Spacecraft harnesses are built individually by human hand with inherent time and error that can impact a spacecraft’s cost and schedule. The students on this team will develop, advance, and implement an automated wire harness system from design through assembly, to reduce these risks.
Essentially all flight hardware requires electrical harnesses. These harnesses are designed and fabricated in accordance with the applicable requirements of the electrical design standard for flight harnesses as defined by individual flight programs. In this particular case the spacecraft electrical harness will be for an exemplar satellite design.
To achieve the required deliverables of MDP 2021, the team will be provided an out brief of status, accomplishments, and next steps from the MDP 2020 team and will need to thoroughly understand the MDP 2020 MDP project goals.
The purpose of a spacecraft wire harness is to transmit signal or electrical power. Cables are bound together a combination of straps, cable ties, cable lacing, sleeves, electrical tape, conduit. The wire harness contains multiple breakouts and simplifies the connection to larger components by integrating the wiring into a single unit. This project can be broken down into four parts as shown below:
1. Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE)
MBSE is the practice of developing a set of related system models that help define, design, analyze, and document the system under development in a more efficient manner.
Cameo Systems Modeler is an industry-leading cross-platform collaborative MBSE environment, which enables systems engineers to:
- Run engineering analysis for design decisions evaluation and requirements verification
- Continuously check model consistency
- Track design progress with metrics
System models can be managed in remote repositories, stored as standard XMI files, or published to documents, images, and web views to address different stakeholder concerns.
Students will take an exemplar satellite model from a MBSE tool, specifically Cameo software, and input provided models into a Creo format.
- Translate Creo Designs to G-Code
Students will develop an interface that will translate information automatically extracted from Creo into programming (e.g. G-Code) to drive the software to be developed to automate the manufacturing stage.
- Develop Software for Automated Wire Harness Builder
Students will develop software that will allow a student built machine to lay, print, navigate, etc specified drawings to accurately manufacture wire harness.
- Automated Wire Harness Assembly
Students will further the development of a machine designed to build the exemplar satellite wire harness, either flat on a table or in 3D space, without any human hands having to touch it.
- Including all the wires and bundles in drawing provided
- This includes reviewing the drawing to understand the requirements
- Cutting the specified wires to appropriate length
- Crimping contact terminations to wire endsIncluding adding connectors in an automated fashion (Inserting wires into connectors)
- Including adding connectors in an automated fashion (Inserting wires into connectors)
- Including crimp and solder-cup connections, Including solder splices – crimp contacts are covered above, and solder-cups are not currently included in exemplar harness
General Programming (1 – 2 students)
Specific Skills: General skills in programming, software development and Model Based Systems Engineering. Must have completed EECS 281 or equivalent and be willing to learn robotic interface language.
Likely Majors: CS
Equipment Design (1 – 2 students)
Specific Skills: Mechatronics, System controls, 3D printing
Likely Majors: MECHENG, AERO, ROB, EE, CE
Model Based Systems Engineeringand Agile Framework (1 – 2 students)
Specific Skills: Systems engineering, broad well established engineering skills. (should have competency in programming or mechanical design)
Likely Majors: IOE, AERO, ISD
Spacecraft Harness Development (1 student)
Specific Skills: Spacecraft design, mechatronics, electrical engineering
Likely Majors: AERO, EE
Emily Smallwood graduated from West Virginia University in 2012 with a Bachelors of Science in Industrial and Systems Management Engineering. Her experience in the Aerospace Industry spans ten years, including a year of internship opportunity where she performed failure analysis on both flight and nonflight parts. In her early career she developed a camera system on the Cygnus paylod for Orbital Sciences Corporation and worked multiple National Secuirty Space programs. Following a career at Orbital ATK she went to Booz Allen Hamilton for three years working for the Office of Space Launch at the National Reconnaissance Office. While at the Office of Space Launch she was the lead systems engineer for New Entrant Launch Vehicles and tracked the closeout of Atlas V and Delta Heavy vehicles. Emily is now supporting National Security Space Programs at Northrop Grumman while managing research and development opportunities at Universities across the United States and Austrailia. In addition to her career Emily served on the Board of Directors for Women in Aerospace for four years with the intention to promote STEM and women in Engineering.
Alec Robinson is a Northrop Grumman Fellow, concentrating on space system mission architecture design. His experience in the aerospace field includes 26 years in the US Air Force and 10 years at Northrop Grumman and predecessor companies Orbital ATK and Orbital Sciences Corporation. During his tenure in the Air Force, he managed satellite component, payload, spacecraft, and space system development efforts, including the LANDSAT 7 payload, Space-Based Infrared System-Low satellite, Space Radar satellite, and National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Space System integrated program office. At Northrop Grumman and predecessor companies, Alec served in roles ranging from mission architect, technical lead, capture lead, and program manager for a variety of national security space development programs. Alec earned a Master of Science degree in National Resource Management from the National Defense University in2007, Master of Science degree in Engineering (EE: Systems) from the University of Michigan in 1988, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from the United States Air Force Academy in 1984. He was inducted into the Michigan Gamma chapter of Tau Beta Pi in 1988.
Peter Gaskell is a Research & Development Engineer for the Robotics Institute and a laboratory instructor for ROB550 Robotics Systems Laboratory course. In addition to teaching, he designs and builds robotics platforms for both education and research. He has worked in a wide array of research labs in diverse fields such as Astrophysics, Atomic Optics, Nanoelectronics, Materials Science and Robotics. He is the co-founder and principle designer for a professional audio company and has designed equipment used to record multiple Grammy Award winning albums. He is also on the technical advisory board for a Montréal based start-up focused on using nanomaterials to improve sound quality and efficiency of transducers for the consumer electronics industry. He holds a BS in Physics from the University of Oregon, and earned his MEng and PhD in Electrical Engineering from McGill University where his dissertation focused on advanced nanomaterials for lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries. Dr. Peter Gaskell mentored the MDP 2020 Northrop Grumman Wire Harness team and has a new Robotics Lab that will allow for design, development, and manufacturing space for the MDP 2021 students to execute the requirements outline in this project.
Course Substitutions: Honors, ChE Elective, CE MDE, EE MDE, IOE Senior Design, ISD Auto 503, ISD MFG 503, MECHENG 490, MECHENG 590, ROB 590
Internship/Summer Opportunity: TBD
Citizenship Requirements: Student team members must have authorization to work in the United States without restriction in an ITAR location.
IP/NDA: Students will sign IP/NDA document(s) that are unique to Northrop Grumman.