SBIR Advances the Science of Aircraft Propulsion Measurement and Control

Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC) today announced that it has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract by NASA. The contract, “Optical Mach Probe,” will use a non-intrusive laser scattering technique to investigate high-speed flows to determine temperature, density and velocity. This project will support NASA’s ongoing research into subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic aircraft design and propulsion. The data obtained from these measurements will be used to validate computer models and refine engine design.

As a result of this project, MAC’s expertise in laser sensing systems will expand to support commercial products for high-speed flow studies such as those required by aerospace ground and flight research support facilities. There is additional potential for the development of advanced vehicle control systems using on-board monitoring of vehicle dynamics and propulsion processes. This represents a major opportunity for both the military and commercial aircraft industries.

“This project will further the understanding of flow fields around these high speed aircraft and improve the accuracy of predictive models,” says Peter Tchoryk, CEO of Michigan Aerospace. ”This technology is also highly relevant to turbulence detection ahead of current commercial aircraft. Aircraft integrity, safety, and performance will benefit from these advanced vehicle monitoring and control systems.” The project will be led by MAC’s Chief Scientist, Dr. David K. Johnson.