• nonlinear, unsteady aerodynamics

  • simulation of flow fields for complex configurations

  • modeling tools for propulsion-airframe integration

  • stiff, lightweight structures for highly-loaded propulsion systems

  • fluid seals

  • high-load, long-life bearings

  • probabilistic structural design methods for a high-speed, high-g environment

  • automated manufacturing processes for high-performance structural materials

  • high-temperature composite materials1

Very Low-Cost UAVs

Very low-cost UAVs were considered as a focal point for trade-offs of cost against performance in vehicle design. The following key subsystem technologies will enable the development of very low-cost UAVs:

  • very low Reynolds number aerodynamics

  • bearings for long-term storage

  • low-cost accessories for propulsion systems (e.g., fuel pumps, engine controls, and electrical generators)

  • structural design criteria for expendable, low-use systems

  • expanded suite of structural materials (including low-cost, commoditygrade materials)

  • modular designs for low-cost manufacture


Some important research and development programs in composite materials and structures, such as NASA’s High Speed Research Program, have recently been discontinued.

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