Technical Directions Inc. (TDI) has developed and refined turbine engine technologies for military applications since 1983. The base technologies provide unique features in support of low-cost, expendable turbojet engine applications, such as miniature cruise missiles and other Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s). TDI has successfully utilized the U.S. Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program, combined with internal funding, to create a low-cost proprietary engine technology. United States and European patents have been granted covering these features.
TDI has assembled a team of subject matter experts in various disciplines capable of addressing all aspects related to small turbine engines. This strategy allows TDI to have the engineering depth typical of a much larger entity, while retaining the low-cost attributes and agile response found only in a small company. TDI’s experience encompasses all aspects of turbine engines, from clean-sheet design, through performance testing, vehicle integration, flight testing, and production manufacturing. Quality products, on-time delivery, and unsurpassed customer support are key tenets at TDI.
The recent focus at TDI has been directed toward expendable air vehicles where engine cost is a primary selection consideration. TDI engines have been tested at simulated flight conditions in the laboratory (such as NASA Glenn), during captive-carry testing on aircraft, as well as a variety of actual flight testing integrated into vehicle applications. Other programs at TDI concentrate on reducing the engine fuel consumption through increased component efficiencies. Portable test fixtures allow TDI to setup and quickly become fully operational onsite to better support customers.
TDI utilizes a supplier based manufacturing system, along with subject matter experts to leverage the latest manufacturing technologies and techniques. Within a very low-cost framework, TDI has used a concurrent engineering method to combine the design and manufacturing functions. All of the selected TDI suppliers produce prototype engine components using optimized production programs to verify low-cost objectives. TDI engine components are inspected by automated systems to ensure conformance to specifications.
This integrated product strategy is critical to assure that truly low-cost turbojet engines may be available for a new class of miniature munitions. Additional features of windmill cranking capability, along with fuel cooled and lubricated bearings, further reduce the installation costs of TDI engines. Since separate lubricating systems are not required, oil pumps, pressure regulators, and fluid lines are not necessary. Instead, all hydrocarbons stored onboard a vehicle are utilized to extend vehicle range. The TDI internal, high-speed, shaft-driven generator is another cost and space-saving feature.
TDI is committed to meeting the requirements of the AS-9100 Quality System Standards for quality assurance and the requirements of customers in all aspects of the manufacture, verification, and delivery of turbojet engines and support equipment to the U.S. Government, U.S. Military, and other Defense Contractors. As a testament to this philosophy, TDI was awarded the “Small Business of the Year” award by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.