Efficient, Highly Maneuverable Artificial Fish for Stealthy Surveillance

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-08-M-0292
Agency Tracking Number: N08A-030-0057
Amount: $69,943.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N08-T030
Solicitation Number: 2008.A
Small Business Information
AVID LLC
1750 Kraft Drive, Suite 1400, Blacksburg, VA, 24060
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Samuel B Wilson III
 Chief Visionary Officer
 (540) 961-0067
 sbwilson@avidaerospace.com
Business Contact
 Jenny Gelhausen
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (757) 872-8733
Email: jenny@avidaerospace.com
Research Institution
 VIRGINIA TECH
 Michael Philen
 Aerospace & Ocean Engineering
213C Randolph Hall 0203
Blacksburg, VA, 24060
 (540) 231-2548
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
AVID LLC and Profs. Neu, Philen, and Stilwell of Virginia Tech propose development of an artificial fish using Flexible Matrix Composite actuator technology for propulsion and control. This innovative approach to fin actuation uses structurally integrated hydraulic actuators to avoid the losses associated with conventional means of driving bioinspired propulsors, and more closely match the exceptional performance of natural swimmers. Two main areas will be addressed in Phase I. First, computational studies using an unsteady vortex lattice method will quantify synergistic hydrodynamic interactions between individual fins and between fins and body flexibility, and will aid in designing the test vehicle. Secondly, FMC caudal and pectoral fins will be constructed and integrated into a tank test vehicle capable of propelling itself along a wire. The vehicle will be characterized for propulsive efficiency. If awarded, the Phase I option will address improved system miniaturization and packaging in preparation for free swimming tests in Phase II.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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