NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-A2.03-8191 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034814)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Revolutionary Technologies and Components for Propulsion Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Smart Materials Technology for High Speed Adaptive Inlet/Nozzle Design

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Continuum Dynamics, Inc.
34 Lexington Avenue
Ewing ,NJ 08618 - 2302
(609) 538 - 0444

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Todd R. Quackenbush
34 Lexington Avenue
Ewing ,NJ  08618 -2302
(609) 538 - 0444
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

Enabling a new generation of high speed civil aircraft will require breakthrough developments in propulsion design, including novel techniques to optimize inlet performance across a wide speed range. Maximizing propulsive performance while minimizing weight and mechanical complexity is a key goal for such systems, and rapidly maturing smart materials technology can enable adaptive control of inlet geometry to allow in-flight optimization of engine flows. This proposal will build on established device technology using high strength Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) actuators and will initiate development of adaptive inlets for high speed applications. Leveraging prior work in design and testing of SMA devices in challenging aerospace and marine applications will allow a jump start in development a family of actuation and flow control devices suitable for use in practical flight applications. Actuation systems employing a combination of high temperature SMA alloys and active heat control systems will be developed, along with complementary analysis and design tools for aero/thermo analysis of integrated actuators. The modeling and benchtop testing work proposed for Phase I will lay the groundwork for testing in representative high speed conditions in Phase II.

By providing highly innovative concepts for propulsion system components for advanced high-speed aerospace vehicles, the proposed effort will directly support a wide range of broad NASA goals including enabling of high Mach point to point travel and global cruise capability for civil aircraft. The chief technical output of the effort will be enabling technology for a variable geometry, supersonic, mixed compression inlet to help meet functional airflow needs of high Mach number propulsion. In addition, the integrated aero/thermo/elastic models of actuator performance to be developed will assist the development of concurrent engineering tools for analysis and design of propulsion systems.

A successful Phase I/Phase II effort will open the door to prototype testing and eventual implementation of flight-qualified SMA adaptive inlet hardware. The most direct beneficiary would be candidate high speed civil vehicles that could incorporate high-force, all-electric inlet control systems in dramatically more efficient power plants. Successful implementation in this application would also lead to spinoff developments in a number of actuation tasks, including aerodynamic controls and thrust vectoring as well as steering and outflow redirection for marine propulsion that would directly benefit both civil and military systems.