Contract: $3,202,510 - Department of the Air Force - Jun. 2, 2009
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Award Description: Energy efficiency has risen to be the top concern of the Air Force due to the run-up / instability of world oil prices, and the probability of that trend continuing or accelerating due to ?peak oil?. The Mobility Air Force is by far the largest single fuel consumer in the US Government, used to transport people, material, and fuel. As such a larger user, the Air Force and the DoD seeks options to avoid the increasing cost and ever decreasing availability of this resource in the future. AFRL is interested in pursuing very aggressive technologies for extremely energy efficient air mobility. The outcome of this program is to provide a path from the current state of mobility systems to very efficient use of energy resources in the 2030-2050 timeframe. To define future air mobility fleet that performs today's missions with a 90% reduction in fuels used. This new fleet is to integrated advanced aerodynamic technologies to increase aerodynamic efficiencies by a minimum of 30% over current aircraft. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics? vision of the extremely fuel efficient next generation air mobility fleet includes hybrid buoyant airships which can airlift outsize, heavy bulk cargo with the fuel efficiency more like that of ship than an aircraft, and more fuel efficient integrated configurations such as box-winged and strut braced wing aircraft along with our integrated wing body aircraft concept. All of these concepts are made possible by next generation, high strength composites combined with highly efficient propulsion systems and aerodynamic technologies that take advantage of recent advances in laminar flow control, high lift, and flow control.
Project Description: Significant progress on the Revolutionary Configurations for Energy Efficiency effort has occurred in three principal areas. (1) System of Systems Trade Study Task: initial technology surveys have been completed to identify potential technologies and assess the associated performance benefits for the strut-braced wing, box wing, integrated wing body (IWB), and hybrid airship concepts. Conceptual design sizing models have currently been completed for the IWB and strut-braced wing concepts. (2) Plasma Actuators for Laminar Flow Task: a review of existing plasma actuator designs/concepts has been performed to identify promising existing actuators with potential to act as Plasma Discrete Roughness Elements (PDREs). The LM Magento-Gas-Dynamics CFD code is currently being utilized to assess actuators based on the Dielectric Barrier Dischare (DBD) topology called PICNIC (Plasma Induced Capacitive Network Integrated Circuit). In addition, GE Research prototype DBD type actuators (developed under past LM/GE Shared Vision Research initiatives) are being assessed. The subcontract with Texas A&M University for support with actuator development, wind tunnel, and flight testing is expected to be complete by October 16th 2009. (3) Energy Efficient Formation Flight Task: research and development of various formation control algorithms has been performed. Development of the first control algorithm model is 75% complete. In addition, modifications to a 6 degree-of-freedom Matlab simulation to add control algorithms are approximately 25% complete. Also, the Quadpan CFD code has been utilized to begin development of initial aerodynamic incremental databases for a C-5 and F-16 aircraft flying in formation at various relative positions to one another. These Quadpan solutions will be used to identify formation locations performance sweet spots that will be further evaluated with higher fidelity Navier-Stokes CFD simulations.
Jobs Summary: Technical resources applied to this contract include conceptual design, aerodynamics, technical development and integration, as well as flight controls. (Total jobs reported: 2)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jun. 2, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.