2101. An Expanded Role for the Mass Properties Engineer


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Richard Boynton: 2101. An Expanded Role for the Mass Properties Engineer. 1992.



Many mass properties engineers limit their responsibility to calculating and measuring mass properties. In this paper I propose that mass properties engineers should expand their role in their company to include the following: Calculate mass properties. Measure mass properties (or at least know what the sources of measurement error are). Be active and aggressive in creating the mass properties specification for a payload. Define the coordinate system for the payload and encourage other parties such as the flight dynamics engineers to use the same coordinate system. Insure that the original design of the payload includes hard points such as precision rings so there is an unambiguous mechanical reference coordinate system. Be a major influence in the early design phase, so it won’t be necessary to use large tungsten ballast weights to compensate for a poor design. Have a good understanding of flight dynamics. The first response I have gotten from fellow mass properties engineers when I suggested these ”proposed responsibilities” was that they had more work than they could handle right now, and the last thing they wanted was additional responsibility. However, my point is that sooner or later you get involved with all these issues. It is much better to be in control of the situation, rather than to be the victim of poor decisions.


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