Autonomous UAV Aerodynamic Performance Analysis for the Near-Ship Environment

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Combustion Research and Flow Technology,
6210 Kellers Church Road, Pipersville, PA, -
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Jeremy Shipman
Research Scientist
(215) 766-1520
Business Contact:
Brian York
Treasurer and Principal S
(215) 766-1520
Research Institution:
The Pennsylvania State University
Joseph Horn
233H Hammond Building
Dept of Aerospace Engineering
University Park, PA, 16802-
(814) 865-6434
Nonprofit college or university
The overall goal of this STTR program is to develop an efficient, high-fidelity, CFD-based design tool for the simulation of ship-board flight testing of autonomous UAV systems. In the first phase of this program, an overall flight simulation framework that employs a modular approach to the flight simulation problem was developed. Phase II of the program demonstrated a fully coupled aircraft/ship simulation employing the General Helicopter Flight Dynamics Simulation (GENHEL) model to represent an H-60 rotorcraft for a restricted landing approach. The Phase II option focuses on adding the capability to move the rotorcraft relative to the ship in an efficient manner while maintaining full fidelity physics models. The proposed follow-on Phase II.5 effort will apply the fully functional tool to a specific VTUAV such as Fire Scout, perform a virtual dynamic interface analysis for an FFG class ship, and compare the results to flight test data. A proposed option effort for the Phase II.5 will focus on application to a UAV in the design stage with the goal of reducing risk and potentially influencing the approach to flight testing. The application of the simulation tools developed in this program has the potential to both reduce risk and acquisition costs for new UAV systems. Risk reduction can be achieved by using the simulation tool early in the design stages of a UAV system development process to ensure any dynamic interface issues are understood and mitigated, and that any impacts of these issues are planned for during flight testing. Acquisition costs can be reduced through insertion of the simulation results in the flight test planning process, potentially reducing the number of required live article test points. The proposal team consists of CRAFT Tech and The Pennsylvania State University.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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