Light Weight Collective Pitch Control Systems for Swashplateless Rotors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911W6-09-C-0008
Agency Tracking Number: A082-018-0680
Amount: $120,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: A08-018
Solicitation Number: 2008.2
Small Business Information
ORBITAL RESEARCH, INC.
4415 Euclid Avenue, Suite 500, Cleveland, OH, 44103
DUNS: 557510336
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Birch
 Sr. Mechanical Engineer
 (216) 649-0399
 birch@orbitalresearch.com
Business Contact
 Joseph Snyder
Title: Vice President
Phone: (216) 649-0399
Email: snyder@orbitalresearch.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Orbital Research Inc proposes to design and optimize a light-weight swashplateless helicopter rotor collective control system. One enabling technology for swashplateless rotors utilizes on-blade controls to control the lift created by each rotor blade. However, a limitation of on-blade controls is that utilizing the individual blade lift authority for collective blade control diminishes the range available for cyclic blade control. A collective control system that primarily adjusts the root blade incidence angle gives increased lift without reducing the authority of the on-blade controls. To provide reduced complexity and weight Orbital Research proposes utilizing all-electric redundant harmonic drive actuators to drive a single mechanism capable of increasing the root blade incidence while maintaining integrated pathways for access to on-blade control mechanisms. Benefits of the harmonic drive actuators include: 1) No backlash, 2) high torque, and 3) simplicity. Because the harmonic drive actuators consist of DC motors and a low-volume, high-gear-ratio harmonic transmission, they are extremely reliable. This will result in a design with low mass, compact geometry, reduced complexity, easy maintenance and ballistic damage resistance.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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