Micro Scale Testing of High Speed Aircraft
ABSTRACT: The Air Force has the need to advance high speed vehicle technology and experimental flight test methods quickly and cheaply. Heretofore, the Air Force test programs have consumed too much time (up to 5 years) and money ($10,000,000) for a single test flight. This puts too much pressure on program managers to succeed which in and of itself leads to the long program time and cost. It is a process that spirals out of control quickly. The work requested by this SBIR topic addresses that issue and asks for new ideas and methods for quick and cheap testing. A test vehicle and program that meets the goals will enable the Air Force to proceed efficiently to address the technology needs in the area of high speed flight. They are numerous and critical and require a test program that can fly often and that can be a part of daily life in the lab - like a flying wind tunnel. An engineer can count on having the flight resource available for testing new ideas and technologies. BENEFIT: Astrox will develop a vehicle design and a flight test program to provide the Air Force with a vehicle that can be used as a high speed test bed. The cost goal for the vehicle and first flight will be less than $5,000,000 and the time to launch will be less than 2 years. Using rapid prototyping technology to manufacture major parts will decrease cost and time to manufacture of the test vehicle. The use of a reusable vehicle decreases range costs because vehicle certification will be performed only once. Reusability and low vehicle cost will allow for a new paradigm in program risk reduction; flight envelope expansion can be done gradually with relaxed constraints on failure risk.
Small Business Information at Submission:
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