NASA STTR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 T2.02-9923
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Concepts for Flight Research
PROPOSAL TITLE: Nonlinear Aerodynamics-Structure Time Simulation for HALE Aircraft Design/Analysis
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC) RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI)
NAME:Zona Technology Inc NAME:Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
ADDRESS:7430 E. Stetson Drive, Suite 205 ADDRESS:460 Turner Street, Suite 306
CITY:Scottsdale CITY:Blacksburg
STATE/ZIP:AZ85251-3540 STATE/ZIP:VA24060-3325
PHONE:(480)945-9988 PHONE:(540)231-5281

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ping-Chih Chen
pc@zonatech.com



TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Time simulation of a nonlinear aerodynamics model (NA) developed at Virginia Tech coupled with a nonlinear structure model (NS) is proposed as a design/analysis methodology for highly flexible HALE/morphing aircraft. With this nonlinear aero-structure (NAS) approach, large structure deformations and static/dynamic aeroelastic responses of such flexible aircraft can be properly accounted for including all dominant linear/nonlinear effects. The vortex dynamics coupling and spline procedure in NAS render it an ideal tool for expedient time simulations. The proof-of-concept example demonstrates the validity of the NA model and its aeroelastic applicability to a HALE flying wing in an open and closed loop control environment. Pathfinder/Helios flying wing will be selected as the candidate NAS feasibility study case. Further, ZONA Technology will integrate this methodology into an user-friendly, open-architecture software with a highly modular format using the ZONA Database Management (ZDM) system. Phase I effort will focus on the NAS for wing-only configurations. Phase II will enlarge our scope to include modules in time-domain gust, NAS-aeroservoelasticity, and interfacing with commercialized nonlinear structural FEM, and to increase the geometric complexity for wing-body and realistic aircraft configurations. The ZONA team intends to work closely with NASA and AeroVironment throughout these phases.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
A truly nonlinear time-domain aeroelastic/aeroservoelastic tool for highly-flexible/morphing vehicles is still non-existent at NASA/Dryden. The proposed ZAERO-NAS software can perform expedient time simulation to account for large structure deformations and aeroelastic responses of actual HALE type aircraft. It is also an ideal diagnostic/analysis tool for the current NASA projects in Helios. ZAERO-NAS will support flight-tests to dramatically reduce the risk during flight of unexpected instabilities induced by dominant linear/nonlinear aeroelastic effects. The proposed software will be especially valuable during flight tests to the next-generation of HALE aircraft, future RevCon designs and to assist the health monitoring of flexible structures.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The proposed nonlinear aero-structure (NAS) will be integrated with ZAERO to enhance its technical capability and commercialization standing. This unique ZAERO-NAS software can be used for design/analysis of wide classes of aerospace vehicles ranging from HALE aircraft, Joint-wing aircraft, SensorCraft, UAV/Predator, Airship/CargoLifter (all with flexible structures large-scale design) to morphing aircraft. Potential customers include the R&D/Research arms of DoD, Government and private aerospace industry, as well as the ZONA software/ZAERO users. With ZONA's user/customer network, marketing ZAERO-NAS should be relatively easy. ZAERO-NAS also has its market place in civil and auto industries for the designs of bridges/ buildings and cars.