RUSTON, LA (KTVE/KARD) It may be small in literal size but one Louisiana Tech student prototype facility protection tool is is making big waves across the country… particularly in the Air Force.
Kevin McKee is a Senior Mechanical Engineering major whose engineering design beat 20 others in a 5 day design print organized by STRIKEWERX.
This is a jack slot cover for ICBM missile silo sites” McKee said.
Now, it’s being picked up by the U.S Air Force’s Global Strike Command.
McKee made it by hand using a plasma table to cut the steel, which he also welded by hand.
Two of the same prototype were made, the other is made out of a robust 3d printed fabric. It is designed to fix a reoccurring issue the Global Strike Command faces.
“They have to first… clean out the slots currently… and that can take anywhere between.. five, ten minutes to an hour and a half” McKee said.
McKee’s design helps to reduce these hours, especially in northern latitudes during the winter.
“Dirt and rocks get inside of it… and then it all freezes. and so, this allows them to not have to clean it as much… or hopefully not at all” McKee said.
The current physical prototype, which is the only one in existence, is currently on-site to be tested. If things go well, we will continue to see more being tested, roughly around 12. If things continue to go well from there, eventually they may test around 900.