• PT Youtube
  • CW Facebook
  • CW Linkedin
  • CW Twitter

NIAR begins construction on new ATL, AFP lab

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

The Advanced Laboratory for Aerospace System (ATLAS) will develop manufacturing protocols for automated fiber placement (AFP) and automated tape laying (ATL) for aircraft systems.


The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University (Wichita, Kan., U.S.) has begun construction on its new Advanced Laboratory for Aerospace Systems (ATLAS), which is located on the main campus headquarters and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2020. 

ATLAS will be a facility for the development of manufacturing protocols for automated fiber placement (AFP) and automated tape laying (ATL) for aircraft systems incorporating real-time inspections and machine learning algorithms. NIAR senior research scientist Waruna Seneviratne will lead the lab.

Equipment and personnel within ATLAS will specialize in various areas: digital twin manufacturing technology development, rapid prototyping and manufacturing, machine learning, “Factory of the Future,” and cybersecurity and sabotage protection.

Two of the sectors for the lab are complete, two more are expected to be completed in the fall, with the rest expected to be completed in the summer 2020.

“ATLAS provides a neutral ground for manufacturers to research advanced manufacturing concepts with various machine, software and processing options,” says Seneviratne. “It will also educate and train student Factory of the Future engineers on advanced manufacturing concepts.”

NIAR also recently was awarded a $2 million grant to go toward research equipment for the ATLAS facility.



  • Composites 101: Fibers and resins

    Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive. This month, CAMX Connection introduces to composites novices the fibers and resin systems commonly used in composites manufacturing.

  • 787 integrates new composite wing deicing system

    The composite wing leading edge on Boeing’s Dreamliner features an integrated heating element that incorporates a sprayed metal conductive layer within the laminate stack.  

  • A350 XWB update: Smart manufacturing

    Spirit AeroSystems actualizes Airbus’ intelligent design for the A350’s center fuselage and front wing spar in Kinston, N.C.