If you have had a window seat in an airplane next to the wing, you have almost certainly seen as flaps on the wing disengage and engage as its lands and takes off. That is due to the fact that every phase of flight—landing, take off, maneuvering, and cruising—the perfect wing parameters differ. Till now, we have made this by changing inflexible wings with attached surfaces. But picture if the complete wing can modify shape. That’s what scientists spearheaded by MIT and NASA are operating on.
In a document in the Smart Materials and Structures journal, the study group clarifies how it has fundamentally renovated the wing of an airplane. Their new arrangement is a lightweight lattice structure, composed of number of tiny & repeating triangles made of matchstick-akin struts, wrapped in a slim polymer coating. Since this “metamaterial” is almost made of empty space, it is very lightweight. It is less than 1/1000th the density of rubber. Moreover, the carefully placed struts let the wing to automatically modify shape in response to modifications in aerodynamic loading situations. Both factors can make the airplane more energy competent. This is not a completely new idea. It was shown a few years back.
On a related note, submarines cannot usually communicate squarely with anything owing to the physical restrictions of their signal, but that may alter in the time to come. Scientists have designed a wireless system that can transfer info to the air from an underwater source. The method, dubbed as TARF (translational acoustic-RF communication), transfers a sonar signal to the land where small vibrations at various frequencies answer to the 1s and 0s of binary info. Here, a very high frequency radar can sense minuscule modifications in angles of signal that correspond to the bits of data. It is just a matter of executing the bits into useful data henceforth.