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RESEARCH

The Ohio Aerospace Institute has researchers with expertise that can help you grow.

Since its inception in 1989, the Ohio Aerospace Institute has provided complex, award-winning on-site research support to the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), in Cleveland, and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton while also leading technical projects for numerous other federal laboratories and aerospace entities.  The areas of expertise have included computational fluid dynamics, modeling and testing of advanced materials and structures, aero and space propulsion, communications and intelligent systems, high temperature electronics, system health monitoring, power and energy storage, and systems engineering and architecture support. OAI’s highly experienced scientists represent core competencies and are recognized as the go-to personnel at GRC and AFRL.  Currently, active projects are mainly focused on advanced materials, high temperature silicon carbide-based electronics, aircraft icing, space propulsion, and multidisciplinary computational fluid dynamics.

OAI researchers have achieved a track record of significant success and recognition in their fields of endeavor. Representative achievements include numerous patents; published books and book chapters, sole-, first-, and co-authored publications in peer-reviewed journals, conference presentations and publications in proceedings; leadership roles and key chairmanships within international technical societies; conference and session chairmanships; and numerous high profile government honors, as well as multiple “R&D 100” awards. The researchers are available to assist with many of OAI’s other activities such as consortia and working groups, public private partnerships, contracted engineering support and technology transfer, site visits, education and training, as well as presentations on a wide array of topics.

For more information contact:

Dr. Andrew L. Gyekenyesi
Director of Research/Chief Scientist
AndrewGyekenyesi@oai.org

Systems Sensing & Safety

Non-destructive evaluation (NDE) and health monitoring
  • Utilize health monitoring data from smart sensors distributed throughout structure
  • Specimen scale, sub-component level, and full scale damage characterization tests of advanced materials
High Temperature Electronics
  • SiC based sensors for 500°C aerospace and harsh environment applications
  • Conventional materials fail beyond 225°C
  • Expertise in packaging technologies
Laser Diagnostics for Combustion Research
  • Measure flame temperatures, gas composition, and chemical species using Raman Spectroscopy
  • Optimize fuel/air mix
  • Subsonic/supersonic and pressure controlled cruise conditions
Aircraft Icing Research
Computational tools
  • Develop validated tools for predicting ice growth, ice protection system behavior, and the effects of ice contamination for design, analysis, and certification
  • Expertise in thermo-mechanical characterization and modeling of basic ice behavior
  • Improve current ice accretion and ice protection system prediction methods to allow use of codes for design and certification over a broad range of icing conditions, aircraft geometries, and flow conditions. This approach also ensures that codes are accurate, robust, fast, and easy to uses
Ice Adhesion Behavior
  • Characterize impact ice properties and adhesion strength
    • Develop new test techniques and employ various in-situ monitoring tools
    • Fabricate statistically significant amount of specimens under various icing conditions

Materials

Light-weight, High-performance Polymers and Structures
  • Develop molecularly engineered advanced polymeric materials and composites from design to end-use applications—including synthesis, characterization, process optimization, component design and prototyping, and manufacturing optimization
  • Research performance – durability evaluation and prediction for various applications; aeronautics, space, marine, auto, medical, durable goods.
  • Current activities: High voltage insulations for hybrid electric aircraft, high temperature organics for Stirling convertors, Curved PMCs for automotive, nanocomposites, high temperature polymer aerogels for aerospace applications
Ceramics and Metallics
  • Advance materials technology for aerospace as well as other applications
  • Integration technologies
  • Develop a wide range of approaches to join dissimilar materials for a wide range of thermo-structural conditions
  • Shape memory alloys
  • Develop stable, high-work-output, shape memory alloys for a range of application temperatures & stress levels for use in adaptive structures and actuators through a fundamental understanding & control of material properties

Structures

  • Develop testing methodologies for high temperature structural materials, sub-elements, and components
  • Thermal, dynamic, and stress analyses of aerospace structural elements (ex: sandwich structures and protective coatings on metallic alloys and ceramic matrix composites) with finite element methods
  • Simulation of lightning strike effects on delamination of CFRP panels with cohesive layers between plies to capture delaminations
  • Durability estimation of aerospace components with creep life models, fatigue crack initiation models, and fracture mechanics

Computational Modeling

Support technology development for air/space vehicle propulsion systems
  • Develop theoretical and computational models for system components
  • Advance knowledge and understanding
    • Reduce cost of access to space by improved performance and efficiency
    • Reduce environmental impact (noise and emissions)
    • Investigate new pulse detonation rocket-based combined-cycle (PDRBCC) engine concept
    • Develop models and prediction codes for propulsion system (jet) noise
    • Develop turbulence-chemistry interaction models for reacting multi-phase flow simulations
Basic Research
  • Multi-disciplinary physics
  • Uncertainty Quantification/Sensitivity Analysis
  • High-speed flows
Applications
  • CFD support of projects/experiments
  • Software/Hardware optimization for high performance computing

Space Science

Knowledge and technology to advance space exploration
  • Develop space propulsion, power, and communications technologies
  • Examine aspects of space science:  environmental interactions
    • Exploration technology
    • Advanced propulsion – high power Hall effect thrusters
    • Plasma propulsion – advanced concepts such as MPD, plasma wave acceleration
    • NIAC advanced concepts
    • Advanced solar power – advanced cells, support to DARPA FAST array testing
    • Advanced test sets for exploration communications
    • Solar and nuclear electric propulsion systems studies
    • Space sciences
    • Solar cell lifetime and arcing in space
    • Environmental monitoring instrumentation

Ceramics

  • Laminated Object Manufacturing of ceramic matrix composites
  • Binder jet printing technologies (with RP+M)
    • Study processing constituents (e.g., SiC powders, infiltrants, fiber reinforcements)
    • Assess microstructure (optical and SEM) and properties (densities and bend tests)
  • Develop and characterize feed materials for 3-D printing of silicon carbide (SiC)-based ceramics
  • 3-D printing of multi-functional materials

Thermal Management

  • Utilize new advanced materials, such as high conductivity porous graphite foams, for solving thermal management challenges (e.g., aerospace, electronics, directed energy weapons, energy production)
    • Low density, large surface area, and engineered, open pore structure
    • High ligament thermal conductivity (>1700 W/m•K) and bulk conductivity (up to 245 W/m•K)
    • Potential for high temperature and chemically aggressive environments
  • Use as a heat exchanger and replacement for metallic finned structures
  • Employ as conductivity enhancer for phase change materials within thermal energy storage systems
  • Ohio Aerospace Institute projects address large scale production, improved foam durability via coatings, joining procedures, and basic design methodologies as well as test techniques for producing thermal, flow, and mechanical characterization data

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