2019

Army awards WSU-NIAR $33 million contract for high-speed missile applications
July 8, 2019

Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) announces a second multi-million dollar U.S. Department of Defense contract, this time a three-year $33 million contract from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center for a project focused on emerging materials for high-speed missile applications.

The announcement comes on the heels of a recent three-year $23.5 million contract with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory for Modeling for Affordable, Sustainable Composites, aimed at developing a certification framework for enabling advanced materials and structural concepts for automated manufacturing.

The new program will support the CCDC AvMC’s objectives to reduce weight and cost of advanced missile systems while increasing performance. NIAR will utilize its extensive material testing, characterization and qualification capabilities to pursue multiple programs with CCDC AvMC that will fill existing capability gaps on advanced material characterization, structural modeling and analysis and application specific prototypes.

“These programs are integral to the future of our military and the future of our students,” said Wichita State University Interim President Andy Tompkins. “The expertise of our aerospace faculty and staff is crucial in advancing the efforts of the Department of Defense and in providing the ultimate applied learning experience for Wichita State graduate and undergraduate students – giving them an advantage no other university in the country can match.”

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran has been an integral supporter and partner for increased visibility of WSU-NIAR’s capabilities with the DoD.

“Wichita State University is an important and reliable partner to the Department of Defense,” said Sen. Moran. “The engineering expertise and talent cultivated under Dr. John Tomblin’s leadership will advance the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s (CCDC AvMC’s) missile development efforts – especially given the value that hypersonics will play in the future of our military. I will continue to support partnerships between WSU and the Army and look forward to future initiatives that emerge from this partnership.”

About NIAR
The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University provides research, testing, certification and training for aviation and manufacturing technologies.  Established in 1985, NIAR has a $70 million annual budget; a staff of 550; and nearly 1 million square feet of laboratory and office space in four locations across the city of Wichita, the Air Capital of the World. NIAR laboratories include Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Coatings, Advanced Manufacturing, Aging Aircraft, Ballistics & Impact Dynamics, CAD/CAM, Composites & Advanced Materials, Computational Mechanics, Crash Dynamics, Environmental & Electromagnetic Test, Full-scale Structural Test, Nondestructive Test, Reverse Engineering, Robotics & Automation, Virtual Reality and the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel.  www.niar.wichita.edu

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Contact:

Tracee Friess, 316-978-5597 or tracee.friess@wichita.edu

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center provides increased responsiveness to the nation's Warfighters through aviation and missile capabilities and life cycle engineering solutions.

Distribution Statement A: Approved for Public Release.

Air Force awards WSU-NIAR $23.5 million contract for fleet sustainment
June 10, 2019

The United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) awarded Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) a $23.5 million contract for Modeling for Affordable, Sustainable Composites (MASC), aimed at developing a certification framework for enabling advanced materials and structural concepts for automated manufacturing.

This program will expand the framework for developing innovative in-service inspection technologies for advanced structures and bonded joints, validating high-fidelity composite repair analysis techniques, and assessing aging composite structures for life extension and structural enhancements.

NIAR’s newly established Advanced Technologies Lab for Aerospace Systems (ATLAS) will lead this program with partnerships between AFRL researchers, defense contractors, and universities for enhancing tools for design-manufacture-certify advanced integrated structures incorporating machine-learning and artificial intelligent algorithms with automated technologies for manufacturing next-generation composite airframes.

“Wichita State has strategically invested in technology to assist the aviation and manufacturing industries become more competitive and efficient, while providing applied learning opportunities for our students,” said WSU Interim President Andy Tompkins. “This extended partnership with the DoD and AFRL is an endorsement of the high-caliber capabilities and expertise at this university and we’re honored to have the opportunity to work with them in this capacity.” 

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran visited NIAR with Air Force Under Secretary Matt Donovan and Will Roper, Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, in November.

“The fleet sustainment program signifies the immense value NIAR provides to our Air Force and national defense,” said Sen. Moran. “I am pleased the Department of Defense is increasingly more confident and reliant on the engineering talent in Wichita, and that WSU and NIAR will be able to grow their efforts in support of the Air Force with this recent award. The Air Force will undoubtedly benefit from having Kansans working directly on this program, and I’ll continue working to bolster this already strong partnership that has simultaneously advanced our nation’s defense and the Wichita region.”

About NIAR

The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University provides research, testing, certification and training for aviation and manufacturing technologies.  Established in 1985, NIAR has a $70 million annual budget; a staff of 550; and nearly 1 million square feet of laboratory and office space in four locations across the city of Wichita, the Air Capital of the World. NIAR laboratories include Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Coatings, Advanced Manufacturing, Aging Aircraft, Ballistics & Impact Dynamics, CAD/CAM, Composites & Advanced Materials, Computational Mechanics, Crash Dynamics, Environmental & Electromagnetic Test, Full-scale Structural Test, Nondestructive Test, Reverse Engineering, Robotics & Automation, Virtual Reality and the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel.

An Additive Manufacturing Standard for Plastics

May 24, 2019


ASTM International’s committee on additive manufacturing technologies (F42) is developing a standard-guide for mechanical testing of additively manufactured plastics (WK66029). The guide aims to incorporate what has been learned about mechanical testing modification, interpreting results, and validating test methods with respect to additively manufactured polymer parts.

The standard is a project of ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence, led by Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), launched last year to accelerate R&D, standardization, and innovation in additive manufacturing. 

Within WSU-NIAR, the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP) is developing material property data and statistical analysis reports for additively manufactured materials based on input from industry steering committees and government review boards.

Based on lessons learned through the first additive qualification program under the NCAMP process (ULTEM 9085), NIAR is conducting a round-robin study to better understand alternative methods and geometries that more appropriately characterize additively produced specimens. The study aims to drive consensus across multiple ASTM committees (F42 & D20) and offer universally-acceptable guidance for the AM industry.

“NIAR has the experience necessary to leverage material qualification efforts into applicable industry standardsfor adjacent material and technology systems, such as additive manufacturing,” said John Tomblin, NIAR executive director. “The round-robin study is the next step in expanding on the work accomplished by the qualification program.”

Partners like ASTM international member Chul Y. Park, an associate technical fellow at Boeing, notes that during Boeing’s internal efforts to develop additive manufacturing technology, his team found that approaches that had worked well for traditional materials and subtractive manufacturing methods may not be optimal for additive.

“Boeing has a long history of working with industry stakeholders in multiple standards development organizations, as we believe in sharing common knowledge through industry standards,” says Park. “As for the mechanical test methods for polymer-based AM, we coordinated with various standards development organization stakeholders, including ASTM International, to share the issues and Boeing’s proposed solutions to those issues.”

Boeing, as well as other industry partners, have been pivotal in driving these necessary changes in characterization of additive materials by sharing models and drawings of what are called “alternate tensile coupon designs” to be evaluated by the NIAR round-robin program. 

Machine operators, printer manufacturers, material suppliers, testing laboratories, technology adopters, type-certification holders, and certificate regulators could all find the new guide useful.

For more information on the Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence, please watch this video.

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member of ASTM. The next meeting of the committee on additive manufacturing technologies is September 16-20 in Senlis, France.

WSU receives advanced manufacturing project funding from ARM, America Makes

 Fortus 900

May 24, 2019


Wichita State University announces project funding for two major advanced manufacturing projects. Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) awarded funding for Automation Manufacturing – Technicians for the Future, and America Makes awarded funding for a project focused on overcoming the performance limitations and degradation of additive manufacturing (AM) polymer materials when subjected harsh environments.

Automation Manufacturing – Technicians for the Future, ARM

ARM is funding Wichita State and 10 other organizations for new education and workforce development projects. Approximately $7.8 million will be invested into the 11 innovative projects aimed at discovering issues within workforce and technology that are limiting growth in the national manufacturing ecosystem.

Wichita State's project, Automation Manufacturing – Technicians for the Future, will focus on the creation of short-term, for-credit, modularized certificates to help increase the pipeline of a skilled workforce in developing and maintaining automated advanced manufacturing systems. 
The resulting certificates will be stackable into an associates degree from WSU Tech and transferrable into bachelor’s degree programs through Wichita State University. The project will combine Robotics Technology, Maintenance and Reliability, and Industrial Automation Machine Maintenance courses to provide employers with options to upskill employees.

“Our team is very excited about the potential of these projects to catalyze growth in U.S. manufacturing,” said ARM CEO Byron Clayton. “The consistent message we hear from manufacturers is that our nation’s workforce isn’t adequately skilled to sustain significant economic growth. We believe our selected projects, combined with previously awarded projects, help to address this issue.”

Once these projects are tested and proven, the results will be available for ARM members to replicate and integrate into their specific regional and economical need.

Service Life of Additive Manufacturing, America Makes

The Service Life of Additive Manufacturing (SLAM) project, led by Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), in conjunction with Auburn University, EWI, Rapid Prototype + Manufacturing LLC. and the ASTM Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence was one of five awardees of America Makes’ Directed Project Opportunity for Advanced Tools for Rapid Qualification (ATRQ).

Driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes and OSD/AFRL plan to provide $3.9M to fund multiple awards with at least $1.95 million in matching funds from the awarded project teams for total funding worth roughly $5.9 million.

The SLAM projects seeks to overcome the performance limitations and degradation of additive manufacturing (AM) polymer materials when subjected to demanding, harsh environments, which is preventing the wider adoption of AM.

The SLAM project will build on previous learnings, documentation, and methodologies to create a set of qualification tools that will enable a leapfrog for future sets of multiple materials, including UTLEM™ 9085, and processes, enabling AM to be fully utilized today as part of the path to realizing the per-layer goal and ultimately, achieving AM parts with less limitations and degradations.

“The DoD’s need for rapid qualification and certification of AM processes and materials is great,” said NCDMM’s Executive Director of America Makes Rob Gorham. “The outcomes of the ATRQ Directed Projects from the selected awardees certainly have the potential to be game-changers for the DoD’s wider adoption of AM, particularly using laser powder bed fusion technology and materials. On behalf of all of us at NCDMM and America Makes, we extend our congratulations to the five awarded project teams.”

The ATRQ Directed Project Opportunity seeks to promote and accelerate the development and deployment of innovative, cost effective, and energy-efficient AM technologies with the objective of meeting defense and/or commercial needs. It is funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy Office (OSD/MIBP) through the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).


The mission of Wichita State University is to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good. Wichita State is a doctoral research university enrolling nearly 15,000 students and offering 59 undergraduate degree programs in more than 150 areas of study in seven undergraduate colleges. The Graduate School offers 45 master's and 12 doctoral degrees that offer study in more than 100 areas. Wichita State's Innovation Campus is an interconnected community of partnership buildings, laboratories and mixed-use areas where students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs and businesses have access to the university's vast resources and technology. For more information, follow us on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/wichitastate and Facebook at www.facebook.com/wichita.state.

SAE International and NCAMP Announce Agreement to Develop Global Aerospace Material and Process Standards

April 2, 2019


SAE International and the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP) of Wichita State University (WSU) have signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of globally harmonized aerospace material and process specifications for advanced materials in the aerospace and air transport industries.

“SAE International is pleased to partner with NCAMP on the development of aerospace material and process specifications for advanced materials for new design as well as repair,” David Alexander, Director of Aerospace Standards for SAE International, said. “By utilizing industry consensus SAE Aerospace Material Specifications (AMS) with associated PRI Qualified Products Lists, the aerospace industry benefits from the availability of pedigreed materials which meet the requirements of aviation regulations pertaining to material qualification and control.”

The agreement encompasses material and process specifications for composites, which are developed by the SAE AMS P-17, Polymer Matrix Composites Committee and non-metal additive manufacturing, which are developed by the SAE AMS-AM Nonmetals Committee.

“NCAMP’s continued partnership with SAE will benefit industry users by providing multiple options for specifications, all linked to a public NCAMP material property qualification database”, said John Tomblin, NCAMP director and WSU vice president for research and technology transfer. “By continuing to implement the model set in place with composites in 2010, NCAMP databases will benefit industry worldwide as both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) accept the values developed through the NCAMP process.”

FAA Policy Memo AIR100-2010-120-003, Acceptance of Composite Specifications and Design Values Developed, which recognizes the NCAMP Process, identified NCAMP’s intention to work closely with SAE International to convert NCAMP specifications to SAE AMS specifications.  One outcome of the MOU will enable the aerospace industry to utilize either NCAMP Material Specifications or SAE Aerospace Material Specifications, depending upon which specification meet their needs. 

SAE International’s Aerospace Standards repository includes nearly 8,500 documents. Its 350 committees are comprised of 10,000 experts from 56 countries. They represent industry (airframers, suppliers, operators, MROs), regulatory authorities, military agencies, researchers, and consultants.  Document development serves the full spectrum of aerospace businesses in both the commercial and military sectors thereby meeting the engineering, advanced technology, safety, regulatory, and defense needs of a world market.

SAE International is a global association committed to advancing mobility knowledge and solutions for the benefit of humanity. By engaging nearly 200,000 engineers, technical experts and volunteers, we connect and educate mobility professionals to enable safe, clean, and accessible mobility solutions. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our philanthropic SAE Foundation, including programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.

NCAMP works with the FAA, as well as other government and industry partners to qualify advanced material systems and populate a shared materials database that can be viewed publicly. NCAMP provides the nation’s commercial and military aviation industry with a center for the validation and quality assurance of composites and advanced materials through data-sharing among multiple users, statistical continuity and reduced testing. NCAMP works closely with the Composite Materials Handbook-17 (CMH-17) to approve advanced material specification and design values. NCAMP is part of the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University and stemmed from NASA's Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiment (AGATE). www.niar.wichita.edu/ncamp

 

$2 million grant will fund advanced composites technology at WSU

John Tomblin discusses the $2 million grant awarded to Wichita State to fund advanced composites technology.

John Tomblin discusses the $2 million grant awarded to Wichita State to fund advanced composites technology.


Wichita State University has received a $2 million grant contract from the U.S. Economic Development Association to develop and demonstrate advanced composite material manufacturing technology.

The grant, secured by WSU Strategic Initiatives, will provide funding for essential equipment needed for the Advanced Technology Laboratory for Aerospace Systems (ATLAS) within WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research. ATLAS investigates the development of manufacturing protocols for automated fiber placement (AFP) and automated tape laying (ATL) for aircraft systems.

The grant will provide funding for the purchase of a tape slitter; vacuum table; autoclave with wireless sensors, rheometer, nitrogen generator and a heated platen press, which will be used in the development of manufacturing protocols for automated fiber placement processes for thermoplastic aircraft primary structures.

Currently, labor-intensive nondestructive inspection for quality assurance interrupts automated fiber placement processes. The proposed project will develop and demonstrate incorporation of real-time inspections with automated fiber placement processes and machine learning algorithms.

Investments in emerging advanced manufacturing technologies are critical to maintain economic growth in our region.
John Tomblin, WSU vice president for research and technology transfer

The in-process inspection system developed by ATLAS researchers will learn to automatically identify manufacturing defects that are common during AFP/ATL, such as gaps, overlaps, twisted tows, missing tows, puckers, and foreign object defects and feed digital information into machine learning algorithms to take corrective actions on subsequent manufacturing runs to improve part quality. This also fits well into the Digital Factory of the Future concept and will aid in increasing production rates of commercial and defense aircraft. 

“In the current environment, there are increasing pressures facing the aerospace and defense industries to innovate with flat budgets, record-setting production rates, increasingly complex programs and an evolving workforce,” said WSU vice president for research and technology transfer John Tomblin. “Investments in emerging advanced manufacturing technologies are critical to maintain economic growth in our region. We want to thank the EDA for acknowledging the importance of the advanced manufacturing sector in South Central Kansas with this investment.”

NIAR senior research scientist Waruna Seneviratne will lead the lab.

“ATLAS provides a neutral ground for manufacturers to research advanced manufacturing concepts with various machine, software and processing options,” said Seneviratne. “It will also educate and train student Factory of the Future engineers on advanced manufacturing concepts.”

ATLAS will be located at NIAR headquarters building on the campus of Wichita State. The first floor will house manufacturing development facilities with computer-aided simulations and analysis on the third floor.

ATLAS already has several strategic partnerships with government agencies, aircraft manufacturers, equipment suppliers, material suppliers and other universities. In addition to support from the EDA, ATLAS has received significant funding from the Office of Naval Research and State of Kansas for acquiring advanced AFP equipment, inspection systems and test systems. 

2018

NIAR establishes new lab and gains automated composite panel manufacturing capability

August 29, 2018

The newly established Automated Technologies Laboratory for Advanced Structures (ATLAS) at Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) recently produced its first automated composite panel using a three-axis gantry-style automated tape-laying machine with three-inch tape. Using its pneumatically actuated head to lay down tapes of carbon fiber, this equipment is capable of manufacturing panels up to 16 feet long and 10 inches wide. 

Automated manufacturing technologies considerably increase the production rates and reduce part count. Layup of this panel, which would have taken several hours by hand, was completed within seven minutes. This tape-laying machine is one of the first pieces equipment to support NIAR's efforts for developing automated composite manufacturing technologies. ATLAS will soon expand its capabilities for manufacturing large composite structures such as wing spars, wing skins and fuselage sections using industry-standard automated robotic systems and advanced in-process inspection systems. 

ATLAS researchers are currently in the process of establishing partnerships with NASA, the Department of Defense, certification agencies, industry, and academia for developing innovative technologies to increase production rates, while creating a data-driven "factory of the future" for managing flexible rates. ATLAS research will accelerate innovation by addressing aerospace manufacturing challenges while reducing cost and managing complexities. Some of the initial research projects will focus on developing a certification framework for structures manufactured using automated technologies in order to accelerate the process for introducing novel materials, advanced joining technologies and advanced processes, which will reduce certification time by ensuring material performance meets program goals. 

For more information about ATLAS and automated lay-up capabilities at NIAR, contact Waruna Seneviratne by emailor at (316) 978-5221.

Copyright © 1997-2018, Wichita State University. All rights reserved.

Wichita State receives $2.5 million grant to continue advanced manufacturing programs

August 28, 2018

DoD continuation grant will provide $2.5 million to strengthen programs focused on manufacturing job creation

Wichita State University received a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment to support initiatives that strengthen and diversify the regional advanced manufacturing supply chain, increase the quality and scope of defense technologies, and increase the competitiveness and sustainability of defense-impacted businesses. 

The award is a continuation of a $7.1 million grant awarded by the Economic Development Administration in 2015. It will provide funding for programs at the National Institute for Aviation Research including:

  • Automated fiber placement and automated tape laying technology optimization to minimize manufacturing defects and increase production rates for building large-scale composite aerostructures.
  • Cold spray technologies for restoration of aircraft parts requiring high-quality repair and for advanced manufacturing of aerospace and automotive parts.
  • Robotic programming with a motion-tracking system to record and analyze the motions presented within the work envelope of the robotic cell in order to program a robotic path that allows for the efficient programming of collaborative robots.
  • Additively manufactured tooling systems to print agile tooling that allows new variants of defense and commercial aircraft as well as other complex equipment to be built quickly.
  • Hypersonic feasibility and market analysis to determine the feasibility and market gaps that may exist related to creating a new hypersonic materials testing and simulation facility that would support workforce development of subject matter experts, commercial industry, and DoD product development.

"The original award allowed us to expand the capabilities of NIAR's Environmental Test and Robotics and Automation Labs, GoCreate and WSU Ventures," said John Tomblin WSU vice president of research and technology transfer. "These new funds will further expand our capabilities in advanced manufacturing processes, allowing us to assist companies in adopting new processes that will streamline product development."

The funding will also support innovators and entrepreneurs engaged in the development of defense-related technology and support ongoing university research programs with the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Air Force Research Laboratory and Army Research Development and Engineering Center. 

"The funding will enhance university and community technology commercialization efforts while providing students with hands-on experience in the most cutting edge technology and equipment in the manufacturing industry," said Tomblin.

NIAR: Tracee Friess, director of communication, tracee.friess@wichita.edu, 316.978.5597 

Copyright © 1997-2018, Wichita State University. All rights reserved.

NIAR signs on as a partner to international 3D printing initiative

August 21, 2018

Today, global standards leader ASTM International announced that Wichita State University's (WSU) National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) will join its Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence as its first "strategic" partner. ASTM International and four founding partners recently launched the center to support R&D that advances additive manufacturing standards, which in turn will drive commercialization of cutting-edge additive manufacturing technologies.

Dr. John Tomblin, WSU vice president for research and technology transfer, and Dr. Mohsen Seifi, ASTM International's director of global additive manufacturing programs, made the announcement this morning at a joint workshop focused on qualifying and certifying metal additively-manufactured parts. Hundreds of government and industry leaders attended the event, co-sponsored by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

"We're proud to be the first strategic partner in this globally-recognized center of excellence that will help build the technical foundation for the future of additive manufacturing," Tomblin said. "The center is attracting an array of leading industry players to the table to speak with one voice and make an impact."

"Building on its strengths, NIAR will lead efforts to qualify additively-manufactured materials and to further strengthen relationships with key aerospace regulators worldwide," Seifi added. "Leveraging their expertise in R&D, we will develop much-needed standards that will significantly enhance certification in aviation and other industries. We"re thrilled to have the NIAR team on board."

NIAR is an industry-focused research institute at WSU, home to one of the world's leading aerospace engineering programs. As such, NIAR plans to be engaged in the center of excellence's R&D activities, education and workforce development efforts, and other functions and programs.

To learn more about the center and its activities, visit www.amcoe.org or read this recent article in Standardization News. 

Today's news follows last month's official launch of the center, when ASTM International signed an agreement with founding partners Auburn University, NASA, manufacturing technology innovator EWI, and the UK-based Manufacturing Technology Centre. 

About ASTM International Committed to serving global societal needs, ASTM International positively impacts public health and safety, consumer confidence, and overall quality of life. We integrate consensus standards - developed with our international membership of volunteer technical experts - and innovative services to improve lives... Helping our world work better. 

About Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) NIAR supports the aviation industry by providing research, development, testing, certification and training. Laboratories include Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Coatings, Aging Aircraft, Ballistic & Impact Dynamics, CAD/CAM, Composites & Advanced Materials, Crash Dynamics, Environmental Test, Flight Simulation, Full-Scale Structural Test, Mechanical Test, Nondestructive Test, Research Manufacturing, Reverse Engineering, Robotics & Automation, Virtual Engineering, Virtual Reality and the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel. NIAR operates on a nonprofit budget and is the largest university aviation R&D institution in the U.S., located in Wichita, Kansas, the "Air Capital of the World." 

Contacts: ASTM International: Nate Osburn, director of corporate communications, nosburn@astm.org, +1.610.832.9603

NIAR: Tracee Friess, director of communication, tracee.friess@wichita.edu, +1.316.978.5597 

Copyright © 1997-2018, Wichita State University. All rights reserved.

WSU-NIAR recognized by Hexagon for Shaping Smart Change

Brian Brown at Hexagon LIVE event

Hexagon, a global leader in digital solutions, honored Wichita State University's Brian Brown, director of the Robotics and Automation Lab at the National Institute for Aviation Research, with its Shaping Smart Change award. Brown (right) is pictured with Ola Rollen, Hexagon president and CEO.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Last week during HxGN LIVE 2018, Hexagon, a global leader in digital solutions, honored Wichita State University's Brian Brown, director of the Robotics and Automation Lab at the National Institute for Aviation Research, with its Shaping Smart Change award.

HxGN LIVE is an annual four-day, international digital solutions conference. The Shaping Smart Change Customer Recognition Program, in its fifth year, honors customers and partners for their pioneering use of Hexagon's digital solutions.

"Creativity and determination are at the heart of true innovation," said Ola Rollen, Hexagon president and CEO. "Our Shaping Smart Change Recognition Program honors organizations who are using Hexagon technology to advance their industries and transform how people work."

Using Hexagon's laser tracker technology, NIAR developed an automated metrology system capable of scanning the complete surface of a jet wing in under four minutes. This technology will enable greater efficiency and productivity for aerospace manufacturers, while encouraging the next generation of aviation engineers and innovators to let their passions take flight.

"The collaboration between NIAR and Hexagon is a testament to how industry and academia can come together to solve real world problems that can make an immediate impact on a company's bottom line," said Brown. "Working with Hexagon has given students first-hand experience with industry-leading hardware and software."

Additional organizations honored during the conference include Airstream, Amtrak Police Department, Qingdao National High-Tech Industrial Development Zone, Special Operations Solutions, Suzano Papel E Celulose, Toyo Engineering Corporation and York University.

Learn more about NIAR's Robotics and Automation Lab at http://www.niar.wichita.edu/researchlabs/robotics_overview.asp.

Learn more about the Hexagon's Shaping Smart Change initiative at https://hexagon.com/about/shaping-smart-change. 

About WSU's National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR)
NIAR's mission is to conduct research, transfer technology and enhance education for the purpose of advancing the nation's aviation industry, and to assist non-aviation industries that may benefit from aviation-related technologies. NIAR is a premier R&D facility with a $45 million annual budget, staff of 400, and 600,000 square feet of laboratory and office space. NIAR laboratories include Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Coatings, Advanced Manufacturing, Aging Aircraft, Ballistics & Impact Dynamics, CAD/CAM, Composites & Advanced Materials, Computational Mechanics, Crash Dynamics, Environmental & Electromagnetic Test, Full-scale Structural Test, Nondestructive Test, Reverse Engineering, Robotics & Automation, Virtual Reality and the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel. www.niar.wichita.edu 

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Contact: Tracee Friess, director of communication for research and technology transfer, 316-978-5597 or tracee.friess@wichita.edu.

Copyright ©1997-2018, Wichita State University. All rights reserved.

WSU-NIAR assists SAE International Aerospace Committee developing new standards for polymer additive manufacturing

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) is assisting SAE International's Polymer Additive Manufacturing (AMS AM-P) Subcommittee in developing new technical standard documents for the aerospace industry. 

Paul Jonas, NIAR director of technology development and special programs, serves as the subcommittee chairman. 

"SAE's polymer additive standardization activities complement the qualification framework under development at NIAR," he said. "Publicly available polymer additive manufacturing material and process specifications will provide the aerospace industry and regulatory authorities with documents that may be utilized by industry to purchase and process material consistently."

Together, the documents will provide technical requirements and quality assurance provisions for the Fused Deposition Modeling process and material feedstock characterization needed to produce high quality parts for aerospace applications utilizing Stratasys ULTEM™ 9085 and ULTEM™ 1010. The documents include:

  • AMS7100 - Fused Filament Fabrication Process
  • AMS7100/1 - Fused Filament Fabrication - Stratasys Fortus 900 mc Plus with Type 1, Class 1, Grade 1, Natural Material
  • AMS7101 - Material for Fused Filament Fabrication

"Additive manufacturing will play a significant role in the technology needed to produce parts capable of service in critical and non-critical aerospace service," said David Alexander, director of aerospace standards for SAE International. "The important work done by SAE's AMS AM-P subcommittee will help the industry move forward with this technology." 

Chris Holshouser, director of specialty solutions for Stratasys, said the committee’s work is important for the entire aerospace industry.

"SAE's polymer additive manufacturing standardization work shows a key maturation step for the industry and will allow for users to clearly understand the critical parameters and controls that are necessary for the production of reliable, repeatable, reproducible aerospace parts," Holshouser said. "Stratasys is committed in supporting this endeavor to provide confidence to adopters of AM and advance the aerospace field."

SAE International's AMS AM-P is a subcommittee of SAE's AMS-AM, Additive Manufacturing Committee, and was initiated based upon a request from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to assist airlines utilizing additive manufacturing to produce cabin parts. In addition, the subcommittee's documents will support the broader aerospace industry's interest in qualifying polymer additive manufactured parts. 

SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting over 127,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our charitable arm, the SAE Foundation, which helps fund programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.

NIAR supports the aviation industry by providing research, development, testing, certification and training. Laboratories include Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Coatings, Aging Aircraft, Ballistic & Impact Dynamics, CAD/CAM, Composites & Advanced Materials, Computational Mechanics, Crash Dynamics, Environmental Test, Full-Scale Structural Test, Mechanical Test, Nondestructive Test, Research Machine Shop, Reverse Engineering, Robotics & Automation, Virtual Reality and the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel. NIAR operates on a nonprofit budget and is the largest university aviation R&D institution in the U.S., located in Wichita, Kansas, the "Air Capital of the World." 

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Contact: Tracee Friess, director of communication for research and technology transfer, 316-978-5597 or tracee.friess@wichita.edu.

Shawn Andreassi of SAE International, 1-724-772-8522 or pr@sae.org

2017

NIAR receives Nadcap Accreditation for Materials Testing

Thursday, August 16, 2017

Recently Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Resarch (NIAR) received Nadcap accreditation after successfully passing a Nadcap audit in Materials Testing.

This is an expansion of NIAR's scope of Nadcap certification to include both composites and metals.

This achievement is important for NIAR as it demonstrates the institute's ongoing commitment to quality by satisfying customer requirements and industry specifications and delivering the highest standards of Materials Testing.

The aim of the Nadcap program is to assess process capability for compliance to industry standards and customer requirements. 

"Compliance via Nadcap accreditation is a milestone in demonstrating manufacturing excellence." said Joe Pinto, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Performance Review Institute. "By obtaining Nadcap in Materials Testing, NIAR has proved to the industry that they are committed to quality and aerospace safety."

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About Nadcap
Created in 1990 by SAE Inc., Nadcap is administered by the not-for-profit Performance Review Institute. PRI is a global provider of customer-focused solutions designed to improve process and product quality by adding value, reducing total cost and promoting collaboration among stakeholders in industries where safety and quality are shared goals. PRI works closely with industry to understand their emerging needs and offers customized solutions in response. Learn more at www.p-r-i.org or contact PRI at PRI@p-r-i.org 

About NIAR
NIAR is the largest university-affiliated aviation research institute in the United States. NIAR supports the aviation industry by providing research, development, testing, certification and training in areas such as, Advanced Coatings, Advanced Manufacturing, Aerodynamics, Aging Aircraft, CAD/CAM, Composites and Advanced Materials, Computational Mechanics, Crash Dynamics, Environmental and Electromagnetic Test, Full-Scale Structural Test, Mechanical Test, Nondestructive Test, Research Manufacturing, Robotics and Automation, Virtual Engineering and Virtual Reality. NIAR operates on a nonprofit budget and is located in Wichita, Kansas, the "Air Capital of the World." www.niar.wichita.edu 

Contact: Tracee Friess, director of communication for research and technology transfer, 316-978-5597 or tracee.friess@wichita.edu.

FAA and WSU-NIAR will host free FAA Certification Tutorial in Wichita August 21

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

On Monday August 21, the Federal Aviation Administration and Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research will present a complimentary Certification Tutorial in Wichita to teach the basics of FAA Composite Certification.

The tutorial, which will be instructed by Cindy Ashforth, FAA Senior Technical Specialist for Advanced Composite Materials, will feature content typically covered in the CMH-17 certification tutorial, which includes a detailed review of the content in FAA Advisory Circular 20-107B. 

The tutorial covers the basics of FAA certification for design, production, and airworthiness approvals and requirements relevant to composite materials and structures. Attendees will gain an overall understanding of aircraft certification and substantiation and will benefit from opportunities to interact with other attendees. The tutorial complements and extends the topics in CMH-17 Volume 3, Chapter 3 by providing added content depth. The tutorial emphasizes:

  • Structural substantiation and proof of structure of type design
  • Production support
  • Manufacturing defect disposition
  • Continued operational safety

Additional material will discuss newer industry engineering guidelines and regulatory guidance and policy such as:

  • Bonded repair size limits
  • Damage threats
  • High energy wide area blunt impact (HEWABI)
  • Fatigue and damage tolerance

The workshop will be held at the National Center for Aviation Training, 4004 N. Webb Rd. To register, visit https://www.niar.wichita.edu/niarfaa/WorkshopRegistration/FAACertificationTutorial.aspx.

AGENDA

8:30 a.m. FAA Certification
9:30 a.m. Composite Technical Challenges 
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Composite Technical Challenges (continued)
11:15 a.m. Material & Process Control
12:15 p.m. Lunch (onsite)
1:15 p.m. Static Strength Substantiation
1:45 p.m. Fatigue & Damage Tolerance
3:15 p.m. Break
3:30 p.m. Other Requirements
4:30 p.m. End

Biography: Cindy Ashforth, Senior Technical Specialist for Advanced Composite Materials, Federal Aviation Administration

Cindy Ashforth began her career as a certification and test engineer with McCauley Propellers in 1992. She worked for The Lancair Company (later Columbia Aircraft) for nine years in the production of general aviation aircraft. She held several key positions as a structural test engineer, composite material and process (M&P) engineer, and later a certification manager. In this capacity, Cindy led certification of the all-composite Columbia 300, 350, and 400 aircraft. 

At Lancair, Ms. Ashforth was an Administrative DER and a Composite M&P DER. Ms. Ashforth coordinated FAA approval of type design changes, manufacturing review board activities, and service instructions. She also planned and performed testing, developed new material test protocols, and analyzed and approved test results. Ms. Ashforth was a member of the NASA AGATE program (Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiment), and author of several AGATE publications on composite materials. 

After leaving Lancair, Ms. Ashforth worked as the Director of Quality and Regulatory Compliance for an infrared camera manufacturer. Her role was to oversee production quality control and manage the company STCs. She subsequently joined Epic Aircraft as the Certification Manager and Materials Engineer. At Epic, she provided technical direction in the engineering, manufacturing, and quality control of their six-place composite turboprop airplane. 

Ms. Ashforth joined the FAA in 2010 as a Program Manager in the International Branch of the Transport Airplane Directorate. She managed certification of the Embraer Legacy 500 business jet and was responsible for oversight of continued operational safety (COS) and design change approvals of the Embraer E-jet fleet. She authored the branch quality procedures and was identified as the international focal for compliance with the FAA's widespread fatigue damage rule. While performed these duties, Ms. Ashforth actively supported the FAA's composite initiatives. She wrote class content for the FAA's Composite Structural Engineering Technology course and was the prime developer of the Composite Manufacturing Engineering Technology course. Ms. Ashforth is an active member of CMH-17 and co-chairman of the Safety Management Working Group. 

As a Composite STS, Ms. Ashforth manages the FAA's Composite Plan and supports composite COS, certification, and education initiatives. This includes the technical support of composite applications on all FAA type certification and production programs.

NIAR engineer creates way to protect wind turbines against lightning strikes

Monday, July 24, 2017

Damage to wind turbines can easily cost hundreds of thousands in repairs, but a prototype developed at Wichita State’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) will help protect them from multiple lightning strikes.

Billy Martin, director and research scientist at the NIAR Environmental Test Lab, invented the prototype, which is currently patent pending.

Prior devices for protecting wind turbine blades have issues with reliability, are generally single use and have significant down time when there is a needed repair.

Martin's design involves layers that allow turbine blades to withstand multiple lightning strikes without sustaining damage. A recent test showed no damage after up to eight lightning strikes.

The biggest advantage to this design is the time it allows for repairs and the ease with which the repairs can be completed. The protective layering can be applied to turbine blades prior to installation and is repairable after taking multiple lightning strikes.

The damage to the protective layering can be repaired in approximately 20 minutes, not counting the time it takes to reach a blade that is already installed.

Martin continues to improve his prototype with additional tests, making it lighter, more marketable and convenient for repairs high in the sky. 

NIAR's Environmental Test Lab conducts direct effects of lighting, aircraft lighting transient analysis and lightning induced transient susceptibility.

For more information, go to http://www.niar.wichita.edu/eme/default-test.asp or http://www.niar.wichita.edu/researchlabs/envir_overview.asp, or contact Mariah Smith at 316-978-8284 or msmith@niar.wichita.edu.

NIAR adds Industrial-Scale Digital X-ray and 3D Computed Tomography capabilities

Monday, July 10, 2017

The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University has expanded its capabilities with the addition of several nondestructive inspection (NDI) systems, including an industrial-scale digital X-ray and 3D computed tomography system, or X-ray CT. 

The X-ray CT is a multi-source (225/450 kV) and multi-detector comprehensive system used to inspect small and large objects up to five feet without sectioning. This inspection system is used to visualize interior features of solid objects, improving processes such as failure analysis, quality control, troubleshooting manufacturing issues, and the inspection of a variety of articles including additive-manufactured thick metallic structures to fiber fractures in composite laminates.

Computed tomography is a high-fidelity NDI technique that reconstructs 3D images of an object, including the internal surfaces and interior details, from numerous micron-level 2D digital radiographic projections using smart computer algorithms and high-performance computing power. Digital radiographic images are generated by 360° rotation of the object on a motorized stage, which is in between a micro-focus X-ray source and a detector. The real-time evaluation capability of CT with digital radiography increases productivity and eliminates the cost of consumables that are required during traditional X-ray. High-performance multi-threaded computing and novel reconstruction techniques enable production of dynamic volumetric 3D models that include time and motion (4D), which allows real-time inspections of a moving part.

This new capability was made possible through a Defense University Research Instrumentation Program of the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Waruna Seneviratne, technical Director of NIAR Composites Laboratory, was awarded $1.5 million for his proposal titled "X-Ray Computed Tomography for Nondestructively Inspecting Damage Initiation and Growth Mechanics of Composites and Bonded Joints under Fatigue Loading." 

Seneviratne was also awarded $2.3 million from ONR for his research proposals titled "Hybrid Test Setup for Investigating Scaling Effects of High-Cycle and Low-Cycle Fatigue Interaction on Fatigue Damage Progression of Composites" and "Material State Monitoring and Autoclave Control System for Validating Models for Detecting Process-Induced Damages in Polymer Composites." These programs will provide valued information to ONR and allowed for the purchase of several high-fidelity inspection systems such as a high-speed multi-channel acoustic emission system for in-situ failure detection and a mobile autonomous scanner (MAUS) for rapid wide-area ultrasonic and eddy-current inspections.

NIAR purchases new metal additive manufacturing system

Airbus donates parts for WSU-NIAR research

Monday, July 10, 2017

Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) has purchased a new professional grade metal additive manufacturing system. 

The RPM Innovations 222 Standard System is a professional-grade system with powder-fed laser metal deposition technology with 2 ft 3 build capacity and a rotary table for cladding or building around a shaft. 

The system, which was manufactured in the U.S., arrived last week, and will be ready to take on client jobs by late July after routine installation, calibration and technician training. 

"Additive Manufacturing has advanced dramatically in the last decade and permeated into just about every business sector," said Paul Jonas, NIAR director of special programs. The new RPMI system will enhance our capacity for prototyping, tool development and additive manufacturing research."

NIAR performs industry-funded structural testing for additive manufacturing materials and parts, and works directly with multiple standards organizations in the development of guidelines to standardize the materials, processes and quality of additive manufactured parts. 

Currently, NIAR is working with the FAA to develop the procedures and methodology necessary to include polymer additive manufactured materials in the NCAMP shared materials database. When completed in about a year, manufacturers will have the ability to obtain publically available design allowables for polymer-based additive manufactured materials, making it more economical and efficient to use the materials for aerospace applications.

"This is a very powerful enabler since NCAMP materials are recognized by the FAA, ESASA and all branches of the US military," said Jonas. 

NIAR's Additive Manufacturing Lab is home to multiple 3D printers including a BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) and additional capabilities ranging from simple prototypes to high-strength, high-temperature parts using fused deposition modeling (FDM), polyjet, direct laser metal sintering (DLMS) and full-color selective deposition lamination (SDL). 

To learn more about NIAR's additive manufacturing capabilities, contact Shawn Ehrstein at (316) 978-5839 or shawn@niar.wichita.edu. 

For full RPMI 222 specifications visit www.rpm-innovations.com/download/rpm_laser_deposition_system_brochure_222.pdf.

Wichita State joins NASA's Advanced Composites Consortium

Monday, January 30, 2017

Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research has joined NASA's Advanced Composite Consortium (ACC), a public-private partnership focused on advancing knowledge about composite materials and improving the performance of future aircraft. 


The ACC was established in 2015 in support of the Advanced Composites Project, part of the Advanced Air Vehicles Program of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. The project's goal is to reduce product development and certification timelines for composites infused into aeronautics applications.

The consortium is managed by the National Institute of Aerospace and also includes the Federal Aviation Administration, Aurora Flight Sciences, The Boeing Co., Collier Research, General Electric Aviation, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Orbital ATK, University of South Carolina McNair Center and United Technologies Corp.

"Our experience and understanding of composite material properties and certification processes will add to the already strong intellectual membership," said Royal Lovingfoss, associate director of NIAR's Composites and Advanced Materials Lab. "The collaborative experience will bring new ideas to the forefront and allow for a sharing of information that will benefit the aviation community as a whole."

Member organizations in the consortium participate in research focused on three areas: prediction of life and strength of composite structures, rapid inspection of composites and manufacturing process and simulation.

The consortium is finishing research projects associated with Phase 1 of the program, which were designed to perform assessments of technology available in the three focus areas and identify deficiencies and strengths of these technologies.

In Phase 2, starting in 2017, the consortium will move to extend the technology capabilities through 10 project areas that will develop specific improvements in predictive structural design analysis; inspection accuracy and prediction; and manufacturing techniques and computational tools.

"NASA is committed to transforming aviation through cutting-edge research and development," said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington. "This partnership will help bring better composite materials into use more quickly and help maintain American leadership in aviation manufacturing." 

The mission of Wichita State University is to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good. WSU enrolls about 14,500 students and offers more than 50 undergraduate degree programs in more than 150 areas of study in six undergraduate colleges. The Graduate School offers an extensive program including more than 40 master's degrees that offer study in more than 100 areas; a specialist in education degree; and doctoral degrees in applied mathematics; audiology; chemistry; communication sciences and disorders; human factors and community/clinical psychology; educational leadership; nursing practice; physical therapy; and aerospace, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering. WSU's Innovation Campus (http://wsuinnovationcampus.org) is an interconnected community of partnership buildings, laboratories and mixed-use areas where students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs and businesses have access to the university's vast resources and technology.

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Contact: Tracee Friess, director of communication, research and technology transfer, 316-978-5597 or tracee.friess@wichita.edu.