Astronics AES Internship

2018, Sep 15    

product support photo

Overview

I worked on many projects over my three-month internship. I investigated failures with my mentor, researched and developed field test equipment with the other interns, and completed product development on my own.

Intern Project

Astronics AES is creating a wireless charger. The company wanted a device for aircraft technicians to be able to test if the wireless charger is working. They also wanted a device to test the maximum power draw of the wireless charger to confirm that the wireless charger was installed correctly. I worked on an interdisciplinary team with ten other interns of supply chain, quality assurance, mechanical, and continuous improvement disciplines to develop these products for the company.

I contributed to the project by

  • Redesigning electrical circuit to make it able to accurately set power and reduce variations in the power draw. This included design, simulation, assembly and testing of a prototype, design and assembly of PCB
  • Wrote code for AVR microcontroller that would control the circuit
  • Gave a presentation to managers about the final result of the project
  • Generated ideas for the project moving forward and worked with current employees to implement the new design

AC Unfolding Bridge Investigation

During the lifetime of a power supply the unit has had around 1,000 returns because of the AC Unfolding Bridge failing. The company estimates that it costs $200 to repair or replace a single unit. This failure has cost the company $200,000 over the lifetime of the unit and $50,000 in the last year. The investigation had been underway for over two years before I started my internship. I worked with my mentor and one other Electrical Engineer to solve the mysterious failure.

I contributed to the investigation by

  • Measured the operating voltage and current of multiple components in the circuit during normal operation and during faults
  • Worked with other engineers to find the root cause of the failure and came up with a solution to fix the problem
  • Was given award and recognition by manager

Capacitor Profiling

The life of an electrolytic capacitor is greatly reduced when exposed to high temperatures. Polymer capacitors can be used in high temperature applications as an alternative but replacing the electrolytic capacitors with polymer capacitors is a costly change. I calculated the lifespan of the electrolytic capacitors ensuring only capacitors with short lifespans would be replaced.

During this project I

  • Measured temperature, voltage and ripple current of all electrolytic capacitors in three products to estimate the lifespan of the capacitors
  • Created Excel spreadsheet to calculate the lifespan of the electrolytic capacitors from the collected data

USB-C Tester

Astronics AES has created an outlet with a USB-C port. They requested a device that can test the outlets ability to communicate and deliver its rated power. The challenge of this project is the requirement of having a small form factor (equal to or smaller than the footprint of a credit card).

During this project I

  • Created a design that could detect the power dissipated by the load without the use of a microcontroller.
  • Made a schematic and PCB layout.
  • Wrote Theory of Operation document for the design so other employees can easily understand the design and improve upon it.