"Air Comm strives ceaselessly to design and produce products that
provide optimal comfort, safety, reliability and value for our customers." - Keith Steiner

Engineering

Air Comm Engineering Leads the Industry

As the premier leader in aviation heating and cooling systems, Air Comm’s technical staff is comprised of aerospace, mechanical, structural, electronic and software engineers who each bring a unique set of talents and expertise in order to develop state of the art systems for fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.   To ensure ACC meets all required certification compliance regulations, ACC employs a full-time certification engineer and a Designated Engineering Representative (DER) of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to coordinate all major and minor certification efforts.   Our engineering staff is supported by certified SolidWorks Professionals with over 40 years of combined design and drafting experience.  ACC uses Solidworks and Autodesk Mechanical Desktop design software with a controlled Enterprise Product Data Management (EPDM) vault system for maintaining configuration control throughout the release cycle process.   Both of these software platforms easily interface well with other CAD systems such as CATIA via . stp files.

In addition to the expert engineering staff, ACC works with a number of consultants who specialize in the fields of Finite Element Analysis, Reliability and Predictions Analysis, Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis, Stress and Strain Analysis, and Lightning and Direct Effects Substantiation.   

ACC’s staff of project management professionals ensures each project is delivered on time and within budget.   

ACC Heaters are State-of-the-Art

 

In 1987, Air Comm introduced the “mini-ejector” bleed air heater revolutionizing helicopter cabin heating systems.   For the first time, operators could rely on a single light-weight, low-cost, maintenance-free system to provide ample heat regardless of the operating environment.  ACC heaters have been field proven to -40°F and today are found on more than a dozen different types of turbine helicopters operating from Yukon, Canada to Antarctica.

This advanced-technology system is engineered to provide optimal output at less than cabin ambient noise levels.  It consists of a series of miniature heater ejector assemblies strategically located to provide comprehensive heat and defog coverage throughout the aircraft.  Simple and elegant, the system delivers warm air where needed without the use of blowers and air distribution ducting.

ACC Electric Heaters

 

ACC looks to continually improve its existing systems and has developed ceramic heater modules with integrated brushless blowers.  Unlike traditional heating elements that use an exposed nichrome resistance wire or metal rod elements to generate heat, ceramic PTC heating elements have unique characteristics and act as semiconductors. The composition of these elements results in a temperature dependent resistance wherein, when the ambient temperature starts to decrease, the heater’s resistance will decrease, drawing more current and countering the cooling tendency. Conversely, any tendency to increase its temperature has the opposite effect. The net result of this behavior is that the heater element has a maximum temperature limit and is self-regulating.  Not only is this system efficient, the system modules allow for multiple configurations providing balanced heating throughout the aircraft. 

ACC Air Conditioners Set the Industry Standard

 

Like ACC heater technology, a similar design philosophy focusing on high performance, light-weight and low cost is applied to Air Comm helicopter air conditioners.  All ACC air conditioners are vapor-cycle systems which are either mechanically or electrically driven that provide excellent aircraft cooling by locating evaporators in cockpit and cabin.

Air Comm air conditioners are renowned for efficient, effective, trouble-free performance in all climates.  ACC systems are in service worldwide, including the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Central and South America.

 

 

Testing Capabilities

 

Located in Boulder, Colorado the ACC test facility has the capability to perform certification testing to meet DO-160 and MIL-STD-810 standards.   The combination of EMC, Temperature/Humidity, Vibration, and Psychrometric performance capabilities allows ACC to quickly develop systems and components that are reliable and robust, with demonstrated endurance and performances ensuring the customer’s specifications are precisely met.

Psychrometric Lab

 

ACC’s new state of the art 120,000 BTUH air conditioning psychrometric testing facility is designed with split psychrometric chambers for testing both individual components and complete systems.    We are able to show real-time performance and efficiency, and are able to identify areas where optimization can be realized.   The facility is capable of testing a variety of air conditioning technologies, including split-systems, packaged air conditioners and heat pumps, compressors, water cooled condenser systems, and refrigerant-to-water loops.

Performance of individual components, such as the evaporator, condenser coils, blowers, and compressors can be easily evaluated.   The lab is designed to operate equipment whether 12VDC, 28VDC, or 400hz.   Electric and mechanically driven systems can be analyzed for performance improvements.

ACC’s psychrometric testing facility can simulate a wide range of operating conditions.  The condenser room temperatures can be raised to as high as 140°F.  The evaporator room temperature can be varied from 40°F to 130°F while relative humidity can be varied from 5-95%.  These conditions can be held to a 1° tolerance while the system is operating.

By operating the systems in the test lab, ACC engineers are able to refine system design to achieve maximum efficiency and performance.  This includes:

  • Optimization of superheat and sub-cooling settings
  • Monitoring of the system’s response to atmospheric and air density changes
  • Ducting and distribution performance optimization
  • Refrigerant plumbing routing and sizing
  • Evaluation of changes to component selection and orientation
  • Blower and fan performance and optimization testing
  • Compressor volumetric efficiency performance and optimization testing
  • Air-side and liquid-side psychrometric testing for Vapor Cycle Air-Conditioning (VCS) systems
  • VCS system efficiency, performance and capacity optimization and validation
  • Psychrometric calorimeter testing with enthalpy potential monitoring
  • Steady state performance testing
  • Pull down performance testing
  • Heat exchanger and ducting pressure drop validation
  • 10 CFR Part 430 testing
  • Title 24 of California Energy Efficiency testing
  • ARI 210/240 air conditioning and air source heat pump testing
  • ARI 340/360 performance testing and rating
  • ARI 810/820 testing

Test Room Capabilities

  • 1,280 ft³ Indoor room dry-bulb temperature range: 32° - 149°F
  • 1,280 ft³ Indoor room relative humidity range: 20-95% RH
  • 800 ft³ Outdoor Room dry bulb temperature range: 14° - 149°F
  • Dry-bulb temperature control accuracy: ± . 4 °F
  • Wet-bulb temperature control accuracy: ± . 4 °F
  • Atmospheric pressure measurement for air density compensation
  • Refrigerant mass flow measurement utilizing high accuracy Coriolis measurement

Airflow Measurement Capability

  • Airflow measurement (50-3000 SCFM)
  • Airflow measurement accuracy ± 1%
  • Automatic variable downstream pressure regulation (0-30 in H2O)

Data Acquisition

  • 88 channel data acquisition system with Labview software for real-time system monitoring, ease of customization and reporting (pressures, temperatures, current draw, air flows, etc.)
  • Actual liquid refrigerant temperature measurement (not tubing temperature)
  • Real-time compressor torque/horsepower measurement (0-15 HP)
  • Variable speed compressor drive (0-10,000 RPM)

Environmental Qualification Testing Capabilities

 

ACC has in-house Humidity, Vibration, and EMC testing equipment that is used both for developmental/proof of concept tests, and official DO-160/MIL-STD-810 qualification tests. The vibration system has 8 channel control and is capable of Random, Classical Shock, Swept Sine, Resonance Dwell, and Sine on Random tests.

Vertical Electrodynamic Shaker

  • 5-3000 Hz
  • 60 g
  • 2 inch displacement
  • 2000 lbf peak
  • 2200 lbf RMS

Temperature and Humidity Chamber

  • -94° to 356°F
  • 10% to 98% humidity

Emission Test Lab Specifications

o   Radiated Field Emissions

o   Conducted Emissions