Morphing Control Surface for Improved Efficiency and Maneuverability

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX09CF06P
Agency Tracking Number: 084928
Amount: $99,961.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: A2.05
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
11750 Beltsville Drive, Suite 300, Beltsville, MD, 20705-3194
DUNS: 061997029
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kothera Curt
 Principal Investigator
 (240) 790-0600
Business Contact
 Amy Hizoune
Title: Business Official
Phone: (240) 790-0609
Research Institution
The current technology push in advanced aerospace flight systems is to replicate certain features seen in nature. Morphing aircraft, particularly unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), have thus received considerable attention in this respect. Aside from safety and aerodynamic efficiency, a single morphing UAV platform could possess the ability to carry out multiple mission objectives. Nearly all forms of conformal morphing vehicles have since been investigated, including twist, camber, span, and sweep, where simulation results showed the potential performance benefits that could be achieved. It was not until recently that material and actuator technology had reached a point of development that allowed viable prototypes to be fabricated and tested, however. Having successfully researched, designed, and evaluated supporting technologies, Techno-Sciences, Inc. proposes to develop an innovative morphing control surface system that is capable of in-plane (span extension) reconfiguration, sized and scaled for a candidate subsonic fixed-wing UAV platform. This morphing system will make use of high performance, light weight actuators to articulate the shape change, a morphing core to provide structural support, and a flexible skin as a viable aerodynamic surface layer. All components are custom-made in-house from COTS elements and have patents pending. The proposed research plan will work to design the morphing system to fit inside the volumetric constraints of the host vehicle with the goal of increasing efficiency and maneuverability. The Phase I program will end with prototype evaluations of a morphing wing section under representative loading. Successful demonstration here will lead to integration with the UAV and a flight test in Phase II.

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

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