Lead test engineer
During the test, onboard computers will record more than 350 channels of data as the helicopter is swung by cables, like a pendulum, into a bed of soil. Just before impact, pyrotechnic devices release the suspension cables from the helicopter to allow free flight.
The helicopter will hit the ground at about 30 mph. The impact condition represents a severe but survivable condition under both civilian and military requirements.
For the first time ever in any test, technicians installed a video game motion sensor in the helicopter.
The outside of the fuselage also is new for this test. Technicians painted one entire side in black polka dots over a white background -- a photographic technique called full field photogrammetry.
Each dot represents a data point. High-speed cameras filming at 500 images per second track each dot, so after over the drop researchers can plot and see exactly how the fuselage buckled, bent, cracked or collapsed under crash loads. (ANI)
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