Terminally Guided Robots and Robotic Applications in Confined Spaces
Small Business Information
47019 Five Mile Road, Plymouth, MI, 48105
AbstractNorthrop Grumman Corporation (NGC) has a contract with Lockheed Martin to design, build, and produce the center fuselage section of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF F-35). There are three ducts which are the primary components of this section - the aft duct and two forward (inlet) ducts - right and left. Due to their length, curvature, and extremely tight constraints, the RH & LH inlet ducts present a challenge for a number of process requirements - drilling, painting, sanding. At the narrowest, the internal dimension is only 15 inches. The drilling tasks are currently performed using manual operators. The ergonomic, quality, throughput, and production standards and hurdles were compelling enough for NGC to consider robotic drilling as a viable and necessary alternative to manual drilling. The focus of this SBIR Phase II effort is to further develop and improve the capability to accurately drill holes in composite materials in extremely constrained areas using a robot enhanced by metrology, a miniature drill head and a low thrust cutter. At the completion of this Phase II effort, the robotic drill cell should be at a production representative system level, commonly referred to as Manufacturing Readiness Level 7 (MRL-7).
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