CNT-based Composite Self-Monitoring & De-icing System
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
Composites are increasingly being adopted into aero-surfaces due to their superior specific strength and stiffness, however they can be susceptible to beneath visible-surface impact data. Furthermore, as with traditional aero-surfaces, ice accumulation can result in reduced lift and increased drag. Therefore, the Navy desires an innovative, self-monitoring system for composite wings and rotor-blades to monitor surface conditions. During this SBIR, Metis Design Corporation (MDC) proposes to provide a novel solution to these requirements by leveraging 2 recent SBIR/STTR-funded innovations: direct-write (DW) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Through a NASA SBIR, MDC demonstrated with Boeing the ability to electrode a large complex surface using DW. Through an AFRL STTR, MDC demonstrated with MIT the ability to monitor the health of composites through CNT-enhanced resistance measurements. By combining these technologies, a simple, low-mass, reliable system can be produced to monitor composites for impact damage and ice-formation, as well as providing closed-loop automated de-icing. During Phase I, MDC will work with MIT & Boeing culminating in a demonstration of ice detection, de-icing and impact damage detection using DW-electroded CNT-enhanced composite specimens, with each element demonstrated independently using PC-based algorithms. In Phase I Option, MDC would embed these algorithms to demonstrate combined real-time standalone functionality.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Metis Design Corporation
10 Canal Park Suite 601 Cambridge, MA 02141
Number of Employees: