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Proceedings Paper

Design and development of a conformal load-bearing smart skin antenna: overview of the AFRL Smart Skin Structures Technology Demonstration (S3TD)
Author(s): Allen J. Lockyer; Kevin H. Alt; Daniel P. Coughlin; Michael D. Durham; Jayanth N. Kudva; Allan C. Goetz; James Tuss
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Paper Abstract

Documented herein is a review of progress for the recently completed 'Smart Skin Structure Technology Demonstration' (S3TD) contract number F33615-93-C-3200 performed by Northrop Grumman Corporation, Hawthorne, California and TRW/ASD, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California under the Air Force Research Laboratory, Flight Dynamics Directorate, Structures Division's direction and sponsorship. S3TD was conceived as the first serious attempt, to made a complex antenna become a bone fide aircraft structural panel, without loss of overall structural integrity or electrical performance. The program successfully demonstrated the design, fabrication, and structural validation of a load bearing multifunction antenna component panel subjected to realistic aircraft flight load conditions. The final demonstration article was a structurally effective 36 by 36 inch curved multifunction antenna component panel that withstood running loads of 4,000 pounds per inch, and principal strain levels of 4,700 microstrain. Testing the structural component to ultimate, the panel failed at the predicted limit of 148 kips equating to 150 percent design limit load, after successfully completing one lifetime of fatigue. The load conditions were representative of a mid-fuselage F-18 class fighter component panel installation. The panel was designed not to buckle at ultimate failure, and the dominant failure mode was face sheet pull off, as predicted. Structural test data correlated closely with analysis. Wide band electrical performance for the component antenna panel was validated using anechoic chamber measurements and near field probing techniques, covering avionics communication navigation and identification and electronic warfare functions in the 0.15 to 2.2 GHz frequency regimes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 July 1999
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 3674, Smart Structures and Materials 1999: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, (9 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.351578
Show Author Affiliations
Allen J. Lockyer, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Kevin H. Alt, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Daniel P. Coughlin, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Michael D. Durham, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Jayanth N. Kudva, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Allan C. Goetz, TRW, Inc. (United States)
James Tuss, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3674:
Smart Structures and Materials 1999: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies
Jack H. Jacobs, Editor(s)

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