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Technical Paper

Unique Aspects Involved in the Robotic Painting of Commercial Aircraft Structures

The use of paint automation in commercial aircraft production is being studied to reduce process cycle times, provide a higher quality paint finish, lower emissions, and increase process consistency. The cost of new aircraft paint hangars and increasing production rates is driving a need for increased capacity in existing facilities by using new coatings and technology. Testing of robotic painting at Boeing has uncovered unique differences between aerospace and automotive applications. Paint cure times, number of paint colors, environment control, and part size considerations are some of the issues that make aerospace application of coatings more difficult than automotive applications. Understanding the unique factors involved in the robotic application of commercial aerospace coatings is important for future advancements in application technology, gains in aircraft paint hangar capacity, delivering quality coating finishes, and lowering environmental footprint.
Journal Article

Thermal Simulation and Testing of Expanded Metal Foils Used for Lightning Protection of Composite Aircraft Structures

Since the 1960's, lightning protection of aircraft has been an important design aspect, a concern for the flying public, aircraft manufacturers and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). With the implementation of major aircraft structures fabricated from carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) materials, lightning protection has become a more complicated issue to solve. One widely used material for lightning strike protection of CFRP structures within the aerospace industry is expanded metal foil (EMF). EMF is currently used in both military and commercial passenger aircraft. An issue that has historically been an area of concern with EMF is micro cracking of paint on the composite structure which can result in corrosion of the metal foil and subsequent loss of conductivity. This paper addresses the issues of stress and displacement in the composite structure layup which contribute to paint cracking caused by aircraft thermal cycling.
Journal Article

Technical Improvements to the ASAT2 Boeing 777 Spar Assembly Cell

Electroimpact and Boeing are improving the efficiency and reliability of the Boeing 777 spar assembly process. In 1992, the Boeing 777 spar shop installed Giddings and Lewis spar machines with Electroimpact Inc. EMR(1) (Electromagnetic Riveting) technology. In 2011, Electroimpact Inc. began replacing the original spar machines with next generation assembly machines. The new carriages incorporate a number of technical improvements and advancements over the current system. These technical advancements have facilitated a 50% increase in average cycle rate, as well as improvements to overall process efficiency, reliability and maintainability. Boeing and Electroimpact have focused on several key technology areas as opportunities for significant technical improvements.
Technical Paper

Systems Analysis of Life Support for Long-Duration Missions

Work defining advanced life support (ALS) technologies and evaluating their applicability to various long-duration missions has continued. Time-dependent and time-invariant costs have been estimated for a variety of life support technology options, including International Space Station (ISS) environmental control and life support systems (ECLSS) technologies and improved options under development by the ALS Project. These advanced options include physicochemical (PC) and bioregenerative (BIO) technologies, and may in the future include in-situ-resource utilization (ISRU) in an attempt to reduce both logistics costs and dependence on supply from Earth. PC and bioregenerative technologies both provide possibilities for reducing mission equivalent system mass (ESM). PC technologies are most advantageous for missions of up to several years in length, while bioregenerative options are most appropriate for longer missions. ISRU can be synergistic with both PC and bioregenerative options.
Technical Paper

Studies of Cloud Characteristics Related to Jet Engine Ice Crystal Icing Utilizing Infrared Satellite Imagery

The significant problem of engine power-loss and damage associated with ice crystal icing (ICI) was first formally recognized by the industry in a 2006 publication [1]. Engine events described by the study included: engine surge, stall, flameout, rollback, and compressor damage; which were triggered by the ingestion of ice crystals in high concentrations generated by deep, moist convection. Since 2003, when ICI engine events were first identified, Boeing has carefully analyzed event conditions documenting detailed pilot reports and compiling weather analyses into a database. The database provides valuable information to characterize environments associated with engine events. It provides boundary conditions, exposure times, and severity to researchers investigating the ICI phenomenon. Ultimately, this research will aid in the development of engine tests and ICI detection/avoidance devices or techniques.
Technical Paper

Special Requirements for Crew Interface Labels on the International Space Station

The International Space Station (ISS) will be the largest structure ever built in space. Differences between ISS and previous NASA vehicles led to developing new labeling methods, conventions and material. The challenge was to provide clear and meaningful identification, location, operations and safety information for the crews who will assemble, maintain and live onboard ISS.
Technical Paper

Recommendations for Clothing Systems for Advanced Missions

Clothing can constitute a major logistical problem for advanced missions. Current and historical clothing systems for space missions have been assessed, as has the viability of using a washing machine to clean (recycle) clothing. Modern fabrics can reduce the mass and increase the functionality of clothing, including reducing the risk of fire, for all missions. The increased cost of acquisition of even high tech commercial off the shelf (COTS) items is trivial compared to the cost of shipping the clothing and disposing of it as trash. Washing can be cost effective when water is recycled efficiently, provided the mission is long enough. The breakeven time for clothes-washing depends on the specifics of the mission, particularly the mass equivalencies of infrastructure, but is of the order of weeks rather than years.
Journal Article

Optimization of Spatially Varying Fiber Paths for a Symmetric Laminate with a Circular Cutout under Remote Uniaxial Tension

Minimizing the stress concentrations around cutouts in a plate is often a design problem, especially in the Aerospace industry. A problem of optimizing spatially varying fiber paths in a symmetric, linear orthotropic composite laminate with a cutout, so as to achieve minimum stress concentration under remote unidirectional tensile loading is of interest in this study. A finite element (FE) model is developed to this extent, which constraints the fiber angles while optimizing the fiber paths, proving essential in manufacturing processes. The idea to be presented could be used to derive fiber paths that would drastically reduce the Stress Concentration Factor (SCF) in a symmetric laminate by using spatially varying fibers in place of unidirectional fibers. The model is proposed for a four layer symmetric laminate, and can be easily reproduced for any number of layers.
Technical Paper

Metrics and System Analysis

ALS metrics are required to meet congressional requirements, but if they are well thought out will help focus technical efforts in appropriate and productive directions. This paper addresses the benefits and limitations of using equivalent system mass as an ALS metric.
Technical Paper

International Space Station (ISS) Environmental Controls & Life Support System (ECLSS) Manual Oxygen Management

One of the most critical functions of ECLSS is to maintain the atmospheric oxygen concentration within habitable limits. On the ISS, this function is provided by the Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA). During ISS (International Space Station) crew increments 7 thru 9, the MCA was at risk of imminent failure as evident by sustained high ion-pump current levels. In the absence of continuous constituent measurement by the MCA, manual methods of estimating partial pressure of oxygen (ppO2) and concentration levels need to be developed and validated to: (1) ensure environmental control and life support, (2) prohibit ISS system and hardware damage, and (3) enable planned ISS activities that effect constituent balance.
Technical Paper

Improved NDI Techniques for Aircraft Inspection

Through the use of an “Integrated Product Team” approach and new inspection techniques incorporating the latest in imaging capabilities and automation, the costs of some man-power intensive tasks can now be drastically reduced. Also, through the use of advanced eddy current techniques, the detectable size of cracks under flush-head fasteners can be reduced while maintaining reliable inspection. This article describes the evaluation and results obtained using eddy current technology to determine the minimum fasteners, Secondly, it describes the integrated efforts of engineers at Boeing DPD and Northwest Airlines in the successful application of MAUS eddy current scanning of the DC-10 circumferential and axial crow splices. The eddy current scanning greatly reduced the man-hour effort required for the existing radiographic inspection
Technical Paper

Impact of Waste Processing Options on System Closure and Mission ESM

The technology selected for waste processing has a major effect on system closure and mission equivalent system mass (ESM). In particular, recovery of the water content of solid waste can make the difference between a mission being water poor and water rich. Potential alternative sources of water that need to be considered would include recovery of water from carbon dioxide reduction, and in situ resources. This paper looks at a range of waste-processing scenarios and calculated system ESM impacts related to these options. The lowest ESM approach is generally storage or dumping. However, other issues also need to be considered. Processing may be driven by requirements such as the need to recover commodities like water, prevent release of toxic gases into the spacecraft environment, planetary protection requirements, and interface loads.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of the EMR for Swaging Collars on Advanced Composite Laminates

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be the most fuel-efficient airliner in the world when it enters service in 2008. To help achieve this, Boeing will utilize state-of-the-art carbon fiber for primary structures. Advanced manufacturing techniques and processes will be used in the assembly of large composite structures. Electroimpact has proposed a system utilizing the low recoil Low Voltage Electromagnetic Riveter (LVER) to drill and install bolts. A test program was initiated between Boeing Materials Process and Engineering (MP&E) and Electroimpact to validate the LVER process for swaging titanium collars on titanium pins in composite material. This paper details the results of these tests.
Technical Paper

Enhanced Security Flight Deck Doors-Commercial Airplanes

In the wake of the 9/11/2001 hijacking events, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has emphasized the need for enhanced flight deck doors on commercial airplanes. The paper describes enhanced flight deck door, which meets the new FAA requirements for intrusion resistance and ballistic protection. In addition, the new door meets the existing requirements for rapid decompression, flight crew security and rescue.

Economics of Composites

This essential information captures the state of the composites industry to assist engineering/technical professionals in charting a course for achieving economic success. The material characteristics of composites, their applications, and complex composites manufacturing processes depend on many factors. These are all fully considered and presented to meet the challenges that face this marketplace.
Technical Paper

ESM History, Capability, and Methods

Equivalent system mass (ESM) was defined in 1997 as an integral part of the Advanced Life Support project metric. It is particularly suited to comparing technologies that differ in mass, volume, power, cooling, and crew time during the early phases of a program. In principle, ESM can also be used to compare technologies that differ in other parameters. In practice, the necessary data is generally not available, and this limits this application. ESM has proven to be a useful tool. Like any tool, its strengths and weaknesses must be understood. This paper documents the history, capability and methods used in connection with ESM.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Thermal Management System Modeling of a More Electric Aircraft

Advancements in electrical, mechanical, and structural design onboard modern more electric aircraft have added significant stress to the thermal management systems (TMS). A thermal management system level analysis tool has been created in MATLAB/Simulink to facilitate rapid system analysis and optimization to meet the growing demands of modern aircraft. It is anticipated that the tracking of thermal energy through numerical integration will lead to more accurate predictions of worst case TMS sizing conditions. In addition, the non-proprietary nature of the tool affords users the ability to modify component models and integrate advanced conceptual designs that can be evaluated over multiple missions to determine the impact at a system level.
Technical Paper

Drilling Mixed Stack Materials for the BOEING 787

The new combinations such as composites and titanium that are being used on today's new airplanes are proving to be very challenging when drilling holes during manufacturing and assembly operations. Gone are the days of hand drilling with high speed steel drills through soft aluminum structure, after which aluminum rivets would be swaged into those holes with very generous tolerances. The drilling processes today need to use cutter materials hard enough and tough enough to cut through hard metals such as titanium, yet be sharp enough to resistant abrasion and maintain size when drilling through composites. There is a constant search for better cutters and drills that can drill a greater number of holes. The cost of materials used in today's aircraft is much higher. The cutting tools are more expensive and the hole tolerances are much tighter.
Technical Paper

Development of a Mobile Drilling and Fastening System Based on a PKM Robotic Platform

The Boeing Company has developed a mobile robotic drilling and fastening system for use in assembly processes on the lower panel of a horizontally fixtured wing. The robotic system, referred to as Lower-panel Drilling and Fastening System (LPDFS), was initially developed as part of an initiative to minimize facilities costs by not requiring costly foundation work. It is designed to operate with a high level of autonomy, minimizing operator intervention, including that required for machine setup and tool changes. System design enables positioning the work piece at a lower ergonomic height for concurrent manual processes. In all aspects of design, the system will maintain maximum flexibility for accommodating future manufacturing changes and increases in production rate, while meeting the strict accuracy requirements characteristic of aircraft manufacturing.
Technical Paper

Costs and Benefits of Bioreactors

Different options have been examined for providing minerals to plants for bioregeneration. The baseline option is to ship the minerals. The equivalent system mass of two different bioreactor systems for recycling a portion of these minerals, a fixed-film bioreactor and a stirred-tank reactor are calculated. Either option could reduce the ESM for providing these minerals for a 15-year mission to Mars, with 50% food closure.