Higher, better, faster and stronger – all are the goals of aerospace systems designers, in particular researchers from the Air Force who are providing the next generation of advanced aircraft to its warfighters.
To meet these challenges, the Air Force recently provided follow-on funding for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) effort that supports the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Integrated Vehicle Energy Technology (INVENT) program.
Researchers conducting the program are developing electrical system generation concepts that will be deployed on future aerospace systems.
To accomplish these goals, the Air Force SBIR/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program office is providing $1.5 million to further mature this technology for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).
The objective of the SBIR Phase II follow-on contract with UES, Inc., located in Dayton, Ohio, is to enhance a dual-mode electrical accumulator unit (DMEAU) that off-loads a significant amount of the pulsed actuator demand from an aircraft generator.
The DMEAU is expected to allow aircraft to have additional loads and will allow aircraft to maintain power to flight critical loads, even in the event that a generator is lost.
“Major aircraft manufacturers have identified electrical accumulator unit technology for potential application to future advance aerospace systems,” said Seana McNeal, the AFRL researcher managing the project. “In advanced systems, the generator is sized to supply the peak power demands of electrical actuators, which could affect the reliability of the generator more than if it were only required to supply average power to loads.
UES has already demonstrated that the DMEAU has promise in providing the technology required to manage the expected pulsed load demands required for operation of INVENT’s robust electrical power systems.
In addition, this program leverages more than $1.13 million in additional AFRL mission funds and independent research and development funds from the participating companies. These funds will helpensure the Phase II project graduates into a Phase III program that successfully transitions the technologies into military or private sectors.
The Air Force SBIR and STTR programs are mission-oriented programs that integrate the needs and requirements of the Air Force through research and development topics that have military and commercial potential. T
he SBIR program was established by Congress in 1982 to fund research and development (R&D) through small businesses of 500 or fewer employees. The STTR program was established in 1992 to fund cooperative R&D projects with small businesses and non-profit U.S. research institutions, such as universities.
Since 2006, the Commercialization Readiness Program has directly linked Air Force centers to Air Force Research Laboratory technical points of contact to identify and evaluate Air Force needs and innovative solutions. Its primary objective is to accelerate the transition of SBIR/STTR-developed technologies into real-world military and commercial applications.
The Air Force SBIR and STTR programs provide more than $300 million in funding for research and development activities by small businesses annually. With this budget, the Air Force funds research from the early stages of concept development until it transitions to military or commercial use.
Founded in 1973, UES, Inc. is an award-winning, innovative science and technology company that provides its government and industry customers with research and development expertise.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense