Rugged Synthetic Jet Actuators for Pracital Flight Control Applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-09-M-3920
Agency Tracking Number: F083-177-1946
Amount: $99,995.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-177
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
1410 Sachem Place, Suite 202, Charlottesville, VA, 22901
DUNS: 120839477
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jason Burkholder
 Principal Research Scientist
 (434) 973-1215
Business Contact
 Connie Hoover
Title: General Manager
Phone: (434) 973-1215
Research Institution
Many roadblocks exist to bringing promising synthetic jet actuator flow control technology to fruition in a military application, including environmental sensitivity, scalability to a full-size aircraft, narrow dynamic range, and variability of performance between nominally identical actuators due to manufacturing imprecision. Many of these limitations are inherent in traditional piezoelectric-driven synthetic jet actuators (SJAs). Barron Associates and the University of Wyoming propose an innovative new SJA design that promises to overcome many of the limitations of traditional SJAs. The proposed SJAs will feature a much broader dynamic range, improved manufacturing uniformity and scalability, and vastly improved environmental robustness. The overall objectives of the Phase I effort will be to construct coated piezoelectric SJAs and test these actuators alongside SJAs of the new design. A series of environmental tests and subsequent wind tunnel tests, including an existing adaptive feedback controller, will be used to assess peak performance and environmental robustness and objectively compare the design approaches in terms of reliability, cost, weight, etc. Actuator failure modes and failure probabilities will be statistically modeled. BENEFIT: Although promising active flow control results have been achieved in controlled environments, traditional synthetic jet actuator designs feature inherent limitations that may prove to be insurmountable in a practical military aircraft application. For synthetic jets to make the transition from laboratory scale tests to aircraft platforms, a robust synthetic jet actuator must be developed that can withstand the harsh operational environments typical of military air vehicle missions. An innovative new synthetic jet actuator design may overcome many of these limitations and may prove to be suitable for widespread application in operational environments. A suitable synthetic jet actuator could give rise to many diverse applications, including enhancement of aircraft high lift systems, back-up aircraft flight control power for improved safety, and many other instances of high-payoff lift enhancement and/or drag reduction.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government