Postdoc in Cancer Biology

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Braunschweig, NIEDERSACHSEN

In the HAP (High Altitude Platform ) project, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is developing an unmanned solar-powered long-range aircraft as well as various payloads for Earth observation missions, the ground control station and an operating concept. The mission conditions and objectives pose major challenges to the aircraft structure, especially with respect to lightweight design. This student vacancy offers you the chance to gain first hand work experience regarding the dimensioning of bonded joints within the highly loaded wing structure.

The wing, with an overall span of 27m, is divided in three wing sections. The tubular wing spar is assembled from several segments for manufacturing reasons. Considering the demanding lightweight design expectations, adhesively bonded scarfed tubular joints are selected to join the spar segments. Detailed finite element models (DFEM) were developed and used to fine-tune the joint design for the dominant wing bending load cases. Never the less, in flight the spar joints will be additionally loaded by torsion as well as by superimposed load cases from gusts and flight manoeuvre.

Therefore, it is your task to expand the existing DFEM to multi-axial loading conditions, within the scope of a student research paper, bachelor or master thesis. Your thesis might be adopted to your skills and preferences within the project’s boundaries.

The following working steps are planed:

  • familiarize yourself with the topic of structural bonding
  • understand and critically question the used modelling approach for the existing DFEMs
  • develop and verify boundary conditions for multiaxial loading
  • build DFEMs for varying geometries. Depending on your affinity to programming tasks you might be able to parametrise the DFEM to avoid recurrent design tasks. (e.g. Python +OCC)
  • process loads extracted from a global finite element model which represents the entire aircraft. An automation of this step would be desirable.
  • verify the generated results

A full-scale wing test as well as component tests are planned to validate the overall design, if time permits you might support the validation process.


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