AFMETCAL updates NextGen
By Brian Brackens, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Public Affairs
/ Published April 23, 2019
HEATH, Ohio – The Air Force Metrology and Calibration Division recently released an update to its in-house developed NextGen software program.
The updates included fixes to software bugs and automated support capability for pieces of old and new Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment (TMDE).
NextGen calibrates or verifies that measurement tools Airmen use in a variety of career fields are accurate and working properly.
For example, the software certifies the accuracy of devices in aircraft that measure the distance of the plane from the ground and that radar and communications systems work correctly.
NextGen is used worldwide at all Air Force Precision Measurement Laboratories along with the Air Force Primary Standards Lab and supports more than 25,000 calibrations each year.
One of the benefits of NextGen is that it has helped eliminate human error and standardized processes in calibration.
“NextGen has made procedures more repeatable so every person who runs the calibration will do the exact same thing because the software is driving it,” said Rob Eberts, NextGen program lead. “It also helps save time.”
With the software, calibration times have been reduced by up to 90 percent, and calibrations that previously would have taken three days to complete are now being done in three hours, added Barry Mancz, lead electronics engineer for AFMETCAL.
“It is absolutely vital to have TMDE calibrated,” said Mancz. “It ensures that missiles land where they are suppose to, planes take off and land correctly, that planes have enough fuel, and are going in the right direction while in the air. Calibration ensures the safety and precision of the warfighter.”
AFMETCAL is organized under the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Agile Combat Support Directorate and is responsible for the development and sustainment of the Air Force’s precision measurement capabilities, ensuring the accuracy of air and space system performance.