Simulated Avionics Box Structural Redesign

Grants and Contracts Details


Marshall Space Flight Center intends to recruit university Student Design teams to study and provide solutions to NASA aerospace problems and projects. There are many accredited colleges of engineering in the U.S. and all are required to teach a Student Design capstone course each year. Professors teaching/administering these courses must find suitable topics/projects which lend themselves to completion in either one semester (15 weeks) or two (30 weeks). Because space is challenging and inspiring to college students, NASA projects, such as those listed, could be appealing to professors operating Student Design classes. Marshall researchers are eager to have teams of advanced students (seniors) applying their skills/knowledge to develop solutions to aerospace problems. Using NASA projects as the subject of Student Design studies has been piloted at Marshall, with excellent results. The projects listed below have been proposed by Marshall personnel and are available to colleges and universities. To choose one of the listed projects, your team and faculty advisor first complete a one-page proposal using the template format attached and send it to: Brooke Graham, Program Manager, Alabama Space Grant Consortium/NASA EPSCoR, at After evaluation, those proposals chosen for funding will be notified. MSFC will contribute $1,000 to a chosen Student Design team (one semester project) and $2,000 to a team completing the two-semester option. The final deliverables would be a written project report for a one semester effort, and a final report plus a prototype/model for a two-semester course. Several Student Design teams will be selected each year, and funding provided, depending on budget approval. Weekly telecons between NASA mentors and Student Design teams will provide progress information on each effort, and address questions from the teams on modifications, adding experts, providing utilization of facilities, etc. Development of NASA’s future workforce is our motive for engaging young professionals (college students) in aerospace projects. B. Advisor/Team Student Design Proposal Template Proposer – Faculty Advisor for Student Design Project Name: David Herrin, PhD Academic Rank: Associate Professor Department: Mechanical Engineering Contact Information: Email: Phone: 859-218-0609 Advisors Signature: ___________________________________________________________ University’s Name & Address: 506 Administration Drive, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506 Date the Student Design Course will begin January 2021 and end December 2021 (Period of Performance) Title of Project to be Studied: Structural Dynamic Frequency Analysis of Avionics Box Student Design Course: c One semester, or X Two semesters Marshall Mentor’s Name and Organization: Brent Knight Approximate number of student participants: 5 Will there be a graduate student as a mentor for this project: c Yes X No c Maybe Proposed approach to solving the problem/s and/or completing the project: The methods currently used to design structures approximate dynamic frequency loads as static loads. This theory of design often results in overly conservative structures and safety factors. The goal of this project is to perform a dynamic frequency stress analysis and test a current design for an avionics box, then use the results from these tests and analyses to redesign the avionics box structure using a less conservative approach. This less conservative design will save on weight, which will aid in reducing launch costs associated with the box. The redesign will be tested to failure to evaluate the performance of the box. Some included aspects and key points of the project: ? Review prior research and state of project. Determine avionics box requirements and constraints based on existing design and collaboration with sponsor. ? Create FEM model of avionics box, perform frequency analysis to determine dynamic modes, structural loads. ? Design testing fixtures and placement of strain gauges to validate simulation. ? Perform vibrational testing using equipment at MSFC if available, or elsewhere if necessary. ? Identify stress concentrations or other potential areas of concern and create a strategy for weight-saving optimization. ? Use dynamic frequency analysis approach to redesign avionics box using a less conservative approach. ? Prototype and test less conservative structure to failure. Provide a schedule/timeline covering all aspects of the problem/project: 1. Semester 1 a. Review project history b. Modeling and mathematical analysis c. Test fixture and gage design d. Vibration testing e. Data summary and analysis/strategizing 2. Semester 2 a. Additional data analysis b. Structural redesign using less conservative dynamic analysis approach c. FEM and mathematical modeling d. Vibration testing e. Data summary and analysis Date Submitted: February 17, 2021 C. MSFC Projects Listing 1. Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing Roller Probe Design – James Walker/EM21 2. Lunar Sample Return Vessel – Travis Belcher/EV34 3. Specimen Holder for Studying Space Environmental Effects – Tracie Prater/EM04 4. High Performance Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) - Mike Houts/ST23 Proposals for 2020-2021 Student Design courses should be submitted by September 11, 2020 to Brooke Graham, Program Manager – Alabama Space Grant Consortium/NASA EPSCoR, at Awards and regrets will be announced. NASA MSFC intends to review proposals as they are received.
Effective start/end date1/1/2112/31/21


  • University of Alabama: $2,000.00


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