Hypersonic Propulsion: Improvements in Controls and Instrumentation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-12-M-2207
Agency Tracking Number: F112-182-0408
Amount: $149,988.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: AF112-182
Solicitation Number: 2011.2
Small Business Information
8000 Madison Blvd, STE D-102/303, Madison, AL, -
DUNS: 964327097
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Maciej Pindera
 Staff Scientist
 (256) 468-6458
Business Contact
 Maciej Pindera
Title: Staff Scientist/Managing Partner
Phone: (256) 468-6458
Email: mzp@dynsan.com
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: The project objective is to develop an integrated controller for optimizing operations of dual-mode scramjet combustors. The controller is intended to help prevent isolator unstart, maintain efficient flameholder cavity operations, and manage the overall thermal balance. Proposed research will consist of a blend of software-based virtual prototyping and laboratory based controller performance tests. Virtual prototyping will be performed using an advanced simulation environment that will allow full accounting of the sensor-controller-actuator-combustor dynamics, in an active flow control loop. Laboratory tests will be performed under a subcontract and will be performed in both Phases of this project. Phase I prototyping will develop and test a novel Model-Free Direct (feedback) Control strategy for all three tasks. Preliminary tests will be performed using software-in-the loop simulations. Combustor operation will be modeled using a CFD code. Laboratory experiment-in-the-loop tests will be performed to evaluate the controller under real flow conditions. Software version of the controller will adjust in real time actuators in an experimental flow loop, to produce specified flow conditions in the test section. Phase II work will oversee the controller refinement, implementation into hardware, and further laboratory testing. Phase III commercialization will seek to exploit the natural dual-use applicability of the developed hardware. BENEFIT: In addition to military use, the generality of the controller design will be suitable for multi-use applications. Immediate use relates to reaction zone stabilization, prevention of isolator unstart and thermal control and management in scramjet combustors. The numerical environment used in this research has substantial commercial potential in aviation industry where these tools will be directly applicable. Hardware implementation of the controller system will allow direct interfacing with actual combustor systems, and hence their use on control of engine hardware. It will also benefit area where distributed flow control is of interest including: aerospace (L/D and maneuverability optimization), maritime (wake signature minimization), and automotive (combustion efficiency maximization). Controller hardware will be interfaceable with personal computers using low-cost PCI boards. Such an interface will allow very efficient virtual prototyping of complete plant-controller system dynamics.

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

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