Campus: San Luis Obispo -- October 19, 2007

Major NASA Research Initiatives Come to Cal Poly

Two Cal Poly Aerospace Engineering professors have been awarded separate million dollar contracts with NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. David D. Marshall and Rob McDonald submitted the winning proposals, for research related to NASA’s umbrella plan to develop future generation aircraft.

“The next two decades are ripe for an aviation renaissance,” said McDonald. “Advanced multidisciplinary physics-based design and analysis capabilities are required to pursue the revolutionary vehicle and technology concepts needed to meet NASA’s aggressive goals.”

McDonald proposed developing a multidisciplinary analysis and optimization software framework that will facilitate the design of future aircraft. He was awarded a three-year contract worth nearly one million dollars, to fund research efforts by four Cal Poly students. McDonald will also collaborate with Phoenix Integration, based in Wayne, PA, and renowned independent software developer J.R. Gloudemans.

Marshall’s research team will develop prediction methods and design and fabricate test hardware that can predict the low speed, high lift performance of Cruise Efficient Short Takeoff and Landing aircraft. The first year budget for the project totals more than $850,000. NASA will award his second and third year funding, totaling nearly three million dollars, via a down-select competition between the first year awardees.

Marshall anticipates funding at least five Cal Poly students and collaborating with several researchers, including Robert Englar of the Georgia Tech Research Institute. “Cal Poly and its collaborative partners will use a multidisciplinary approach,” said Marshall, “that integrates the talent of its highly qualified team to maximize the benefit to NASA and to the future flying public.”

Amy Hewes, 805-756-6402, ahewes@calpoly.edu


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