TiiMS 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
reconfigurable aerospace structures. The major technical challenge will be
the merging of nano to macro scales, both at the modeling level as well as
Four key research thrusts will be emphasized:
Fabrication of functionalized nonmaterial with high strength-to-weight
ratios and self-healing capabilities.
Design of multifunctional systems at nano, micro, meso and macro levels
with appropriate methods developed to bridge the various length scales.
Nanotechnologies for multifunctional proteins and biological and chemical
Modeling and control of hierarchical adaptive systems with distributed
intelligence at different length scales.
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.