You are here

Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Framework for DEP Aircraft Including Flight Controls

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC21C0396
Agency Tracking Number: 211814
Amount: $124,984.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: A1
Solicitation Number: SBIR_21_P1
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-05-16
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-11-19
Small Business Information
34 Lexington Avenue
Ewing, NJ 08618-2302
United States
DUNS: 096857313
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Abhinav Sharma
 (609) 538-0444
Business Contact
 Melissa Kinney
Phone: (609) 538-0444
Research Institution

There has been a recent upsurge in the development of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) and electric short take-off and landing (eSTOL) aircraft for Urban Air Mobility (UAM) applications. These vehicles center on the use of Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) and offer several benefits in terms of faster, safer, quieter, more efficient and environmentally friendly transportation of passengers and goods. These vehicles are nonetheless complex to design, due, amongst others to the greater number of control effectors present relative to traditional fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. In addition to conventional control surfaces, each propeller can act as a control effector that influences aircraft dynamic behavior. Control effector actuation stems from flight control laws that are developed after the aircraft design has been finalized. As such, flight control laws are not currently accounted for in the aircraft design process. Inclusion of flight controls within multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) of DEP aircraft can result in more efficient and novel designs. The proposed effort aims to develop a modular MDO software framework for DEP aircraft design that will couple flight controls together with key disciplines such as aerodynamics and structures to meet this need. Resulting designs will leverage the inclusion of open- and closed-loop flight control parameters in the optimization to tailor aircraft sizing and performance. A prototype framework will be developed to demonstrate proof of concept in Phase I. An application case study using notional DEP aircraft configuration as baseline will be performed to demonstrate tool viability and assess efficiency.

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

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government