CVS is the first extensive spaceflight validation for piezocomposite actuator materials. CVS will establish operational limits, determine long-duration space environmental exposure trends, and evaluate thermal compensation options for the piezocomposite materials needed to control large-scale precision active space-structures like large deployable adaptive optical surfaces. Piezocomposite material applications include active control of composite reflectors (for example, see JPL Active Composite Reflector research), large sunshields, external occulters, large solar arrays for solar electric propulsion and other active structures. Examples include structures like the OCT Lightweight Materials and Structures long-duration deployables. Maintaining the shape of large, high-precision reflectors will be quite difficult; active reflectors that adjust their shape in situ will be cheaper and lighter. JPL CREAM compatibility provides a low-cost path to in-situ real-time space environment measurements that can, for example, unravel complex synergistic environment and interaction degradation effects on materials. Other CVS applications include active shape distortion compensation in non-reflector surfaces, e.g., struts, bipods, etc. Additionally, an active, mission-capable SHM system has a host of key applications like crew safety, ISS utilization, deep-space missions, vehicle mass reduction, and Mars and lunar exploration.
Non-NASA MFC actuator applications include small aperture adaptive optics for nanosatellite-based Earth imaging firms like PlanetLabs and nanosatellite space telescopes like ExoplanetSat. Modern tactical aircraft and hypersonic vehicles require that substantial portions of the structure withstand extreme environments that induce major thermal, mechanical and acoustic loads. A fundamental problem is the dependence of the deformation state of the structure (feedback effect) on these loads (heating, aerodynamic, acoustic)?this could be addressed by the proposed work. Active control is needed for jitter suppression and to compensate for thermal and mechanical disturbances. Commercial space companies need SHM to reduce time to launch and operation costs and improve safety. These needs are particularly important for re-useable vehicles, where information on structural integrity during all stages of flight is important for flight recertification, validation of vehicle operation models, and prediction of remaining service life. Other applications include Homeland Security structural analysis to mitigate threats (preparedness) and assess damage (response), smart structures, and SHM of civil infrastructures, land/marine structures, and military structures. Civil infrastructure includes wind turbines (alternative and renewable energy). SHM is an emerging industry driven by an aging infrastructure, malicious humans, and the introduction of advanced materials and structures.