Micro Munition Technologies: Smart Material-Enabled Hovering Ducted-Fan MAV, Optimized for BDI Mission

Period of Performance: 06/09/2006 - 03/09/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Avid LLC
120 Newsome Drive Suite A
Yorktown, VA 23692
Principal Investigator


AVID LLC proposes a smart material-enabled hovering ducted-fan micro air vehicle (MAV) to greatly enhance the bomb damage information (BDI) capabilities of the U.S. Air Force. Such a design offers a more intuitive search capability for the BDI mission. Unlike fixed-wing MAVs, a ducted-fan MAV would stop, hover, and investigate an area, rotating to pan the sensor right and left, zooming in and out: observing much like a human would investigate an area. Once the search is complete, it could dash out at high speed to the next area of interest. The quality of the BDI sensing and the agility of a ducted-fan MAV are strengths that need to be evaluated in the context of the prescribed mission requirements. Conceptual designs of a ducted-fan and fixed-wing MAV (using the AVID OAV and AVID ACS design tools) will be compared in trade studies to show the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Innovative use of smart materials in the duct and control surfaces will be investigated. Dynamic models of each vehicle will be integrated with simulated sensor output in AVID SPOT (Software Pixels On Target) to evaluate the quality of the sensor performance during a BDI mission. A final optimized ducted-fan MAV design will be presented for fabrication and testing in Phase II.