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Large Throw, Imbedded Microactuator Drag Reducers

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1996 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Orbital Research Inc
4415 Euclid Avenue Suite 500 Cleveland, OH 44103-3757
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1996
Title: Large Throw, Imbedded Microactuator Drag Reducers
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $750,000.00


Control of vortices on the leading edge of an airfoil has the potential to decrease drag and increase lift by decreasing the pressure on the forward facing and upper airfoil surfaces. A novel microactuator is proposed which allows for arbitrarily large displacements to be achieved. The actuator is also mechanically robust as compared to "conventional" silicon-based microactuators. Large arrays of the actuators can be deployed in order to obtain fine control of the boundary layer, without a large weight penalty which is typical of macroscopic systems. The system will allow for the elimination of fixed stall fences and vortex generators, thereby eliminating the drag which they induce during most flight regimes. The anticipated effects may be great enough to allow the elimination or the reduction of traditional flight control devices such as rudders and ailerons, when used in a laterally asymmetrical configurations. The program will accomplish four objectives. The principal of microactuator controlled vortex generation will be demonstrated in a wind tunnel. Scale-up and implementation factors will be evaluated. A simplified microactuator system will be designed and fabricated to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing the novel microactuator. Finally, preliminary design of a complete system will be performed to prepare for, and help ensure the success of Phase II and Phase III programs.

Principal Investigator:

Robert N. Schmidt

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Orbital Research, Inc.
11000 Cedar Avenue Suite 461 Cleveland, OH 44106

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No