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Attitude Control Enhancement Using Wing Load Sensing

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Systems Technology, Inc.
13766 Hawthorne Boulevard Hawthorne, CA 90250-7083
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: Attitude Control Enhancement Using Wing Load Sensing
Agency: DOD
Contract: FA8651-12-M-0071
Award Amount: $149,892.00


ABSTRACT: Flying animals achieve good attitude control using a combination of optical and strain sensors. Strain sensors have much lower latency than optical sensors, leading to the hypothesis that strain sensors are what make good attitude control possible. A Phase I program is proposed to create models, theoretically test this hypothesis, and design a small-air-vehicle. The vehicle will be built in Phase II and used for flight test validation of biomimetic sensors. The basic case for using strain sensors, or equivalently, accelerometers, is 1) the vehicle has a higher effective moment of inertia, 2) which provides better gust performance and robustness, 3) in addition they can damp flexible modes, 4) and also aerodynamic modes such as Dutch roll. Optical sensor latency still limits the achievable attitude bandwidth, but this can be improved by using feedforward, the biomimetic analog of learned behavior. The Air Force GenMav will be the benchmark platform. Changes will be made to the outer mold line and mass properties to demonstrate generality and robustness. Previous work will be leveraged to provide a range of models, both rigid and flexible, in order to theoretically demonstrate the use of accelerometer, strain, and optical sensors. BENEFIT: A sensor suite using optical and strain sensors is a new paradigm for micro and small air vehicles, replacing the more traditional IMU-based sensors. If performance, weight, and cost advantages can be demonstrated this will create a new market opportunity. The military and civilian market for autonomous reconnaissance vehicles is large and growing. New technology developed here will be licensed to appropriate system integrators.

Principal Investigator:

Peter Thompson
Chief Scientist
(310) 679-2281

Business Contact:

Sanjeev Weerasuriya
CFO/Corporate Treasurer
(310) 679-2281
Small Business Information at Submission:

Systems Technology, Inc.
13766 S. Hawthorne Blvd. Hawthorne, CA -

EIN/Tax ID: 951957989
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No