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Force Feedback, Virtual Fixtures, and Reality Registration for Mid-Air Refueling

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1997 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Cybernet Systems Corporation
3885 Research Park Drive Ann Arbor, MI 48108-2247
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1997
Title: Force Feedback, Virtual Fixtures, and Reality Registration for Mid-Air Refueling
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $746,284.00


Mid-Air refueling raises many issues including load alleviation, guidance and control, and nozzle docking. Some of these issues have been addressed in the KC-10 designs (automatic load alleviation), but because the fleet of KC-135s is so large (ten times that of the KC-10s), technologies which improve the safety and efficiency of KC-135s, as well as KC-10s, is a research problem that is of extreme interest to the USAF. Current systems require the boomer (the person controlling the refueling arm) to fly the boom (the arm which attaches to the plane to refuel) down to the nozzle on the receiving aircraft. This is a difficult task and can result in unsafe loads on the boom and possible damage to the receiving aircraft during docking. Because of the large existing functional fleet, a significant redesign of the refueling systems is difficult and not economical. Consequently, we propose core component technologies which can augment the existing systems to provide enhanced capabilities. More specifically, we propose the integration of force feedback, virtual fixtures, and reality registration into a set of mid-air refueling tools which can be added to existing mid-air refueling systems.

Principal Investigator:

Thomas M. Peurach

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Cybernet Systems Corp.
727 Airport Boulevard Ann Arbor, MI 48105

EIN/Tax ID: 430924383
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No