NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 A2.09-8904
PROPOSAL TITLE: ROBUST (Rotorcraft Blade Universal Shape Transformation) System for Controlled Aerodynamic Warping

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Materials Technologies Corporation
57 Maryanne Drive
Monroe, CT 06468 - 3209
(203) 874-3100

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Yogesh Mehrotra Materials Technologies Corp
57 Maryannne Drive
Monroe, CT 06468 - 3209
(203) 874-3100

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In rotorcraft flight dynamics, optimized warping camber/twist change is a potentially enabling technology for improved overall rotorcraft performance. Recent research efforts have led to the application of active materials for rotorcraft blade actuation to dynamically change the blade camber/twist. However, full-scale aircraft application of these systems in demanding rotor blade environments gets significantly degraded by dynamic operational factors including friction, free play, and, aerodynamic and inertial loads. In a radical departure from current techniques, MTC proposes an innovative three-dimensional concept wherein typically closed section blade is cut open to create a torsionally compliant mechanism that acts as its own amplification device; blade deformation is dynamically driven by out-of-plane warping. During Phase I, this concept will be analyzed under dynamic operational factors. Required analytical and finite element tools will be developed within the framework of multibody dynamics that enable comprehensive aeroelastic evaluation of the concept. Feasibility of the concept for (i) swashplateless rotor system and (ii) higher harmonic control will be investigated and first-order actuator and blade cross-sectional design requirements will be established. Applications include both rotorcraft and fixed wing aircraft in the government and commercial sectors.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
3D warping has potential application to all vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Fixed blade twist is a design compromise between forward flight and hover performance thus limiting the overall aircraft efficiency. The technology proposed here will be a suitable candidate for NASA wind tunnel testing to quantify the degree of improvement offered by both quasi-steady and 1-per-rev twist (swashplateless rotor).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Applications of 3D warping include both civilian and military VTOL aircraft. 3D warping can reduce the empty weight of helicopters and tiltrotors by lessening the weight dedicated to vibration suppression. For example, on the UH-60M, the weight of the current vibration systems is about 270 lbs. On the MH-60S the vibration control weight is about 400 lbs. Similar weight savings will likely be accrued for tiltrotors including the heavy lift tiltrotor being pursued by the Army and NASA Ames. The 3D warping concept can significantly reduce these values thus allowing more payload and/or flight range. Additionally, to the extent that variable blade twist can improve rotor L/De, the warping concept will result in further improvements in payload / flight range.

Our warping concept will have application in the Worldwide Wind Turbine industry for power generation. An effective camber/twist change is needed to benefit most from the dynamic airflow through wind turbines. The potential for this rapidly growing "green" power generation industry is enormous.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Computational Materials
Controls-Structures Interaction (CSI)
Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Structural Modeling and Tools

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56