Energy-Deposition to Reduce Skin Friction in Supersonic Applications

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX13CL27P
Agency Tracking Number: 125076
Amount: $124,991.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: A3.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1665 E. 18th Street Suite 112, Tucson, AZ, 85719-6808
DUNS: 058268652
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Nathan Tichenor
 Director of Aerospace Sciences
 (979) 862-1795
 ntichenor@physics-math.com
Business Contact
 Margaret Chiang
Title: Director of Advanced Programs
Phone: (310) 261-2075
Email: margaret.chiang@physics-math.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
NASA has drawn attention to an impending need to improve energy-efficiency in low supersonic (M<~3) platforms. Aerodynamic efficiency is the foundation of energy-efficient flight in any regime, and low drag is one of the fundamental characteristics of aerodynamic efficiency. For supersonic aircraft, drag can be broadly decomposed into four components: viscous or skin friction drag, lift-induced drag, wave or compressibility drag, and excrescence drag. The relative impact of these four drag forces depends upon vehicle-specific characteristics and design. However, viscous skin friction drag stands out as particularly significant across most classes of flight vehicles. Therefore, effective techniques to reduce skin friction drag on a vehicle will have a major and far-reaching impact on flight efficiency for low supersonic aircraft. In an effort to address the need for increased aerodynamic efficiency of low supersonic vehicles, PM & AM Research, in collaboration with Texas A & M University, propose to demonstrate the feasibility of depositing energy using basic, well-demonstrated techniques along the surface in supersonic flow to control/compress/forcibly-move the boundary layer fluid by creating a low-density "bubble-like" region, thereby reducing the viscous skin friction. If successful, this solution will reduce the drag experienced by a low supersonic platform, allowing vehicles to exhibit increased aerodynamic efficiency.

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

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