Fall of 2011, TDS receives a SBIR Phase II award (topic N112-096)

Objective of Phase Effort

The objective of this program was to develop and validate a reliable and automatic on demand oil supply system for the F-35 pumps that are capable of varying oil flow rate independent of shaft speed and then be able to deliver oil according to the true requirements.

Summary of Results from the Phase I Effort

State-of-the-art oil pumps in aircraft engines deliver a volumetric flow rate proportional to the rotor speed of the high-pressure engine core, which drive the pump via the engine gearbox. In emerging aircraft platforms, the fuel and oil systems are used to cool a variety of engine and airframe systems. The undesirable oil heating accumulates and reduces the fuel's heat-sink reserve at critical flight conditions. Maximum flow rates are set to meet requirements at maximum engine power settings. At power settings less than maximum, the oil flow exceeds system requirements and as a result, parasitic losses generate additional heat due to the fact that the system circulates more oil than necessary. As a result, weight is being added to the aircraft because the thermal management system is being sized at the low power flight conditions to handle the parasitic losses. The Phase I final report describes an engine gearbox driven, high horsepower main engine variable delivery oil system pump can be produced that will reduce system thermal output by an estimated 20% and be comparable in weight/size and reliability to current state-of-the-art pumps. The new technology being introduced mounts between the engine gearbox and pump and varies the pump speed independent of gearbox speed so that Flow On Demand can be achieved. It does not increase the overall system weight and can be used in any fuel/oil positive displacement pump application.

Potential Applications and Benefits

The benefits of this technology not found in today's state-of-art positive displacement pumps include:

  • Capability of rotating 2X faster than baseline positive displacement pumps which leads to lower size and weight
  • Capability to vary speed which leads to flow on demand and improved thermal efficiency
  • Capability to predict remaining life and compensate for pump internal wear which leads to lower cost and improved mission readiness

The technology introduced is suited for flow on demand applications where using a motor driven pump is not practical because of motor size, weight and cost. Potential Applications include:

  • Commercial, military and general aviation aircraft
  • Unmanned, space and military ground vehicles
  • Power generation industry

Summer of 2011, TDS receives a SBIR Phase I award (topic #AF103-205)


Emerging platforms such as stealth aircraft have three to five times the heat load of legacy platforms while being limited in their ability to reject heat to the environment due to the reduction of vents, grills and inlets that create radar and infra-red hotspots. This increased heat load is the result of modern avionics, advanced mission systems; fueldraulic based vectored thrust control systems, increased use of composite structures, and larger more electric aircraft engine accessories such as generators, or environmental controls.

To reduce overall fuel system temperature rise through main engine fuel pumps, Turnkey Design Services of Blue Island, IL proposes to design a variable delivery, two stage fixed displacement pump for aerospace applications that can achieve speeds greater than 16,000 RPM, has excellent metering capability due to the ability to vary stroke and speed, good thermal efficiency due to the ability to completely unload one stage, good suction capability because of the small high efficiency 1st Stage and can detect performance degradation and oncoming failures.

The program benefit is that the main engine fuel pump overall fuel temperature rise will be reduced. This in turn reduces maintenance cost of aircraft by reducing the potential of engine fuel nozzles and manifolds from clogging and increasing the life of components that rely on fuel for lubrication. Potential commercial applications include commercial aircraft that that have reduced specific fuel consumption requirements.


A gearbox driven two stage fixed displacement main engine fuel pump conceptual design is generated that has a fuel temperature rise 30% lower than state of the art centrifugal pumps.

Summer of 2010, TDS receives a SBIR Phase II award (topic #OSD08-UM4)


Wright Paterson Air Force Base issues contract to Turnkey Design Services, LLC of Blue Island, IL to develop "smart" micro fuel metering pumps that can power 15-30 and 60-100 pound thrust gas turbine engines for Remotely Piloted Vehicles.


Two "smart" micro fuel pumps configurations are developed, one that can deliver up to 30W of power and the other up to 400W of power (link to micropump)


Summer of 2008, TDS receives a SBIR Phase I award (topic #OSD08-UM4)


Turnkey Design Services, LLC of Blue Island, IL proposes to create a small lightweight "smart" fuel pump for unmanned vehicles using a small very efficient brushless motor with integrated controls and an internally-generated rotor pump. The overall size of the motor driven pump including electronics is about 2.5 " long x 1" diameter. The proposed pump provides flow metering capability by adjusting the motor speed.

The proposed motor uses high energy density rare earth magnets and specially designed windings to create the best efficiency for the required operating range of the pump. The controller is sensor less in order to eliminate the need for hall effects which take a significant amount of space.

The smart pump is capable of monitoring and transmitting its current health status, as well as monitoring sensors for use in its internal control algorithms. The smart pump would be able to determine its rotary position, drive the pump to the commanded rotary speed (or flow), while managing its speed within a certain tolerance.


Turnkey Design Services is awarded a Phase II contract to deliver micro fuel pump technology.

Fall of 2007, TDS receives a grant from Illinois Technology Development Alliance.

The grant (approved by the Navy) is to develop a DC motor capable of performing in temperature ranges from -65°F to 550°F. This is the second of series of steps being taken by TDS to develop a high temperature electro-mechanical actuator that can be used in engine environments.

Winter of 2007, TDS receives a SBIR Phase I award (topic #N07-179).


Turnkey Design Services, LLC of Blue Island, IL proposes to replace an existing high temperature electro-hydraulic actuator on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter with a smart electro-mechanical actuator.

With the advancement of electronics over the last several years, aircraft system integrators have been replacing electro-hydraulic actuation systems with electro-mechanical actuation systems. Electro-mechanical actuators are now being used to control flaps, open weapon, refueling and cargo bay doors and deploy landing gear (fly-by-wire concept). They are being used in every area on the aircraft where temperature permits, however, due to motor and electronic component material limitations the temperature environment is limited.

The proposed electro-mechanical smart actuator utilizes several technologies specific to high temperature applications above 200°C. The proposed motor is a high temperature Switched Reluctance Motor with high temperature windings. The electronics utilize silicon on insulator (SOI) and silicon carbide (SiC) technology to provide integrated motor controls and system health monitoring capability without active cooling.


A high temperature Switched Reluctance Motor is developed and tested in ambient temperatures up to 320°C with less than 10% efficiency loss.
A velocity feedback controller is developed for use with Switched Reluctance Motors.