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Plasma Wing for Hingeless Flight Control of Air Vehicles

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2004 / 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: 2004
Title: Plasma Wing for Hingeless Flight Control of Air Vehicles
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8650-04-C-3405
Award Amount: $750,000.00


The goal of this program is to develop and demonstrate an innovative, hingeless flight control system for air vehicles using a virtual shaping technology to improve air vehicle performance by directly altering the vehicle's effective aerodynamic shape. During the successful Phase I, Orbital Research Inc. (ORI) and the University of Notre Dame (ND) experimentally demonstrated the feasibility of virtual shaping using weakly-ionized plasma actuators on a 2-D airfoil to mimic the effect of both leading edge slats and trailed edge flaps. During the Phase II, ORI and ND will build upon the modeling and experimental efforts of the Phase I to develop and demonstrate a hingeless flight control system, using spatially distributed plasma actuators to create a Plasma Wing for a scaled UCAV model. The Phase II will demonstrate the ability to use plasma actuators to achieve a constant shift in the lift coefficient throughout a range of aerodynamic conditions, creating an effect like wing warping without physically bending the wing. The Phase II will use a multi-disciplinary approach using mathematical modeling, simulation, and wind tunnel experiments to demonstrate system performance. Upon completion of a successful Phase II, ORI and ND will have demonstrated the use of weakly-ionized plasma actuators to achieve virtual shaping of a realistic wing. A plasma actuator based virtual shaping system can provide future air vehicles with a solid-state flight actuation system, enabling increased aerodynamic performance and reduced system complexity.

Principal Investigator:

Mehul Patel

Business Contact:

Frederick J. Lisy
Small Business Information at Submission:

4415 Euclid Avenue, Suite 500 Cleveland, OH 44103

EIN/Tax ID: 341672688
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No