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San Diego, CA, United States

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.97K | Year: 2016

Current approaches for resolving rotorcraft fuselage responses in the presence of aerodynamic/structural excitation require ample conservatism because current CFD-based aeromechanic solutions lack the capability to include detailed elastic fuselage models. Instead, a siloed approach is employed where results of one analysis are replayed into another. A particular limitation of the siloed method is its inability to capture rotor wake impingement, which has resulted in empennage buffet problems not being encountered until flight testing of a new design. To provide a fully integrated aeroelastic simulation capability for complete vertical lift configurations that will overcome these limitations, ATA Engineering, Inc. (ATA) proposes the development of a novel simulation coupling methodology. The proposed project will develop a three-code coupling (comprehensive rotor, fluid, and structural dynamics) framework and leverage existing and emerging computational technologies for integrating disparate solution strategies of each domain. The methodology, which will accommodate both loose and tight rotor coupling schemes, will ultimately be integrated in the DoD CREATE HELIOS framework. In Phase I, ATA will develop data communication utilities to couple simulation codes widely used in industry. The utilities will be extended to a robust software product in Phase II and used to simulate a real world rotorcraft aeroelastity problem.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 154.25K | Year: 2014

ATAs approach to developing an innovative post-shock kinematic simulation capability for the Navy involves development of a novel methodology that leverages the nonlinear multi-body dynamics capabilities of a commercially available finite element (FE) code, namely Abaqus, to simulate the post-event kinematic operation of a system subject to high intensity loading that may include damage or yielding. Rather than using a purely deterministic approach where a singular solution for the post-shock operation will result, ATA will integrate advanced stochastic methods and approximation modeling techniques into the solution to allow the sensitivity of the complete system to the variability of the kinematic parameters for components to be understood. This will reduce the risk associated with uncertainties in these variables, e.g., post-deformation friction coefficients for sliding components, and provide the Navy with a robust virtual test methodology for complex mechanical systems composed of many classes of articulating components.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.65K | Year: 2014

ATA Engineering, Inc., proposes to develop improved nonlinear material behavior models for the design of 2D and 3D woven carbon/carbon (C/C) composite thermal protection system (TPS) components. The objective of this work is to enable efficient design of 3D C/C composite TPS components and decrease the costs associated with developing new C/C composite materials. ATA's approach combines (1) probabilistic MCMC simulation to autonomously identify constituent and interface parameters for the material models that correlate to test data most accurately, (2) a GUI for unit cell design allowing rapid trade studies based on a micromechanics approach, also to serve as a preprocessor for the Abaqus coupled thermal-stress simulations, (3) a refined and efficient physics-based FEA of C/C unit cells that accounts for details of fiber, matrix, and interface behavior, using Abaqus to simulate the nonlinear response of woven composites subject to steady-state and transient pressure and thermal loads, and (4) stochastic Monte Carlo simulation to address variability in material properties and unit cell topology. Phase I will focus on demonstrating the feasibility of the proposed approach by aiming to simulate the response of a woven C/C unit cell under the conditions of a standard thermal shock test.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.55K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: Hypersonic flight conditions subject the vehicle to extreme environments that induce severe thermal gradients and generate intense spatial and time varying pressures. Existing methodologies for analyzing the high-performance materials required to operate in these environments are typically linear elastic solutions that do not capture the highly non-linear response and failure progression seen from these materials. ATA Engineering proposes development of a material modeling toolset, implemented as an add-on to commercial CAE software, that will determine material performance parameters (e.g., strength, stiffness) under complex thermomechanical loading. The toolset will combine an efficient means for finite element modeling of ceramic matrix composites, advanced regression algorithms to determine constituent material properties from limited test data, and progressive-failure Monte Carlo simulation in an intuitive user interface. The toolset will include a means for multiscale analysis that will communicate information about local material damage to and from a full vehicle simulation. In Phase I, we will develop analytic models representative of materials used on previous high speed vehicles and validate their predictive accuracy against existing material test data. In Phase II, we will perform a experimental campaign for verification and validation and will incorporate the tool into a comprehensive multiphysics simulation framework for hypersonic vehicles. BENEFIT: The technologies developed in this project will aid the design of the next generation of hypersonic vehicles by reducing risk and uncertainty. The toolset will allow designers to incorporate progressive material failure models with structural, aerodynamic, thermal, and other physical models to provide a more holistic and accurate understanding of vehicle state-of-structure throughout the mission trajectory. Through a multi-scale approach, the analytic tool will allow investigation of local material damage progression in the context of a full vehicle simulation without greatly increasing solution time . Commercial applications extend beyond hypersonic vehicles to gas turbine engine components, spacecraft reentry systems, automotive and other systems utilizing advanced composite materials.

Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.80K | Year: 2015

Large, lightweight, deployable solar array structures have been identified as a key enabling technology for NASA with analysis and design of these structures being the top challenge in meeting the overall goals of the NASA Space Technology Roadmap. Deployment ground testing of these structures is a uniquely difficult task as the intent is to validate 0g performance and integrity in a 1g testing environment. Existing gravity offloading test support equipment use passive offloading in which offloader tracking is driven by the deployment of the array itself. This approach introduces strong coupling between the test article and the offloader equipment, which affects deployment dynamics and hence accuracy of the simulated 0g response. ATA Engineering proposes to improve existing gravity offloader equipment through the development of an actively controlled system that minimizes the mechanical coupling between the test array and the offloader system. This active system will make use of position sensors to provide data for necessary corrective action as well as analytical models of the offloader and test article to provide predictive capabilities. When paired with actuators on the offloader system, the combined predictor-corrector system will substantially improve ground test 0g simulations. Phase I of this SBIR project will demonstrate increased realism of 0g test conditions by producing demonstration hardware that incorporates the suite of sensors and actuators with an analytical model of the offloader system. In Phase II, an active offloader system will be designed, built, and used to test a state-of-the-art solar array system.

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