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Recovery Methods for Unmanned Hypersonic Test Vehicles

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9302-16-M-0001
Agency Tracking Number: F151-180-1757
Amount: $149,770.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF151-180
Solicitation Number: 2015.1
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-01-13
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-10-13
Small Business Information
3 Scott Lane
Manorville, NY 11949
United States
DUNS: 804033277
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Randall T Voland
 (757) 218-5561
Business Contact
 Anthony G Castrogiovanni
Phone: (631) 801-2616
Research Institution

ABSTRACT:ACENT Laboratories LLC has a strong history in the area of hypersonic flight testing and understands that recovery of flight test vehicles and/or physical data memory for post-test inspection and analysis, are increasingly important for future hypersonic technology and vehicle development efforts.ACENT will build on our flight test legacy and synergistic work ongoing in a Phase II Air Force SBIR on Low Cost Hypersonic Flight Test Technology to develop innovative approaches for several categories of new and/or modified vehicle, experiment, and component/data recovery systems for hypersonic flight vehicles. Develop a concept of operations and the mission requirements for each recovery category. Identify candidate recovery concepts and perform an analysis of alternatives for each recovery category. Size at least one concept in each category to develop an understanding of how the system would integrate with a candidate vehicle in each recovery category. Develop a program plan for Phase II and beyond including analysis and testing to mature technology, validate models, reduce risk, and demonstrate capability.BENEFIT:Hypersonic weapon systems will open the door to many new capabilities for the warfighter.Applications include systems ranging from small tactical hypersonic missiles and larger high speed strike weapons to responsive space access systems and penetrating hypersonic intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft. Due to limitations in replicating hypersonic test conditions on the ground, wind tunnel data are augmented with flight tests to calibrate current computer models and provide data for developing improved physics based models used in hypersonic system design. While significant advances have been made in the last decade under Air Force and complementary DARPA, ONR and NASA efforts, a full spectrum of research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities is still required in a number of hypersonic disciplines to provide the full promise of these advanced capabilities.In most previous hypersonic flight programs, the flight test article was designed to be recovered after the flight test - only telemetry data was obtained - thus post flight inspections were not performed.If recovery had occurred, it could have provided valuable insights about the airframe and engine material/structural systems performance, scramjet engine operation, subsystem condition, and instrumentation requirements/optimal locations, as well as potentially providing advanced warning of potential system failures on subsequent flights.New methods to enable reliable and cost effective recovery and even reuse of hypersonic flight test articles would reduce risk, improve execution efficiency, and enhance vehicle design evolution. These recovery technologies would directly support DoD hypersonic technology maturation and demonstration, as well as T&E of weapon systems, and space vehicles by improved validation and verification of the system under test.

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

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