A Practical Variable Geometry Aero/Hydrodynamic Control Surface

Period of Performance: 09/02/1998 - 12/31/2000


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nielsen Engineering & Research, Inc.
605 Ellis Street, Suite 200
Mountain View, CA 94043
Principal Investigator


Nielsen Engineering & Research (NEAR) is proposing to develop a practical, variable geometry control surface for submarine applications. The proposed system offers reduced weight, complexity, power consumption, and cost as compared to other potential solutions. The complete system incorporates an array of surface pressure sensors to monitor the boundary layer state, control laws to provide feedback for real-time manipulation of the foil, and a simplified shape control mechanism. During the Phase II program NEAR will 1) develop an analytical capability to predict the shape of the adaptive control surface as a function of system design parameters, ambient fluid forces, and actuator position, 2) design an adaptive control surface which meets the structural and operational requirements of their Phase III commercialization partner, 3) develop the closed-loop control system including hardware and algorithm, 4) fabricate a fully operational adaptive control surface prototype, and 5) demonstrate the prototype through wind tunnel testing. The proposed Phase II contract will prove the feasibility of this adaptive technology for use in submarine applications and will form the foundation for further Phase III commercialization efforts.