Leonardo da Vinci drew the earliest sketches of flying machines and airfoils. His first designs had
flappable wings based on those of a bird. However later, his sketches contained models with fixed wings similar to those of bats.
He never, however, built successful full-scale models of his designs. In 1799, Sir George Cayley was the first to build a successful, fixed wing, model glider. The Wright brothers in 1903, achieved the first man-powered, heavier than air, controlled flight. Their
airfoils were warpable, and they used pulleys to change wing shape and control flight.
QUASAM research began in the USSR in the early 1960s. The first diamond like films were grown in 1962, but they were not stable until 1978. For the next 20 years, many applications for this precursor to QUASAM were found, mainly as packaging for fragile items. When it was combined with metals, the material became invaluable to the world of electronics, having a wide range of conductivity. In 1997, QUASAM itself went into
development. QUASAM differed from its precursor in that it was perfectly setup on the molecular level. QUASAM's properties include incredible strength, corrosive resistance, and
the ability to withstand high temperature operations. [Dr
Dorfman e-mails: Feb 2003]
Pierre and Jacques Curie experimented with tourmaline, Rochelle salt, topaz, and sugar cane around 1880. They realized these crystal materials expanded and contracted in a steady manner when voltage was applied; and when pressure was applied, they produced a voltage. While determining the cuts of these crystals they realized the one-to-one ratio between the electrical effects and mechanical stress. In 1881 a mathematician,
Lippman, created a theorem that supported the Curie brother's hypothesis. In World War I, P. Langevin attempted to concoct a sonar detector using piezoelectrics. Since his efforts piezoelectrics have been used in sonar transducers, and now we also use
them in smoke detectors, printers, and amplifiers.
(1) Optimized Unmanned Aerial Vehicle with Wing Morphing
for Extended Range and Endurance is being conducted by John E. Renaud at the
University of Notre Dame. Dr. Renaud has received three grants to fund his
research. NSF has awarded Dr. Renaud two grants, the first for
Simulation Uncertainty in Multidisciplinary Design, which began on September
1, 1998 and is expected to continue until February 28, 2003, is worth
approximately $416,844, and the second for Managing Uncertainty in Bilevel
Robust Design Optimization, which began on September 1, 2001 and is expected
to continue until July 31, 2004, is worth approximately $241,831. Dr.
Renaud also received a third grant from NASA.
The NSF awards are being used to develop a collaborative
optimization framework to account for and manage the "uncertainties in the
performance predictions generated by the computer simulation tools used for the
design of complex engineering systems" (NSF Award Abstract). Reduced
product development times at reduced cost and effect is the anticipated result
of this research. Dr. Renaud has combined all of his research awards to
develop the variform wing, which is a wing that changes shape as fuel is
consumed in order to maximize the lift to drag ratio. By maximizing this
ratio, the aircraft will be able to go substantially further on the same amount
or less fuel than is currently being used. Dr. Renaud is testing a particular way to change the shape of the wing - storing the fuel in balloon
like bladders that interact with the structure of the wing. These balloons
could be in ovals or any other geometric shape. But in order to
achieve greater control over how the wing changes over time, either
non-symmetric shapes or multiple bladders of different sizes and shapes could be
used. Dr. Renaud is conducting these tests on unmanned aerial vehicles.
(2) Dr. J. T. Wang, PhD of Southern University was awarded a grant on April 1, 1996. The grant was for research being conducted on piezoelectrics and its long term effects. Studies of Relaxor
Piezoelectric Materials, is an ongoing project, which Dr. Wang confirmed in a
fax dated February 20, 2003. Approximately $1.4 million was awarded by the Office of Naval Research.
According to Wang, the objectives of the project are: to search for new ferroelectric-piezoelectric materials; to find the means to improve the function of existing materials for naval and civil applications; to provide update research topics to the students.
Dr. Wang points out that piezoelectric devices can be used for purposes other
actuators. They can also be used as a type of sonar device since piezoelectric devices can detect distant underwater signals. They are also able to generate acoustic waves that can
propagate in the water for long distances. In conclusion, the research done has succeeded in finding new materials with improved dielectric properties that can lower the cost of production.
(3) Jack R. Edwards, Jr. and Hassan A. Hassan were awarded
$115,000 by the NASA Langley Research Center for their research, Study of
High Lift Configurations. The research was conducted from September
11, 1997 to September 10, 1999 at North Carolina State University, in which they
developed a new multi-dimensional procedure for predicting boundary layer
transition onset and its extent as part of a Navier-Stokes calculation. In this approach, a model for laminar fluctuation growth is blended with a
model for turbulent fluctuation growth - the blending function determines the
extent of transitional flow and is a multi-dimensional quantity. This
approach is currently being applied to multi-element airfoils in takeoff and
Piezoelectric properties were discovered in the late 1800's and have been applied to
many products since then. Piezoelectric materials have made products electrical
in nature instead of mechanical, making them cheaper, more efficient, and dependable.
Piezoelectric materials are used in high quality dot printers, known as "Piezo Printer". These printers are faster than the traditional
printer because their print heads are driven by electromagnetic forces and use less power than the traditional printer.
Piezoactuating systems are also used in
The features of the amplifier with piezoelectric materials are: better voltage
range, current, electrical noise, and bandwidth. Due to the variation in
amplifiers, different piezoactuating systems must be produced to meet the
wide range of electonic devices. The increasing attraction to highly
dynamic electrical equipment has led to the growing demand for
piezoactuating systems. Other amplifiers seem to be oversized and low
The Common Rail System
uses piezoelectrics in
the injectors in the engine. It is used as the tip of the injector opening
and closes the valve that allows the fuel to enter the combustion chamber.
The use of the piezoelectrics allows the train to operate with a better
performance both economically and environmentally. They use less fuel than
a standard train and it complies with the EURO-4 emissions regulations.
Adaptive optics is commonly used as a term referring to deformable mirrors,
which are used to "fine tune" an image in a manner similar to glasses
for a human. It is a much more complex operation, however, because it is
attempting to compensate for such factors as optical distortion and refraction
due to heat, atmospheric scattering of light, and other such "random"
factors. Since such precise corrections require nanoscopic adjustments, piezoelectric
actuators are a perfect fit for this