NASA SBIR 2002 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02-II A5.02-8195 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023804 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Reusable Launch Vehicle Airframe Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Design Sensitivities of Response/Fatigue Life of Panels to Thermo-Acoustic Loads

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Zona Technology, Inc.
7430 E. Stetson Drive, Suite 205
Scottsdale , AZ   85251 - 3540
(480 ) 945 - 9988

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Jennifer Scherr
7430 E. Stetson Drive, Suite 205
Scottsdale , AZ   85251 - 3540
(480 ) 945 - 9988

Among the critical components of the next generation launch technology (NGLT) is the design of panels and ?integrated panel systems? (panel + support + thermal protection system). Such an effort can be built upon ELSTEP/FAT, an existing ZONA software providing accurate predictions of the response and fatigue life of panels subjected to severe acoustic loads and thermal effects. The work carried out successfully during the Phase I led to the formulation and proof-of-concept validation of an estimation strategy of the sensitivities of a panel to changes in its geometric and/or material properties. Accordingly, the first focus of the proposed Phase II effort will be on the generalization of the approach to account for changes in all aspects of the 2 or 3-dimensional panel geometry and on the various material properties involved (Young?s modulus, ply angles and thickness, ...). Panels are not independent structures but are part of more complex systems, e.g. panel + support + TPS, and an accurate estimate of the response/life of the panels must include the interaction with these other components. Accordingly, the predictive and sensitivity capabilities of ELSTEP/FAT must be extended and validated for such integrated systems. Computational aspects will also be re-visited to maintain the efficiency of ELSTEP/FAT.

The proposed design-oriented software (ELSTEP/FAT) will become the only available tool for the prediction of the response, fatigue life, and their design sensitivities of panels subjected to thermo-acoustic loads. Additionally, it will include the capability to model the integrated panel system (panel + support thermal protection system) and thus will help in the transition from component design to system design. With its strong focus on fatigue, ELSTEP/FAT will cover two separate markets (panels and fatigue) thereby increasing its distribution potential. ZONA can market ELSTEP/FAT through agreement with MSC Software (seamlessly integrated) or as a standalone package loosely integrated with several nonlinear finite element packages. It can be adopted by structural engineers for a wide class of aerospace vehicles ranging from JSF, UAV/UCAV, supersonic transports, reusable launch vehicles, RLV/TAV and other new hypersonic aerospace vehicles. It will be an ideal design tool for the current NASA projects under its space initiative and, with its sensitivity analysis, will also naturally support the NASA multidisciplinary optimization efforts. Other than NASA, potential customers include R&D and design arms of DoD Government and private industry such as ZONA?s ZAERO software users in the structures community. With ZONA?s user/customer network, the marketing of ELSTEP/FAT is relatively straightforward with or without MSC Software.

The ELSTEP/FAT software will occupy a unique niche as there is currently no software to predict the response/fatigue life of panels subjected to thermo-acoustic loads nor to evaluate the response/life design sensitivities. It will play an important role in the design of many flight vehicles including supersonic transports, reusable launch vehicles, RLV/TAV and other projects of NASA?s space initiative that experience severe thermal, acoustic, or both types of excitations. The inclusion of the TPS modeling and of its interaction with the panel will provide a common platform for the development of these components and will help to transition from component design to system design. Further, the reduced-order modeling of ELSTEP/FAT will lead to expedient sensitivity computations. Thus, ELSTEP/FAT will also naturally support NASA?s multidisciplinary optimization efforts.

Form Printed on 10-03-03 11:34