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Electric Scalable Aerial Transport (eSCAT)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8649-21-P-0182
Agency Tracking Number: FX20D-TCSO1-0178
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AFX20D-TCSO1
Solicitation Number: X20.D
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-02-10
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-08-10
Small Business Information
1919 North Ashe Ct.
Auburn, AL 36830-1111
United States
DUNS: 078301615
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Vivek Ahuja
 (334) 332-6078
Business Contact
 Roy Hartfield
Phone: (334) 444-8523
Research Institution
 Auburn University
 Imon Chakraborty
211 Davis Hall
Auburn, AL 36849-2280
United States

 (404) 395-1694
 Nonprofit College or University

A combined industry-academia team of Research in Flight, Flugauto and Auburn University propose the development of Electric, Scalable, Agile Aerial Transport (e-SCAT) specifically designed to meet the requirements of Disaster Response and Military Combat Support Missions. The key offering of this design concept is multi-mission scalability, ruggedness and agility, with an emphasis on the ability to operate in challenging conditions and harsh environments, perform vertical take-off and landing for unrestricted access and have a low cost, offering benefits of aerial transport at cost of road transport. The e-SCAT design involves a rugged, tandem wing design that allows operation in tough conditions and is easy to maintain. Modular design enables rapid & cost-efficient maintenance and upgrades as well as versatile missile customization. The e-SCAT integrated cargo area allows spacious volume and protection of cargo while the adjustable loading options (rear, top or belly) allow easy access and disembarking for personnel and cargo, depending on mission modes. In the initial feasibility study, the team will leverage their in-house, state-of-the-art, NASA-funded design software tools to produce a physical sub-scale prototype. The design tools will be reverse-calibrated with feedback from the sub-scale flying prototype. Auburn University flight simulation facilities will then be used to perform piloted-simulations and generate data for scaling the unmanned prototype design in the next phase of the activity to prepare for human transport missions. Initial studies will be performed early in the second phase of work to determine manufacture and production requirements in the event of limited-series production kick-off. The e-SCAT concept proposed here will be used to satisfy the mission requirements of the Air Force PEO Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Special Operations Forces (PEO/SOF) in the initial Phase I and II activities. The operational characteristics of the e-SCAT are uniquely aligned with transporting and supporting CSAR & SOF teams. Strategically, the scalable nature of the proposed e-SCAT allows for mission profiles also aligned with the lower tier capabilities of the Air Force PEO Mobility and Training Aircraft. There are significant and unique commercialization avenues and revenue streams associated with such a concept in both the military and civilian markets. The drone logistics and transportation market are a fast-growing industry estimated at $11.2bn in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 29.1bn by 2027, at a CAGR of 21% from 2022 to 2027. Flugauto and Research in Flight will partner with investors to scale the production facilities and offer products & services to government disaster response agencies. Research in Flight will also commercialize the design tools developed in this activity as part of its global commercial aerospace design simulation software offerings.

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

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