Ames Research Center- Advanced Rotorcraft Aeromechanics Research
January 18, 2022- May 6, 2022
Final Goals of your project/s:
The main goal of my internship was to design, analyze, and construct a frame to be placed on the transition section of the RAPTOR wind tunnel in order to mitigate tipping and allow it to be mobile.
Another goal was to continue construction and modification to the rest of the RAPTOR wind tunnel.
Describe what you did during the internship:
During my internship, my main focus was on the RAPTOR wind tunnel. The RAPTOR wind tunnel is an 80in x 80in open circuit transportable wind tunnel which is to be used to analyze the aerodynamic performance of rotorcraft in Martian atmosphere. Working on RAPTOR, a majority of the time was spent on the transition section. Starting off the section had a small force needed to tip it over and was not mobile. I designed, performed finite element analysis on, and constructed an A-Frame on the transition section resulting in a higher tipping force and making it mobile. On the interior of the transition section the surface finish of BONDO was applied and sanded in order to create a smooth surface and correct geometry to allow for optimal flow.
Construction and modifications continued on the rest the RAPTOR tunnel. The transition and diffuser sections were bolted together, along with hardware being added to the doors of the test section. After all construction had finished the Solidworks RAPTOR model was updated to reflect the changes made.
There were also many miscellaneous tasks done as needed. Two major tasks involved graphing the floor tiles of the 40ft x 80ft wind tunnel in MATLAB, and assessing the carpet in all the offices in order to determine which ones needed to be replaced.
Did you achieve your goals? What were the results?:
I achieved both goals for my internship along with assisting anywhere that I was needed for other projects. I created an A-Frame for the transition section of the tunnel that allowed it to be transported to another facility along with continuing the necessary work on the rest of the RAPTOR.
Describe positive lessons learned:
I have learned that my background in construction has had a larger impact on my skills as an engineer than I originally thought. Working on this specific project has shown me how my skills in the field of construction could directly translate to my work as an engineer.
Describe negative lessons learned:
I have learned that I am a very social person which can be a struggle in an office type environment. When I get stuck on a problem I stand up and walk about the office while I think through a solution. Along the way I might stop and chat with people which can be distracting them from the work that needs to be done or cause them to lose their train of thought. Now whenever I get stuck on a problem I still walk through the building to help me think, but I avoid any distracting chit-chat.