A High Power Density Rotary Engine for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Period of Performance: 09/19/2014 - 09/18/2015


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Materials & Electrochemical Research
7960 South Kolb Road
Tucson, AZ 85756
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Arizona
888 N Euclid Ave
Tucson, AZ 85721
Institution POC


In Phase I MER demonstrated the superior performance and power-to-weight ratios of the VS-Rotary engine. In Phase II MER will team with the University of Arizona who will provide engine modeling, simulation, and analysis along with advanced precision machining and fabrication. MER will also team with NCE of Tucson to provide test and systems integration development of the engine to the application. This project builds upon a NAVAIR UAV propulsion SBIR where MER demonstrated the VS-Rotary design for a projected 50HP use. Unlike the Wankel rotary design the, VS-Rotary has vanes that move in/out along the elliptical engine case as the rotor spins. In Phase II MER will design the vane & rotor seals, lubrication system, and fuel injection system, and the university will model and fabricate the engine scaled for the specific defense application called TALOS. The MER team will conduct tests to validate models and demonstrate power performance and efficiency. The effort will culminate by building and delivering two wearable prototype VS-Rotary power systems.