Kyle Naumann


Presentation: 9:00-10:15 a.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom



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In development of an aircraft with a Bio-Inspired Rotating Empennage (BIRE), it is important to optimize the weight of the mechanical system while meeting performance requirements for flight dynamics. Mechanical elements requiring optimization include the bearings, gears, and actuators. Through use of stress equations with verification against finite element simulations and manufacturer data, low order models are generated to rapidly estimate system component weights for a series of design configurations. For bearings, the bore diameter and applied load serves as primary design variables. The weight-estimating model then determines the lightest possible bearing by varying the diameter and number of balls within the bearing while attempting to stay within a defined ball contact stress limit. The gear model operates similarly, with design variables of bore diameter, required output torque, number of pinions, and ring gear OD used with varying tooth pitch, tooth count, and face width. However, additional material was removed from the pinions by adding cutouts, and the stresses in these cutouts was matched to the bending stress on the gear tooth. The cuts were then geometrically parameterized as relationships to other gear features and applied to all gear possibilities for further weight reduction in suitable gears. Actuators are segmented into individual sub-components to estimate mass based on power and speed. All models will be combined to optimize the total system weight for the BIRE and provide the best arrangement of components.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Dave Myszka, Andrew Murray

Primary Advisor's Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Stander Symposium, School of Engineering

Generating Low Order Weight Models for Mechanical Design of an Aircraft with a Bio-Inspired Rotating Empennage