Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Industry and Business News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



New Approaches For Producing Large Composite Structures

NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.
by Staff Writers
New Orleans LA (SPX) Jan 23, 2007
Northrop Grumman has teamed up with the University of New Orleans' National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (NCAM) to develop and test new ways to produce large composite structures that NASA could use to create future space transportation systems.

In late December, the team took the first step in that collaboration by conducting a series of composite processing trials at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The facility is managed for NASA by Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

The trials centered on the use of a state-of-the-art automated fiber placement machine owned and maintained by NCAM at Michoud. The team used the machine to characterize and evaluate the relationships between the physical and mechanical properties of laminates, and various fiber placement and processing approaches. The team's goal was to identify processing techniques that would optimize the composites' high performance properties and make it easy to form them into very large structures.

"NASA's success in implementing its Constellation program and other elements of the Vision for Space Exploration is going to depend heavily on being able to produce large, mass-efficient structures that are both reliable and affordable," explained Martin McLaughlin, a Northrop Grumman program manager.

"Advanced composites can deliver optimum material properties for increasingly larger, unitized space exploration structures."

Bruce Brailsford, NCAM's executive director, is enthusiastic about his organization's collaboration with Northrop Grumman: "The research we're doing to mature advanced fiber placement technologies is an important step in addressing unique manufacturing challenges related to space exploration," he said.

"It also provides an opportunity for us to support the key role that NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility is playing in the Constellation program."

According to Patrick Scheuermann, NASA's chief operating officer for Michoud Assembly Facility, this alliance between Northrop Grumman and NCAM also marks the first time a new user has operated NCAM equipment at the Michoud Assembly Facility.

"Michoud has a long history of providing manufacturing support for the NASA mission, from the Apollo program to supporting production of the Space Shuttle external tanks today," he said.

"The State of Louisiana has made a significant investment in NCAM, and NASA enjoys a great partnership with them in this capability to infuse new manufacturing techniques into our mission. We're excited Northrop Grumman has accomplished this important first step at Michoud and we look forward to hosting them in the future."

Northrop Grumman and NCAM expect lessons learned from the recent processing trials to provide a good foundation for a more extensive composites demonstration and test program being planned for 2007.

Large, lightweight composite structures, which are estimated to be 10 to 25 percent lighter than comparable aluminum structures, have potential application in several future elements of NASA's Constellation program, including the Ares V Earth Departure Stage, other launch vehicle components, and the Lunar Surface Access Module.

The lower mass of these structures will enable larger payloads to be transported to and from the moon, and eventually, to Mars.

NCAM is a partnership comprising NASA, the State of Louisiana Department of Economic Development, and the University of New Orleans that addresses the manufacturing requirements of space transportation systems.

Related Links
All about the technology of space and more
Space Technology News - Applications and Research



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Metamaterials Found To Work For Visible Light
Ames IO (SPX) Jan 09, 2007
For the first time ever, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have developed a material with a negative refractive index for visible light. Ames Laboratory senior physicist Costas Soukoulis, working with colleagues in Karlsruhe, Germany, designed a silver-based, mesh-like material that marks the latest advance in the rapidly evolving field of metamaterials, materials that could lead to a wide range of new applications as varied as ultrahigh-resolution imaging systems and cloaking devices.







  • New Damage And Bad Weather Delay Asian Internet Repairs
  • Asia Turns To Time-Tested Solution For Damaged Internet Cables
  • Chinese Web Could Remain Slow Until Late January
  • 10000 Chinese Domain Names Vanish Amid Web Chaos

  • Russia To Stop Spacecraft Launches From Far East In 2007
  • SpaceX Delays Launch, Faces New Problems With Static Fire Test
  • Sea Launch Prepares For NSS-8 Mission
  • Launch Window To Open At Poker Flat Research Range

  • Lockheed Martin And Boeing Form Strategic Alliance To Promote Next-Gen Air Transportation System
  • Time to test the Guardian Missile Defense System For Commercial Aircraft
  • Operational Testing And Evaluation Of Guardian Commercial Airline Anti-Missile System Begins
  • USGS Examines Environmental Impacts Of Aircraft De-Icers

  • Boeing And US Air Force Demonstrate Advanced Airborne Networking First
  • Raytheon To Be Prime Contractor On Radar Common Data Link Program
  • Northrop Grumman Awarded Contract To Implement More Efficient Way to Support B-2 Bomber
  • New Land Warrior And Mounted Warrior Systems Digitize The Battlefield

  • New Approaches For Producing Large Composite Structures
  • Raytheon Awarded Contract for Early Warning Radars Sustainment
  • Northrop Grumman Supplies TouchTable Technology to CNN's 'The Situation Room'
  • LISA Pathfinder Spacecraft Test Phase About To Start

  • Northrop Grumman Appoints Joseph Ensor Vice President Of Surveillance And Remote Sensing
  • Swedish Space Corporation Appoints New CEO
  • Solar Night Industries Announces Expansion into Colorado
  • Ascent Solar Hires Vice President of Business Development

  • Chairman Reacts to National Academies' Earth Science and Applications Assessment
  • Egypt Plans First Remote Sensing Satellite
  • Japanese Government Initiates Space-Borne Hyperspectral Payload Program
  • US Climate Satellites Imperiled By Low Federal Funding Say EO Scientists

  • Russian Glonass Navigation System Available To India
  • Stolen GPS Lead Police To Thieves
  • NATO Awards GIS Data Preparation Contract To TENET With Support From Galdos And IIC
  • ESA Chief Says Galileo Test Problems Are Being Fixed

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement