NASA SBIR 2018-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 18-2- A1.06-8332
 Vertical Lift Technology and Urban Air Mobility
 Validation of UAM Dynamics Modeling Tool Suite Using Scaled Modular Aerial Research Testbed
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Empirical Systems Aerospace, Inc.
3580 Sueldo Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 275-1053

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nick Brake
P.O. Box 595
Pismo Beach, CA 93448 - 9665
(805) 275-1053

BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Andrew Gibson
3580 Sueldo St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 - 7338
(805) 704-1865

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 2
End: 6
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

In Phase I, a comprehensive tool suite for the quantitative assessment of UAM aircraft ride qualities

with respect to passenger comfort. As a result of this effort the validation of the tool suite was

attempted however due to the lack of publicly available validation datasets for the dynamic handling

qualities of UAM aircraft this effort proved difficult. The proposed Phase II work will attempt to

comprehensively address this gap in knowledge through the construction of a Scaled Modular Aerial

Research Testbed. The main design of the SMART vehicle will be to allow for installation of a

modular vertical lift system with modules representing common UAM aircraft configurations. The

vehicle will be outfitted with provisions for scaling of the aerodynamic and mass properties intended to

allow for the matching of the sub-scale vehicle’s dynamics to larger full-scale dynamics. A series of

ground tests will be conducted to document the ‘as-built’ configuring, measurements will include key

geometric and structural properties as well as mass properties. The SMART vehicle will be flown

indoors through a series of flights including a tethered ‘jerk’ flight test intended to represent an external

impulse gust disturbance. The use of the SIDPAC tool suite will be used to design flight test cards as

well as post-processing flight data to validate the 6DoF dynamics tool suite produced from the Phase I

efforts. The as-built vehicle characteristics and flight test data of three different UAM configurations

will be provided to NASA at the end of the effort enabling validation of UAM and rotorcraft dynamics

tool suites.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Potential NASA commercial applications for the validated PANTHER tool suite include the direct

engineering services in the design and feasibility studies of UAM configurations and the assessment

of UAM operations in urban wind environments. Additionally, the SMART vehicle NASA access to a

dynamically scaled reconfigurable vehicle enabling the flight testing and maturation of emerging

technologies further enabling UAM operations.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Potential Non-NASA commercial applications include engineering design and analysis services utilizing the validated the PANTHER tool suite as well as the development and maturation of ESAero’s PHM and DEP technologies on-board the SMART vehicle. Applicable markets include commercial UAM OEMs as well as commercial and DoD entities interested in VTOL Group 1 through Group 3 UAVs applications.

Duration: 24

Form Generated on 05/13/2019 13:31:10