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
- 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.