Pushing the limits

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jennifer Gonzales
  • 86 AW

In the last 40 years technology has progressed at exponential rates. This progress is likely owed to the ingenuity of inventors and entrepreneurs who remain curious. They want to see how far they can push the limits and see what technology is truly capable of. In some cases this curiosity could even stem from boredom and it’s in that sense of wonder that someone can break the mold.


Airman 1st Class Thomas Peters, 691st Cyberspace Operations Squadron vulnerability management operator, is one such individual.


Currently, his job consists of working with information technology and performing preventative maintenance.


“So, I’ll come in and I’ll check to see if there’s any tickets for anything that needs to be urgently worked on,” said Peters. “Then, I’ll go into the system center configuration manager and I’ll see if there’s any preventative maintenance.”


The system center configuration manager, or SCCM, is used for deploying third party applications, security updates, and enforcing configurations on systems. Most computers have a client appliance program that receives commands from the SCCM. If a computer doesn’t have a client or if it’s not working correctly, it’s Peters’ job to fix it.


For Peters, adjusting to his Air Force role in technology systems was a familiar process because he’s been working with computers since he was young.


“I would buy two or three different games that were designed using the same engine, then I would blend them together,” said Peters. “I just kind of did that for fun in high school, because I was bored.”


Alongside his core classes, Peters took a class on vocational drafting where he learned to lay out blueprints and it’s where he discovered his interest for engineering. This new experience led to the creation of a unique concept.


“Drafting is like creating blueprints for stuff like houses or mechanical projects,” said Peters. “I was drafting a hypersonic unmanned small aircraft because I wanted to see what the limits on speed are.”


The aircraft Peters designed could potentially fly at Mach 14, according to simulations he had run on it. If it were real, this would exceed NASA’s X-43, currently the fastest aircraft in the world clocking in at approximately Mach 9.6.


“Mach 14 was the simulations I was running on it,” said Peters. “It was designed to be very aerodynamic, but it’s also so aerodynamic that it’s really hard to take off. So, it’s one of those that would have to be carried and then released once it’s reached a certain speed.”


Innovation is a skill that’s highly sought after in the Air Force, and is something that can spark interest in others. Peters has shown that he can be quite innovative when it comes to technological prowess and his job is something he finds truly rewarding.


“Working as part of the squadron—the people there are just awesome. I wouldn’t have it any other way than the way I have it now.”