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Design of Low Reynolds Number Rotors for UAS Applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911W6-20-C-0039
Agency Tracking Number: A2-8064
Amount: $507,414.43
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N152-100
Solicitation Number: 15.2
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-03-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-09-01
Small Business Information
6210 Kellers Church Road
Pipersville, PA 18947-1020
United States
DUNS: 929950012
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Vineet Ahuja
 (215) 766-1520
Business Contact
 Neeraj Sinha
Phone: (215) 766-1520
Research Institution

Over the past few years, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have evolved considerably and come to play an integral role in Department of Defense operations, seen by many as a transformational force multiplier providing reliable support in the execution of core Combatant Command (COCOM) missions in hostile environments. A large number of the designs revolve around multirotor configurations with Vertical Take-Off Landing (VTOL) capabilities providing a high degree of redundancy and reliability. However, the design of rotor blades used in these UAS/UAV drone configurations has, till recently, not received much attention and often comprise of simple airfoil shapes and planforms and are plagued by poor performance. The design of these rotors present challenges given that they operate in laminar and transitional low-Reynolds number flight regimes. In the proposed Phase II program, we aim to enhance our understanding by experimentally investigating transition and the development of laminar separation bubble in sectional airfoil designs; validating our analysis and design tools to reliably predict such phenomena and their deleterious effects on performance; optimize airfoil sections providing better lift-to-drag ratios in these regimes of low Reynolds numbers and consequently utilizing these airfoil shapes in propeller designs through optimal planform designs; analyzing and understanding the additional aerodynamic effects of propeller-propeller and propeller-fuselage interactions and altering the design of the airframe to minimize interactional systemic losses, evaluate vehicle performance including the noise from such propeller systems and finally provide a machine-learning interface that can be used to design propellers in the field based on mission requirements.

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

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