Safe-to-Fly Test and Evaluation of Fatigue Research Study Test Devices

Cicek I., Serres J. L.

AVIATION SPACE AND ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE, vol.85, no.4, pp.473-479, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Introduction: The U.S. Air Force (USAF) School of Aerospace Medicine is conducting a fatigue research study titled "Assessment of Fatigue in Deployed Critical Care Air Transport Team (CCATT) Crews" using two electronic devices onboard USAF aircraft during actual CCATT missions. Both devices were subjected to testing to support a safe-to-fly (STF) recommendation prior to their use in flight. The purpose of the test and evaluation process was to ensure the device can be safely operated in flight without posing a hazard to the research participant, crewmembers, or aircraft during an actual mission. The goal of this article is to outline the key factors involved in the STF certification process. Methods: This paper discusses the test and evaluation process for making STF recommendation and presents the rationale for selecting the applicable tests and test susceptibilities. The following STF tests were conducted: baseline assessment, vibration, electromagnetic interference, altitude, rapid decompression, and explosive atmosphere. Acceleration testing, environmental (temperature and humidity) testing, and in-flight assessments were deemed not required for the STF certification of these devices. Results: Based on the results of this study, the devices were deemed safe to the flight crew and aircraft. Conclusions: The outcome of this study was subsequent approval letters issued by the respective airframe system program offices to allow use of these devices onboard USAF C-130 E/H/J, C-17, and KC-135 aircraft.