Cornerstone Research Group, Inc. (CRG) has applied for significant funding for an eAviation project. CRG is applying to fully fund the $7 million project’s planning and studies processes through the Priority Development and Advocacy Committee (PDAC). PDAC, which is staffed by the Dayton Development Coalition, allows the community to set priorities when seeking funding from state and federal sources.
CRG, a leader in design and integration of quiet electric propulsion systems for experimental and prototype aircraft nearing transition to the field, is prepped to close gaps and further propel the expanding aviation market. CRG’s contribution is the development of unique quiet electric propulsion technology – its development supported by AFRL, IARPA, and other government and commercial entities – to address the needs of both defense and commercial electric aircraft.
With a five times lower noise footprint, the quiet electric ducted fan propulsors are applicable to a wide range of aircraft sizes for both commercial and defense usage. Products have already been demonstrated on multiple experimental and prototype U.S. Government aircraft. CRG also sells quiet propulsors commercially through its spin-off, Lectratek, LLC. Lectratek is a domestic supply chain and integration partner for eAviation powertrain components made in Ohio.
PDAC is tentatively scheduled to provide final recommendations for projects Feb. 10, 2023. At that time, government and private sector sources will respectively award funding based on PDAC recommendations.
CRG’s eAviation spinoff, Lectratek, was one of 19 finalists in the Urban Air Mobility Challenge selected to pitch their capabilities on September 28 in Washington D.C. This will be an opportunity for Lectratek to pitch to representatives from government agencies, Vertical Lift Consortium representatives and members, and leading corporate partners for a chance to earn their piece of $50,000 in prize money.
The Urban Air Mobility acceleration and awards program is sponsored by the Vertical Lift Consortium, the nation’s leading organization rapidly transitioning innovative aviation technologies for the U.S. government. This Challenge is the first in a series of accelerator events aligned with industry, government and military needs and over $50B in Smart Mobility initiatives within the nation’s Infrastructure Law.
Lectratek will pitch and connect its technologies with leading corporate, investment and federal prospectors. Finalists will receive engagement and membership opportunities with the Vertical Lift Consortium, while competing for $50K in non-dilutive funding.
Cornerstone Research Group, Inc. (CRG), with support from licensing partners Kineticure, LLC and Heatcon Composite Systems, Inc., launched the Rapid Cure System (RCS)™ to accelerate the cure of bonding materials throughout production and sustainment life cycles. This makes the RCS a must-have for OEMs and MRO organizations performing in-field and depot repairs.
Successful development of the RCS was accomplished through the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program.
The patented RCS is a quick, portable curing system that utilizes safe, localized heating methods and includes multiple, independent control zones. RCS products permit a single user to perform several cure processes concurrently, increasing efficiency and reducing costs. In one use case the RCS can reduce ambient cure time from 24 hours to less than 4 hours, meeting needs driven by 5th generation aircraft.
For more information about RCS products or to place an order, visit Heatcon’s website.
Karman Space & Defense, backed by Dallas-based private equity firm Trive Capital, has partnered with CRG to acquire the MG Resin family of technologies formerly marketed through Mach 5 Materials. The acquisition of MG Resins represents a significant expansion of Karman’s core competencies in integrated composite systems for space and defense applications and assures their leadership in the carbon/carbon market.
CRG developed the patented MG family of resins to address the growing need for ultra-high-temp materials with higher char yields, improved processability, and reduced cycle times. CRG designed an innovative solution that enables the production of best-in-class, high-strength carbon-carbon parts at temperatures above 1200 °C.
Karman Space & Defense is one of the largest independently owned suppliers of mission-critical flight hardware and complex sub-assemblies to the space, missile, and hypersonic markets. They provide design and engineering, precision machining, large part forming, high-temperature and structural composite material processing, and sub-assembly services, while actively adding new capabilities in collaboration with customers.
Pat Hood, CEO of CRG, commented, “We are excited to partner with Karman and believe their set of differentiated capabilities, capacity and talented team makes them the right strategic partner to deliver the MG Resin value proposition to customers across the space, missile, defense and hypersonic supply chains. We believe joining forces with Karman will accelerate the commercialization of carbon-carbon technologies, and we look forward to creating value for customers.”
CRG has landed $206K in federal funding to develop a new solid-state transformer that aims to improve the resiliency of the nation’s power grid.
CRG is one of 259 grant recipients to receive a portion of the $53M total funding awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE) last week through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
With this funding, CRG will develop a solid-state transformer with an embedded digital twin for predictive maintenance, a technique that can pinpoint repair or replacement of electronic components nearing the end of their useful life. Predictive maintenance reduces the total life cycle costs of the installed system, ultimately reducing the cost passed on to consumers. Additionally, this technology will improve the resiliency of the grid by reducing power outages, which cost the U.S. economy $150B annually.
Once demonstrated, this technology will be capable of expanding to use in a wide range of products, including power conversion systems in electric vehicles and aircraft.
“Supporting small businesses will ensure we are tapping into all of America’s talent to develop clean energy technologies that will help us tackle the climate crisis,” said Steve Binkley, Acting Director of the DOE’s Office of Science.
CRG was excited to be a part of the Dayton Ohio STEM Ecosystem (DO STEM) Virtual Career Week, May 10-14, 2021, hosted by our community’s newest STEM champions at the Dayton Ohio STEM Ecosystem. The newly formed DO STEM is a collaboration of regional partners committed to leveraging resources and opportunities to engage students in STEM activities throughout the Dayton region.
This career exploration event allowed over 2,000 students from across the region to explore virtual exhibits and attend live Career Talks with professional partners from a variety of STEM industries. These valuable career connections showed students just how many incredible future opportunities are available right in their backyard!
CRG hosted several talks over the course of three days on aircraft design careers, careers in battery engineering, and careers involving composites.
CRG teamed with Battle Sight Technologies to develop and mass produce a special crayon for warfighters, first responders and disaster-relief workers.
Dubbed CrayTac, this device allows troops to write messages or draw complex figures on walls, sidewalks and other surfaces. The markings are invisible except to someone wearing night-vision goggles. Troops can use CrayTac to mark vehicles and other equipment so they can be identified in low- or no-light situations. It also can be used in place of a glow stick to mark a room as cleared.
To achieve Battle Sight’s longer-term goals, it needed more manufacturing capacity, prompting them to team with CRG. The collaboration ultimately resulted in Battle Sight gaining enough production capacity to shift from building CrayTacs by hand to making them in large batches. CRG’s improvements to manufacturing included formulation changes as well as novel process development.
In 2019, the Air Force SBIR program awarded a Phase II contract for this project. The funding has allowed Battle Sight and CRG to progress from making CrayTacs by hand to developing the ability to produce hundreds in an hour.
The Dayton Business Journal published an article titled, “CRG Venture Studio launches new electric aviation company” about the formation of Lectratek LLC. An excerpt below:
“Cornerstone Research Group Inc. (CRG), a privately held aerospace and defense firm based in Miami Township, announced Monday its new company — Lectratek LLC. The new business, launched by CRG’s Venture Studio unit, is an electric aviation technology company. It is focused on powering “eAviation” tech for an industry the company says is poised for dramatic growth in the coming years.”
The Dayton Daily News published an article on the formation of Lectratek by CRG’s Venture Studio, titled “Miami Twp. defense contractor announces new aviation spinoff.” An excerpt is below:
“Creating new businesses and divisions is all in a day’s work for Cornerstone. Lectratek will take advantage of CRG-developed technologies, including engineering services and aircraft parts related to electric propulsion, advanced composites and safe energy storage, the company said in a release,” says an excerpt from the article.
CRG’s Venture Studio today has launched an electric aviation (eAviation) technology company, Lectratek LLC. This new company is focused on powering eAviation technologies for an industry poised for dramatic growth.
Lectratek leverages core proprietary technologies developed over the years by CRG. Initial offerings will include engineering services and aircraft components related to electric propulsion, advanced affordable composites, and safe energy storage. Growth over time is anticipated to eventually touch virtually all aspects of electric aviation powertrains and some structural components. The new company is already off to a strong start, leveraging over $25 million of prior DoD/NASA investment at CRG, including three new Agility Prime contracts.
“Nothing could be more appropriate to the Dayton region’s inventive roots than growing a company to be a leader in the next wave of aviation,” said CRG’s CEO Patrick Hood. “Electric aviation is rapidly moving from something people dream about to something people will use every day, and Lectratek is positioned to be a leader in the field.”
Lectratek is the first new company coming out of CRG’s recently formed Venture Studio to gain critical mass, according to Andrew Cothrel, CRG’s Chief Venture Officer. “We are really pleased with how quickly customer demand is becoming tangible for Lectratek, particularly for our highly unique propulsion solutions,” said Cothrel. “While it is still early days in eAviation, this is a market forecasting to be worth $178B by 2040, and we think Lectratek has something to offer that can lead to enduring success.”