleet flight decks to Block 45 configuration.