Smart Isolation Mounts for Army Guns with Energy Flow Controlling Structural Elements

Period of Performance: 10/29/2003 - 10/29/2005

$780K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Qrdc, Inc.
Box 562
Excelsior, MN 55331
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The U.S. Army has a critical need for the development of low cost, high performance isolation systems that benefit weapons and mission critical components onboard helicopters and aircraft. Such developments will result in a significant reduction in the transmission of excess vibration and shock loads to helicopter and aircraft airframe. An effective isolation technology will have applications for isolating vibrations from guns, engines, and main rotor head transmission mounts in Army helicopters with emphasis on reducing the vibration to the airframe and onboard mission equipment package LRUs. The goal is to increase the LRU MTBF and lower overall logistics cost. Vibration and shock attenuation is the focus of this project. We offer to demonstrate the effectiveness and performance of the Smart Isolation Mounts for Army Guns (SIMAG) with Energy Flow-Controlling Structural Elements designs suitable for use in military airborne vehicles such as helicopters, aircraft, and UAVs. Excess vibration energies will be channeled and attenuated inside the proposed Smart Isolation Mounts whose continuous and connected elements will have energy flow-controlling and energy-managing capabilities. It is the energy-managing and energy-controlling features of the SIMAG that makes our design unique and effective. This innovative Smart isolation Mount will be designed to be effective and failsafe. The proposed mount creates a barrier between vibration energy generated by guns, engines, and sensitive optical and electrical components onboard helicopters or aircraft. Vibration and shock disturbances injected into the mounts will be confined, diverted, converted, absorbed, steered, and dissipated using embedded passive, semi-active, and hybrid elements. The semi-active feature of the proposed isolation mount will have the capability of changing it stiffness and/or damping rates in an on-off manner to accommodate operational changes. Effective isolation mounts have applications in the current commercial piston and turboprop aircraft as well as helicopters. The combination of improved vibration isolation while maintaining static alignment conditions under shock loads will also be applicable to better isolating a variety of military and commercial power trains from the rest of the vehicle. In addition to airborne types, these vehicles include passenger automobiles, commercial trucks, marine vehicles such as submarines and surface ships.