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White Paper


The exponential increase in the number of aircraft and air travelers has triggered new innovations aimed to make airline services more reliable and consumer friendly. Quick and efficient maintenance actions with minimum downtime are the need of the hour. Another major challenge is ensuring maintenance personnel are trained effectively; technology like augmented reality and Virtual Maintenance Trainers (VMTs) may provide safe and efficient training in lieu of live, instructor-led arrangements. And while traditional User/Maintenance Manuals provide useful information when dealing with simple machines, when dealing with complex systems of systems and miniaturized technologies, like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), new technologies like augmented reality can rapidly and effectively support the maintenance operations.
White Paper

Innovative Assembly Systems for the Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry is facing new challenges to meet burgeoning customer demand. An unprecedented number of orders for commercial aircraft is forcing aerospace manufacturing to make gains in efficiency throughout aircraft production and operation. However, current manufacturing systems are using technologies and production methods unsuited to a future dynamic market. To ensure its profitability, the aerospace industry must seize the opportunity to innovate and readdress approaches to manufacturing. This whitepaper looks at four advanced manufacturing (AM) solutions designed to improve assembly process efficiency, automation, and accuracy.
White Paper

Studies into Additive Manufacturing for In-Space Manufacturing

NASA has embarked on an ambitious program to integrate additive manufacturing techniques and to develop processes for the microgravity environment. The most recent example of this program is the successful launch and deployment of the first 3D printer on the International Space Station. In this one-year effort, students were required to meet a series of milestones to design, manufacture, and test their ideas in close cooperation with members of the NASA Exploration Augmentation Module (EAM) concept team.The participants in this project were tasked with thinking of new solutions using AM that would simultaneously be recyclable with minimal loss in mechanical properties but also have the capacity for high mechanical properties. Working in interdisciplinary teams, the participant teams investigated the use of recycled materials, characterization, testing, modeling, and tool development.
White Paper

The Use of Imaging for Powder Metal Characterization and Contamination Identification

As AM technologies are being used with higher frequencywithin the automotive and aerospace industries, the interest in powder characterization and contaminant identification is growing—especially for suppliers looking to gain entry into these highly regulated industries. Standards for powder materials and methods used for aerospace applications are still be developed, and regulatory agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration have been requesting that standards be developed as guidance for the industry. Methods such as CCSEM and HLS could be viable options for suppliers needing to adhere to a powder specification by demonstrating compliance. Solutions exist to integrate such methods into a production environment as exemplified by RJ Lee Group.
Tech Insights

Balance of Plant: Integrating PEM Fuel Cells into Aircraft

While all-electric aircraft remain at the bleeding edge of the aviation industry, incorporating technologies like proton exchange membrane fuel cells into existing aircraft can result in considerable auxiliary capability with low environmental impact. However, proper consideration must be given to supporting systems to achieve a reliable balance of plant-especially when those systems interface with existing aircraft architectures. The scope of the BoP is to manage and condition the reactant flows to and from the fuel-cell module and to provide power to system components.
Solution Notes

High-Speed Inspection: Maintain Cycle Time, Ensure Fastener Quality

High-Speed Inspection: Maintain Cycle Time, Ensure Fastener Quality is a Solution Notes covering the possibility to inspect all fasteners without affecting installation times by applying a process to automatically measure fasteners while they move through a feed tube into the installation machine. Solution Notes are short, informative pieces covering dynamic and emerging technologies within the aerospace and automotive industries to keep you up to date on how new, applied technologies are being used within the mobility space.
Solution Notes

The Right Balance for Small UAVs: Defining top-level requirements for the power

Small tactical UAVs (SUAVs) have made their mark in military operations with their ability to gather and provide localized, real-time information. Typical uses include perimeter surveillance of remote military compounds, over-the-horizon surveillance, and remote monitoring of critical logistics routes. However, their potential to take on increased and increasingly complex missions is hampered by their limited endurance. This work explores research done under the auspices of the European Commission’s Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking on a fuel cell and battery hybrid energy storage system that could increase the total amount of onboard energy storage, while continuing to deliver the peak power needs of the SUAV.
Solution Notes

Drilling Material Stacks: Can it be both automated and affordable?

Automating a manufacturing process often comes with substantial investment or sustained operational costs of complex subsystems. But, by reducing complexity and using technologically mature components, it is possible to develop viable scaled and robust automated solutions. For the past several years, aerospace manufacturers have endeavored to automate manufacturing processes as much as possible for both production efficiencies and competitive advantage. Automating processes like drilling, fastening, sealing, painting, and composite material production have reaped a wide range of benefits; from improving quality and productivity to lowering worker ergonomic risks. The results have improved supply chains from small component manufacturers all the way up to airframe assemblers. That said, automation can be very expensive, and difficult to introduce when a product is anywhere beyond the beginning of its life cycle.
White Paper

Electric Flight Technology

The environmental impact of hydrocarbon-burning aircraft, both from the perspective of gas emissions and that of noise, is one of the main motivations for the move to electric propulsion. The added benefit from this shift to electric propulsion is that it has resulted in lowering the costs of electrical components such as motors, power electronic (PE) circuits, and batteries that are essential to this technology. This white paper seeks to explore the history, architecture, electrical components, and future trends of electric flight technology.
Tech Insights

Repairing Composites

As the aerospace industry continues on its quest for ever-increased efficiency, so goes the quest for ever-more composite content on aircraft. And with it, more opportunities to repair it. Typical composite panel fiber reinforcements are carbon, aramid, and fiberglass. The machining techniques for these typical composite materials are similar, but minor differences exist, such as the style of cutting tool or drill bit. Automated drilling methods that may be used during original manufacture are rarely used in typical composite repair situations.
Technical Paper

Gender and Age Influence on Fatality Risk from the Same Physical Impact Determined using Two-Car Crashes

Studies using the double-pair-comparison method found that fatality risk from the same physical impact is (28 ± 3)% greater for females than for males, and increases with age after age 20 at compound annual rates of (2.52 ± 0.08)% for males and (2.16 ± 0.10)% for females. The purpose of the present study is to investigate fatality risk from the same physical impact versus gender and age using a different method and data distinct from those in the other studies. Female to male fatality risk was estimated using two-car crashes in which the gender of the two drivers differed. Fatality risk from the same impact is found to be (22 ± 9)% greater for females than for males, and to increase annually after age 20 by (2.86 ± 0.32)% for males and (2.66 ± 0.37)% for females. The relatively close quantitative agreement between the present and double-pair-comparison estimates increases confidence in the validity of double-pair-comparison methods and the present method.
Technical Paper

A New Tool for Corrosion Inhibitor Research

Electrochemical techniques such as repassivation potential measurements and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) have become important tools in corrosion and corrosion inhibitor research. However, these techniques reflect the response of the total surface area of the exposed sample and cannot distinguish between types of localized corrosion e.g. pitting or crevice corrosion. Current density mapping (CDM) is a technique that uses a fine stainless steel needle, vibrating at a set frequency and scans over the surface of a sample in a plane micrometers above the sample surface. By mapping the current distribution over a surface, sites of localized corrosion can be characterized and the effect of a corrosion inhibitor monitored.