Advanced Product Development
Since 2003, ATA has supported new technology research and development (R&D) for the Army, Air Force, Navy, and NASA under the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs. The SBIR/STTR programs were established to stimulate technological innovation, increase private sector commercialization of federal R&D, and increase small business (<500 employees) participation in federally funded R&D. Technologies must serve a Department of Defense (DoD), NASA, or other federal government agency R&D need and have potential to develop into a viable product or service for commercial and/or defense markets. Intellectual property developed under the SBIR/STTR program is owned by the small business.
Several of ATA’s current technology development programs are briefly described below. If you would like additional information on any of these programs, are interested in partnering with ATA on new technology development, or are interested in licensing technology from ATA, please contact us.
ATA’s all-composite payload adapter provides a low profile, light weight, alternative solution to existing spacecraft payload vibration isolation systems. Developed in conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory, this adjustable payload adapter provides complete spacecraft isolation above a specified frequency, has the capability to support for multiple payload manifests, and has integrated damping. A single design is applicable to a range of payload weight, eliminating the need for customization on a launch-by-launch basis.
ATA’s large asymmetric fairing was developed under Air Force Research Laboratory funding. The fairing was designed to allow a paradigm shift in the packaging of future satellite and spacecraft payloads. It provides twice the payload volume of traditional cylindrical payload fairings while being usable on existing launch vehicles. The wind-tunnel validated design aims to reduce risk and cost by facilitating a reduction in spacecraft deployment mechanism complexity and/or the use of smaller launch vehicles for volume-limited payloads.
For large civil aircraft, noise signature on approach is generally dominated by airframe noise sources such as flaps, slats, and landing gear. The engine air brake (EAB) is a deployable quiet drag device that generates drag by swirling the engine exhaust flow on approach. This enables operational changes such as steeper, slower, or aeroacoustically cleaner approaches that reduce observed noise on the ground under the flight path. The noise reduction potential has been confirmed through prototype testing at NASA’s Aero Acoustic Propulsion Laboratory.
Strain Gage Calibration System for Fleet Aircraft
ATA is developing an automated, robust, and easy-to-use strain gage calibration system for the Navy that can ensure the accuracy of in-flight loads derived from in-flight strain measurements (<2% error) on fighter aircraft, including the JSF and F-18. The technology consists of a portable hardware package with integrated software. The increase in accuracy significantly improves remaining life predictions and safety while reducing maintenance downtime. Potential platforms include all aircraft with strain gages used to monitor remaining life.
Near-Field Acoustic Holography System for Jet Noise Characterization
Under SBIR funding from the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson AFB, ATA has developed a means for high resolution, high-frequency acoustic holography of full-scale hot, supersonic military jet exhausts. This allows the characterization of noise sources from the plume such that this information can be used to design and evaluate noise mitigation technologies. Initially designed for military jet engines, this technology can be extended to characterize noise sources for a variety of engine plumes including liquid and solid rocket engines.
Thermal Management System for High-Power Electronics
ATA has developed a scalable, efficient, self-contained, and low power thermal management system (TMS) for high-power electronics. The technology addresses the cooling needs of electronic systems with individual components that generate heat fluxes of 500 W/cm2 or higher, and banks of components with total heat loads of many kilowatts of power that must be efficiently dissipated. The TMS also allows stringent requirements on both spatial and temporal variations in component temperature to be met for optimal operation of the electronic systems.
Six Degree-of-Freedom Load Cell for Aircraft Weapons/Stores
ATA, partnered with UCSD, is developing a true 6-degrees-of-freedom load measurement system under STTR funding from NAVAIR. The system uses a trained network to derive loads from strain gage-based measurements at weapons/stores connectors. Benefits include the ability to directly measure forces during flight/operation , the generation of accurate input profiles for environmental testing, an enabling technology for superior test methods based upon force control, significant insight into fatigue-related failures, and improvement in connector designs.