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Future flight

$44.3 million Air Force contract will support research in structures for existing and new air and space vehicles

UDRI has been awarded a seven-year, $44.3 million-ceiling Air Force contract for research and development of structures for existing and future air and space vehicles.

The award positions UDRI as a prime contractor for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Technology Research, Integration and Demonstration (TRIAD) program. Research and development will include conceptual design studies, experimental data analyses, systems engineering assessments, technology assessments and evaluations, and computational analyses.

The first task order, for $260,000, is for investigation into the loaded-hole failure behavior of three high-temperature ceramic matrix composite materials, as well as to perform carbon- and silicon carbide-based foam evaluation for structural applications. Loaded holes are holes in structures – such as bolt holes – that are subjected to levels of stress during normal operating conditions. 

Principal investigator Steve Olson (Aerospace Mechanics) said the Structures group has a longstanding history of work in analyzing, testing, modeling and developing aerospace structures. Recent work has included research into structural health monitoring, thermal structures, and micro air vehicles.

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

Each year, sponsored research programs at the University of Dayton provide real-world research opportunities to nearly 300 undergraduate and graduate students working with more than 500 professional and faculty researchers from the Research Institute, the School of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences.

March 7, 2012

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