Aerodynamic Control of Micro Air Weapons
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
AVID proposes to develop solid-state morphing control surface actuation technology. By solid-state, we imply that there are no servos, linkages, or moving parts other than the conformal shape change of the aerodynamic surfaces. Instead, piezoelectric Macro Fiber Composites (MFC) will be used to implement the morphing flight control capability. The morphing wing and control surfaces will be designed to attain sufficient lift coefficient and control moments to perform the required maneuver of a 90-degree turn from one 50 ft wide street to another. AVIDs proposed concept has several advantages over existing technology. The solid-state nature of this flight control actuation scheme allows for scalability to miniature sizes, as well as increases in overall reliability. The elimination of servos and linkages will reduce the overall volume necessary for flight control actuation, while an effort to optimize the electronic drive circuitry for the piezoelectric actuators could result in a net weight reduction. Wind tunnel tests from a current Phase II Air Force SBIR have shown MFC-based morphing control surfaces that have sufficient stroke to produce good variation in lift coefficient, sufficient force to hold the morphing deflection under high dynamic pressure loading, and the high bandwidth that is needed for flight control. BENEFITS: The anticipated outcome of this SBIR includes innovative research for developing solid-state morphing flight control actuation technologies demonstration of a prototype system a technology that can be applied to various airframes over a large range of scales Phase II plans for further development and commercialization Following a successful Phase II effort the solid-state morphing flight control actuation system will be made commercially available. AVID is well-positioned to market a final product which we feel has significant value to the military, homeland security applications, as well as positioned for commercial use. The new technology will offer the following benefits: More reliability elimination of servos and linkages will increase reliability of the overall system Space savings the conformal actuators will reduce overall storage volume, and aid in airframe integration Enabling technology the unique capabilities of the technology will enable an air platform that can meet the strict packaging constraints and maneuverability goals of this specific application This technology will be well positioned for micro munitions military use and lend themselves useful for commercial need such as security and search and rescue. All post-Phase II customers will significantly lower their overall costs and increase return on investment, allowing them to quickly adopt this technology and to fully benefit from the underlying innovation.
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