Development of a Plasma Injector for Supersonic Drag Reduction

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX13CL26P
Agency Tracking Number: 125530
Amount: $124,973.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: A3.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
WA, Seattle, WA, 98119-4205
DUNS: 625349639
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Angus Macnab
 Research Scientist
 (206) 402-5241
Business Contact
 Timothy Ziemba
Title: Business Official
Phone: (206) 650-6469
Research Institution
Methods to reduce the turbulent viscous skin friction stand out as paramount to increasing the energy efficiency, and therefore the aerodynamic efficiency of supersonic aircraft. Eagle Harbor Technology (EHT) proposes to develop and optimize a MHD plasma injector, which will be used to efficiently reduce the viscous skin friction in supersonic aircraft. EHT has developed similar MHD plasma injection technologies, which have been applied to a number of different fusion energy science, aerospace thruster, and basic research investigations. Here, we aim to computationally investigate and verify the dominant physical mechanisms for MHD plasma drag reduction; develop a proof of concept plasma injector demo, which conforms to necessary power and efficiency requirements for an onboard flight-relevant system; and use insights gained through our computational investigations to optimize the performance of our MHD plasma injector for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. This investigation will focus on flight-relevant Reynolds and magnetic Reynolds numbers at low supersonic (M<~3) speeds. Phase II research will couple the plasma injector to a scale model airframe for detailed in-situ supersonic wind tunnel testing. The phase II research will produce a fully realized working plasma injector prototype that conform to power requirements of an on-board power system.

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

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