Reduction of Structural Mass Fraction for Extreme Solar HALE Flying Wings

Period of Performance: 12/07/2007 - 08/31/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Andrews Space, Inc.
3415 South 116th Street, Suite 123
Tukwila, WA 98168
Principal Investigator


Andrews Space, Inc. proposes an innovative high altitude, long endurance (HALE) wing structural concept. The approach will be a careful optimization of the flexible and rigid structure to minimize mass. Additionally, a manufacturing feasibility study will be undertaken in order to determine if current industry tooling and methods are adequate. The effectiveness of HALE aircraft is highly dependant on mass fraction. A new structural concept is necessary to provide any drastic increase in mass fraction. By combining a new fabric technology with an innovative rigid structure, a new generation of HALE aircraft can be developed. In order to complete the atmospheric satellite missions that modern HALE aircraft strive to meet, a new type of structural design is necessary.