UV Rigid Inflatable Wing
As the unmanned exploration of Mars and Venus becomes more of a focus area at NASA, inflatable, rigidizable wings will become an enabling technology. The successful development of this type of wing will also have significant military applications in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Rigidization of inflatable wings provides several potential advantages, including reducing the vulnerability to punctures, increasing stiffness and load-carrying capability, allowing a higher aspect ratio for high altitude efficiency and longer missions, and reducing weight by eliminating the make up pressurization supply. In the Phase I program, rapid cure resin systems (10 sec at 0?aC) with long shelf lives (>10 yrs) were formulated and used to fabricate, deploy, and rigidize a half span wing. Mechanical tests of the rigidized wing showed that it had attained the desired stiffness. The Phase II program will demonstrate internal cure, tailoring the resin formulation and lighting system for more efficient rapid cure at low temperatures, determine a more optimized design for a selected application, and demonstrate improved manufacturing techniques with skinning for better aerodynamic performance. Wind tunnel tests of the optimized wing will be conducted including deployment and rigidization with internal light cure. Aerodynamic behavior during deployment and rigidization and of the rigidized wing will be determined.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Adherent Technologies, Inc.
9621 Camino del Sol NE Albuquerque, NM 87111
Number of Employees: