Since its introduction in the 1960s, the MC-130E Talon I has been modified on a nearly continuous basis to incorporate more and more modern technology into its legacy design. One such addition is of a state-of-the-art radar system which would be housed inside a radome that was hand-crafted from fiberglass in the 1950s.
Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) would have to be performed by MI Technologies to test a variety of functions of the radar system inside the radome. In order for MI Technologies to perform CAE, they would need CAD data of the legacy part radome, which has never been modeled before for the MC-130E Talon I. The exact shape of the radome is critical for proper testing of the radar system inside, as only a couple inches separate the inside wall from the equipment.
Thank you for being very customer oriented… it was a slightly new experience.”
3DScanCo used the Konica Minolta Vivid 9i in conjunction with photogrammetry to generate scan data accurate to .002 inches. The high resolution scan data would be used to perform all the reverse engineering processes needed to generate CAD of the radome.
Using the Rapidform software suite, 3DScanCo reverse engineered and modeled the radomes to within the accuracy tolerances. Rapidform allowed for the modeling of the critical surface features, such as the interior surface curvature and bolt hole locations, to be as accurate as possible while remaining curvature-continuous for aerodynamic and electromagnetic testing of the radar system.
The resulting CAD data from 3DScanCo’s reverse engineering was hugely successful for CAE performed by MI Technologies. Because CAD data did not exist for these radomes, and because 3DScanCo’s CAD models performed so well during testing, MI Technologies is interested in contracting 3DScanCo to scan newer and much larger radomes in the future.
“Please let everyone at 3DScanCo know we appreciate the effort put forth. …We will not hesitate to utilize you in the future as opportunities arise.” – Dave Smith, MI Technologies