ESAero awarded SBIR Phase II Award from NASA for eVTOL and UAM



Empirical Systems Aerospace Inc. (ESAero) has announced that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II Award from NASA.

Currently in negotiation, the award is under NASA Topic A1.06 for Vertical Lift Technology and Urban Air Mobility.

ESAero says that its proposal, “Validation of UAM Dynamics Modeling Tool Suite Using Scaled Modular Aerial Research Testbed,” will “comprehensively address a gap in knowledge due to a lack of publicly available datasets for the dynamic handling qualities of UAM and eVTOL aircraft powered by all-electric or hybrid-electric propulsion systems.”

With this in mind, ESAero will develop the Scaled Modular Aerial Research Testbed (SMART) vehicle, in an effort to allow the installation of modular vertical lift systems with modules representing common UAM aircraft configurations.

At the end of the effort, the “as-built” vehicle characteristics and flight test data of three different UAM configurations will be provided as deliverables, which will facilitate the validation of UAM and rotorcraft dynamic tools suites specifically designed for eVTOL. This will include the results of the Phase I work, which is a “comprehensive tool suite for the quantitative assessment of UAM aircraft ride qualities with respect to passenger comfort,” ESAero says.

“The team is excited to continue work on dynamics modeling of eVTOL configurations and to help close the knowledge gap of publicly available validation datasets,” says Nick Brake, Phase II Principal Investigator for ESAero.

“We anticipate this work will contribute to those looking to validate eVTOL dynamic modeling tools.”

The work is expected to begin in Q3 2019, and will conclude within 24 months.