AFRL signs first of its kind software license with Pratt & Whitney

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has executed a software license agreement for FEMORPH modeling and simulation software with licensee Pratt & Whitney and United Technologies Corporation (UTC).

AFRL is the first Department of Defense agency to utilize 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 research and development.

Dr. Jeff Brown, a senior mechanical engineer at AFRL’s Aerospace Systems Directorate, Engine Integrity Branch, and Alex Kaszynski, an independent contractor, worked together to  develop FEMORPH, a software that seamlessly reconstructs computer models to match new design or as-manufactured configurations.

When used in a design application, FEMORPH increases the number of configurations that can be assessed, leading to improved part performance at lower cost.  Improved part performance extends aircraft range and survivability and reduces time to target.  At a manufacturing facility, it can be used to assess the impact of manufacturing deviations on intended part performance, thus directing changes to the process to increase product yield.  This provides cost savings to the Air Force for engines that are currently in production.  In a maintenance shop, repair approaches can be guided by modeling the damage that has been measured in the field and increase the number of repairable parts.   This extends the usable life of parts and provides more war ready engines to the warfighter.

“It’s exciting to see FEMORPH software being adopted by industry as a user-friendly software tool, reducing design and manufacturing costs. 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,” said Brown.

“We appreciate the investment by Pratt & Whitney and look forward to seeing them deploy FEMORPH software in a number of commercial applications. We also want to recognize the achievements of the scientists and engineers that developed the software,” said Dr. Doug Blake, Director, Aerospace Systems Directorate.

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

“We hope to see more engagement with industry, such as this one, to launch our innovative solutions and intellectual property into the marketplace. These partnerships strengthen our industrial supply base, create mutually-beneficial collaborations and provide a return on the taxpayers’ investments,” said Stefan Susta, a Technology Transfer Specialist at the Aerospace Systems Directorate.