InteliSpark client Vishwa Robotics has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Grant worth $449,437. This Phase II Grant is for their project, “Development of a Novel Transmission for Helicopter Applications” which focuses on developing a novel gear box for rotorcrafts.
The US Army utilizes a wide variety of vehicles across ground and air platforms, where mechanical transmissions are used to transmit power from the engine to the drive shaft. The gears are used to create a torque and speed conversion with mechanical contact between the gear teeth surfaces. Lubrication is necessary for these vehicles, to create a protective film between rolling and sliding surfaces and provide sufficient cooling to prevent failure. Resultantly, mechanical contact transmissions are highly vulnerable to loss of lubrication events and require regular maintenance for their lubrication system. Specifically, there is a need for a solution to reduce mechanical contacts within helicopter transmissions to alleviate the lubrication loss related to catastrophic failures.
Vishwa Robotics has proposed a gear box for rotorcrafts, which results in simplification of the overall structure with substantial reduction in GTOW by circumventing the lubrication package. Focusing on helicopter rotor mechanisms, they have enhanced these structures by removing the lubrication system and reduction of different mechanical frictional tribological mechanism. This allows for increase in transmission life expectancy, robustness, and a dramatic increase in reliability. Vishwa Robotics’ concept can enable future scaling up to the power class of a utility, attack, or cargo class helicopter.