High-Altitude Morphing Aircraft (HAMAC) Flight Demonstrations

Period of Performance: 04/20/2007 - 09/30/2009

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Star Technology and Research, Inc.
3213 Carmel Bay DriveSuite 200
Mount Pleasant, SC 29466
Principal Investigator

Abstract

HAMAC is an innovative aircraft design that combines solar cells for power, fuel cells for energy storage, a high-altitude prop and electric motor with thrust vector control, and a morphing structural design that can take off conventionally, or be carried to altitude by rocket, aircraft, or balloon. HAMAC will provide an aerodynamically stable, long-endurance, responsive instrument platform that can maintain high altitudes indefinitely. HAMAC can stay above FAA-controlled airspace, 60,000 feet altitude, at any location between -69 a and +69 a latitude at the equinox, and from the summer-hemisphere pole to 35 a latitude in the winter hemisphere at the solstices. With current lithium-sulfur batteries, it could stay above 46,000 feet between -70 a and +70 a latitude at the equinox, and above 36,000 feet from the summer-hemisphere pole to 45 a latitude in the winter hemisphere at the solstices. This program will build and flight test scale model vehicles that will demonstrate the HAMAC capabilities.