Defense

August 11, 2014

NAVAIR partners with industry on 3-D printing, develop a roadmap for the future

A plastic part, printed from a 3-D printer at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., is used as a fit check to install an MH-60R instrumentation operatorís seat onto an MH-60S aircraft. The part, which will be replaced by a machined part, is one example of NAVAIR’s use of additive manufacturing.

Naval Air Systems Command has embraced rapidly evolving 3-D printing technology to deliver superior capabilities to the war fighter at a rapid pace and a lower cost.

Together, the NAVAIR team and industry providers focused on developing a roadmap for the future as they discussed the current opportunities and challenges associated with 3-D printing, or additive manufacturing, at the NAVAIR Additive Manufacturing Industry Day on July 24.

Vice Adm. David Dunaway, NAVAIR’s commander, spoke during the event at the Holiday Inn in Solomons, Maryland, where he laid out the goals and the reasons why additive manufacturing will play a part in the command’s future.

Naval aviation is well capitalized. If you look at our production curve, it is going to tremendously decrease by 2018 or 2019, Dunaway said. We’re in the sustainment phase. We’re going to have to think about how we apply the limited resources we have. I think additive manufacturing will allow us to optimally use those resources.

Currently, the Air Vehicle Modification and Instrumentation (AVMI) group is using AM to support naval aircraft flight testing and prototyping projects at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland.

Using their two 3-D printers, engineers at AVMI have fabricated components such as antenna covers, environmental cooling system ducts and mechanical spacers, as well as geometrically-representative models for form and fit checks.

AM technology has advanced well beyond printing plastics, giving users the ability to print metal, explosives, food, compound materials and more. Since NAVAIR does not yet have these capabilities in-house, it plans to leverage industry to acquire them.

The use of AM in the military aerospace industry is not insignificant, said Jack Pratt, AVMI chief engineer. At NAVAIR, we must engage our industry partners and ensure that where AM technology developments benefit the warfighter, NAVAIR’s inputs to industry are clear and part of a well-implemented plan.

NAVAIR’s AM goals are to build better parts and more of them for use on aircraft, and to manage all of the data collection. The Additive Manufacturing Roadmap laid out these goals and identified hurdles to overcome.

Ultimately, we want to leverage AM to deliver warfighter capability, said Liz McMichael, NAVAIR’s additive manufacturing integrated product team lead. To do that, we need to address some key technical challenges, including putting safety-critical AM parts on our aircraft, and making sure we understand how to qualify and certify them. We also need to address the business and acquisition challenges that exist including contracting, costing, data rights and intellectual property to enable us to use AM as a standard process.

There is still a long way to go, but NAVAIR is committed to partnering with industry to accelerate the introduction of AM across the command.

Our roadmap is intended to focus our activities across NAVAIR and leverage the AM industry base as much as possible, McMichael said. We think we can move much faster as a coordinated team.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 17, 2014

News: U.S. Air Force tanker platform slated for year-end debut - Boeing is planning for first flight of its 767-2C – upon which the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker will be based – by year’s end, six months late. Northrop Grumman wins $657.4 million deal to supply drones to South Korea - Northrop Grumman has won...
 
 

NASA launches new Micro-g NExT for undergraduates

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 28, 2015. Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the...
 
 
launch1

Storm fails to quench liftoff of secret reconnaissance satellite

The fiery launch of an Atlas V (541), among the most powerful of the venerable Atlas family, briefly dispelled the gloom over Californiaís Central Coast on the evening of Dec. 12. A team of personnel from United Launch Allianc...
 

 
Coast Guard photograph

Navy demonstrates unmanned helicopter operations aboard Coast Guard cutter

http://static.dvidshub.net/media/video/1412/DOD_102145893/DOD_102145893-512×288-442k.mp4 Coast Guard photograph An MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS is tested off the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf near Los Angeles, Dec. 5 2014. The Coast...
 
 
GPS-OCX

GPS III, OCX successfully demonstrate key satellite command, control capabilities

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the worldís most powerfu...
 
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates 3D printed rocket propulsion system for satellites

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>