Saturday, April 13, 2024

STRIKEWERX and Global Strike assess hot pit refueling to increase B-52 mobility

by BIZ Magazine

By Sean Green | STRIKEWERX

STRIKEWERX, the innovation hub for Air Force Global Strike (AFGSC), is seeking solutions to how B-52 bombers can change refueling methods to increase mobility and responsiveness. ​

STRIKEWERX hosted a Problem Definition Workshop at the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, Louisiana, Jan. 18 to explore a modeling and simulation analysis effort. This analysis will quantify risks and produce a concept of operations of how B-52 bombers can land, refuel on the ground with one or more aircraft engines running, and then take back off. ​

Hot pit refueling has the potential to prevent engine and mission system shut down, avoid delays, reduce risk, and reduce the need of special equipment to restart the engines and systems.​

Capt. Robert Moran, B-52 pilot and workshop participant, said hot pit refueling is a crucial piece of the agile combat deployment effort.

“This workshop feeds directly into solving how we increase agility of our bombers and keep our enemies backpedaling,” said Moran.

The Problem Definition Workshop is an expanded market research program that matches solutions to challenges facing AFGSC. Solutions come from individuals, startups, small businesses, large enterprises, academia, and research labs by utilizing design thinking, crowdsourced ideas, and collaborative events to find ways forward.​

Master Sgt. Justin Countryman, workshop subject matter expert, said having the ability for industry to join and think of questions that are outside of the box is an amazing opportunity.

“It is a deep problem. We were able to dive into and dissect this problem in new ways. Ultimately, we’re going to come up with a better solution than if my office worked on it alone,” he said.

Moran added that STRIKEWERX provides a whole new toolbox for getting around problem sets more quickly.

“It allows us to meet our needs, when we need them and not years after,” said Moran. “We came here with a purpose, this workshop was well defined, and that allowed everyone to stay on target.”

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