The objective of this NASA SBIR program is to develop conformal Metal RubberTM
sensor skins for the distributed measurement of wall shear or skin friction on rotorcraft rotor blades. The sensor skin arrays would allow the direct two-dimensional mapping of both orthogonal components of tangential skin friction on rotor blade surfaces without requiring large recessed cavities within the blade structure. Metal RubberTM
skin friction sensor element prototypes have been demonstrated on small laboratory flow test articles. Wall shear measurement data are important to 1) establishing boundary conditions for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis of air vehicle boundary layer flow and turbulence, and 2) active flight control of air platforms. During Phase I, NanoSonic would design, fabricate and test new, large-area Metal RubberTM
sensor skin materials and arrays capable of surviving the thermal, mechanical, UV and chemical environment of operational aircraft, and work with NASA and industrial partners to transition the use of such sensor skins to use on rotor blade wind tunnel models. The new high performance Metal RubberTM
materials, sensor skin arrays, and data acquisition and signal processing electronics would be evaluated using multiple air and water flow systems at NanoSonic and in wind tunnel facilities at a partner institution.