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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Smart Materials Technology for High Speed Adaptive Inlet/Nozzle Design, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

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Smart Materials Technology for High Speed Adaptive Inlet/Nozzle Design, Phase II
Enabling a new generation of high-speed civil aircraft will require breakthrough developments in propulsion systems, including novel techniques to optimize inlet performance in multiple operating conditions. Maximizing propulsive performance while minimizing weight and mechanical complexity is a key goal, and rapidly maturing smart materials technology can enable adaptive control of inlet geometry to allow in-flight optimization of engine flows. Phase I of this effort built on established device technology using high strength Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) actuators and initiated development of adaptive inlet concepts for application to Supersonic Business Jets (SSBJs). Leveraging this work as well as prior efforts in SMA device design and testing has permitted the first steps in the development a family of actuation and flow control devices for use in flight applications. Phase II will build on this work with mutually supporting design, analysis, and test activities including: detailed definition of the effectiveness of geometry adaptation in improving installed engine performance at low and high speeds; construction and test of a benchtop adaptive inlet component demonstrator using high temperature SMA alloy actuators; high-speed wind tunnel testing of sectional components with realistic thermal and aerodynamic loads; and construction of a model 3D adaptive inlet. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.