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Wasp Serving as JSF Test Platform


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ASDN News:

As part of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) testing process, a team from Norfolk Naval Shipyard's (NNSY) Engineering and Planning department inspected spaces onboard USS Wasp (LHD 1) Sept. 7-14 in an effort to account for the ship's total weight.

The week-long data-gathering project culminated with what is known as an "inclining experiment" Sept. 14, in which the 17 person NNSY team conducted a series of measurements in approximately 1,600 spaces to determine Wasp's current weight and center of gravity.

To accomplish such a large undertaking, the team broke up into smaller groups, each tackling the spaces of a specific ship's division. The groups were escorted by Sailors from the division they were inspecting, and they determined what changes have occurred within a given space since the ship was last measured in 1990. The NNSY personnel then determined how much weight the ship normally contains in that given space versus what would be there when the ship deploys.

"It's a lot of spaces, and they're up and down as well," said Allen Lester, a naval architect with the team. "We started in a pump room [at the bottom of the ship] and ended up on the 0-7 level [at the top]."

Lester's team mate, naval architect Bobby Griffin, noted that the process of getting to, and into, each space has been made immeasurably easier thanks to a cooperative and knowledgeable crew who cut a lot of time off the whole process.

During the experiment, Wasp was disconnected from shore services and rested about 20 feet off the pier. Tugs were on hand to keep the ship in place, but backed off and let the ship drift during each measurement.
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