Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

James Smith.


West Virginia University's Center for Industrial Research Applications (CIRA) was sponsored by the United States Army National Guard (USANG) and the Department of Defense (DOD) to design a standardized, articulating sensor platform for the C-130 Hercules military aircraft. This sensor platform was to be capable of in-flight deployment and capable of facilitating a diverse spectrum of sensor configurations in order to aid in surveillance and reconnaissance for counter narco-terrorism efforts. Two complete sensor pallet prototypes have been developed. The current platform configuration consists of four aluminum arms that are connected to a rotational shaft via a cylindrical hub. For the construction of the third prototype of the sensor platform, an optimization of the rotational arm-hub connection was performed. The goal of the new design was to allow for easier system assembly, maintenance, and the ability to carry a larger sensor payload. The following work describes the complete design and development of the new arm-hub connection through the use of both analytical and finite element analysis (FEA) using Pro-Engineer and Pro-Mechanica solid modeling software.