New items (01-14-2001) are in BLUE


350 Second Ave.

Waltham, MA 02451 Phone:


Topic#: (781) 684-4121

K. Jayaraj

AF 00-166 Title: Rapid Remove/Replace Stealth Gap Filler Abstract: Stealth aircraft utilize conductive-particle-filled elastomeric gap fillers between body panels, access panels and doors to maintain low radar signature. One of the biggest deficiencies of state-of-the-art stealth gap filler systems is the time needed to remove and replace this system when access panels need to be removed in the field. These systems may take 24 to 48 hrs to cure and be ready for flight. Foster-Miller proposes to develop a unique gap treatment system that will allow quick and easy removal and replacement of access panels and doors without degrading the aircraft signature. Some of the advantages of the Foster-Miller system include: 1) quick and easy removal and replacement using simple hand tools without degrading radar signature, 2) surface smoothness is retained, and 3) electrical continuity is maintained at high strains. To assist in this effort, Foster-Miller has teamed with Northrop Grumman, prime contractor for the B-2 stealth bomber.



20 New England Business Center

Andover, MA 01810 Phone:


Topic#: (978) 689-0003

John Lennhoff

AF 00-141 Title: Processing of Inflatable Parabolic Reflectors from Polymeric Thin Films Abstract: Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) will utilize a novel membrane reinforcement method on this proposed Phase I SBIR effort to demonstrate the ability to eliminate shape-related optical aberrations common to polymeric inflatable parabolic reflectors. Hencky model based calculations indicate that reinforcement required to correct the reflector optics are in the 1 micron size range. Conventional reinforcement methods have been unable to provide sizes of this thickness. A new method, pioneered by PSI, will provide circumferential and radial location specific reinforcement of the membrane by generating and then bonding small diameter (100 to 3000 nm) polymeric fibers directly to the thin membrane in sequential steps. The locations of the reinforcement of the membrane before inflation will be derived from a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model of the parabolic surface based upon mechanical properties of the polymer membrane, the Henke model of inflatable membranes and optical measurements of the inflated membrane reflector. The optical measurements provide the specifics of the geometric aberrations. PSI will demonstrate the ability to accurately and inexpensively correct optical aberrations of inflatable parabolic reflectors using the newly developed method.


WRIGHT MATERIALS RESEARCH CO. 3591 Apple Grove Dr. Beavercreek, OH 45430

Phone: PI: Topic#: (937) 643-0007 Seng C. Tan AF 00-141

Title: Processing of Deployable, Metallized Parabolic Reflectors from Biphenyl Endcapped Poly(Arylene Ether) Polymers

Abstract: Space mirrors with ultra-lightweight, high temperature stability, space durability, and high precision are highly desirable to improve the resolution and light-gathering ability of space structures. A number of currently used polymeric materials for space applications have shown signs of deterioration due to the space environmental effects. Fabrication cost of large components is another major issue. In this Phase I research, we propose to develop a free forming technique to process space reflectors using AFRL's biphenyl endcapped poly(arylene ether) thermoplastic polymers. This family of polymers have excellent resistant capability to atomic oxygen and ultra-violet light exposure. Thin films casted from these polymers will be metallized using a chemical route rather than by the conventional coating techniques to reduce the interfacial stresses and eliminate the interfacial bonding problems. They will then be transformed into parabolic shapes with small focal numbers. A series of microscopic analysis and thermal-mechanical testing will be performed to examine the samples fabricated. The proposed research will result in a processing technique and highly reflective thin films for space, deployable mirrors with exceptional thermal-mechanical properties, and controllable uniform thickness at affordable price.



2766 Indian Ripple Rd

Dayton, OH 45440 Phone:


Topic#: (937) 252-2706

Peter Bletzinger

AF 00-210 Title: Drag and Thermal Load Reduction by Nonequilibrium Plasmas Abstract: Russian scientists have claimed reduction of drag in tests of supersonic flows when the leading surfaces were exposed to plasmas. This discovery may hold considerable prom-ise for high-speed flight and supersonic combustion. Tests in this country verified the modification of the shock structure and proved that in a nonequilibrium low-pressure plasma, these effects cannot be explained by thermal effects only. In this Phase I pro-posal, ISSI will analyze the existing experimental results and define the parameter space where nonequilibrium plasma generation and injection may significantly influ-ence shock behavior and high-speed flow. In support of the theoretical analysis, ex-periments will be designed to investigate the shock behavior and the plasma character-istics during shock propagation, including generation of volume, nonequilibrium low-pressure plasmas using DC or rf excitation and high-frequency dielectric barrier or externally ionized discharges. Pilot experiments will be performed during Phase I. During a subsequent Phase II program, a comprehensive theoretical model of the interaction of plasma and the flow field will be developed. Supporting experiments will be performed, and optimal electrical configurations for plasma generation will be established. Commercial applications for hypersonic flight systems will be investigated.

I have seen the website that talks about current development of a laser launched spacecraft (quite small) - now that appears to be a done deal, what they want now are navigational thrusters for them!


5170 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Suite 240

Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 Phone:


Topic#: (256) 922-9095

Russell J. Shaw

AF 00-221 Title: Attitude Control System for Laser Lightcraft Abstract: This proposal discusses two different but complementary approaches to an Attitude Control System for Laser Lightcraft. The first approach is to build and fire a novel prototype microthruster. This type of attitude control is attractive due to the small size of the thruster and associated electronics. The second approach is to control the plasma beneath the lightcraft. This approach is attractive since it keeps all the required propulsion components on the ground leaving room in the weight budget for more payload. In addition, the system can be used over and over again and is not expended along with the lightcraft. Phase I will help determine the effectiveness of each approach which will help determine which (or both) system is best suited for guiding the laser lightcraft into the proper low-earth orbit.



2766 Indian Ripple Rd

Dayton, OH 45440 Phone:


Topic#: (937) 252-2706

Sivaram Gogineni

AF 00-273 Title: MHD Control of Boundary Layer Transition in External Hypersonic Flows Abstract: Sustained hypersonic flights offer potentially revolutionary improvements in space access for civilian and military applications. Limiting factors in hypersonic-vehicle performance include aerodynamic drag and heating rates exerted on the vehicles by surrounding flow fields. Recent research has indicated that hypersonic flow fields may be modified significantly by magnetic Lorentz forces through the creation and manipulation of plasma near the vehicles. Such concepts can be used to control hypersonic flows by suppressing or enhancing hypersonic boundary-layer instability and transition for drag and heating reduction or for mixing enhancements. On the other hand, MHD control of hypersonic flows presents a challenge which requires an understanding of both the complex hypersonic MHD flow physics and the creation of large volumes of plasma and strong magnetic fields. The objectives of the present SBIR proposal are: 1) to develop a highly accurate direct numerical simulation tool for transient hypersonic MHD equations for the purpose of MHD hypersonic transitional flow control, 2) to use numerical simulations as a tool to develop MHD flow-control concepts and conduct feasibility studies of these concepts, and 3) to identify and design new laboratory-scale experiments to prove the concepts of MHD control of hypersonic flow transition.




1110 Benfield Blvd.
Millersville, MD 21108 Phone:
Topic#: (410) 224-3710
Shanjin He
BMDO 96-013 Title: Codeposition of Refractory Ir-Al Alloys Abstract: The materials used in current thruster technology meet the performance parameters and environmental constraints needed for missile and space defense with difficulty at best and even then only with a high penalty in cost and weight. Spacecraft chemical propulsion systems with higher performance capabilities (IsP) offer mission advantages for station keeping, orbit repositioning, and orbit transfer if thrust chamber operating lifetimes could be extended. Higher melting points, (4900 F) equivalent or better oxidation resistant and reduced starting material costs (Al is 1/10 the cost of Ir) compared to pure Ir make Ir-Al alloys very attractive materials. Ceramic Composites, Inc. is pleased to propose an innovative, low temperature method for chemical vapor codeposition of a series of refractory, oxidation resistant, iridium/aluminum alloys with superior protective capabilities for a wide variety of propulsion system components. The unique ability to codeposit iridium and aluminum as protective coatings for C fiber composites and refractory metals represents a breakthrough technology. The best Ir-Al composition will be applied to a C fiber Re matrix rocket thruster.

1925 McKinley Avenue
LaVerne, CA 91750

(909) 392-3151
Dr. Thomas H. Sobota
AF 98-045
Title: Development of a Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuel System for Pulse Detonation Engines
Abstract: The Pulse Detonation Engine (PDE) is an intermittent combustion engine that relies on traveling detonation waves for the combustion and compression elements of the prosulsive cycle. This engine may be used as a low cost propulsion system in defense flight vehicle system applications or as the low speed cycle for a high Mach number combined cycle engine system. The mechanical simplicity of this engine provides for low cost and high reliability permitting use in low cost vehicles. The simple geometry naturally provides for integration into a new combined cycle engine with ramjets. To date, APRI has focused on using highly reactive and detonable fuels in the development of PDE systems and subsystems. Specifically, APRI has focused on the use of hydrogen fuel, for use in multi-mode PDE-ramjet-scramjet combined cycle systems. However, the use of storable liquid hydrocarbon fuels that are of this engine in defense systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), cruise missiles, and target drones. Hence this proposal describes the conceptual design for a practical low-cost PDE and a development path for the use of liquid hydrocarbon fuels in PDE's.

11000 CEDAR AVE STE 461

(216) 791-6749
AF 98-178
Title: Smart Surface for Flow Control
Abstract: A smart surface, containing microelectromechanical devices (MEMS), able to enhance the performance capabilities of weapons systems, will be designed, fabricated and tested. The prototype smart surface will consist of an adaptive/predictive controller, an integrated array of microsensors and Deployable Micro-Vortex Generators (DMVGs). The smart surface will be tested on an airfoil where sensors will be able to discern flow conditions indicative of flow separation and deploy the DMVGs. In response, the DMVGs will generate vortices into the freestream, energizing the boundary layer. The DMVGs will make the flow less susceptible to separate from the surface of the airfoil, inhibiting stall and providing additional lift for the aircraft. The smart surface will be able to retract the DMVGs, subtracting the drag caused by the passive vortex generators during normal cruise flight.The engineering prototype will be tested in Phase I at the subsonic wind tunnel at the Ohio State University. The control strategy used to prevent separation will be determined. During this program, the controller will demonstrate its ability to actuate the DMVGs in response to sensor inputs regarding flow conditions incipient to surface flow separation. The ability to control the flow will be determined by flow visualization techniques utilizing laser sheets and time-averaged surface pressure measurements on the airfoil.


(810) 229-5946
Anjan Sabbani
AF 98-180
Title: Adaptive Compliant Wing
Abstract: Traditionally, engineered artifacts are designed to be strong and stiff. Designs in nature are strong but not stiff - they are compliant. Although nature thrives on use of compliance, the engineering world has traditionally limited itself to rigid structures and mechanisms. Practical solutions can be developed by exploiting preferred effects of compliance. Majority of current research in adaptive structures embraces the traditional notion of deploying a plethora of actuators (distributed actuation) within a stiff structure to simulate compliant behavior in an adaptive airfoil. Scalability and reliability of such distributed actuation methods is questionable. If the underlying structure is designed to be inherently compliant, then the resulting design will require fewer actuators and simpler controls.The proposed Adaptive Compliant Wind (ACW) concept relies on distributed compliance rather than distributed actuation. The ACW potentially offers significant advantages in terms of unitized light-weight construction actuated by a single conventional electric motor, high strain and force capabilities, low power requirements, excellent packaging efficiency, no heat generation, excellent dynamic response, low hysteresis and can be tailored for force or displacement amplification. The ACW concept is a new approach and a scaleable solution to the problem of achieving desired shape changes in airfoils. The ACW eliminates discrete control surfaces since the mechanism is contained within the airfoil.

2257 SOUTH 1000 EAST
(801) 485-4991
AF 98-180
Title: Adaptive Wing Actuators
Abstract: The objective of this project is to develop new electrically conductive phase-change polymer actuators for shape control of aircraft structures and active aerodynamics. Phase I will develop new large deflection, modular actuator concepts applicable to adaptive plate structures. New electrically conductive thermopolymers are inexpensive, nonbrittle, lightweight and provide large volume change. Unlike piezoceramic devices, the thermopolymer material can freely fill complex shapes. This project will study biomimetic configurations arrayed with micro-voids or channels filled with thermoactuating polymer to induce strain. The technology will be compatible with surface bonded application and embedded composite structures. Prototype actuator concepts will be modeled, designed, fabricated, and tested in Phase I. New concepts developed in Phase I will be compared with existing shape memory, piezoelectric, and magnetostrictive technologies.

(602) 945-9198
AF 98-180
Title: A Variable Stiffness Spar (VSS) Approach for Aircraft Maneuver Enhancement
Abstract: Abstract not available...

77 Raynor Ave,
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779

(516) 737-6100
Robert Bakos
DARPA 98-002
Title: Low Cost Free-Flight Scramjet Test Technique
Abstract: Development of a low-cost, near term approach to flight testing a hypersonic, storable fuel, scramjet engine using ballistic range technology is proposed. Flight-testing is easily the most expensive component of the triad of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), ground-testing and flight-testing needed to develop and demonstrate sustained and accelerating airbreathing flight at hypersonic speeds. Cost reduction by a factor of 100 to 200 relative to rocket launching a full-scale engine is sought. The proposed approach will leverage off GASL's low-cost, rapid prototyping capabilities for scramjet engines for wind tunnels and for NASA's Hyper-X flight test program, Boeing's prior experience in launching a scramjet from the SHARP gun at LLNL, and prior Army Research Lab personnel in data telemetry from gun-launched munitions. Essential aspects of the proposed approach are use of closely coordinated CFD and ground-testing to maximize the flight data yield and minimize the risk and cost, and use of a controlled flight environment to permit proper simulation of flight dynamic pressure. Flight speeds from Mach 6 to 12 are considered within existing ballistic range capabilities. Mach 8 is the proposed test point since it supports the goals of the HyTech and ARRMD programs.

202 Washington Blvd.,
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

(415) 726-9433
Michael Brown
DARPA 98-005
Title: Lifting Vehicle for Forward Deployed Combat Units
Abstract: The Computer Department Limited (CDL) proposes to develop a portable, rotary wing platform for use as a universal lifting body for small payloads. This system will use a novel lifting system to operate with a wide range of payloads under a wide spectrum of environmental conditions. The key elements of this system is a light weight collapsable structure, electric propulsion, rotary wing design for vertical take-off and landing, computer based control system, RF unit, global positioning system, battery and a laptop computer based ground station. The system's user friendly computer operation, automatic station keeping feature, simple design and low maintenance permits unskilled personnel to assemble, test and operate it with highly reliable results. The system uses many off the shelf components and user friendly software to reduce error and make the system more attractive to the commercial market. Off the shelf components reduce development cost and time and provide alternate suppliers for replacement parts. The proposed Phase I effort will define hardware and software system requirements, identify high risk technologies and identify emerging technologies capable of enhancing performance and field use. This Phase I engineering effort will result in a Prototype design, System Analysis and Specification and Scientific Technical Report.

14155-A Sullyfield Circle
Chantilly, VA 20151

(703) 968-0200
Carl W. Anderson
ARMY 98-059
Title: Miniature pintle Actuation and Control System Research
Abstract: The subject program seeks to design, develop, and fabricate a miniature actuation and control system suitable for the control of pinnate position on a tactical solid rocket motor (SRM). Next-generation missile systems must be versatile, agile, and smart. IN SRM's this smart capability can be accomplished by varying pinle position during motor operation thereby changing the motor throat area causing thrust to vary by controlling the motor pressure. Two elements to these overall pintle design are required. The first is a miniature mechanical pintle that resides within the SRM chamber during motor burn that varies the nozzle throat area on electrical command. Second, is a miniature electronic control system to provide closed loop control of pintle position based on the real-time feedback of motor pressure. Phase I, will design both the pintle actuation and electronic control system based on PRI's demonstrated test experience with hot gas valves (HGV). Design emphasis will be placed on achieving miniature size, and low weight. Aminiature actuation system with brassboard electronics will be tested in a representative SRM to verify performance. Minimum response time, minimum power, and durability are certain based on the demonstrated mechanical design approach to be followed. Phase II will encompass miniaturized fabrication and testing of an operational pintle actuation and control system in F/W SRM using thermal battery power. BENEFITS: The commercial applications for the technology to be advaced under this program's research are pertinent to a broad base of the aerospace community, both Government and commercial. This technology is also applicable to high speed commercial throttle valves for liquid rocket, automotive engines, and space thrusters.

20 New England Business Ctr.
Andover, MA 01810

(978) 689-0003
Prakash B. Joshi
AF 99-063
Title: Consumable Spacecraft Materials and Structures for Orbital Propulsion
Abstract: Physical Sciences Inc., Thiokol Propulsion, and Lockheed Martin Missile and Space propose to develop spacecraft structural materials which can withstand mechanical loads during launch and can be consumed as propellants for on-orbit propulsion. Spacecraft structural elements incorporated specifically to protect the payload from launch and separation loads represent parasitic mass after orbit insertion. Consumption of this structural mass to generate useful propulsive thrust will reduce the onboard propellant mass necessary for orbit maintenance and end-of-life operations, increase revenue-producing payload mass, and/or increase the orbital lifetime of telecommunications and other satellites. Traditional materials such as aluminum or graphite composites do not qualify as dual-function structural-propellant materials. We propose novel structural thermoplastic composites as promising candidates. Available commercially at low cost, these low density materials have good structural properties similar to those of aluminum. They also have desirable physicochemical characteristics as a monopropellant or bipropellant constituent. We will 1) analyze structural and chemical performance of the materials, 2) design a composite propulsive structural component for strength/stiffness, efficient volumetric heat addition, and routing of reaction products, and (iii) fabricate and test the component. At the conclusion of Phase I, we will deliver a small scale demonstration propulsive component to the Air Force.

430 Lebanon Road
West Mifflin, PA 15122

(412) 462-9877
Lawrence John Long
AF 99-211
Title: Integral Superconducting Electrical Power
Abstract: Existing rocket engines use multiple auxiliary power systems (electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic) to provide power for valves, actuators, flight controls, propellant pumps and electrical systems. The size, weight and complexity of these systems detracts from many aspects of rocket performance. A lightweight source of abundant electrical power could allow us to replace these multiple hydraulic and pneumatic systems with a lightweight electrical generator driving electrically operated valves, actuators and other devices. Recent advances in superconductor technology combined with the unique environment aboard rockets with cryogenic propellants may make it possible to build a lightweight cryogenic generator to provide abundant electrical power needed to "electrify" conventional rocket systems. The generator would become an intergal part of the cryogenic boost pump and would be driven by the existing turbine. Such a system could significantly reduce the size, weight and complexity of traditional auxiliary systems, resulting in higher reliability, lower cost and easier control, monitoring and maintenance. In this SBIR program we will work with engine and vehicle and superconductor manufacturers to develop the preliminary design of a 300 kelowatt cryogenic generator that is integrated into a LH2 turbopump. The generator will be built and tested in Phase II.


(909) 307-6218
AF 99-273
Title: Magnetohydrodynamic Control System for Hypersonic Vehicles
Abstract: Missile and other aerospace vehicles are being developed to perform increasingly more demanding missions in terms of speed and accuracy. As the speed of these systems increase, traditional means of vehicle control and thermal protection are reaching their effective limits. New methods of control and thermal protection are required for these hypervelocity vehicles. It is proposed to take advantage of the physical characteristics of the hypervelocity flowfields by manipulating the plasma that forms behind the hypersonic shock of real gases. A magnetic field will be generated by the vehicle, which will enable direct control of the ions in the dissociated gases. Magnetohydrodynamic control of the ions will supplement the vehicle's aerodynamics, allowing an alternative and possibly more efficient control mechanism. At the same time, the ability to influence the motion of the hot gases without physically contacting the surface of the vehicle will enable alternatives to traditional thermal protection systems.

445 Union Blvd. Ste. 125
Lakewood, CO 80228

(303) 980-0890
Robert M. Zubrin
BMDO 99-016
Title: Solar Sail Microspacecraft
Abstract: The Solar Sail Microspacecraft (SSM) is a low-cost concept for implementing solar sail propulsion on a practical spacecraft with present-day technology. In the SSM, a simple micro-spacecraft derived vehicle is employed which could cheaply investigate multiple targets and simultaneously demonstrate the utility of small solar sails. The SSM reduces technology risk by using off-the-shelf aluminized mylar. A very small core vehicle with short range communication systems drastically reduces the size of the sails, allowing the spacecraft to be launched as a hitchhiker payload. Because the spacecraft is small, the sail is small, allowing it to be self-deployed using either a rolled spring-steel or inflatable self-deploying boom system. Because of its maneuverability, the SSM could visit multiple targets, engaging in photographic inspection of friendly or adversarial satellites. A SSM could be used to disable or destroy other satellites by parking itself in a position where it blocked the target spacecraft's solar arrays. It could also be used to interfere with the operation of an opponent's remote sensing vehicle by using its sails to block the view. This proposed study shall examine the design and construction of a low-cost, near-term SSM vehicle for immediate use in near Earth space.

222 East Huntington Drive, Suite 200
Monrovia, CA 91016

(626) 357-9983
Derek Lisoski, Ph.D.
DARPA 99-028
Title: Active Load Reduction for High Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft
Abstract: In the course of developing the solar powered Pathfinder and Centurion high altitude long endurance (HALE) uninhabited air vehicles (UAVs), AeroVironment has done extensive investigations into the effects of atmospheric turbulence on this unusual class of aircraft. This investigation found that turbulent loads are the driving factor in the design of these vehicles. In particular, two-or three dimensional turbulent motions give rise to higher loads that those from the maneuvering or one-dimensional gust loads used in classical aircraft design. Existing turbulent loads analysis techniques and data were found to be inadequate when trying to estimate the design loads for such flexible and lightweight aircraft. It was also found that almost no statistical turbulence data exists for aircraft that cruise for months at extreme altitudes and may experience only one or two takeoffs and landings during their design lifetime. As a result, the current generation of aircraft may have been significantly over-designed to account for uncertainty in the expected turbulence loads. Solar powered aircraft may have been significantly over-designed to account for uncertainty in the expected turbulence loads. Solar powered aircraft performance depends very strongly on being able to reduce weight. This document proposes to investigate the feasibility of a system that, through both an active control system for direct reduction of turbulence induced loads and, through the indirect development of a significant database of high altitude turbulence information, will lead to reduced structural weight and greatly improved performance for HALE UAVs.

2257 South 1100 East, Suite 1B
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

(801) 485-4994
Dr. Jared Sommer
ARMY 97-146
Title: High-Conductivity Composite Heat Sinks for High-Speed Helicopter Gears
Abstract: Helicopters are very vulnerable to small arms fire during low-flying operations. One major concern is the loss of the primary oil supply in the transmission due to battle damage. The absence of lubricant and subsequent overheating can cause the gears to fail prematurely. For high-speed highly-loaded gears, the heat generated by friction between the transmission gears cannot be effectively dissipated through the current gear material. New gear and heat transfer designs are required to allow high speed gears to operate for thirty minutes after loss of the primary oil supply with no supplemental emergency oil supply. Thermal Products, Inc. proposes to fabricate an aluminum composite heat sink, containing oriented, high-conductivity graphite fibers. The heat sink will be attached within the side of the gear. The high-conductivity graphite fibers will be oriented within an aluminum alloy matrix to transfer heat away from the surface contact regions of the gear toward the cooling fins of the heat sink. The aluminum composite will also exhibit a low thermal expansion to minimize thermal mismatch stresses between the gear and heat sink material. In Phase I, thermal and mechanical properties of the aluminum composite will be determined. A prototype heat sink will be fabricated. BENEFITS: The material will find use as a thermal plane or heat spreading material in high-power electronic applications because of the high conductivity and tailorable thermal expansion. The material may find application in helicopter oil reservoirs.

P.O. Box 117
Lake Elsinore, CA 92531

(909) 674-0604
Glen J. Brown
ARMY 97-159
Title: Airbeam Reinforced Parafoil
Abstract: Military and civilian users need deployable wings with high glide ratios. Applications include high offset airdrop, covert personnel insertion and sport flying. Ram air wings (parafoils) have relatively low glide ratios, generally less than 4:1. Paragliders have better glide performance at very low speeds, but are not suitable for deployment from free fall. Parafoil performance is limited principally by (1) high parasitic drag from suspension lines, (2) high profile drag from leading edge inlets, and (3) high induced drag due to low aspect ratio. All three of these drag sources can be reduced by the introduction of internal structure to the wing. Technology now exists for high strength, light weight, packable/deployable structures that are compatible with this requirement. High pressure, seamless airbeams have been developed for transportable shelters. These are manufactured by a braiding process that allows curved shapes to be made conveniently. This research has the objective of demonstrating the feasibility of using airbeam technology to dramatically improve the glide performance of ram air wings. Airbeam spars will be added to an existing parafoil and tested for improved L/D. BENEFITS: A high glide wing that is deployable form free fall and has a glide ratio of 8:1 or better is useful for a variety of military applications, principally associated with delivery of personnel or equipment. There is also a known, demonstrated market for easily portable, foot launched gliders for sport flying. The proposed wing has a unique combination of performance and convenience that will appeal to this market.

51 Middlesex Sex Street
N. Chelmsford, MA 01863

(508) 470-1859
Zvi Horovitz
ARMY 97-160
Title: Novel Parfoil Construction using 3D Weaving Techniques
Abstract: Ram air paragliders offer the advantage of relatively safe and quiet insertion of cargo that can be remotely guided to within 100 meters of the target point. Fabrication of cargo ram air parafoils however involves cumbersome cut-and-sew processes which is labor intensive leading to high cost. Weaving the ram air parafoil fabric in Net Shape Three Dimensions (NS3D) will eliminate the labor intensive cut-and-sew method. Two methods will be investigated and the best method will be used for the deliverable. Current parafoils are made of non-porous materials with ribs cut and sewn into the top and bottom of the canopy forming cells, into which the air flows. Moving through the air, filling each cell in the parafoil creates lift. This mechanism forms an aerodynamic wing-like structure. The cut and sewing process can be replaced however by other structural designs which can be manufactured cheaper and can carry heavier loads. One such design is a series of arched and tapered tubes sandwiched on the top and bottom with flat woven material. The real challenge in the airfoil project is creating an arched and tapered tube that contains no seams. Arched tubes are fairly routine in practice using NS3D weaving. However, weaving of the tapered tube requires more research for perfecting the technique (Fig. 1). FFF has the necessary technology and skill in order to successfully complete the task. BENEFITS: In addition to military and sport paragliders, this structure can be rigidized. The rigid parafoil form can be used to construct wings for military and sport gliders as well as motorized aircraft that are either heavier or lighter then air. For the same reasons that such structure can be used in an efficient aircraft, it can be used for watercraft structures as well. This can be accomplished by fitting the hydro surface with structural beams-ribs.