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Yorktown, VA, United States

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 80.00K | Year: 2014

Autonomous and remotely operated maintenance of complex Navy ship tanks represents a significant challenge in robotics. To solve this problem, AVID LLC is teaming with Carnegie Mellon and Virginia Tech to address this challenge using an air-ground team of robots. AVID"s small 8"EDF-8 ducted fan hovering robot was designed to fly through 15"tank portholes and carry up to 1 lb of payload. This air robot will perform rapid tank inspections using VT's 3D mapping of the structure with detailed location data for areas needing maintenance. This data will be used for path planning of CMU"s snake robots that are designed for operations in confined spaces. The ground robot"s movements within the tank will be minimized while still accomplishing the objective of the necessary industrial processes (painting, sanding, welding). Since ground mobility within complex tank structures is the largest risk to mission success, the rapid inspection and mapping from the aerial platform will save time, mitigate risks, and provide a more reliable overall solution. In the end, robotic maintenance of ship voids and ballast/fuel tanks will greatly reduce the risk to human life with the potential of reducing costs in the long term.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 69.95K | Year: 2011

AVID will implement and compare the performance of two algorithms to provide robust solutions to the problem of calculating control inputs for user-specified trajectories: an"indirect"dynamic inversion approach that inverts the vehicle aerodynamic model to provide the control inputs necessary for the desired dynamics, and a"direct"numerical optimization approach using Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP) optimization. Trade studies between the two methods will show the relative strengths and weaknesses, and provide direction for Phase II development. AVID will leverage its experience in aerospace design tools development, modeling, and simulation to provide an easy-to-use, 3D graphics-based interface that will make user specification of vehicle states simple and intuitive. The system will be designed in a modular fashion such that it will easily integrate with high-fidelity simulation facilities or function in a stand-alone mode.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

AVID will develop software to perform interactive conceptual design integration to enable improved estimates of performance, including weight and balance associated with early definition of subsystems layout and integration. The software will leverage AVID"s expertise in geometric modeling for conceptual design, along with the integration with multidisciplinary analyses. Three-dimensional visualization of the aircraft for both internal and external configurations will be accomplished through platform independent software. The tool will operate in both interactive and batch modes for integration with design environments. Optimization of component placement will be developed. An overarching objective is to provide software with an intuitive graphics user interface to enable quick development of multiple design choices by a small team or single designer. At the conclusion of the Phase I project, AVID will be able to demonstrate an interactive system that generates models of systems and subsystems, pulls models from a library of components, automatically generates the inboard profile, manages a margined weight statement, and provides both graphical results that display the current state of the design and text output that can be sent to other analysis tools through an integration environment.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.88K | Year: 2010

We propose to develop variable fidelity acoustic propagation models and combine them with GIS, optimization, and visualization software in order to create site-specific real-time decision aid tools for optimal sensor placement. High fidelity finite-differ

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.00K | Year: 2010

AVID has identified and demonstrated significant advantages of smart material aerodynamic actuators for micro air vehicles. The solid-state nature of this flight control actuation scheme allows for scalability to miniature sizes, as well as increases in overall reliability. The general approach to morphing flight control surfaces has been proven through the Phase I results. Aerodynamic predictions based on the experimental deflections have shown superior operation in every aerodynamic performance metric when compared to a servo-driven flapped airfoil design. Bench-top and wind-tunnel experiments show that the technology has the structural strength to support the operational loads, and the actuators can be produced at a reasonable cost. The objective of this project is to advance the smart material actuator system to the point where it can be demonstrated on a representative platform at a size, weight and power that will eliminate those questions as barriers to implementation on current and future micro air weapons and vehicles. BENEFIT: The proposed new flight control actuation technology can improve micro-UAVs by eliminating servos, linkages, and moving parts from the micro-air-vehicle. Servos are frequently identified as low reliability and problematic in the field; thus their removal can substantially increase performance and reliability while reducing size, weight and power. The ultimate goal is a solid-state aircraft with no servos, and airframes and control devices that can be stored for long periods of time with high probability of deployment success. The ability to apply this new technology to various air vehicle designs of scales is a key benefit. While the technology developed could be the basis for new vehicle designs, further benefit could be realized through integration with existing micro air vehicles; by re-adapting or re-using current MAV technology. Because this technology has the potential to scale to a variety of sizes, specifically to down to micro or nano scales, the U.S. Air Force, as well as other branches of the U.S. armed forces, could benefit from this UAV solution that does not sacrifice performance. Micro or nano scale UAV technology that enables a MAV to navigate tight city streets could be of potential use to Home Land Security and local law enforcement agencies as well. Additionally, at the conclusion of this effort, we expect to have a validated set of design tools, smart material concepts, fabrication techniques and control electronics designs that our partners Boeing and Honeywell are interested in applying to their systems.

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