Biomimetic Underwater Propulsion System Using Hybrid Synthetic Muscles
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
Electro-Active Polymers (EAP) and Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) will be used to develop hybrid synthetic muscles to propel underwater biomimetic vehicle. EAP materials that offer excellent dynamic (high frequency) response with small strains will be integratedwith SMA actuators that provide large static deflections. The primary objective of the synthetic hybrid muscle development will be to integrate the attractive features of EPA and SMA. We will incorporate such synthetic muscle designs in a propulsion systemwith active feedback control. As a second innovation, we will use intelligent, non-intrusive micro-thin skin sensors for real-time measurement and control of the most important viscous effects in blade hydrodynamics. The Phase I effort will focus on thefollowing:1. Definition of properties required of flexible propulsion devices for naval application.2. Design, fabrication, and demonstration of sample muscles with required operating characteristics.3. Demonstration of the ability to obtain, in real time, critical hydrodynamic flow phenomena that impact blade performance.4. Identification of key issues for the Phase II R&D effort. Valuable technology for the design of underwater autonomous vehicles, small boats, racing boats, recreational,a nd commercial water vehicles. Tremendous potential for industrial water pumping with quiet and low-energy pumping performance.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
Tao Of Systems Integration, Inc.
471 McLaws Circle, Suite 1 Williamsburg, VA 23185
Number of Employees:
Texas A&M University
332 WERC, 3000 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843
Carol J. Cantrell
Nonprofit college or university