Affordable Rotorcraft Air Vehicle Drag Reduction for Cruise Efficiency and Enhanced Lift Using Plasma Flow Control

Period of Performance: 10/26/2009 - 08/25/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Orbital Research, Inc.
4415 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44103
Principal Investigator


The V-22 Osprey can benefit from drag reductions in at least two areas: low angle of attack drag reduction will provide an improvement in the cruise efficiency and hover download reduction will provide an increase in cargo capability. Orbital Research, in collaboration with the University of Toledo, proposes to develop an innovative, affordable Plasma-On-Demand (POD) system to reduce the drag of the V-22 during cruise, improve lift characteristics during maneuvers and reduce download in hover. During the Phase I program, Orbital will experimentally demonstrate the effectiveness of strategically placed plasma actuators in novel configurations and compare the effectiveness with existing passive VGs on the V-22 geometry at representative flight Mach numbers. Additionally, in combination with novel actuator configurations, an experimental approach will be used to identify suitable dielectric materials to increase the plasma actuator effectiveness at high speeds. For the Phase I Option program, Orbital will investigate the effectiveness of the plasma actuator arrangements at representative Reynolds numbers via CFD and create a hardware integration plan highlighting the key components to be considered at a system level.