TEAMS3 - Technology Engineering Aerospace Mission Support 3
TEAMS3 is the major engineering support services contract at the NASA Langley Research Center. It is the successor to a long series of contracts (from the seventies) that have provided high-end research and engineering expertise to LaRC. As a subcontractor to Analytical Mechanical Associates (AMA), ViGYAN has employees working in areas including flight dynamics, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), wind tunnel test systems, advanced adta analysis methods, support for the Space Launch System (SLS), cost analysis and project scheduling, and the development of data acquisition systems.
This task supports the LaRC Flight Dynamics Branch (FDB), primarily in the area of wind tunnel data acquisition systems. As-needed for specific test activities, subtasks modify FDB data acquisition software programs (static and dynamic aerodynamic forces and moments, on- and off-body pressures, video-based motion time histories, etc.) for 12- Foot Low Speed Tunnel (12-Foot), 14x22 Foot Subsonic Tunnel (14x22), 20-Foot Vertical Spin Tunnel (VST), and portable systems used in various other facilities).
In addition, we develop new data acquisition system capabilities as-needed, provide support for the data acquisition software during FDB wind tunnel testing, and archive/retrieve current and historical data resulting from FDB wind tunnel tests.
The 6-foot model of the SLS rocket undergoes 140 mph wind speeds in Langley’s 14x22-Foot Subsonic Wind Tunnel. Engineers are simulating ground winds impacting the rocket as it leaves the launch pad.
Credits: NASA / David C. Bowman
This task provides wind tunnel testing support for the Space Launch System (SLS). It includes tasks to develop and perform analyses of experimental and computational aerodynamics results for the SLS vehicle for the purpose of estimating experimental, modeling, and overall uncertainties in the ascent, liftoff, and booster separation static aerodynamic databases.
This project is a derivative of the ongoing SBIR Phase III Propeller Test Stand.For this task, however, ViGYAN is developing a compact 400 kW, 24000 rpm motor of less than 9” diameter to suit the confined space in a Tail Cone thruster fuselage model. This type of motor is not COTS (commercial off the shelf) and requires a custom design of stator and rotor with proper bearing systems, while optimizing the volume of the stator to provide maximum power at 24000 rpm. The aim of this phase is to identify optimal motor components, cooling systems and design of the drive motor, bearing, and shaft that interfaces with the rotary balance.
BARRT - Basic and Applied Aerospace Research and Technology
CMOE - Center Maintenance, Operations and Engineering
ViGYAN is a subcontractor to Jacobs Engineering on the LaRC Center Maintenance, Operations, and Engineering (CMOE) contract. ViGYAN offers engineering expertise in the following areas
ViGYAN supports the development of powered wind tunnel testing of advanced engine configurations for both jet and propeller type propulsion devices. The program aims to culminate in powered integrated open rotor/Ultra Fan NTF wind tunnel testing at transonic high Reynolds number conditions. In order to be able to support the task, we explore the requirements for isolated Open Rotor testing using electrical drive options.
Open rotor testing envisages use of following propeller drive requirements:
Propeller Test Stand - Center Maintenance, Operations and Engineering
The NASA Langley Low Speed Aeroacoustic Wind Tunnel (LSAWT) performs acoustic signature evaluations of various aerodynamic test articles. It has traditional been used for propulsion models simulating turbines with heated air. The wind tunnel has an open jet test section whose plenum is the anechoic chamber. An induced draft fan provides suction of atmospheric air with the following wind tunnel test capabilities for the open jet in the anechoic chamber.
The NASA Langley Low Speed Aeroacoustic Wind Tunnel (LSAWT) performs acoustic signature evaluations of various aerodynamic test articles. It has traditional been used for propulsion models simulating turbines with heated air. The wind tunnel has an open jet test section whose plenum is the anechoic chamber. An induced draft fan provides suction of atmospheric air with the following wind tunnel test capabilities for the open jet in the anechoic chamber. Characteristics of LSAWT flow are:
One natural extension of the NASA LSAWT capabilities is acoustic studies on propeller-mounted vehicles and the measurement of propeller generated noise. To analyze propeller noise signatures, the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) Aeroacoustics Branch, Research Directorate (D314) has initiated a project to build a Propeller Test Stand (PTS).
The project is being implemented through a SBIR Phase III contract with ViGYAN, Inc. The three-year effort is comprised of activities including a motor evaluation, detailed design, fabrication, and install/test in the LSAWT.
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
ViGYAN has been active in the development and use of advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes for the analysis of complex fluid physics. It's VGRID unstructured grid generation methodology became a part of the NASA Langley TetrUSS software system; this software has won two NASA Software of the Year awards (1996 and 2014).
The ViGYAN Active Damping technology was originally conceived in 2005 and 2006 through an Air Force small business innovation research SBIR award. The system uses wind tunnel balance signals to detect and minimize unwanted vibrations of wind tunnel models mounted on a cantilevered sting. Subsequent versions of the system were implemented at the NASA Langley Research Center and NASA Ames for larger models and operations at cryogenic conditions.
The current operational active damping systems attenuate vibrations in the pitch and yaw axes. They function by utilizing piezoceramic actuators located at the base of the sting to counteract the vibrations caused by aerodynamic turbulence, especially at higher angles of attack. Even though the size and utility of the systems have improved since its original development, the basic concept remains the same and continues to use ViGYAN proprietary control laws and code. The latest production version of the system, being developed for the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) under a Phase III SBIR contract, will addresses roll axis vibration and snap-back.
ViGYAN was recently awarded an Air Force SBIR to explore an advanced damper concept that eliminates the piezoceramic actuators (prone to breakage) and includes an automatic tuning system for simpler implementation.
The relevant SBIR contracts are F051-297-1394 (Phase I) and FA9101-15-C-0043 (Phase III), both for Air Force AEDC.
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Analysis
Flow survey rake installed in LSAT
NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
Atmospheric turbulence impacts aircraft safety, costs and utility. From 1988 to 2001, turbulence cost the airline Industry $31 billion, as a result of injuries, grounded aircraft, diversions, delays and cancellations due to reduced airspeed and increased fuel usage.
General Aviation aircraft have fewer options than airliners to avoid turbulence and consequently face greater hazards. As a result, many small aircraft may find themselves encountering unable to fly for many days each year. This limitation is a definite factor in the lack of acceptance, by the general public, of personal aircraft.
Turbulence hurts... the bottom line.
The application of an effective Active Ride Improvement System to both commercial airliners and small airplanes would improve safety, reduce costs, and lead to better utilization of general aviation airports around the country. While the system is applicable to all classes of aircraft, imagine the impact on market share of the first "little airplane" to have an effective Active Ride Improvement System.
System Concept and Design
Gust alleviation systems have been tried many times, but the results have been unacceptable on small airplanes due to their complexity and inability to move conventional controls fast enough to offset the gust lift as it happens. ViGYAN's Active Ride Improvement System is an open loop system with 'leading' sensing and small chord flaps that are more efficient aerodynamically than the large chord flaps, and can be moved fast enough (due to 1000 times less inertia) to practically kill the gust lift as it happens.
For typical high-cruise general aviation aircraft, our analysis indicates that 90% of the gust lift can be alleviated with the Active Ride Improvement system.
Currently, ViGYAN is developing a wind-tunnel demonstration of these principles with a 1/12-scale wing-body model.
ViGYAN has discussed the program with several General Aviation companies about forming a partnership that will take the project to the next level.
ViGYAN, Inc, provides aerospace research and development services to a wide range of corporate, government clients and non-profit clients. Business areas include: wind tunnel testing in ViGYAN's low speed wind tunnel, scientific, engineering, software development, and computer technology support.