Science in the Age of Experience

 May 15-18, 2017 • Chicago, IL



AM Challenge 3: Design an Aircraft Sensor Assembly

Figure 1: Aircraft sensor assembly
Figure 2: Sensor and supporting ‘wing’


With the rise of additive manufacturing methods, the creation and production of lattice structures is becoming more and more feasible and popular in several industries.


Problem Statement

An aircraft sensor assembly, as shown in Figure 1, is examined and to be re-designed with the goal to obtain a stiff but light-weight structure. In service, the sensor, which is the tubular, blue structure in Figure 2, is subjected to airflow, attached to a ‘wing-like’ support structure, marked in red in Figure 2.

You are asked to develop a lattice structure to stiffen the interior of the ‘wing’ (the red region in Figures 2 and 3), through which the sensor tube is attached to the fuselage. The sensor itself and the fuselage attachment bracket are non-design region, meaning they remain unchanged. Within the design, you must reserve a small duct to allow for cables to pass from the sensor into the aircraft. This duct may be lined, creating a tube as in Figure 3, or it may just be a cylindrical void region.

Figure 3: Design region and cable duct

Evaluation criteria

  • Natural frequency requirements. Ensure the senor is steady while aircraft operates.
  • Reduce payload.

Details for this AM challenge such as part geometry and material data will be emailed to Hackathon registrants one month prior to the Hackathon.