Thales – Design-for-maintenance for radar systems

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Supervisor: Wienik Mulder
Student: Jack van Dalen

Company description

Thales designs radar systems and sensors that are part of a complete, integrated defence system. Examples are electro-optical sensors and complex three dimensional radars with the possibility to detect and observe objects within a range of a few hundreds of kilometres. Other examples are small portable radars for border patrol or object surveillance.

The radar systems must operate under specific environmental conditions; from high to extreme low temperatures while exposed to severe dynamic loads. During design of the radars, it is of key importance that these environmental conditions are taken into account to ensure proper functioning during the lifetime of the complete system.

Hardware design activities are performed within the Technical Units Engineering, Radio Frequency and Mechanical Design. These departments are responsible for the development of complete radar systems consisting of antennas, cabinets and electronic units.

Introduction to the subject

For Thales, maintenance is an important aspect to address during the development of new radar systems. Nowadays, contracts with customers do not only cover the delivery of the radar system itself, but also include arrangements on the maintenance support services. The design of the radar systems strongly influences how often maintenance is required and how easily it can be performed. To develop systems that are reliable and maintainable, maintenance is addressed during various activities in the development process. The task in this assignment is to investigate how this can be further improved.

Research objectives

The goal of this assignment is to develop a set of design-for-maintenance guidelines that are particularly applicable to the systems that are developed and manufactured by Thales. Also, the student should apply the guidelines at the design of a specific subsystem, for example the cooling system of a radar system. A re-design need to be made or an advice for re-design of the system needs to be given.

For the development of the set of guidelines, it is expected that the student conducts a literature study, studies the design and the maintenance activities of the systems, and hold interviews with various employees at the company. It is possible to perform this assignment in cooperation with the Thales department in Limours (Paris region France). A short stay at this company could be arranged as part of the project.

Student profile

Mechanical engineering: profile Design engineering, Maintenance Engineering or Production management

Industrial design engineering: profile Emerging technology design or Management of product development

More information

Wienik Mulder, MSc. and Rob Basten

Ir. I. Brorens and Dr. ir. H.H. Pijlman