Military Researchers Consider New Active Flow Control to Eliminate Control Surfaces on Military Aircraft
Active flow control has no moving parts, adds energy or momentum to air flow in a regulated manner, and can be turned on or off as necessary.
Arlington, VA – U.S. military researchers are trying to push the bounds of future electric aircraft by eliminating control surfaces like ailerons, rudders, and flaps, and instead using actuators or effectors to add energy or momentum to the flow of air over the aircraft.
Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington issued a broad agency announcement on Monday (HR001119S0072) for the Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) project.
CRANE seeks to inject a disruptive technology early in aircraft design with new flow-control technologies and design tools. The idea is to configure and optimize an aircraft with active flow control to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of new commercial and military aircraft.
Passive control involves geometrical modifications like vortex generators on an aircraft wing for flow separation control or chevrons on an exhaust nozzle of an aircraft to mitigate noise. Passive control devices always are on, no matter the need or performance penalty.
FBO Solicitation: CRANE – Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors, due November 8, 2019.