Research Collaborative Grant (RCG) Proposal: Planning Grant for Establishing an Engineering Research Center (ERC) for "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles" at the University of Kentucky

Grants and Contracts Details


This proposal requests support for developing a proposal for establishing an Engineering Research Center (ERC) in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology at the University of Kentucky. The ERC will be targeted to the existing National Science Foundation (NSF) announcement for ERC proposals due July 2005 or, after consideration, to other research center requests such as from DoD, NASA, or Homeland Security (HS). The focus of the ERC will be the development and dissemination ofUA V technology for national security applications. A key technological component envisioned in homeland security scenarios is a UAV capability. Two of many threat prevention scenarios include UAVs contributing to the National Maritime Surveillance System and UAVs conducting continuous border patrols. Small UAVs are also envisioned to support first-response units with advance scouting of dangerous environments. As in Defense applications, where UAVs are changing the nature of the battlefield by providing "information superiority," in Homeland Security UAVs are also essential for providing situational awareness and positive identification for decision-makers. However, to realize the promise of UAV technology for homeland security missions, efforts are needed to improve the reliability of operations. Improving UAV reliability is the single most immediate and long reaching need to ensure their success. Their current levels ofreliability impact their operational utility, their acquisition costs and their acceptance into airspace regulations. The focus of the ERC proposal will be to develop a facility dedicated to the development of technologies that will improve both the short-term and long-term reliability ofUA Vs. To achieve the goal of improved UAV reliability, the UAV Technology Center will perform basic and applied research in several areas including but not limited to low Reynolds number aerodynamics, development of advanced structures, particularly inflatable and morphing systems, incorporating/developing all-weather practices in future UAV designs, standardization of reliability data tracking for operational UAVs and incorporating emerging technologies into viable UAV systems components. The proposed ERC in UAV Technology will serve as a Center of Excellence for the development and dissemination of key technologies for UAV components in the US. Hence, collaboration with both national laboratories and industrial partners is vital. Initial partners will include NASA Ames Research Center and ILC Dover, Inc., among others. The proposal development will include such activities as visits to program managers at NSF, NASA, DoD, and HS (specifically HSARPA) and to other similarly focused centers, an extensive workshop aimed at the development of a competitive center proposal, visits to the University of Kentucky by distinguished researchers in the field to give seminars, and an exhaustive survey of the competitive landscape.
Effective start/end date11/1/0410/31/06


  • KY Science and Technology Co Inc: $20,000.00


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