US Air Force licenses modeling software to Pratt

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The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has licensed advanced modeling and simulation software to aero-engine maker Pratt & Whitney and its parent company United Technologies Corporation.

The US Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) FeMorph software reconstructs computer models to more closely match new design or as-manufactured configurations.

The software increases the number of configurations that can be assessed by engineers, leading to improved part performance at lower cost. Improved part performance in turn extends aircraft range and survivability and reduces time to target.

When used in a factory or workshop, FeMorph can assess the impact of manufacturing deviations on intended part performance, thus directing changes to the process that increase product yield. This enables cost savings for the US Air Force for engines currently in production.

Jeff Brown, a senior mechanical engineer at AFRL’s Aerospace Systems Directorate, Engine Integrity Branch and contractor Alex Kaszynski, developed the software. Brown said, “It’s exciting to see FeMorph software being adopted by industry.

“It’s the first of several software systems that we are working on to improve the design, test, and sustainment process of current and future engines.”

The agreement is a non-exclusive license and includes technical support to implement and use the software at Pratt & Whitney.

Stefan Susta, a technology transfer specialist at the Aerospace Systems Directorate, said, “We hope to launch more of our innovative solutions and intellectual property into the marketplace. Partnerships, such as this one, strengthen our industrial supply base, create mutually-beneficial collaborations and provide a return on the taxpayers’ investments.”

The FeMorph software agreement is the first time a Department of Defense agency has used the software licensing authority established under Section 801 of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. An annual license payment will be collected and used to support continued R&D.

April 30, 2018

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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