NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 A2.08-8438
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Aircraft Systems Analysis, Design and Optimization
PROPOSAL TITLE: Integrated Multidisciplinary Optimization Objects

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
M4 Engineering, Inc.
4020 Long Beach Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90807 - 2617
(562) 981-7797

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Katherine Alston
4020 Long Beach Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90807 - 2617
(562) 981-7797

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
During Phase I, M4 Engineering integrated a prototype system into OpenMDAO, a NASA GRC open-source framework. This prototype system was a proof-of-concept that M4 physics based modules could be integrated in OpenMDAO. The results generated in OpenMDAO compared well to the results generated in another framework, ModelCenter. Phase II will be a demonstration of enhanced system functionality with the integration of additional modules and design tools. The integrated objects will perform discipline-specific analysis across multiple flight regimes at varying levels of fidelity. The process will also deliver system-level, multi-objective optimization. Phase II will also showcase a refined system architecture that allows the system to be less customized to a specific configuration (i.e., system and configuration separation) as well as additional example problems. By delivering a capable and validated MDAO system along with a set of example applications to be used as a template for future users, this work will greatly expand NASA's high-fidelity, physics based MDAO capabilities and enable the design of revolutionary vehicles in a cost effective manner. This proposed work compliments M4 Engineering's expertise in developing modeling and simulation toolsets that solve relevant subsonic, supersonic, and hypersonic demonstration applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA GRC has a far-term goal of demonstrating OpenMDAO by September 2012. This Phase II proposal directly supports NASA's goals by integrating existing M4 Engineering discipline-specific and common object modules into OpenMDAO framework and giving users a baseline set of modules available for immediate use in constructing and solving MDAO problems. Disseminating NASA software is achieved when modules such as the propulsion module are integrated in OpenMDAO. The propulsion module is based on NPSS, which is NASA software. When the propulsion module is integrated, users automatically have access to NPSS. Other NASA codes that will be integrated as a result of this effort are ANOPP (Noise Module), FLOPS (Mission Module), and MaSCoT (S&C Module). These NASA codes were integrated in Gen1 framework and their integration in OpenMDAO will give users of OpenMDAO access to the same codes as users of Gen1, which will help make OpenMDAO more functional. This open-source framework with ready-to-use M4 components will help create an unbounded development platform that establishes commonality (Python language) without restrictions (open-source) and allows versatility as modules and design tools are available for use as required per configuration.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
M4 Engineering has discovered that developing the technology components and integrated MDAO processes such as those proposed in this Phase II has significant impact in our capturing related commercial work. Getting M4 modules into NASA's open-source framework increases the commercialization potential for those M4 modules and other associated M4 products. The applications developed in Phase II and transitioning to Phase III will not only serve as demonstrations of M4's capability, but will also provide exposure of the technology to the technical leadership of future development efforts, giving excellent chances of technology transition to these programs.

M4 Engineering will explore commercializing our technology by developing components that can be used as plug-ins to Phoenix Integration's ModelCenter framework. We would exploit Phoenix Integration's established customer base to showcase our products. M4 Engineering's GMAP application is the first component that would be enhanced to be a ModelCenter plug-in. This component is being used within the Integrated MDO Objects to handle geometry morphing and querying capabilities.

M4 Engineering participated in the NASA Glenn Infusion Assistance Program, which culminated in the June 2009 NAVY Opportunity Forum (NOF) / NASA Showcase (NS). Through this program, M4 Engineering learned about Phase III funding mechanisms and Phase III transition strategies.

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.

Aircraft Engines
Controls-Structures Interaction (CSI)
Database Development and Interfacing
Launch and Flight Vehicle
Simulation Modeling Environment
Software Development Environments
Software Tools for Distributed Analysis and Simulation
Structural Modeling and Tools
Thermal Insulating Materials

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26