P17341: Harris Near-Zero CTE Test Apparatus


Project Summary Project Information

Harris Corporation is interested in pursuing new technology to measure coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) on material samples here on the ground. Current methods of CTE measurement involve one of three main methods to accurately measure sample deformation under an applied range of temperature. These methods are: linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) technology, capacitive sensing, or laser interferometric sensing. However, the theoretical accuracy of these technologies is limited by errors and uncertainties inherent in the test setup. Mechanical error, introduced by the test fixturing, may deform the sample unduly or not allow it ample room to freely expand. Electrical error is introduced as uncertainty in the sensors themselves and noise in the data collection process. Environmental error is the final concern, referring to external factors interfering with the testing, such as vibrations, air currents, or unwanted temperature changes. Our team is working on a new type of fixturing that isolates the sample by magnetic levitation. The intention of this setup is to minimize error due to mechanical and environmental interference, while controlling electrical error as best we can.

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 Harris Corporation logo
Project Name
Harris Thermal Expansion Test Apparatus
Project Number
Project Family
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Ed Hanzlik, echeee@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Harris Corporation
Primary Contact: James Throckmorton, james.throckmorton@harris.com
Sponsor (financial support)
Harris Corporation

Team Members

Left to right: Nathan Brown (EE), Nicholas Ferry (EE), Robert Turbett (ME), Brett Arnold (ME), Robert Morandini (ME), James Fisher (ME)

Left to right: Nathan Brown (EE), Nicholas Ferry (EE), Robert Turbett (ME), Brett Arnold (ME), Robert Morandini (ME), James Fisher (ME)

Member Role Contact
Brett Arnold Data Engineer bga6200@rit.edu
Nicholas Ferry Systems Engineer NJF5368@rit.edu
Robert Morandini Data Engineer rjm5936@rit.edu
Rob Turbett Design Engineer rt4192@rit.edu
James Fisher Lead Engineer jrf8559@rit.edu
Nate Brown Manufacturing Engineer ncb8149@rit.edu

Table of Contents


Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Gate Reviews

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation


Thanks to the following individuals for their contributions to the project: