James Hubbard Awarded Morphing Wing Grant
James E. Hubbard, Jr., NIA Langley Distinguished Professor from the Clark School and founder of the Morpheus Laboratory, has been awarded the first year of a multi-year grant by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Grant titled "Design,Fabrication and Testing of a Passively Morphing Ornithopter Wing for Increased Lift and Agility." The grant represents a potential three-year effort valued at $711,000.
Under the contract Morpheus Lab, in collaboration with Mary Frecker of the Engineering Design and Optimization Group at Penn State University, will be developing a purely passive means of increasing the range and endurance of flapping wing UAVs by structural modifications that significantly increase platform lift and thrust metrics without any subsequent increase in energetics or power requirements. Specifically, they will develop innovative concepts for morphing ornithopter wings, develop models and simulations of aeroelastic coupling in these wings, build prototype vehicles and conduct experiments to measure wing thrust and power.
Prof. Hubbard is recognized world-wide as an expert the control of Distributed Parameter Systems and Smart Materials and Structure applications. He has more than 18 U.S. patents in the field. The University of Maryland's Morpheus Lab located at the National Institute of Aerospace is conducting extensive research into flapping wing flight. Two years ago, Morpheus Lab created a flapping wing research initiative with the ultimate goal of designing and building fully autonomous, efficient, and agile flapping wing vehicles capable of unassisted take-off, hover, perching and soaring in addition to normal forward flight.
December 7, 2009