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Optimized Silent SUAS Propeller Design

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09-163
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Optimized Silent SUAS Propeller Design
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8650-10-M-2037
Award Amount: $99,961.00


Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation (Aurora) asserts that SUAS propellers can be made significantly harder to detect with improved aerodynamic performance using proven aerodynamic and acoustic propeller design codes. The novel aspect of this proposal is that Aurora can build existing acoustic, aerodynamic, and stress codes into a single propeller design software code that iterates on propeller geometry, or some other SUAS variable such as propeller speed, until an optimum aero-acoustic design is achieved. All prior propeller design had been done manually individually alternating back and forth with these codes until a solution was found, which was almost certainly not optimal. Aurora will purchase three COTS SUAS propellers, predict their acoustic signature, acoustic test each propeller, and then perform an acoustic optimization of each propeller to show the improvement potential at a given flight condition. Commercialization of this technology will be further developed. BENEFIT: The benefits that will be achieved by this SBIR are 1) the development of a true propeller aero-acoustic design optimization tool that will provide much greater protection and safety for US DoD SUAVs and 2) creation of a new technology-based business to serve not only the US military market but also the commercial market as well as the international aircraft commercial industry. We believe that the primary customers for this technology will include SUAV users as well as UAV manufacturers. This business also offers dual-use opportunities, including the radio controlled and ultralight aircraft markets both domestically and internationally.

Principal Investigator:

Paul Dahlstrand
Senior Propulsion Engineer

Business Contact:

Scott Hart
Financial Analyst
Small Business Information at Submission:

Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
9950 Wakeman Drive Manassas, VA 20110

EIN/Tax ID: 541502935
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No