NIAR adds explosion testing capabilities

The Environmental Test Lab at Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) has added explosion proofness testing equipment, and hired Ron Koepp as research engineer.

The Environmental Test Lab at Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) reports that it continues to expand its capabilities with the addition of explosion proofness testing equipment. In addition, the lab has hired Ron Koepp in the Environmental Test Labs (mechanical and fluid) as a senior research engineer and manager.

The explosion proofness chamber was designed to allow testing to all categories of DO-160G, Section 9: Explosion Proofness. This test is for equipment on an aircraft that operates in or may come into contact with flammable fluids or flammable vapors.

To demonstrate explosion proofness, the test unit is placed in the test chamber where a flammable mixture of gas and vapor is introduced and circulated in and around the device. When in this environment the test unit is then required to operate without igniting the flammable mixture. Once the operation has been demonstrated, an intentional spark is produced in the chamber to prove that a volatile mixture (capable of explosion) is present. This test sequence must be repeated five times consecutively before the unit is declared explosion proof. The NIAR Environmental Lab is capable of testing all Categories of this test section.

Koepp was most recently the lead test engineer at Tinker Air Force Base’s Structural Integrity Lab until it was closed in late 2011.
Koepp graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He interned at NASA's Glenn Research Center then worked at Tinker AFB as an advanced composite program manager test engineer for vibration, hydraulics, pneumatics, structures and environmental. Koepp will be responsible for managing employees and programs in the Environmental Test Lab including vibration, temperature, temperature variation, humidity, altitude, bleed air, mass flow testing, hot fuel and the lab's newest capability, explosion proofness.