Aerodynamic Control of Micro Air Weapons
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Due to packaging and maneuverability concerns, micro air weapons development is leading towards smaller and more capable platforms. This miniaturization ultimately results in constraints of volume and energy for all systems onboard. Actuator technologies have thus been investigated to meet the needs of the changing system requirements. Significant research has gone into active material systems, such as piezoelectrics, and synthetic jets, but these advanced technologies have limited applicability. Conventional servo technology has also encountered concerns over miniaturization. As such, Techno-Sciences, Inc., in collaboration with the University of Maryland, proposes to develop a technology centered on pneumatic artificial muscle actuation. Building upon our extensive experience and related patent portfolio, we will perform analyses and detailed design work in Phase I of the project that will end with a prototype actuator demonstration. Phase II will be focused on further refinements and integration into functional hardware capable of wind tunnel demonstrations. BENEFIT: Throughout the Phase I effort and in preparation for Phase II, Techno-Sciences, Inc. will work in concert with Air Force sponsors to ensure that the proposed micro-actuator technology will have the potential for integration into existing and future micro air weapon systems. This technology can reach several markets including unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) and micro air vehicles (MAVs) for search and rescue operations, package delivery, humanitarian aid, meteorological and atmospheric measurements, and diagnoses of biological or chemical spill environments. Additionally, the robotics industry and even the toy industry stand to benefit from this development. The final product of this technology will be an integrated hardware/software device that can be licensed for manufacture.
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