SOFIA, the world’s largest airborne observatory with 2.5-meter diameter infrared telescope is equipped with 7 instruments: EXES, FIFI-LS, FLITECAM, FORCAST, GREAT, HAWC, and HIPO. Flying at altitudes between 39,000 and 45,000 feet, SOFIA avoids 99% of the atmospheric water vapor, records and analyzes the infrared radiation from the cosmos. SOFIA is able to observe the occultation of stars by solar system objects. By determining the size, compositions, and atmospheric structures of these objects, SOFIA can help answer the questions on creation and evolution of the universe, formation of the stars and planets, and nature of black hole at the center of Milky Way galaxy. PI-Rack for instrumentation of SOFIA is kept at the telescope & instrument control station on the floor of 747-SP aircraft. There are 2 PI-Racks and optional third one with a maximum load allowance of 600 lbs. and maximum overturning bending moment allowance of 12,000 in-lbs. My task is to design and develop a drawer for storing laptop, books, or snacks on PI Rack with air worthiness design to operate at 9g in forward, 6g up/down, and 1.5g lateral directions and submit a safe mechanical design with deliverable such as engineering drawings, design & stress analysis calculations, vendor documents/ drawings, material selection report for the approval of USRA and FAA.


Aerospace Engineering | Higher Education | Mechanical Engineering | Science and Mathematics Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development


Murali Krishna Kandlagunta, John Miles, Zaheer Ali

Lab site

NASA Ames Research Center (ARC)

Funding Acknowledgement

This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU).


URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/187


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