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Pipersville, PA, United States

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 899.91K | Year: 2014

The Acoustically Synchronized Store Ejection/Release Technology (ASSERT) test process was developed by CRAFT Tech. This research has produced a capability to conduct small scale dynamic drop tests instrumented with stereo-photogrammetry to track store motion and synchronize this with unsteady weapons bay flowfield measurements. An advanced pneumatic ejection system has been developed which supports the telemetry system requirements, and is capable of imparting predetermined pitch and ejection forces, and enables synchronized data collection. This capability can be used to support current and future weapons separation flight test activities for the F-35 Lightning II. In addition, coupling the time of release of the weapon with the dynamic pressure sensors in the bay has led to a"do no harm"control concept that will allow the store release to be synchronized with the unsteady weapons bay flowfield to reduce the risk of the separating weapon contacting the aircraft. The ASSERT test process will produce store separation trajectory data using light Mach scaled store models, although heavy scaling can be used when conditions permit.

Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2015

The innovation proposed is the unification of existing and operational high fidelity simulation software tools into an integrated framework with which to predict aero-heating, ablation, thermal response, and structural integrity for re-entry vehicles (RV) under a full range of trajectory conditions from rarefied to continuum. Virtually all software components necessary to achieve this goal are available within the CRAFT Tech suite of simulation tools which have a range of modern day capabilities and features. Many of the capabilities have already been directly applied to reentry flows, such as ablation and regression modeling, transition to turbulence modeling, advanced chemistry and ionization modeling, non-local thermodynamic equilibrium modeling, and a hybrid coupled continuum-rarefied simulation framework for steady and unsteady flows. Other features, such as aero/thermo/structural coupling, also exist but have not been directly applied to reentry type flows so the Phase I effort will demonstrate them in both the rarefied and continuum regimes. Our hybrid continuum-rarefied framework presently contains only information exchange from continuum to rarefied regions. For reentry applications, especially for non-traditionally shaped vehicles, this assumption is no longer valid, so a proposed developmental task will implement a rarefied to continuum information exchange within our existing hybrid continuum-rarefied solver framework. Finally, a plan of action for the Phase II effort will be elaborated to define a common Application Program Interface to couple the various existing components, including software packages outside the CRAFT Tech toolset, into a single unified framework.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 743.05K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: The need for evaluation of aerodynamic loads on internal weapons bay doors comes from the US Air Force's requirement to open doors on many of its aircraft during flight. This ranges from an aircraft's low-speed opening of landing gear doors and speed brakes to opening weapons bay doors in supersonic flight. This sets up a situation for unsteady aerodynamic loading of these surfaces due to the potential for unsteady flow oscillations in and around the exposed bay that is known to exhibit strong tonal content under many of the flight conditions at which the U.S. Air Force operates its aircraft. These weapons bay tones and the oscillatory nature of the separated flow on the doors have the potential to excite structural modes of the doors, aircraft surfaces, or externally carried munitions and fuel tanks and can lead to buffet, flutter, or fatigue induced failures. Part of the aircraft flight certification for all operational and developmental aircraft includes assessments of the aircraft store compatibility, which is made more difficult in view of the fluid structure interactions that must be taken into account. During an aircraft development and demonstration program, a validated Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) model provides a means of generating data to support assessments regarding the design of the structure, provide flight certification, etc. BENEFIT: A high-fidelity Unified Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) Modeling and Testing capability for evaluation of dynamic loads on payload bay doors will result from the SBIR program. CRAFT Tech will market this unique capability to prime contractors and manufacturers of large commercial airliners/military transports/bombers and tactical fighter to study loads on weapons bay doors, the wheel bay doors and other near vicinity surfaces/components. This technology is obviously relevant to small passenger and/or regional jets, as well for loads associated with wheel wells, etc. The SBIR product is well-suited for supporting the design of a new generation of launch vehicles that is placing a premium on robust and accurate predictions of aero-acoustic and buffet loads experienced at launch. They are also very applicable to large-scale commercial pumps that are extremely prone to performance loss and/or structural failure caused by cavitation-induced severe dynamic loading.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Threat Reduction Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 995.44K | Year: 2015

Combustion Research and Flow Technology, Inc. (CRAFT Tech) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have teamed up to provide DTRA with an innovative approach to develop new combined effects explosives (CEX) formulations. CEX represent a class of recently-developed aluminized explosives seeking to provide the performance of both (i) high-energy explosives and (ii) high-blast explosives in a single explosive fill. Given the critical role played by fast aluminum (and other metallic additives) reactions in the very early stages of CEX detonation and the strong sensitivity of CEX performance to variations in CEX ingredients, the development of a validated high-fidelity CEX design tool capable of accounting for size effects and finite-rate chemistry effects is proposed. This approach combines advanced modeling capabilities and time-resolved small-scale testing in order to identify and tune the dominant design variables leading to an optimal CEX formulation. By relying on validated first-principles numerical simulations that describe detonation, anaerobic reaction and aerobic reaction, the proposed CEX design tool is capable of providing a level of understanding of the complex detonation event that is not attainable with currently available simplified modeling approaches.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT:The increased sound produced by tactical aircraft has become more problematic with the enhanced performance requirements that are being set forth for the next generation war fighter. Given the complexity of the engine and the flow that it produces, accurate predictions of the full-scale exhaust stream and far-field acoustics are still challenging topics, despite over 60 years of jet noise and jet flow research. In particular, trade-off decisions between thrust and noise over a broad range of engine operating conditions continues to be a challenging task. The problem is exacerbated by the additional complexities of having multi-stream nozzles comprising complex geometries. The proposed research aims to eliminate this void by developing a robust and reliable analysis tool capable of predicting the sound performance from a multi-stream and heated supersonic nozzle. The engineering tool that will be developed in the proposed research will leverage order reduction and data fusion techniques to blend the strengths of both laboratory scale experiments and analytical modeling to provide fast answers for critical decisions to be made in the design room.BENEFIT:A successful completion of the research program will see the integration of an experiment-based predictive methodology with engine cycle assessment tools that will have the capability of providing valuable acoustics and performance related information to the aircraft systems design engineers. This methodology will be jointly marketed by CRAFT Tech and their team to prime contractors in order to study its effectiveness on aircraft configurations of interest to the Air Force, particularly supersonic fighters and attack aircraft. However, the effectiveness of the technology is not restricted to military applications; it can be easily extended to the commercial aircraft industry to generate performance characteristics maps over a wide range of engine operating conditions. As noise requirements for commercial aircraft engines becomes increasingly more stringent leading to the development of new engine technologies to meet these revised standards, the technology developed in this SBIR program, in conjunction with experimental measurements, can be used for the identification of an optimal region of engine operating conditions that provides optimal acoustic performance at minimal thrust and performance penalties. Our team can provide the functional predictive acoustics methodology developed during this program in a suitable configuration so as to couple with a desired engine cycle assessment tool.

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