NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 06-2 A2.05-8507
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Aerodynamics
PROPOSAL TITLE: High-Fidelity Aerodynamic Design with Transition Prediction

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Desktop Aeronautics, Inc.
1900 Embarcadero Road, Suite 101
Palo Alto, CA 94303 - 3310
(650) 323-3141

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Rodriguez
1900 Embarcadero Road, Suite 101
Palo Alto, CA 94303 - 3310
(650) 323-3141

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
To enhance aerodynamic design capabilities, Desktop Aeronautics proposes to significantly improve upon the integration (performed in Phase 1) of a new sweep/taper integrated-boundary-layer (IBL) code that includes transition prediction with a Cartesian Euler solver developed at NASA. This combined solver will play an important role in the preliminary design of both conventional and unconventional aerospace vehicles traveling at subsonic, transonic, and supersonic speeds. Complex aircraft configurations may be easily analyzed with the practically automated surface intersection and Cartesian mesh generation of the Euler solver. The proposed design-oriented approach to transition prediction will permit rapid assessment of aircraft that exploit natural laminar flow to reduce drag. To facilitate design and numerical optimization using the new aerodynamic analysis, a parameterized geometry engine that can quickly model complex aircraft configurations will be interfaced with the Euler/IBL solver. Desktop Aeronautics will also develop a set of optimization tools well-suited to use with the geometry engine and aerodynamic analysis. This set of tools will permit aerodynamic shape optimization and multidisciplinary design at earlier stages in the vehicle development process.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
For the same reasons listed in the above section, the proposed new tool would be useful to virtually all aerospace companies that perform aerodynamic design. Cart3D is used extensively in many large companies such as Boeing, Raytheon, and TRW. Smaller companies such as Aerion and Andrews Space also make use of the tool. Adding a viscous model would greatly enhance the accuracy of a code that is already used throughout the aerospace industry. The new analysis method would be especially appealing to smaller companies who cannot afford vast computer resources to perform aerodynamic optimization with Navier-Stokes codes. Euler+IBL with automation allows the smaller company to also perform viscous optimization, perhaps even at the preliminary design phase. The transition prediction capability significantly extends the design space into the realm of natural laminar flow designs.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Aerodynamic shape optimization with an Euler solver and integrated boundary layer method is used by all major aircraft manufacturers and certainly at NASA centers. The advantage of the proposed application is the time required to complete a design problem. Because the Cartesian Euler solver is virtually automatic, extremely robust, and time-efficient, and because the integrated boundary layer method allows the Euler solver to be useful in many flight regimes, this application could be used on virtually all aerospace vehicles. The addition of a transition model provides a new and unique capability to design aircraft that exploit natural laminar flow.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Aircraft Engines

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