The goal of the Naval Research Lab's SmaRT-HFE program is to develop a four horsepower turboshaft engine with a specific consumption better than 0.6 lb/(hp*hr). The turbine and high-effectiveness heat exchanger will be produced from low cost ceramic materials, which retain strength at higher temperatures than metals. The engine will start and run on logistics fuels (JP-5 / JP-8), enabling future unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) to comply with the DoD/NATO "single fuel forward" policy. An integral three kilowatt direct-drive generator is being designed to convert up to 90% of the engine' output power to electricity upon demand. Assembly-level engine testing is scheduled to begin in early 2008.

Sponsors: ONR, NRL
Program type: 6.2 Exploratory Development
Years: 2004-Ongoing