Distributed Skin Friction Sensor Network Enabling Neuro-Mimetic Smart Skin

Period of Performance: 04/24/2006 - 04/24/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Principal Investigator


Luna Innovations Incorporated proposes development of a suite of sensors based on the Distributed Sensing System (DSS) platform for high density in-flight measurement of strain, shape, and skin friction. Sensors will be easily embedded into multifunctional air vehicles and will provide an enabling technology for enhanced aerodynamic and structural efficiency. Luna has previously demonstrated success in making distributed strain and shape measurements on morphing aircraft components. Therefore, during the Phase I, work will be focused on demonstrating feasibility of a new sensor designed to transduce skin friction into the Distributed Sensing System. The EMI-immune fiber-optic shear sensors will target active skin friction drag reduction on High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) air vehicles. Additionally, distributed fiber-optic strain and shape measurements will be evaluated for modal suppression for gust load alleviation. Luna will consult with a leading manufacturer of compliant actuators to design the interface between the DSS and the actuator control loop. During the Phase I Luna will model, prototype, and test the proposed skin friction sensor designs in a Virginia Tech wind tunnel. During the Phase II second generation sensors will be designed and tested on a morphing surface.