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Purpose and focus

The next revolution in air travel and space exploration depends on our ability to dramatically reduce mass, size and power consumption of aerospace vehicles while increasing reliability. The key is integrating intelligence and multifunctionality into the varied components of aerospace systems and vehicles.

The main focus of TiiMS is to develop and advance the nano and biotechnologies that enable our vision of adaptive, intelligent, shape-controllable micro and macro structures, for advanced aircraft and space systems. Revolutionary materials, structures and subsystems are sought to embody sensing, adaptability, self-monitoring, fault-tolerance, self-healing and autonomy to provide the functionality and intelligence for the needs of NASA aerospace missions.

While adaptive shape reconfigurability is the main TiiMS focus, future structures and materials must also incorporate

  • Multifunctionality
  • Self-healing
  • Sensing
  • Health-monitoring
  • Fault tolerance and autonomy/intelligence

The technical scope for the institute focuses on basic research issues underlying the major theme of TiiMS –– the marriage of biotechnology with nanotechnology to enable the development of intelligent reconfigurable aerospace structures. The major technical challenge will be the merging of nano to macro scales, both at the modeling level as well as physical realization.

Five key research thrusts will be emphasized:

These research areas will be integrated from concept to implementation to provide the backbone for technology demonstration experiments. Two key structural systems will be used to demonstrate novel technologies: a morphing wing with controlled structural and flow reconfiguration and a multifunctional space structure.


A collaborative effort among: Prairie View A&M University | Rice University | Texas A&M University | Texas Southern University | University of Houston | University of Texas at Arlington



NASA TEES - Texas Engineering Experiment Station Prairie View A&M University Texas A&M University Texas Southern University University of Houston Rice University University of Texas - Arlington