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MEMS Setae for Bio-Inspired Wind and Lift Sensing

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: MEMS Setae for Bio-Inspired Wind and Lift Sensing
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: W911QX-11-C-0075
Award Amount: $149,892.00


Aurora proposes to develop bio-inspired wind and lift sensing, and to test implementations that would enable mid-term integration on current and planned small and micro unmanned aerial systems (UAS). By using MEMS hair cells currently under development for the replication of insect flight, our approach will have long-term applicability to Army UAS concepts from"small"down to"nano"size ranges. Such hair cells have the ability to yield information on local flow fields before those flows produce inertial effects on a vehicle. Our university partners are leading experts in how insects fly, and have reverse-engineered the nervous systems of insects to understand how vision and hair sensors are used together to enable flight control and stability. Aurora and its partners are already collaborating on research into insect-based visual guidance concepts. Thus Aurora is not only transitioning MEMS airflow sensor fabrication capabilities, but also leveraging ongoing research on understanding of how best to integrate multiple bio-inspired sensors into flight control systems.

Principal Investigator:

James Paduano
Senior Autonomy Controls&Est Eng
(617) 500-4807

Business Contact:

Scott Hart
Financial Analyst
(617) 500-0536
Small Business Information at Submission:

Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
9950 Wakeman Drive Manassas, VA -

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