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Technical Paper

777X Control Surface Assembly Using Advanced Robotic Automation

2017-09-19
2017-01-2092
Fabrication and assembly of the majority of control surfaces for Boeing’s 777X airplane is completed at the Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS) site in St. Louis, Missouri. The former 777 airplane has been revamped to compete with affordability goals and contentious markets requiring cost-effective production technologies with high maturity and reliability. With tens of thousands of fasteners per shipset, the tasks of drilling, countersinking, hole inspection, and temporary fastener installation are automated. Additionally and wherever possible, blueprint fasteners are automatically installed. Initial production is supported by four (4) Electroimpact robotic systems embedded into a pulse-line production system requiring strategic processing and safeguarding solutions to manage several key layout, build and product flow constraints.
Technical Paper

Flight Deck Lighting for Commercial Transport Aircraft - SAE ARP 4103

2015-09-15
2015-01-2535
The past twenty years have seen tremendous changes in the Avionics display and flight deck lighting due to the application of solid-state LED (light emitting diode) light sources and LCDs (liquid crystal displays). These advances significantly benefit the customer and pilot users when integrated correctly. This paper discusses recommended practices and guidance given in SAE ARP 4103 for modern Avionics flight deck lighting systems to satisfy the end user and obtain certification. SAE ARP 4103 Flight Deck Lighting for Commercial Transport Aircraft has recently been revised to keep up with the Avionics state-of-the-art and add clarification where needed. ARP 4103 contains recommended Avionics flight deck lighting design and performance criteria to ensure prompt and accurate readability and visibility, color identification and discrimination of needed information under all expected ambient lighting and electrical power conditions. For additional details, see the actual ARP 4103.
Journal Article

Integrated Ball-Screw Based Upset Process for Index Head Rivets Used in Wing Panel Assembly

2015-09-15
2015-01-2491
A new high speed forming process for fatigue rated index head rivets used in wing panel assembly using ball-screw based servo squeeze actuation has been developed. The new process is achieved using a combination of force and position control and is capable of forming to 40,000 lbs at rates of up to 200,000 lbs/second whilst holding the part location to within +/− 10 thousandths of an inch. Multi-axis riveting machines often have positioning axes that are also used for fastener upset. It is often the case that while a CNC is used for positioning control, another secondary controller is used to perform the fastener upset. In the new process, it has been possible to combine the control of the upset process with the machine CNC, thus eliminating any separate controllers. The fastener upset force profile is controlled throughout the forming of the rivet by using a closed loop force control system that has a load cell mounted directly behind the stringer side forming tool.
Journal Article

Estimating Return on Investment for SAVI (a Model-Based Virtual Integration Process)

2011-10-18
2011-01-2576
The System Architecture Virtual Integration (SAVI) program is a collaboration of industry, government, and academic organizations within the Aerospace Vehicle System Institute (AVSI) with the goal of structuring a new integration process that relies on a “single-truth” architectural framework. The SAVI approach of “Integrate, then Build” provides a modern distributed development environment which arrests the propagation of requirements errors through the development life cycle. It does so by capturing design assumptions and shared properties of the system design in an authoritative, annotated architectural model. This reference model provides a common, analyzable framework for confirming that system requirements remain complete, consistent, and correct at all levels of system decomposition. Core concepts of SAVI include extensive use of model-based system engineering tools and use of a “single-truth” reference architectural model.
Technical Paper

Calculations of Ice Shapes on Oscillating Airfoils

2011-06-13
2011-38-0015
The desire to operate rotorcraft in icing conditions has renewed the interest in developing high-fidelity analysis methods to predict ice accumulation and the ensuing rotor performance degradation. A subset of providing solutions for rotorcraft icing problems is predicting two-dimensional ice accumulation on rotor airfoils. While much has been done to predict ice for fixed-wing airfoil sections, the rotorcraft problem has two additional challenges: first, rotor airfoils tend to experience flows in higher Mach number regimes, often creating glaze ice which is harder to predict; second, rotor airfoils oscillate in pitch to produce balance across the rotor disk. A methodology and validation test cases are presented to solve the rotor airfoil problem as an important step to solving the larger rotorcraft icing problem. The process couples Navier-Stokes CFD analysis with the ice accretion analysis code, LEWICE3D.
Technical Paper

Expanded Accommodation Technique with Application to Maintenance Environment

2011-04-12
2011-01-0521
This paper presents a PC based mathematical and rapid prototyping technique for anthropometric accommodation in a maintenance environment using the principle of simulation based design. The developed technique is capable of analyzing anthropometric data using multivariate (Principal component Analysis) approach to describe the body size variability of any given population. A number of body size representative cases are established which, when used properly within the constraints of the maintenance environments, will ensure the accommodation of a desired percentage of a population. This technique evaluates the percentage accommodation of a given population for the environment using the specific manikin cases as boundary conditions. In the case where any member of a maintenance crew cannot be accommodated, the technique has the capability of informing the designer of the environment why the member(s) is/are not accommodated.
Technical Paper

Ejection Seat Cushions Static Evaluation for Three Different Installation Rail Angles

2011-04-12
2011-01-0806
Jet fighter missions have been known to last extended period of time. The need for a comfortable and safe seat has become paramount considering that fact that uncomfortable seats can lead to numerous health issues. Several health effects like numbness, pressure sore, low back pain, and vein thrombosis have been associated with protracted sitting. The cushion, and of late the installation rail angle are the only components of the ejection seat system that can be modified to reduce these adverse effects. A comprehensive static comfort evaluation study for ejection seats was conducted. It provides comparison between a variety of operational and prototype cushions (baseline cushion, honeycomb and air-cushion) and three different installation rail angles (14°, 18°, and 22°). Three operational cockpit environment mockups with adjustable installation rail angle were built. Ten volunteer subjects, six females and four males, ages 19 to 35, participated in the seat comfort evaluation.
Technical Paper

A Reduced-Order Enclosure Radiation Modeling Technique for Aircraft Actuators

2010-11-02
2010-01-1741
Modern aircraft are aerodynamically designed at the edge of flight stability and therefore require high-response-rate flight control surfaces to maintain flight safety. In addition, to minimize weight and eliminate aircraft thermal cooling requirements, the actuator systems have increased power-density and utilize high-temperature components. This coupled with the wide operating temperature regimes experienced over a mission profile may result in detrimental performance of the actuator systems. Understanding the performance capabilities and power draw requirements as a function of temperature is essential in properly sizing and optimizing an aircraft platform. Under the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL's) Integrated Vehicle and Energy Technology (INVENT) Program, detailed models of high performance electromechanical actuators (HPEAS) were developed and include temperature dependent effects in the electrical and mechanical actuator components.
Technical Paper

Automated Model Evaluation and Verification of Aircraft Components

2010-11-02
2010-01-1806
The trend of moving towards model-based design and analysis of new and upgraded aircraft platforms requires integrated component and subsystem models. To support integrated system trades and design studies, these models must satisfy modeling and performance guidelines regarding interfaces, implementation, verification, and validation. As part of the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Integrated Vehicle and Energy Technology (INVENT) Program, standardized modeling and performance guidelines have been established and documented in the Modeling Requirement and Implementation Plan (MRIP). Although these guidelines address interfaces and suggested implementation approaches, system integration challenges remain with respect to computational stability and predicted performance over the entire operating region for a given component. This paper discusses standardized model evaluation tools aimed to address these challenges at a component/subsystem level prior to system integration.
Technical Paper

Commercial Aircraft Applications for Laser Sintered Polyamides

2009-11-10
2009-01-3266
The Selective laser sintering (SLS) process offers unique capabilities for production of complex, thin-walled geometries with internal features, integral attachments and flanges. The benefits of SLS have been realized on a variety of Boeing military platforms for a number of years. However, applications on commercial aircraft have been limited by material flammability requirements. To address this gap, Boeing, in cooperation with Advanced Laser Materials, developed a flame retardant polyamide material that is now commercially available (ALM FR-106). This paper introduces the general advantages of laser sintering as applied to the manufacturing of flight hardware and a description of the development of the flame retardant material in use.
Technical Paper

Managing and Administering Security Infrastructure Controls via Policy

2009-11-10
2009-01-3183
Managing the security of the infrastructure and applications for any aviation IT system necessitates some sort of control mechanism(s) for defining how the various components and processes of the system work. This is true for both the network components, applications within the infrastructure, and the various security infrastructure components such as access control mechanisms, intrusion detection systems, etc. The need for a comprehensive, defense in depth, solution to security can only be met if there is an association between the controls regulating the various security components, so that there is a consistent approach to regulating and controlling security. To meet this need we propose a unifying Global Policy Framework concept, that includes a Policy Workbench for developing and administrating the policies associated with security components and the security infrastructure.
Technical Paper

Development and Implementation of Sol-Gel Coatings for Aerospace Applications

2009-11-10
2009-01-3208
A family of water-based sol-gel coatings has been developed as an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional aerospace finishing materials and processes. The sol-gel hybrid network is based on a reactive mixture of an organo-functionalized silane with a stabilized zirconium complex. Thin films of the material self-assemble on metal surfaces, resulting in a gradient coating that provides durable adhesion for paints, adhesives, and sealants. Use of the novel coating as a surface pretreatment for the exterior of commercial aircraft has enabled environmental, health, and safety benefits due to elimination of hexavalent chromium, and flight test and early fleet survey data support the laboratory observations that the sol gel coating reduces the occurrence of “rivet rash” adhesion failures. Modifications of the basic inorganic/organic hybrid network have yielded multifunctional coatings with promise for applications such as corrosion control and oxidation protection.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Commercial Airplanes Service Request Process Flows

2009-11-10
2009-01-3199
The repairing of commercial aircraft is a complex task. Service engineers at Boeing's Commercial Aviation Services group specialize in providing crucial repair information and technical support for its many customers. This paper details factors that influence Boeing's response time to service requests and how to improve it. Information pertaining to over 5000 service requests from 2008 and 2009 was collected. From analysis of this data set, important findings were discovered. One major finding is that between 6 and 8 percent of service requests are late because time/date stamps used in reports were created in a different time zone.
Technical Paper

Efficient Assembly Integration and Test (EAIT) Moves Theory to Practice at a System Level to Effect Lean Outcomes on the Shop Floor

2009-11-10
2009-01-3169
This paper will describe the Efficient Assembly Integration and Test (EAIT) system level project operated as a partnership among Boeing business units, universities, and suppliers. The focus is on the successful implementation and sharing of technology solutions to develop a model based, multi-product pulsed line factory of the future. The EAIT philosophy presented in this paper focuses on a collaborative environment that is tightly woven with the Lean Initiatives at Boeing's satellite development center. The prototype is comprised of a platform that includes a wireless instrumentation system, rapid bonding materials and virtual test of guidance hardware there are examples of collaborative development in collaboration with suppliers. Wireless tools and information systems are also being developed across the Boeing Company. Virtual reality development will include university partners in the US and India.
Journal Article

Characterization of the Tau Parallel Kinematic Machine for Aerospace Application

2009-11-10
2009-01-3222
A consortium of interested parties has conducted an experimental characterization of two Tau parallel kinematic machines which were built as a part of the EU-funded project, SMErobot1. Characteristics such as machine stiffness, work envelope, repeatability and accuracy were considered. This paper will present a brief history of the Tau parallel machine, the results of this testing and some comment on prospective application to the aerospace industry.
Journal Article

Self-Configuring Hybrid Duct System and Attachment Technologies for Environmental Control Systems

2009-11-10
2009-01-3277
Environmental Control Systems (ECS) ducts on airplanes are primarily fabricated from aluminum or thermoset composites, depending on temperature and pressure requirements. It is imperative to fabricate lightweight, cost effective, durable, and repairable systems with minimal tooling. It is also important that the duct systems are easy to assemble even with alignment issues resulting from structural variations, tolerance accumulation, variation from thermal expansion of different materials, and inherent duct stiffness. These requirements create an opportunity and need for a technology that can address all of these issues, while increasing performance at the same time. This report provides a background on current ECS ducting systems.
Journal Article

Protection of the C-17 Airplane during Semi Prepared Runway Operations

2009-11-10
2009-01-3203
The C-17 airplane operates in some of the most challenging environments in the world including semi prepared runway operations (SPRO). Typical semi-prepared runways are composed of a compacted soil aggregate of sand, silt, gravel, and rocks. When the airplane lands or takes off from a semi-prepared runway, debris, including sand, gravel, rocks and, mud is kicked up from the nose landing gear (NLG) and the main landing gear (MLG) tires. As the airplane accelerates to takeoff or decelerates from landing touchdown, this airborne debris impacts the underbelly and any component mounted on the underbelly. The result is the erosion of the protective surface coating and damage to systems that protrude below the fuselage into the debris path. The financial burden caused by SPRO damage is significant due to maintenance costs, spares costs and Non-Mission Capable (NMC) time.
Journal Article

Role of Power Distribution System Tests in Final Assembly of a Military Derivative Airplane

2009-11-10
2009-01-3121
Boeing has contracts for military application of twin engine airplanes generically identified in this paper as the MX airplane. Unlike previous derivatives, the MX airplanes are produced with a streamlined manufacturing process to improve cost and schedule performance. The final assembly of each MX airplane includes a series of integration tests, called factory functional tests (FFTs), which are modified from those of typical commercial versions and verify correctness of equipment installation and basic functionalities. Two airplanes have been through the production line resulting in a number of FFT lessons learned. Addressed are the power distribution lessons learned: 1) the expanded coverage of the basic automated power-on generation system test, 2) the need for a manual wire continuity test, 3) salient features of the power distribution tests, and 4) keys to make first pass power distribution test smooth and successful.
Technical Paper

Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS) for the International Space Station

2009-07-12
2009-01-2413
The International Space Station (ISS) requires stores of Oxygen (O2) and Nitrogen (N2) to provide for atmosphere replenishment, direct crew member usage, and payload operations. Currently, supplies of N2/O2 are maintained by transfer from the Space Shuttle. Following Space Shuttle retirement in 2010, an alternate means of resupplying N2/O2 to the ISS is needed. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has determined that the optimal method of supplying the ISS with O2/N2 is using tanks of high pressure N2/O2 carried to the station by a cargo vehicle capable of docking with the ISS. This paper will outline the architecture of the system selected by NASA and will discuss some of the design challenges associated with this use of high pressure oxygen and nitrogen storage in the human spaceflight environment.
Technical Paper

Modification of the USOS to Support Installation and Activation of the Node 3 Element

2009-07-12
2009-01-2416
The International Space Station (ISS) program is nearing an assembly complete configuration with the addition of the final resource node module in early 2010. The Node 3 module will provide critical functionality in support of permanent long duration crews aboard ISS. The new module will permanently house the regenerative Environment Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) and will also provide important habitability functions such as waste management and exercise facilities. The ISS program has selected the Port side of the Node 1 “Unity” module as the permanent location for Node 3 which will necessitate architecture changes to provide the required interfaces. The USOS ECLSS fluid and ventilation systems, Internal Thermal Control Systems, and Avionics Systems require significant modifications in order to support Node 3 interfaces at the Node 1 Port location since it was not initially designed for that configuration.
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