ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. – Through a combined effort of AEDC team members, a 1996 pressure vessel hazard analysis software program was installed and made useable on a current system at Arnold Air Force Base.
Joshua Diller, an AEDC system administrator, explained that he found a way to install the analysis software, written to be used with Windows 95, so that it would run as needed to help with early engineering analyses related to pressure vessels.
“To install such old software, we used virtual machines to isolate the system and test the installation on multiple versions of Windows starting from the most current then one where the program would correctly install and execute,” he said. “We also tested other virtual technologies, such as VMware ThinApp, that would capture a program’s installation into a single executable file that could be run on any machine without installing each time.”
Scott Bartlett, NAS Science and Analytics functional manager and Mission Execution chief engineer, added that “although the software turns out to be a bit clunky relative to most modern software interfaces, it provides the ability to quickly apply previously developed analytical tools to current problems. It allows us to take Josh’s work and use existing older software, understand the algorithms and learn from the prior work.”
He suggests that more importantly, this is an example of how AEDC team members are innovative and constantly finding ways to be effective and efficient.
“This shows that our folks are good about using their knowledge and tools and are able to resurrect ‘old’ things and use them and learn from them,’ Bartlett said. “This is a great capability to have.”
While AEDC team members are encouraged to be innovative every day, not only is innovation benefiting Arnold Air Force Base, but new ideas of doing work is an Air Force-wide movement.
In 2014, Air Force started an initiative known as the Airmen Powered by Innovation program (API), and in this time, API has received 6,791 ideas from Airmen, of which 192 have been approved by Air Force leadership and have accumulated $121.3 million in projected savings.
Several of the approved initiatives have allowed Airmen to concentrate on their core missions, thus saving invaluable resources beyond budget figures.
“Harnessing Airmen’s creativity has always been vital to the Air Force’s ability to improve our enterprise,” said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James.
Gen. David L. Goldfein, the Air Force vice chief of staff said, “I am continually inspired by the creativity and ingenuity of our Airmen across the total force. The technicians, the Airmen really doing the work at the base level, can make remarkable changes in processes Air Force-wide. They continue to be our most valuable resource.”