HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Page 1/2  >  >>
naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Composites used for decades
naperlou   7/9/2012 9:24:10 AM
NO RATINGS
Ann, while the application of composites for the booster is new stuff, their use in the spacecraft itself is old hat.  I worked at one spacecraft plant where we made our own composites from raw materials.  One of our direct competitors, with whom we were merged later on, got their composites from a company whose main business was railcars.  It was an interesting revelation when we found out. 

I actually worked on the testing of the UARS satelite structure.  It was the first large composite structure.  If you recall, UARS recently fell back to earth.  It was one of the largest satellites to do so.  It was the size of a school bus and filled the Shuttle cargo bay.  In testing we found some interesting things out about how the composites reacted structurally.  Now, this was in the 1980s.  It would have been nice to have some of the more robust CAE tools available today. 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Quite an endorsement
Rob Spiegel   7/9/2012 5:31:21 PM
NO RATINGS
Nice piece, Ann. This is quite an endorsement for composites -- a NASA endorsement. One small step for NASA, one large step for composites.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Quite an endorsement
Charles Murray   7/9/2012 8:03:00 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Rob. Seems like the ideal application for composites, where the high cost isn't a concern, as it would be in high-production-volume apps.

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Re: Quite an endorsement
notarboca   7/10/2012 1:10:36 AM
NO RATINGS
I will be the first to say that I am scared to death of flight composites (see Airbus failures, give me a DC-9 (shut up old man :-)), but I am also aware that these are amazing pieces of hardware.  Congrats on the phenominal achievement of space-rated composites!

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Quite an endorsement
Rob Spiegel   7/10/2012 11:20:26 AM
NO RATINGS
Also, Chuck, this application shows a lot of confidence in the durability of composites. I wouldn't think NASA would use it if it didn't beat or meet the durability of alternatives.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Composites used for decades
Ann R. Thryft   7/10/2012 11:54:03 AM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for your input, naperlou. Aerospace composites aren't particularly new, as you rightly pointed out. But making all or part of the booster/launch vehicle out of them is definitely new.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Quite an endorsement
Ann R. Thryft   7/10/2012 11:55:16 AM
NO RATINGS
notarboca, if you're referring to the Airbus wing failures http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=245829 those were not caused by a composite problem, but by a problem with an apparently mis-spec'ed aluminum alloy and the misunderstanding on the part of design engineers about how to interface that alloy with composites. Also, it took 10 years for that problem to show up, and so far there have been no accidents caused by it. Personally, I'm more concerned with the airlines' lowered maintenance standards for commercial aircraft.

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Re: Quite an endorsement
notarboca   7/10/2012 2:02:56 PM
NO RATINGS
Right you are Ann.  The airlines' lower maintenence standards are just stupid.

 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Quite an endorsement
Ann R. Thryft   7/10/2012 2:07:25 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob, I agree about the NASA endorsement. I was excited to see that several instrument benches were made of composites on this satellite, as is the optical bench on the Juno.

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Re: Quite an endorsement
notarboca   7/10/2012 2:54:29 PM
NO RATINGS
Oh, one more thing for Airbus, how is it allowed in hardware/software that a rudder command can make the tail, ie., vertical stabiliser fall off?  (New York crash).

I'm sure that Airbus will address the composite issue, and it is a materiel interface problem, awfully hard to predict.

Page 1/2  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Adam Berger hacked a computer keyboard into a mini key-tar to play with his band.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
If you're planning to develop a product that uses a microcontroller, you'll want to take note of next week's Design News Continuing Education course, "MCU Software Development A Step-by-Step Guide."
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 22 - 26, MCU Software Development A Step-by-Step Guide (Using a Real Eval Board)
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service