NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: A1.04-9235 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 012764 )
A High-Efficiency Actuator for Aircraft Deicing

The proposed innovation is an efficient deicing system for aircraft leading
edges using polycrystalline piezo-electric-based active-fiber composites.
NASA and the entire aircraft industry need this technology to improve the
safety of aircraft operations under icing conditions while minimizing the
impact of ice removal on aircraft weight and fuel consumption. We propose
to use a composite structure consisting of a polymer matrix embedded with
piezoelectric fibers, driven by a highly efficient electronic controller.
Polycrystalline actuators can achieve substantial strain levels (that are
high enough) to break the ice, which are then carried away in the slip
stream. The controller actuates the composite to break ice films, then
recovers the unused actuation energy for very low net power consumption.
In Phase I, we will demonstrate the feasibility of using the actuator to
prevent ice buildup on aircraft leading edge surfaces by fabricating a
model deicing system, evaluating performance in a sophisticated icing
tunnel which simulates in-flight icing conditions, and designing a
prototype system for demonstration in Phase II.

This deicing system can be applied to a broad range of commercial and
military aircraft. It has the potential to drastically reduce power
requirements and can improve small aircraft deicing systems in particular,
since hot gases from turbines are not available. The system can easily be
retrofit to existing aircraft and can be applied to non-aircraft
applications, such as shipboard surfaces where ice buildup must also be

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Bruce R. Pilvelait
Creare Inc.
Etna Rd., P.O. Box 71
Hanover , NH   03755 - 0071

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Creare Inc.
Etna Rd., P.O. Box 71
Hanover , NH   03755 - 0071

Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44