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Low-Stored-Volume Wings for a Very High Altitude Aircraft

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31P4Q-09-C-0061
Agency Tracking Number: 07SB2-0612
Amount: $719,232.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: SB072-042
Solicitation Number: 2007.2
Solicitation Year: 2007
Award Year: 2009
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2009-02-26
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2010-06-30
Small Business Information
20590 Cereal Street, Suite 100 P. O. Box 117
Lake Elsinore, CA 92531
United States
DUNS: 184758894
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Glen Brown
 Chief Engineer
 (831) 425-5147
Business Contact
 James McCusker
Title: Director, Contracts & Pro
Phone: (951) 674-0604
Research Institution

DARPA’s Rapid Eye program requires a large wing capable of deployment from a small stowed volume while at high altitude. Once deployed this wing must have extremely high aerodynamic efficiency. Out Phase I technical approach was based on an inflatable structure and a high tension membrane surface. We were able to prove feasibility of the structure by analysis with validation by similarity to numerous large inflatable structures using proprietary AirBeam technology. Aerodynamic efficiency was verified by wind tunnel testing of membrane wing models. The values of rib spacing and membrane tension were shown to be critical for aerodynamic performance. The proposed Phase II research addresses the next most critical technical challenge: in-flight wing deployment. We will use a subscale inflatable wing to develop packing and deployment methodology that leads to reliable, controlled, repeatable wing deployment from a relevant annular stowed volume to a fully deployed, structurally and aerodynamically complete wing. The test articles will include all relevant deployed elements, inkling cable bracing, control surfaces and actuation means. All tests in this phase will be ground-based. The objective of this research is to provide a reduced-risk basis for in-flight deployment of a full scale wing in the next phase of development.

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

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