Durable Rain Repellent Coatings for Aircraft Transparencies STTP2013-33

Period of Performance: 06/03/2015 - 12/02/2016

$875K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Maintaining a high level of visibility through aircraft transparencies is very difficult under inclement operational conditions. There have been significant academic research efforts in the area hydrophobic and superhydrophobic coatings that will shed water quickly off of surfaces. Whereas many technologies and coatings have demonstrated the primary goal of achieving watershedding properties, they have lacked mechanical and environmental durability, or have been difficult / expensive to apply. Luna Innovations has demonstrated the use of a durable, easily applied permanent coating for this application. This technology addresses the Air Force need to mitigate canopy water pooling during various flight phases on the F-16 and other fighter platforms through the use of durable protective coatings with advanced water shedding capability. The inherent hydrophobicity of the coating provides superior shedding of water from the canopy surface during take-off and landing, under mist or rain conditions. Pilot visibility imparted by the canopy coating will ultimately increase, as well as human and asset safety, when critical flight missions must occur during inclement operational conditions. DRRCAT will extend canopy component life, not only for the F-16, but potentially for F-18, F-35, F-22, KC-135, A-10, B-1, C-5 and any other aircraft platforms.