Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Degree Level



Electrical Engineering


Patrick Parkerson

Committee Member

Alan Mantooth

Second Committee Member

Vasundara Varadan


Automated, Jet engine, Pacer comet, Testing, Tf33


Pacer Comet 4 found its life out of necessity to replace an obsolescent Pacer Comet 3 engine test system at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City, OK. Pacer Comet 3 (PC3) was created and installed in the early 1980's to test jet engines from a wide range of planes. PC3 had several problems from a maintenance standpoint: contractors designed and installed the system but the contract did not include the OEM data package. Without drawings or design knowledge, fixing the smallest of problems could turn into a multi‐day project. In addition to high cost, as the OEM companies of proprietary parts went out of business, it became impossible to find a replacement for a failed part. These issues set the framework for the Pacer Comet 4 (PC4) system. PC4 was created as an organic AF and Department of Defense collaboration to fix the issues with PC3. PC4 provides the customer with a complete data package including multiple drawing sets and data sheets for all parts used, as well as design files for all PCBs created in house. PC4 has a standard to use commercially available off the shelf parts (COTS). The reason for this is sustainability in maintenance. If a part is to fail, it should be able to be purchased from any man-ufacturer that meets the specs of the original product. No proprietary parts are used, except as directed by the engine's OEM. This thesis will focus on the design and installation of the on-frame data acquisition PC4 system for the Pratt & Whitney TF33‐P100A‐QEC engine that is currently in use on the E3 Sentry. This thesis will show efficiency improvements for maintenance sustainability (70% cabling reduction) as well as discuss performance improvements in both test and production environments.