Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Caterina Lamuta has received a highly-competitive Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) award from the United States Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Her DURIP proposal seeks the acquisition of an instrumentation system for the characterization and optimization of an artificial muscles-based self-morphing smart skin for antifouling and hydrodynamic drag control of underwater vehicles and robots.

The system is composed of three items:

  • The first item is an electrodynamic testing system that will be used for the viscoelastic characterization of both the artificial muscles and the final device at high frequency and temperature.
  • The second item consists of a 3D Profilometer with white light technology that will be used to control that the output texture/shape provided by the smart skin matches a target shape, with a resolution of 100 nm.
  • The third item is a 3D Profilometer with laser scanning confocal microscopy technology. This equipment, characterized by a resolution of 0.5 nm, and able to scan all types of materials (including transparent and wet media) will be used to measure the thickness of extremely thin biofilms, before and after the artificial muscles activation, to evaluate the antifouling ability of the proposed self-morphing device.

About ONR

As an executive branch agency within the Department of Defense, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) supports the President's budget. ONR provides technical advice to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Secretary of the Navy.