RHRC & UIUC AWARDED NASA SMALL BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY
November 24, 2008 - Rolling Hills Research Corporation
and the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois have been selected by NASA for a $100,000
Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
NASA selected a total of
32 STTR research proposals
from small high technology firms in 14 states, for a total of approximately $3.2
million. The STTR programs are managed by the Innovative Partnerships
Program Office at NASA Headquarters in Washington, which works with U.S.
industry to infuse pioneering technologies into NASA missions and transition
them into commercially available products and services.
The proposed innovation is an aircraft flight
envelope monitoring system that will provide real-time in-cockpit estimations of
aircraft flight envelope boundaries, performance, and controllability. The
adaptable monitoring system will provide information on current and predicted
aircraft performance and controllability, alerting the pilot to any aerodynamic
degradation of the control effectiveness. This includes high angle-of-attack,
heavy rain, in-flight icing encounters, environmental contamination of surfaces,
and structural or battle damage. The real-time monitoring system measures the
time-averaged and RMS control surface hinge moment from all aircraft aerodynamic
controls. Control surface hinge moment is sensitive to the aerodynamic
characteristics of the flying surface, including separation. These data are
processed and information on the current and predicted future state of aircraft
control (including asymmetric cases) is made available to the pilot or flight
management system. As opposed to other single-point monitoring systems, the
proposed system has the distinct advantage that it functions by measuring the
integrated effect over the entire control surface. The use of real-time control
surface hinge moment monitoring is an innovative and robust concept for
predicting aircraft flight envelope boundaries and controllability.
Dr. Mike Kerho will be the Principal Investigator for this research program.