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Technical Paper

Intelligent Real Time Inspection of Rivet Quality Supported by Human-Robot-Collaboration

Aircraft production is facing various technical challenges, such as large product dimensions, complex joining processes and the organization of assembly tasks. Meeting the requirements that come with large dimensions, low tolerances and small batch sizes, in combination with complex joining processes, automation and labour-intensive inspection task, is often difficult to achieve in an economically viable way. ZeMA believes that a semi-automated approach is the most effective for optimizing aircraft section assembly. An effective optimization of aircraft production can be achieved with a semi-automated riveting process for solid rivets using Human-Robot-Collaboration in combination with an intuitive Human-Machine-Interaction operating concept. While using dynamic task sharing between human and robot based on their skills, and considering ergonomics, the determined ideal solution involves placing a robot inside the section barrel.
Technical Paper

Analysis of a Coupling System of Aircraft Environmental Control and Fuel Tank Inerting Based on Membrane Separation

This paper raises a coupling system of aircraft environmental control and fuel tank inerting based on membrane separation. The system applies a membrane dehumidifier to replace water vapor removal unit of heat regenerator, condenser and water separator, which is widely used in conventional aircraft environmental control system nowadays. Water vapor can travel across the membrane wall under its pressure difference without phase change, so the dehumidification process consumes no cooling capacity and the cooling capacity of the system increases. This paper first compares the thermodynamic properties of environmental control system based on membrane dehumidification and the environmental control system based on condensation. The results show that the membrane dehumidification system has bigger cooling capacity and lighter weight.
Technical Paper

Flight Optimization Model on Global and Interval Ranges for Conceptual Studies of MEA Systems

In development of more electric aircraft applications, it is important to discuss aircraft energy management on various level of aircraft operation. This paper presents a computationally efficient optimization model for evaluating flight efficiency on global and interval flight ranges. The model is described as an optimal control problem with an objective functional subjected to state condition and control input constraints along a flight path range. A flight model consists of aircraft point-mass equations of motion including engine and aerodynamic models. The engine model generates the engine thrust and fuel consumption rate for operation condition and the aerodynamic model generates the drag force and lift force of an aircraft for flight conditions. These models is identified by data taken from a published literature as an example. First, approximate optimization process is performed for climb, cruise, decent and approach as each interval range path.

L3 makes its C-130 modernization package available to global operators

The new C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) is based on the company’s certified and fielded U.S. Air Force C-130 avionics solution and includes modern Communication, Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management-compliant (CNS/ATM-compliant) avionics and glass cockpit upgrades that integrate with modern satellite communications and automation systems.

Laser Powder Bed Fusion Process


This specification establishes process controls for the repeatable production of aerospace parts by Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF). It is intended to be used for aerospace parts manufactured using Additive Manufacturing (AM) metal alloys, but usage is not limited to such applications.

Technical Paper

A Smart Icing Detection System for Any Location on the Outer Aircraft Surface

Given approximately one million small and light aircraft in operation worldwide, icing detection and icing quantification of in-flight icing are still an open research topic. Despite technical means are available to de-ice on ground, there is a lack of a suitable control system based on sensor data to de-ice while the aircraft is airborne. Most often, it is still task of the pilot to visually inspect the icing status of the airfoil and/or other critical parts of the aircraft such as engine air intakes, which distracts the flight crew from flying the aircraft especially in IMC conditions. Based on preliminary simulation and tests in 2014 in a collaborative research project lasting from 2015 until 2018, the technology of energy self-sustaining, wireless, self-adhesive smart sensors for industrial sensing in an aerodynamically critical environment (i.e. wind turbines) was further investigated to fulfil general aviation requirements.

Sikorsky’s autonomous Black Hawk helicopter takes flight

Sikorsky tested a new full-authority, fly-by-wire flight control technology kit for the first time on a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk medium-lift utility helicopter. The flight marked the beginning of the flight test program for the soon-to-be optionally piloted rotorcraft.

General Atomics moves towards global RPA flight certification for MQ-9B SkyGuardian

A General Atomics Aeronautical System, Inc. (GA-ASI) MQ-9B SkyGuardian remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) was controlled – from takeoff to landing – by an operator using a GA-ASI certifiable ground control station (CGCS), marking the first time a CGCS was used to control an end-to-end flight and the first step in type-certifying the unit.

Safety Cable Kit Procurement Specification and Requirement for Use


This procurement specification covers aerospace quality safety cable kits consisting of safety cables and ferrules made from the same corrosion and heat resistant steels and a nickel base alloy of the type identified under the Unified Numbering system as follows:

a. UNS S30400 - Corrosion resistant steel (AMS 5697)

b. UNS S32100 - Corrosion and heat resistant steel (AMS 5689)

c. UNS N06600 - Nickel base alloy (AMS 5687)

d. UNS N06625 - Nickel Alloy, Corrosion Resistant (AMS 5666)

The requirements for installation practices are also specified.

Technical Paper

A Predictive Reference Governor for Synchronous Generator Regulation with a Pulsed Constant Power Load

In this paper, first an analytical model of a synchronous generator with a pulsed constant power load (CPL) is developed and numerically compared with a detailed simulation model. The analytical model is shown to possess good predictive abilities, thus enabling its use for control purposes. Second, the generator has a proportionalintegral (PI) control inner-loop, whose task is to regulate the generator’s output voltage to a desired reference. A novel outer-loop predictive reference governor (PRG) is designed and tested via simulation. The PRG uses the analytical model to predict the output behavior of the generator over a short time window, and continuously modifies the reference given to the inner-loop in order to maintain stringent steady-state requirements, in spite of demanding power requirements at the CPL. Simulation results illustrate the significant performance advantages of using the PRG versus using the inner-loop PI controller alone.
Technical Paper

Collaboration in a Hybrid Team of Human and Robot for Improving Working Conditions in an Aircraft Riveting Process

Aircraft production is facing various technical challenges, such as large product dimensions, complex joining processes, and organization of assembly tasks. Overcoming such challenges, as well as maintaining low tolerances and small batch sizes, is often difficult to achieve whilst retaining economic viability. ZeMA believes that a semi-automated approach is the most effective way to optimize aircraft section assembly. This can be achieved with a semi-automated riveting process for solid rivets, using Human-Robot-Collaboration in combination with an intuitive Human-Machine-Interaction operating concept. In the assembly of aircraft structures - in this scenario the aircraft aft section - the pressure bulk head is mounted to the section barrel. Two operators work collaboratively in uncomfortable, non-ergonomic positions, yet of course have to maintain exacting quality standards.
Technical Paper

Restricted Access ‘C’ Clamping Smart Drilling Unit

One way assembly of aero structures has the potential to significantly reduce build times. One of the solutions, which goes towards achieving this philosophy, is the use of a ‘C’ clamping automated drilling system. The Manufacturing Technology Centre has developed and manufactured a ‘C’ clamping automated drilling unit to overcome many of the limitations of current designs, which prevent their use on a broader range of structures. The drilling unit addresses issues with access, size and weight restrictions as well as economic factors. This technical paper will present the outcomes from the design and manufacture of the drilling unit that is to be used within restricted access areas, as either a hand held device or as a robotic end effector free from any cables or hoses, allowing full and unhindered articulation of any robot motion. The device’s services: power, tool lubrication, swarf extraction and control systems have been designed to be embedded, rendering it a standalone unit.

Inserts, Screw Thread, Helical Coil 19Cr-9.2Ni, Corrosion Resistant Steel, Procurement Specification for

This specification covers closely-wound helical coil, screw thread inserts made of a corrosion resistant steel formed wire with a chemical composition in accordance with Table 1 and identified under the Unified Numbering System as UNS S30200 or UNS S30400 that can be formed by an insert manufacturer to achieve the requirements of this procurement specification. The inner surface of the insert coil, after assembly into a screw thread tapped hole, provides internal threads of standard 60° Unified form.

Aircraft Lightning Test Methods

This document is one of a set covering the whole spectrum of aircraft interaction with lightning. This document is intended to describe how to conduct lightning direct effects tests and indirect system upset effects tests. Indirect effects upset and damage tolerance tests for individual equipment items are addressed in DO-160/ED-14. Documents relating to other aspects of the certification process, including definition of the lightning environment, zoning, and indirect effects certification are listed in Section 2. This document presents test techniques for simulated lightning testing of aircraft and the associated systems. This document does not include design criteria nor does it specify which items should or should not be tested. Acceptable levels of damage and/or pass/fail criteria for the qualification tests must be approved by the cognizant certification authority for each particular case.

Wire Fed Plasma Arc Directed Energy Deposition Additive Manufacturing Process

This specification establishes process controls for the repeatable production of preforms by Wire Fed Plasma Arc Directed Energy Deposition (PA-DED). It is intended to be used for aerospace parts manufactured using Additive Manufacturing (AM) metal alloys, but usage is not limited to such applications.

NATS will test AI at Heathrow to reduce weather-related flight delays

By processing ultra-high-definition (UHD), 4K resolution camera images with state-of-the-art AI and machine learning systems at a new £2.5 million ($3.3 million) “digital tower laboratory,” NATS is investigating whether these technologies can improve Heathrow’s landing capacity during low-visibility periods and reduce flight delays.