Metal RubberTM Sensor Skin for the Measurement of Skin-Fiction
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
This program would develop conformal sensor skin arrays based on self-assembled Metal RubberT nanocomposites for the distributed spatial measurement of skin friction and drag near the surfaces of large wind tunnels. NanoSonic would analytically model and experimentally demonstrate the performance of Metal RubberT sensor materials in response to near-surface flow fields. The shear strain detection properties of Metal RubberT can be controlled through chemical processing. Here, initial modeling and measurements would be used to determine the combination of thickness, two-dimensional sensor element size, mechanical modulus and viscoelastic loss tangent. Control over these parameters is required to optimize 1) minimum detectable signal response, and 2) maximum frequency response, while 3) controlling the length scale over which skin friction and pressure data is measured and averaged. All of these performance metrics must be approached simultaneously to provide useful flow data at wind pressure up to 2 atmospheres, where very small surface deformations, roughness and physico-chemical properties affect drag and macroscopic performance. During Phase I, NanoSonic would fabricate sensor elements sheets and convert them into appliques by adhesive coating the backside of the construction. The effectiveness of the proposed conformal sensor skins would be demonstrated on flat panels in airflow experiments.
Small Business Information at Submission:
P.O. Box 618 Christiansburg, VA 24068
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