An Innovative In-Flight Refueling Probe Component that Eliminates Accidental Overload of the Mast Assembly During Air Refueling

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Navy
Amount:
$999,998.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
N68335-10-C-0393
Award Id:
92649
Agency Tracking Number:
N092-111-0338
Solicitation Year:
2009
Solicitation Topic Code:
N092-111
Solicitation Number:
2009.2
Small Business Information
4030 Lake Washington Blvd NE, Suite 205, Kirkland, WA, -
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
883221723
Principal Investigator:
Bob Stirling
President
(425) 827-5222
rstirling@stirling-dynamics.us.com
Business Contact:
Dennis Messenger
Vice President
(425) 827-7476
dmessenger@stirling-dynamics.us.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
A flexible hose and drogue system typically employed in aircraft refueling operations has proved reliable except when excessive forces are induced on the receiving aircraft"s refueling probe, invoking a break-away design feature and potentially creating FOD. A new approach is required to eliminate this break-away design feature, thus avoiding FOD and potential significant damage to the aircraft. This requires development of an innovative probe design that can withstand the high loads caused from a hose whip condition and will not break-away, due to the introduction of a high strength and flexible component into the probe mast. Design concepts have been developed and examined through a number of dynamic performance analyses for typical operational scenarios to demonstrate feasibility. The most promising concept is a flexible"torque wrench"type component, referred to as an"Overload Mitigation Unit"(OMU), which was down-selected for prototype development and testing in Phase II. Other concepts were also considered that include a composite refueling probe mast assembly to replace the current aluminum design, adding greater flexibility to the assembly. The combination of a composite probe mast with an OMU showed positive results and will also be considered in a more detailed analysis in the Phase II program.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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