Distributed Flight Controls for UAVs

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NND06AA02C
Agency Tracking Number: 041174
Amount: $599,927.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: A2.07
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
34 Lexington Avenue, Ewing, NJ, 08618-2302
DUNS: 096854313
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert McKillip
 Principal Investigator
 (609) 538-0444
 bob@continuum-dynamics.com
Business Contact
 Barbara Agans
Title: Business Official
Phone: (609) 538-0444
Email: barbara@continuum-dynamics.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Two novel flight control actuation concepts for UAV applications are proposed for prototype development, both of which incorporate shape memory alloy (SMA) wires as prime movers. These actuators promise considerable savings in weight, power, and volume over existing electomechanical and hydraulic systems. Incorporation of these actuators within lifting surface structure, or as trailing edge control devices, would greatly simplify the actuation systems of these aircraft, thereby permitting greater payload fraction, increased range, enhanced robustness, and/or smaller vehicle size, and thus reduce both operational and fixed system costs. Choice between the two actuation concepts for a particular installation represents a tradeoff in actuation system bandwidth and power availability, and thus the same vehicle may include both systems depending upon the particular functional requirements. These actuators represent a derivative technology from a previous Army SBIR Phase I/II effort directed at providing in-flight helicopter blade tracking using actively controlled trailing edge tabs, and thus have been designed to have low mass and low power requirements from their inception. Since they lack any physical hinge joints, they may be embedded directly within aircraft lifting surfaces, eliminating interference drag associated with control deflection.

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

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