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SBIR Phase I: Minimizing Vehicle Aero Drag with Optimized Deturbulators

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
3607 LYLES DR OXFORD, MS 38655-5708
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: SBIR Phase I: Minimizing Vehicle Aero Drag with Optimized Deturbulators
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1212823
Award Amount: $150,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will cost effectively optimize the integration of Sinhatech's patented flexible-skin Deturbulator with vehicle drag-reducing wind deflectors, aircraft wings and airfoils. The Deturbulator is a passive flexible-skin large-eddy breakup device for mitigating turbulent mixing in separated flows. Sinhatech?s recently developed self aligning Deturbulator-enhanced wind-deflector (DEWD) aero-drag reducing retrofit has demonstrated 9-16% fuel economy increase on some trucks and vans. Market acceptance will require speeding up current test-and-modify Deturbulator installation optimization. The impediment has been a lack of cost effective CFD tools capable of modeling the Deturbulator. A joint effort with Mississippi State University has just demonstrated that user specified limits on mixing lengths in a turbulence model can mimic Deturbulator induced flow modifications in an efficient RANS code. In Phase-1 detailed wind-tunnel measurements on a DEWD will guide development of universal mixing-length modification rules based on easily quantifiable features of the Deturbulator and the flow-field. This procedure will also be verified against experimental data from a Deturbulator treated low-speed airfoil. Flight performance tests with Deturbulator treated wings have yielded 18% increase in lift to drag. CFD guided optimization will enable designing extreme lift-to-drag airfoils and wings and virtually streamlined vehicles with uncompromised functionality. The proader potential/commercial impact of the proposed project will immediately enable 5-10% fuel saving and greenhouse gas emission reduction by inexpensively streamlining trucks and automobiles without impacting functionality. Optimized Deturbulators payback in 2-3 months compared to 24-months for competing aero-retrofits, creating a $3-Billion market. Deturbulator treatments can enhance commercial realization of currently evolving fast, short takeoff and landing high-endurance zero-emission battery powered aircraft with acceptable payload capacity and range. Beginning with enabling tactical UAV platforms capable of providing round-the-clock low altitude surveillance, an estimated $10 billion market, this will revolutionize the $3 Trillion commercial aviation industry at all levels. This includes 20% or more fuel savings and emission reduction for long haul jet transport by applying the treatment to wings, stabilizers and high bypass turbine engine fan blades and propeller blades. The project will also enable a similar approach for enhancing wind-turbine blade efficiency and fatigue life, improving wind-power?s cost advantage for more accessible sites. It can provide an order of magnitude leap in maximum speed, endurance or fuel savings over aggressive laminar flow wing designs or competing surface treatments like riblets which strive to reduce turbulent skin friction.

Principal Investigator:

Sumon K. Sinha

Business Contact:

Sumon K. Sinha
Small Business Information at Submission:

3607 LYLES DR OXFORD, MS 38655-5708

EIN/Tax ID: 470727136
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No