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Air Vehicle Gust Response analysis for Conceptual Design

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC19C0538
Agency Tracking Number: 192965
Amount: $124,998.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T15
Solicitation Number: STTR_19_P1
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-09-18
Small Business Information
1919 North Ashe Court
Auburn, AL 36830-0000
United States
DUNS: 078301615
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Imon Chakraborty
 (404) 395-1694
Business Contact
 Roy Hartfield
Phone: (334) 444-8523
Research Institution
 Auburn University
141 Engineering Drive
Auburn, AL 36849-5338
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Research in Flight (RIF) and Auburn University are offering the development of an advanced, robust tool and methodology that allows the simulation and modeling of gust and wake vortex encounters for Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) enabled Urban Air Mobility (UAM) vehicle concepts. DEP enabled UAM concepts offer the potential for large performance improvements by exploiting favorable synergies between aerodynamics and propulsion through the strategic placement of distributed propulsors. However, on account of their concept of operations, gusts and wake vortex encounters are particular concerns, and may have undesirable impacts on ride quality and structural loads. The new tools developed in this project will enable the study of these encounters in much greater detail and with greater fidelity in the earlier phases of the vehicle design. This will allow potential shortcomings in vehicle designs to be identified earlier in the design cycle and, if necessary, mitigated using gust load alleviation technologies. In this effort, a novel vorticity-based flow solver developed by Research in Flight will be applied to the problem of analyzing gust and wake turbulence encounters for DEP-enabled UAM. This solver is well suited to this problem since it strikes the correct balance between modeling fidelity and computational tractability. It will be used to solve for the aero-propulsive loads on the vehicle as it flies through an atmosphere with spatially and/or temporally varying velocity fields. In the phased approach described in this proposal, successively more physical aspects relevant to the problem will be brought into the fold, such as considerations of flight control systems, gust load alleviation solutions, and the main effects arising from structural flexibility. The result will be the Gust Encounter and Loads (GEL) toolbox within FlightStream and a MATLAB/Simulink tool called the Control and Load Alleviation Simulation Platform (CLASP).

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

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