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An Active Smart Material System for Buffet Load Alleviation

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1994 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Active Control eXperts, Inc.
215 First Street Cambridge, MA 02142 0122
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1994
Title: An Active Smart Material System for Buffet Load Alleviation
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $675,000.00


The proposed effort investigates the use of smart materials (such as strain actuators and sensors) and modern control theory to suppress unsteady buffet loads encountered by vertical tail aircraft such as the F/A-18. The active smart material system proposed has distinct advantages over traditional passive damping treatments and active articulated control surface techniques. This innovative smart material approach has the potential to improve aircraft performance and reduce maintenance costs significantly. The technical objectives of the proposed project include: (1) defining the functional requirements for the active smart material system, (2) assembling an integrated aeroelastic/smart material model, (3) choosing the most appropriate controller architecture, (4) and designing and analyzing controllers for active smart material systems in order to suppress unwanted buffet loads. Essentially, the goal of the Phase I effort is to determine the effectiveness, in terms of performance achieved versus added weight, of an active smart material system for buffet load suppression. The program is targeted toward buffeting problems experienced by the F/A 18, but the innovation described in the proposal has application to other operational, as well as future, high performance vertical tail aircraft.

Principal Investigator:

Kenneth B. Lazarus, Ph.d.

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Active Control Experts, Inc.
Po Box 15195 Boston, MA 02215

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No