A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor banks left causing vapor contrails during an aerial demonstration at the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace and Defense Exposition (AVALON) March 3, 2017, in Geelong, Australia.

New award to support advanced structures for aerospace

By Pamela Gregg, Communication Administrator, UDRI

UDRI has been awarded a $44 million-ceiling Air Force contract to develop, demonstrate, integrate, and transition new structures technologies for aerospace vehicles.

The seven-year contract for the Structures Engineering Research Program (SERP), which will be managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Aerospace Vehicles Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, will fund research in a number of technical areas, including structural response prediction, life forecasting and structural integrity; modeling and design; and adaptive, hybrid, multifunctional and thermal structures.

The contract included an initial award of $5.7 million for the first three tasks under the program, to include research in multi-disciplinary aerospace system technologies, software engineering and structural life extension.

Deputy program manager Matt Davies, senior research engineer in UDRI’s Applied Mechanics division, said the Structures group has a longstanding history of work in analyzing, testing, modeling and developing aerospace structures. Recent work has included research into innovative structural design concepts, particularly for thermal and adaptive structures.

“Part of what we do is look at how to extend the life of existing structures, but without sacrificing reliability or safety,” Davies said. “With this new contract we will have the opportunity to work with next-generation structures and vehicles, such as those that use advanced composite and multifunctional materials.” Vehicles may range from cargo and fighter planes to unmanned air vehicles.

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