Mechanical and Aerospace Design and Analysis

Modeling and Simulation

MERC is a recognized center of excellence in finite element modeling (FEM) & finite element analysis (FEA) of military aircraft and commercial vehicles with extensive experience in static, modal, dynamic transient, and nonlinear methods. This experience base spans high performance fighter jets, cargo aircraft, multiple rotary wing platforms, ground vehicles, and support equipment.

MERC’s computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis is used to estimate pressure distribution and drag, evaluate external modifications and placements, and derive aerodynamic loading for use in structural analysis.  CFD analysis has been used to update drag counts in flight manuals resulting in improved fuel consumption and energy performance for fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

System Integrity

MERC supports integrity program requirements for fixed and rotary wing aircraft as well as ground vehicles on several DoD Aircraft Structural Integrity Programs. MERC has a long history of increasing system availability and reducing total ownership cost through Avionics, Functional, and Mechanical System Integrity Programs.  MERC has developed, installed, and executed Master Planning, Damage Tolerance, L/ESS and IAT, Force Structural Maintenance, and airworthiness/system safety integrity program components.

Test, Measurement, and Inspection

MERC provides mechanical static, fatigue, and dynamic testing and data capturing capabilities.   Structural, metal bond, composites and other aircraft material components from small coupons up to complex 15-foot assemblies can be tested using a combination of tensile, direct shear, and flexural beam loading for failure and crack growth analysis.  All testing is done to ASTM standards.

MERC applies NDI Level III inspections in support of critical and routine customer requirements. Eddy current, magnetic particle, liquid penetration, radiographic, and ultrasonic testing methods are used to accelerate inspection processes, collect/analyze data, and provide actionable information for engineers and maintenance personnel.

Rapid Prototyping and Qualification

MERC conducts 3D digital modeling, coordinate measuring, and printing along with building, testing, and qualifying scaled or full sized prototypes to assist form, fit, and function as a critical step in data package creation.  The prototyping steps allow customers to visualize, inspect, and in some cases, test fit an ABS plastic version of components without the costly investment of large quantities of raw materials or machine tooling.

Reliability Centered and Conditioned Based Maintenance

MERC has over 29 years of serving Aerospace customers using RCM, Condition Based Maintenance, and Reliability Optimization.   MERC’s RCM processes identify the failure modes, failure mode criticality, severity, and probability of occurrence, the current failure mode detection level, and recommend the ideal recurrence of inspection.   MERC develops tools for use with CBM+.  Successes include the handheld Inspection Crack/Corrosion and Repair Reporting (ICARR 3D) system, Integrated Vehicle Health Monitoring (IVHMS) system and Loads/Environment Spectra Survey (L/ESS) Systems, and  an algorithm method for rank-ordering the C-130 fleet in terms of anticipated maintenance needs, with a goal of basing depot schedules on aircraft condition rather than calendar scheduling.

Human Factors and Biomechanics

MERC utilizes advanced biomechanics experience for a range of complex testing and analysis including 3D motion capture, floor loads, muscle testing, digital human modeling, and inverse kinematic simulation. MERC collaborates with healthcare professionals in areas such as injury prevention, sports medicine, and occupational rehabilitation to reduce risk, reduce costs, and improve function and productivity.       

MERC is an educational nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Georgia

FAR Subpart 6.3 – Other Than Full and Open Competition

 6.302-3 – Industrial Mobilization; Engineering, Developmental, or Research Capability; or Expert Services

(a)(2)(ii) – “To establish or maintain an essential engineering, research, or development capability to be provided by an educational or other nonprofit institution or a federally funded R & D center