Embedded Wire for Aircraft Applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-10-M-3029
Agency Tracking Number: F093-006-2003
Amount: $99,801.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: AF093-006
Solicitation Number: 2009.3
Small Business Information
Minnesota Wire & Cable Co.
1835 Energy Park Drive, Saint Paul, MN, 55108
DUNS: 023797335
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Tom Kukowski
 R&D Manager
 (651) 659-6763
 tkukowski@mnwire.com
Business Contact
 Tom Ashenbrenner
Title: Manager, Military Applications
Phone: (651) 659-6760
Email: TAshenbrenner@mnwire.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The state of wiring in aging aircraft has been an increasing concern in recent years. Wire deteriorates with age and environmental conditions, particularly inflight vibration, which causes wires chafing. Wire failures can result in aircraft downtime, higher maintenance costs, mission failure, and even an aircraft crash. Composite materials may present a unique solution to the aging wire problem. Embedding wires in composite structure during manufacture has significant potential to reduce cost, weight, improve reliability, and most significantly, increase safety. It will also prevent exposure to extreme heat and cold temperature swings, humidity, salt damage associated with marine environments, contamination by aircraft fluids as well as in-flight vibration causing chafing of wires rubbing against other wires or the structure of the aircraft. This project aims to determine the feasibility of embedding wires in composite materials. Specifically, our technical objectives are: to review the wire requirements of aircraft in service with the U.S. Air Force; investigate the impact of embedding wire on structural integrity of composite materials; investigate novel mechanisms for forming stable electrical connections to embedded wires; and review test results and Air Force Requirements to assess the suitability of embedded wires for use in aircraft. BENEFIT: Anticipated Benefits of the research have both military and commercial applications. Military applications involve future vehicles featuring unitized composite structure such as:intelligence, transport aircraft, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, and unmanned air systems. Commercial Applications involve commercial transportation systems that use composite structures such as buses, aircraft, trucks, ships, and automobiles.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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