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SBIR Phase II:Multi Sub-System Miniaturization and Development for Semi-Truck Fuel Savings Device

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2213299
Agency Tracking Number: 2213299
Amount: $1,000,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: ET
Solicitation Number: NSF 21-565
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-04-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2025-03-31
Small Business Information
18308 Old Carousel Ranch Rd
Ramona, CA 92065
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Sandra Manosalvas-Kjono
 (619) 693-7565
Business Contact
 Sandra Manosalvas-Kjono
Phone: (619) 693-7565
Research Institution

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is reducing fuel consumption, improving safety and stability, and reducing the carbon footprint of the trucking industry while increasing profitability. Over 70% of US freight tonnage is moved by trucks. At highway speeds, aerodynamic drag uses over 65% of the total vehicle energy. The proposed device modifies the aerodynamic behavior of semi-trucks using air injection by allowing continuous optimization of aerodynamic performance. This project will bring the pneumatic, sensor and artificial intelligence (AI) control systems from proof-of-concept to commercialization. Having a commercial product capable of determining and delivering the trailer’s best aerodynamic profile based on real-time operating conditions may be a game-changer for the trucking industry, as fuel is a significant operating cost. Commercializing this system has the potential to create an energy savings for all US fleets, saving more than 3 billion gallons of diesel fuel, reducing the release of more than 33.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, tripling trucking company profits, and saving an annual $22 billion._x000D_
This SBIR Phase II project proposes development of an aerodynamic add-on prototype for semi-trucks to save fuel by dynamically changing the trailer’s aerodynamic profile to accommodate diverse operating conditions. Objectives of this SBIR Project are to evolve the device from prototype to the first commercially viable release through system miniaturization and encapsulation, controller optimization, and improved overall system performance, reliability, and safety. Research conducted to miniaturize the overall system footprint will minimize any additional operational impacts, ensuring widespread adoption and utilization that maximizes fuel savings. Research to optimize the Artificial Intelligence-Controller operation will maximize fuel savings because it will allow the device to operate under a broader set of operational conditions. Further development to improve system performance, reliability, and the addition of a safety assist will improve the profit margins of the trucking industry while simultaneously improving on-road safety for the public. The project seeks to deliver 10% savings in operational costs for the trucking industry while improving the efficiency and safety of their country-wide operations._x000D_
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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