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20 October 2009 Adaptive materials and aerostructures: revolutionizing uninhabited aerospace systems
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Proceedings Volume 7493, Second International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering; 74932H (2009) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.836954
Event: Second International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering, 2009, Weihai, China
Abstract
This paper is intended to introduce the international adaptive aerostructures community to the tremendous opportunities these structures can bring to uninhabited aerospace systems. The paper starts with an overview of the most critical classes of adaptive aerostructures for uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the materials which are used to drive them. The paper describes several classes of UAVs that take advantage of the various kinds of these technologies. Adaptive aerostructures are shown to be integrated into hovering, high speed, low speed and ultra-high performance UAVs. These ultra-high performance UAVs are shown to significantly benefit from newly invented Post-Buckled Precompressed (PBP) piezoelectric actuators. These UAVs are capable of hovering for extended periods of time as a helicopter in gusty, windy, dusty environments, then pop up, converting and dashing out like a missile at several hundred km/hr. The paper shows photos of ultra-high performance UAV launches from armored vehicles, a battle-damage assessment exercise and a live fire sequence with 40mm munitions. The paper concludes with a description of the Visual Signature Suppression (VSS) system which was employed on a 2m UAV operating at several hundred meters above ground level. The VSS system was shown to reduce the visual cross section to below 1.8cm2 which is the threshold for human aircraft observation. Accordingly, the VSS equipped aircraft is said to "disappear" in mid flight.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ron Barrett "Adaptive materials and aerostructures: revolutionizing uninhabited aerospace systems", Proc. SPIE 7493, Second International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering, 74932H (20 October 2009); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.836954
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