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    100 ARW Spark Tank - Integrated Communication Respirator System

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    Video by 1st Lt. Nathanael Callon and Senior Airman Kelly OConnor

    100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs   

    We’ve revolutionized the way we train new maintainers at RAF Mildenhall by envisioning and designing the confined space trainer. We’ve bridged the gap in training between when new maintainers arrive on station and the three months it takes for medical clearance to get in the tank.

    We realized through the confined space trainer’s implementation that there is clear communication and immediate feedback between the trainer and trainee. They can communicate without barriers. This is a huge improvement in the quality of training. The next step is obvious – find a way to remove the communication barrier in an aircraft fuel tank.

    The technology exists individually, but no technology exists for our KC-135 maintainers here, especially when they enter the tank. They are cut-off from the outside world.

    If divers, racecar drivers, and astronauts have unique bi-directional audio and video technology, why shouldn’t we have the same technology?

    The immediate benefits are saved man-hours and increased efficiency by reducing the number of times personnel enter and exit the tank. This capability leads to synergized troubleshooting, since immediate audible and visual communication would exist between the maintainer in the tank and their support outside, whether that be peers or engineering experts back in the States.

    Most importantly, the direct monitoring of personnel and confined space conditions drastically reduces risk and increases safety.

    The $500,000 investment can help our Airmen execute the mission here and beyond. This system will be a game changer for the Air Force.



    Date Taken: 11.01.2018
    Date Posted: 11.05.2018 11:55
    Category: Package
    Video ID: 637868
    VIRIN: 181101-F-XA482-2312
    Filename: DOD_106185584
    Length: 00:02:08
    Location: RAF MILDENHALL, SFK, GB 

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