Two Utah composite materials companies recently won three Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants from the United States Air Force (USAF) for their innovative concepts which aim to solve defense-related problems.
The winning proposals were developed with the help of the Utah Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI) and focus on composite material innovations for drones and advanced air mobility aircraft that can benefit USAF and also be commercially developed.
ElectraFly, a Utah-based company which is developing personal-flight-aircraft (advanced mobility aircraft), submitted two winning proposals. The first is the fabrication of aircraft parts using a Carbon Based Additive Manufacturing (CBAM) 3D printer provided by their partner Impossible Objects. The parts will then be tested by Weber State University’s composites lab.
ElectraFly’s second proposal is to use an infusion process to create carbon fiber aircraft parts that are too large for the CBAM 3D printer. These parts will be created with project partner Hexcel and tested at Brigham Young University’s composites lab.
The third winning proposal was submitted by Analyswift, a Utah multi-physics modeling company whose technology reduces engineering time and provides virtual testing of composite material structures, such as rotor blades, earlier in the design process. Their proposal is to develop an integrated computational blade engineering (ICBE) framework for rapid insertion of high-performance composite rotor blades into ElectraFly’s aircraft. The framework will lead to prototyped parts developed by project partner Hexcel and then tested by the Weber State University composites lab.
“We congratulate these companies on their tremendous proposals and grant wins,” said Dr. Tulinda Larsen, Executive Director, UAMMI. “These wins position Utah as a leader in composites research for advanced mobility aircraft, which is the fastest growing market in aviation,” she added.
Each winning grant will be awarded a maximum of $150K in this first of a three-phase program. The objective of Phase 1 is to determine scientific, technical and commercial merit as well as feasibility of the innovations. Phase 1 projects are to be completed over the next six months with the possibility of follow-on funding for Phase 2 and 3 up to an additional $750K.
The grant program is a result of a 2014 review of the United States’ national defense strategy, in which it was determined that the US’ military advantage over its adversaries and peer competitors was steadily eroding and that innovation would be a key tactic to correcting this. Accordingly, under the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Congress authorized the Defense Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) program allowing defense contracting officers to acquire innovative commercial items, technologies, or services which could close capability gaps.
The objective of the program is to provide potential technological advancements to the Department of Defense, incentivize small business commercialization of cutting-edge research, strengthen small businesses’ role in meeting DoD research and development needs and fortify the United States’ industrial base
Founded in 2014, the Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI) brings together public, private, community, industry and education partners to assure growth and sustainability of Utah’s advanced materials and manufacturing industry and maintain Utah’s leadership in this key global industry. www.UAMMI.org
ElectraFly is an aviation company building a hybrid-electric, personal flying vehicle. It has international patent-pending innovations to increase the lift capacity and flight times for vertical take-off and landing aircraft of any size. Electrafly innovations aim to expand today’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles, which are often limited to only carry cameras or sensors. Founded in 2017, ElectraFly offers unique and scalable innovations for the future of urban air mobility—in personal transport and package delivery. For more information, visit www.Electrafly.com
About AnalySwift, LLC
AnalySwift, LLC is a provider of composite simulation software, which enables an unprecedented combination of efficiency and accuracy, including multiphysics structural analysis and micromechanics modeling. Drawing on cutting edge university technology, AnalySwift’s powerful solutions provide customers a competitive advantage through drastic reductions in engineering time, virtual testing earlier in the design process, and handling of more complex composite structures. The company’s technologies deliver the accuracy of detailed 3D FEA at the efficiency of simple engineering models, cutting analysis time by orders of magnitude. SwiftComp is licensed from Purdue Research Foundation. VABS is licensed from Utah State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Purdue University. Find out more at www.analyswift.com
|Tulinda Larsen, UAMMI Executive Director
450 South Simmons Way, Suite 300
Kaysville, UT 84037
(801) 593-2236 Main
(443) 510-3566 Mobile
|Justin Bott, UAMMI Marketing Manager
450 Simmons Way, Suite 500
Kaysville, UT 84037
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