NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF AEROSPACE

NIA Researcher Honored by AHS

NIA Researcher Honored by AHS

Dr. Boris Diskin, Associate Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace, and his NASA LaRC collaborator, Dr. Eric Nielsen, were recognized by the American Helicopter Society (AHS) for their contributions to formal optimization using computational fluid dynamics for rotorcraft. Their paper, “Discrete Adjoint=Based Design for Unsteady Turbulent Flows on Dynamic Overset Unstructured Grids”, published in 2013, was the first such publication for this complex rotorcraft challenge. AHS determines the most noteworthy and significant contributions made in both the theory and practice of helicopter and other VTOL aircraft technology at designated vertical flight historical sites around the world. Significant events cited by the AHS for Langley include the creation of NACA, the building of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, the building and operation of selected wind tunnels, and the design and test of specific rotorcraft. Diskin’s paper, however, is only the second publication to receive such recognition since 1915. The AHS International Vertical Flight Heritage Site Recognition Ceremony was held at NASA Langley on May 8, 2015.

NIA Researcher Leads Team that Receives Patent

A U.S. Patent was issued on June 2, 2105 for the “Multistage Force Amplification of Piezoelectric Stacks” invention (Patent No: US9,048,759 B2). National Institute of Aerospace Senior Research Scientist, Tian-Bing Xu, is the lead inventor. Other team members include: Mia Siochi (LaRC), Lei Zuo (now at VT), Xiaoning Jiang (now at NCSU), and Jin Ho Kang (NIA). The team developed an apparatus for harvesting mechanical vibration/motion energy from a piezoelectric device. The technology has a wide variety of applications in energy management. The device is substantially lighter than current batteries, portable, and produces enough energy to power electronic devices such as cell phones. Recent comparison tests at LaRC showed that this device produced at least 4x the energy of a similar commercial piezoelectric energy harvester.

NIA Distinguished Professor Receives ONR Funding

Dr. James Hubbard, Samuel P. Langley Distinguished Professor from the University of Maryland at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) was selected to receive 2015 funding through the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The funding, given through ONR’s Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP), is awarded to support university research infrastructure essential to high-quality relevant research, providing funding for research instrumentation that is necessary to carry out cutting-edge research. Dr. Hubbard was awarded the funding for his work on the quantification and analysis of small unmanned autonomous vehicles. Dr. Hubbard is the Director of both the University of Maryland’s Morpheus Laboratory and the NIA’s Alex Brown Center for Adaptive Aerospace Research. His research focus includes morphing airframe architecture, airfoils, and missile control surfaces. Hubbard was one of only 225 researchers nationwide to receive a DURIP award for 2015.

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