A Reactive Controller for Harvesting Gust Energy (RECHARGE) for Small UAS

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-10-C-0407
Agency Tracking Number: N09A-025-0019
Amount: $730,430.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: N09-T025
Solicitation Number: 2009.A
Small Business Information
Area I, Inc
349 Spring Hill Dr., Canton, GA, 30115-
DUNS: 829299747
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Nicholas Alley
 President
 (404) 983-1002
 nalley@areaiinc.com
Business Contact
 Hilary Beeston
Title: Chief Financial Officier
Phone: (770) 789-8776
Email: hbeeston@areaiinc.com
Research Institution
 Pennsylvania State University
 Jacob W Langelaan
 2540 Dole Street
Hall 402
Honolulu, HI, 96822-
 (814) 863-6817
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
Area-I, Inc. and Penn State will continue the development and testing of our Reactive Controller for Harvesting Gust Energy (RECHARGE) for small UAS. The Phase I implementation has already undergone high-fidelity simulation-based testing. These tests demonstrated that the system can increase the range, endurance, and survivability of currently manufactured UAS. The RECHARGE system incorporates an innovative real-time technique for estimating local airmass motion, a multi-objective guidance strategy, and a state-of-the-art adaptive control architecture to enhance small UAS range, endurance, and survivability, even in extremely gusty conditions. Core features include: 1) Real-time, on-board, local airmass motion estimation, 2) Waypoint following to enable intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) or other primary missions, 3) Gust energy extraction to increase range and endurance, 4) Gust load alleviation for enhanced survivability in volatile atmospheric conditions, 5) Adaptive flight control that provides guaranteed Lyapunov stability, even with changes to vehicle dynamics or operations in highly uncertain environments, and 6) Ease of portability to different vehicle types. Phase I results yielded positive and often substantial improvements over conventional control systems. The RECHARGE system was also shown to be highly-portable, as simulation-based testing was performed on highly disparate UAS with successful results.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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