SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  OSD08-UM2 (OSD)
Title:  Microsupercharger and/or Turbocharger for Small, Heavy Fuel Engines
Research & Technical Areas:  Air Platform, Ground/Sea Vehicles, Weapons

Acquisition Program:  
  Objective:  To develop microsuperchargers and/or turbochargers for unmanned aircraft, ground vehicles, and maritime systems that run on heavy fuel.
  Description:  The DoD needs to provide reliable and efficient propulsion and power systems for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned ground systems (UGS), and unmanned maritime systems (UMS). To improve the performance of small, heavy fuel internal combustion engines, superchargers and/or turbochargers are needed to increase the air charge, to develop more horsepower (hp), and improve efficiency of these systems. These unmanned systems need efficient engines that are lightweight, have high power density, and will run on heavy fuel. These engines range from below 5 hp to around 200 hp in several different configurations and also need to operate across a wide range of environmental conditions, including high altitudes for UAS, high temperatures for UGS, and possibly underwater for UMS. Ultra-efficient and reliable propulsion systems enable these unmanned systems to operate for long periods of time. Reducing the weight of the engines allows more of the vehicle payload to be used for mission systems. Heavy fuel engines are required to eliminate the costly and often dangerous need for additional fuels. There is a need for technologies at very small scales. No commercially available systems feature small size, light weight, the performance levels required, and current state-of-the-art technologies/systems cannot be scaled down to the needed sizes. The Air Force, Navy, and Army are developing small, heavy fuel engines in the 10 hp range. At this hp level, it is easier to scale the technology up than it is to take existing technology and scale down. The development of microsuperchargers and/or turbochargers for small heavy fuel engines is needed to optimize performance of these engines. Additional air charge is needed to increase hp for takeoff, high altitude operation, and to optimize performance at all atmospheric and environmental conditions. Coordination with small engine developers is encouraged. It is desired that a super/turbocharger prototype be delivered to the DoD for futher testing and evaluation.

  PHASE I: Demonstrate the feasibility of a conceptual design through development, bench testing, and simulation (if needed). The target is a 10 hp development engine.
  PHASE II: Design, fabricate, and test the super/turbocharger into an operational small, heavy fuel engine. Analyses should include power requirements, necessary connections (plumbing, mechanical, materials, and electrical), and performance parameters. The system should be designed for reduced weight and size.

  PHASE III / DUAL USE: Military application: This technology is applicable to Air Force, Navy, and Army small, heavy fuel engines currently under development. Commercial application: This technology has additional transition opportunities in the commercial sector for small engines, ground vehicles and equipment, and lightweight power generation.

  References:  1. Smith, Gary, Jerovsek, Jack, Boruta, Mike, and Meitner, Peter, Meyer Nutating Engine: a New Concept in Internal Combustion Engine Technology, 2007 Joint Propulsion Conference (AIAA), 9 - 11 July 2007, Cincinnati OH. 2. Meinger, Peter, Overcoming Present-Day Power Plant Limitations Via Unconventional Engine Design, 25th Army Science Conference, November 2006, Orlando FL.

Keywords:  internal combustion engine, supercharger, turbocharger, heavy fuel, diesel, JP5, JP8, unmanned air vehicles (UAV), unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), unmanned maritime systems (UMS)

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