NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 A2.07-8111
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Revolutionary Flight Concepts
PROPOSAL TITLE: Revolutionary Performance For Ultra Low Reynolds Number Vehicles

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Rolling Hills Research Corporation
420 N. Nash Street
El Segundo, CA 90245-2822
(310)640-8781

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael F Kerho
mike@RollingHillsResearch.com
420 N. Nash Street
El Segundo, CA 90245-2822
(310)640-8781

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
An important mission for NASA is the development of revolutionary flight concepts and technology. The development of Micro unmanned air vehicles (Micro-UAVs) and Mars aircraft has received considerable attention in recent years. Unlike conventional aircraft and UAVs, Micro-UAVs and Mars aircraft suffer from operation in an extremely low Reynolds number flight regime. Both Micro-UAVs and Mars aircraft can have operational Reynolds number regimes from 20,000 to 120,000. At these extremely low Reynolds numbers, the aerodynamic flow features are dominated by laminar separation and separation bubble effects, which are the primary source of poor performance in both drag and maximum lift for this class of vehicles. It is proposed to use a robust and powerful active transition fixing technique to eliminate the effects of these large separation bubbles and provide revolutionary performance as of yet unobtainable by this class of ultra low Reynolds number vehicles. By artificially transitioning the flow upstream of the laminar separation bubble, the bubble itself can be eliminated resulting in a greatly reduced drag. The increased resistance to separation of a simple turbulent boundary-layer can pay revolutionary dividends at these very low Reynolds numbers.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The enhanced active transition fixing technology will provide revolutionary performance for ultra low Reynolds number vehicles including Micro-UAVs and Mars Aircraft. Additionally, low Reynolds number propeller based propulsions systems will also greatly benefit from this technology. Finally, the technology can provide significant performance improvements for any low Reynolds number system suffering from laminar separation issues. Considering NASA's recent emphasis on Mars Exploratory aircraft and its designs for small Micro-UAV designs, the NASA commercial applications potential for the technology is excellent.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The enhanced active transition fixing technology will provide revolutionary performance for ultra low Reynolds number vehicles including Micro-UAVs and Mars Aircraft. Additionally, low Reynolds number propeller based propulsions systems will greatly benefit from this technology. Finally, the technology can provide significant performance improvements for any low Reynolds number system suffering from laminar separation issues. Considering the recent proliferation of small and Micro-UAVs designs, its commercialization potential is excellent. RHRC will be able to license the active transition fixing technology or provide a complete ultra low Reynolds number airfoil design or design services for customers.