The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University is a unique R&D facility focused on providing testing and certification for airframe technologies. Working under nondisclosure agreements, NIAR has a staff of 400 and 320,000 square feet of laboratory and office space in four locations across the city of Wichita, Kansas, the Air Capital of the World. Laboratories include:
• Advanced coatings: R&D for paint and coatings including customized formulation of interior and exterior high-performance coatings; material/process evaluation and optimization; coatings application process improvement; and product testing to military, OEM and industry specs
• Aging Aircraft: Investigations into the effects of age on commercial and military aircraft
Ballistics and Impact Dynamics: testing and materials research associated with high-energy projectile impacts of aircraft structure, equipment and components. The lab is designed specifically to better understand the dynamics of impact and material performance.
• CAD/CAM: CATIA and ENOVIA courses instruction. CATIA consulting services
• Composites & Advanced Materials: Lay-up and bonding operations to understand the effects of heat, moisture, contamination and repairs on advanced materials.
• Mechanical Test: Static and fatigue testing for composites and metals to generate material strength allowables and evaluate material properties.
• Computational Mechanics: development and application of numerical methods in areas of: Crashworthiness, Injury biomechanics, Structures, Numerical optimization techniques, Virtual product development, Certification
• Crash Dynamics: research, testing and certification for transportation seats and restraints systems under dynamic impact conditions
• Environmental Test and Electromagnetic Effects: equipment and technical expertise needed to meet environmental standards regulated by the FAA technical standard orders using RTCA DO-160.
• Full-scale Structural Test: assesses the structural performance and durability of aerospace and related structures by performing full-scale and component testing (static, durability and damage tolerance), pressure cyclic testing, hail strike testing and material testing.
• Nondestructive Test: R&D services in NDT; standard and specialized NDT training
• Reverse Engineering: 3D models, prototypes and replacement parts from physical parts and products.
• Robotics & Automation: Tests and automates systems and processes. Serves as a full-scale integrator of robotics and automation components. 40 robots of various sizes and brands.
• Virtual Reality Center: develops applied research and provides technical expertise in PLM/virtual reality and associated technologies
• Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel: an atmospheric, return type, closed-throat, subsonic wind tunnel with a test section seven feet high, 10 feet wide and 12 foot long. Air speeds in the test section can reach in excess of 200 mph.