NASA Hopes Cessnas Aircraft Skin Will Protect Future Flights

first_imgEvery aerospace engineer or physicist has thought at some time or another about how well a conductive film on an airplane would work to detect impacts, lightning strikes, and other damage to the surface of the aircraft. With Southwest Airline’s recent trouble with holes in its aircraft fuselages, the need for a system that can warn pilots or ground crews to damage on the airframe could be more than useful.That’s why NASA’s awarded a $1.9 million research contract to develop a protective, self-healing external “skin” for aircraft that will consist of an energy absorbing foam and a conductive sheath over it that will provide on-board instruments a constant feed of updates to the health of the aircraft. The film is named STAR-C2 (Soothing, Thermal, Absorbing, Reflective, Conductive, Cosmetic,) and Cessna hopes that the coating will be ready to start protecting NASA craft around 2030 or 2035, which is about when we should start expecting to hear about commercial applications of the technology.[via Wired]AdChoices广告last_img read more