NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 06.04-9282

PROJECT TITLE: Blade Mounted Devices for Tiltrotor Performance Enhancement and Noise Reduction

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Enhancing performance and reducing noise generated by civil tiltrotor aircraft are central issues in the long-term success and acceptance of this breakthrough aeronautical technology. Attempts to formulate practical design, active control, or flight management strategies to overcome the penalties and compromises that constrain conventional tiltrotor designs have so far met with limited success. The proposed effort will build on recent insights into blade-mounted actuator design and helicopter noise mitigation, and will assess the potential of in-flight modification of tiltrotor blades for reducing the strong acoustic output of tiltrotors while also enhancing aircraft performance. The proposed control strategy will tailor blade loading and wake structure in key flight conditions and is projected to achieve dramatic payload or range increases and noise mitigation without prohibitive penalties in complexity. Tradeoffs will be studied of particular control strategies (direct twist change vs. deployable surfaces) and actuation methods (conventional vs. smart structures). Rapid and accurate assessment of potential configurations will be enabled by the use of well-validated software, and a spinoff benefit will be early implementation of advanced higher order aerodynamic design tools for this and related anlayses. The chief goal will be to enable demonstration of promising hardware at model scale in Phase II.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

This performance enhancement and noise control technology would have direct application to mitigating the design compromises that currently limit the performance and acceptability of civil tiltrotor aircraft. Viable control mechanisms for noise mitigation and performance improvement would address some of the industry's most important design challenges.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Todd R. Quackenbush
Continuum Dynamics, Inc.
P.O. Box 3073
Princeton , NJ 08543-3073

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Continuum Dynamics, Inc.
P.O. Box 3073
Princeton , NJ 08543-3073