HILL AIR FORCE BASE CASE STUDY

LOCATION: Layton, Utah

PROJECT: PMEL

Recently, Hill Air Force Base required assistance in a PMEL construction project that would allow their facility to meet Air Force Metrology and Calibration (AFMETCAL) Program requirements. Thanks to our expertise in metrology lab design and construction, as well as our experience completing cleanroom projects for Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program, and others, CES was called on for the job.

Project Challenge

CES first analyzed the PMEL’s current design and equipment for any problems pertaining to the new AFMETCAL requirements. To achieve a cost-effective solution, Hill Air Force Base’s PMEL would have to operate within a specified tolerance at a minimum of 90% of the time. This proved to be an issue in the past for the base, as its PMEL failed to reach this requirement for nine years, resulting from the improper maintenance of the mandated proper environment for all Air Force PMELs.

In addition, over 11,000 square feet of PMEL space on the base needed to address temperature, relative humidity, and positive room temperature challenges. The Hill Air Force Base PMEL also needed to provide enough consistency in its tolerance environmental data to avoid a shutdown of the base’s lab and the subsequent relocations of its operations to another Air Force site.

Results

Upon completion of Hill Air Force Base’s PMEL construction project, CES delivered results that allowed the lab to meet AFMETCAL requirements. It also yielded the base’s first certificate in nine years.

To bring 11,000+ sq. ft. of cleanroom space to this level of compliance, our solution began with the addition of a new control system with sensors. It also included the creation of a positive pressure plenum, as well as the conversion of different areas of the ceiling into a supply diffuser system. The project was rounded out by the installation of electric reheats and humidifiers in specific areas and a return air system, which allowed the air to be returned lower to the floor.

Design Parameters:

– Temperature: 20°C

– Stability: ±1°C

– Relative Humidity: 45%

– Stability: +5% / -10%

– Enclosure Size: Over 11,000 square feet

Background

Hill Air Force Base serves as the predominant location within the United States for maintaining, supporting, and developing several types of aircraft, including C-130s, F-15s, and F-16s. Located roughly 30 miles north of Salt Lake City, Utah, it houses an on-site precision measurement equipment laboratory (PMEL), which plays a significant role in maintaining the calibration of flight instruments, making crucial repairs, and testing new equipment.