Intelligent materials and structures have the ability to sense, report, and respond to their state. This ability will lead to a paradigm shift in structural design resulting in more efficient and safer structures. Real-time evaluation of the mechanical state of a structure can be used to modify operational envelopes and plan maintenance, averting catastrophic failures. Maintenance can shift from a scheduled model to a condition based model which will reduce downtime and operational costs. Additionally real-time damage detection and self healing capabilities allow for reduced damage tolerance in design leading to lighter-weight structures and more efficient vehicles.
Advanced Structures Laboratory (ASL):
The ASL seeks to advance the field of intelligent structures by researching critical issues that currently inhibit their use adoption including:
- Sensor design for harsh environments and signal/ data reduction
- Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and automated damage detection
- Ultrasonic signal transmission
- Self-healing materials