SpaceTEC® Resource Blog for Aerospace Technicians

Archive for June, 2011

Breaking News! FAA Safety Approval Announcement for SpaceTEC Program

“On June 10, 2011, the SpaceTEC program received formal safety approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation for the SpaceTEC Certified Aerospace Technician™ process, the first such approval of this kind.

Based at Brevard Community College on Florida’s Space Coast, SpaceTEC is the National Science Foundation’s National Resource Center for Aerospace Technical Education.  Since 2004 SpaceTEC has offered the nation’s only performance-based, industry-endorsed certification for aerospace technicians in the United States.”

The FAA gave safety approval for the four current areas of the SpaceTEC program:

  • Core Certification
  • Aerospace Vehicle Processing
  • Aerospace Manufacturing
  • Composites.

The approval for all four areas is valid for five years.

    You can read more of the announcement and what it means for the aerospace technician field here.

    To the staff at SpaceTEC, well done!


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    Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 Current Space Events, SpaceTEC Comments Off on Breaking News! FAA Safety Approval Announcement for SpaceTEC Program


    Caliper tools are considered transfer tools because the measurement cannot be read directly.  Caliper tools “make contact with the part (on the dimension being measured), are then locked in the measured position, and are measured with another tool…” such as a rule or micrometer. (Griffith 2003)  With caliper tools being a transfer tool, it doesn’t matter if the part being measured is in English or metric form.  The caliper tool is used to measure the part which then you can compare it to either a English or metric rule or micrometer.

    Calipers can be also used as a go/no go tool.  You would preset and lock a caliper against a rule or master part and do a “fit check” on your part to see if a part meets the measurement required.

    Though Caliper tools are good for regular measurements they should not be used when accuracy of less than 0.015 ” or 0.39 mm is required. (Krar and Check 1997)

    There are two basic types of calipers, outside and inside calipers.


    Outside calipers measure the outside surface of a round or flat surface.  The most common type of outside caliper is the spring joint caliper.   To use a outside caliper you would:

    1. Measure the part with the caliper and lock it in place.

    2. Compare the caliper to a rule to determine the measurement or compare it against a Master Part.









    Inside Caliper

    Inside Calipers are used to measure the inside diameters of a circular object such as a pipe or to measure the inside width of a slot or keyhole.

    Using a inside caliper

    1. Hold one leg against the bottom surface of the area your measuring with your finger.

    2. Turn the adjusting nut until the second leg touches the opposite side and lock legs in place.

    3. Compare the caliper against a rule or Master part, or for more accuracy, use a micrometer on the caliper.



    Calipers are easy to use and very simple tools to add precision to your work.  Don’t underestimate a caliper’s usefulness when it comes to your work.

    If there are any other common measuring tools or some other aerospace technician subjects you would like to see covered, please feel free to email your suggestion and we will work to cover it here.


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    Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 Applied Mechanics, Tests and Measurements Comments Off on Calipers