Design Engineering


Design Engineering

Technology advances in Design Engineering emerged in many products and design concepts in 2010. Model Based Design (MBD) and advances in multi-disciplinary optimization have had more influence on the design process while rapid manufacturing processes continue to evolve to lower cost and increase performance of components and systems.

X-51A Waverider

The AFRL/DARPA/Boeing/PWR X-51A Waverider, designed using a multidisciplinary design optimization approach (MDO), successfully flew at a speed of nearly Mach five for almost three minutes powered by a hydrocarbon-fueled dual-mode scramjet. Vehicle angle of attack, tail deflection angles, drag, and thrust measured in flight were all very close to predictions, validating the MDO approach used by Boeing to design the vehicle.

Looking to the future, an innovative air-breathing vehicle concept was designed by

Astrox, ASC/XR, AFRL, and Boeing to be the reusable second stage of a two-stage-toorbit launch system boosted by a reusable rocket first stage. The second stage is powered by rocket-based combined-cycle (RBCC) engines fueled by methane and LOX/hydrogen.

The vehicle employs innovative design features such as twin three-dimensional inwardturning inlet flow paths and engines mounted on the vehicle upper surface to shield them from dense high-temperature air during atmospheric entry, thus avoiding engine thermal protection and/or management challenges normally present during un-powered flight.

The X-51A was a significant step forward in proving the viability of hypersonic RBCC engines. A completely reusable launch system could one day dramatically reduce the cost and increase the frequency of space access.

F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter

The avionics in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) takes significant advantage of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components and sub-systems. Design engineers of the avionics systems have implemented design processes that not only satisfy requirements with today’s components but also allows for faster integration and qualification of future components due to the nature of using COTS hardware. By utilizing a Model Based

Design (MBD) approach and higher order software languages, performance of components and interfaces to other components can be well defined and implemented.

Performance of these components and sub-systems can easily be verified in simulation and new components can be evaluated prior to any actual component procurement.

Along with using standard interfaces, this approach can reduce the time to certify new components from 3-4 years to as little as 6 months, which not only reduces the cost to integrate new components but also will allow rapid insertion of new hardware to address the major problem of obsolescence when using COTS hardware.

Additive Manufacturing

Rapid prototyping has been a staple of engineering development for more than two decades now. Advances in materials, speed and part accuracy have transitioned this process from just prototyping to low quantity or early production parts. New materials and processes have now been developed that will replace conventional manufacturing for some components and materials using additive processes. Analysis by companies such as

Northrup-Grumman has shown a 35 – 45 percent reduction in total cost of a part. Parts made with materials such as titanium, nickel and aluminum high performance alloys are now being manufactured with a variety of additive processes. These processes include

Direct Metal Laser Sintering, Selective Laser Sintering, Selective Laser Melting and others. These parts retain the properties of their conventionally manufactured counterparts and can be heat treated and finished using the same processes. They require little to no additional machining processes and in some cases, can be manufactured with thinner walls than traditional forgings and castings reducing component weight. As the materials and additive manufacturing processes continue to improve, more and more opportunities for lower cost and higher performing components will arise.

X-51A Waverider

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Cockpit

EOSINT M 270 Direct Metal Laser Sintering Machine