The proposed AFC design and system integration software, using the X-56 as a demonstration platform, targets key aspects of the NASA ARMD Strategic Thrust 3A: Ultra-Efficient Commercial Vehicles Subsonic Transport. The scope of the thrust covers fixed wing commercial vehicles carrying passengers and cargo in both civil and military capacities. The objective is pioneering technologies for big leaps in efficiency and environmental performance: environmental compatibility while reducing cost, increasing range, and maintaining safety. The technology is also an enabler for NASA ARMD's Strategic Thrust 2: Innovation in Commercial Supersonic Aircraft. The targeted "ultra-efficient" vehicles will use less energy with less emissions and lower perceived noise. The centerpiece of NASA's 10-year acceleration for advanced technologies testing is New Aviation Horizons (NAH), consisting of a suite of future X-planes that include hybrid electric, wing-body, and quiet supersonic demonstrators. These constitute potential Phase III applications through direct contracts with NASA and through collaborations with its industry and university partners.
Clear Science Corp.'s AFC software is enabling technology with applications, first, inside NASA and the Department of Defense (DoD) during development of new ultra-efficient, subsonic air vehicles, and, second, among aircraft manufacturers as these vehicles reach the commercial market. The proposed project will focus on the experimental X-56 program with much broader potential applications relating to active flow control. These include flutter suppression and gust load alleviation in other types of subsonic, highly flexible airframes, aerodynamic, aeroelastic, and aeroservoelastic flow control in highly maneuverable fighter aircraft operating in the subsonic, transonic, and supersonic regimes (with shocks and shock-boundary layer interactions), aerodynamic and aero-optical flow control in fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft, and aerothermodynamic flow control in hypersonic air vehicles. The AFC technology to be developed in the proposed project and demonstrated with the subsonic X-56 is directly applicable to higher-speed air vehicles. Phase III product development would extend the scope of application to a wide range of commercial and military aircraft, both manned and unmanned.