Light Weight Collective Pitch Control Systems for Swashplateless Rotors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911W6-09-C-0046
Agency Tracking Number: A082-018-0680
Amount: $730,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
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
Business Contact
 Joseph Snyder
Title: Vice President
Phone: (216) 649-0399
Research Institution
Orbital Research proposes to design, optimize and demonstrate a light-weight swashplateless helicopter rotor collective control system. Swashplateless rotors are desirable for reasons including increased rotorcraft top speed, reduced vibration, reduced vehicle mass, and reduced rotorhead maintenance. Swashplateless rotor systems utilize on-blade controls (OBC) or individual blade controls (IBC) to adjust the lift created by each rotor blade. However, a limitation of OBC and IBC is that utilizing the OBC/IBC lift authority for collective blade control diminishes the range available for cyclic blade control. Collective control systems that primarily adjust the root blade incidence angle gives increased lift without reducing the authority of the OBC/IBC. To provide reduced complexity and weight, Orbital Research will utilize all-electric, redundant, zero-backlash actuators to drive a single mechanism capable of increasing the root blade incidence. Because the actuators consist of DC motors and a low-volume, high-gear-ratio transmission, the proposed actuators will be extremely reliable. If an actuator fails, the transmission is individually disconnectable, allowing for redundancy to be incorporated into the swashplateless rotor design. Hence, the rotorcraft can maintain normal flight with 2 actuator failures. The resulting design, while aimed at manned single rotor helicopters, will be scalable to a range of rotorcraft including UAVs.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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