A team of Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) researchers has been selected for a potential award by NASA to lead research into commercially viable civil supersonic transport aircraft that meet noise and efficiency requirements for overland flight. Put simply, their research is on designing an aircraft that can modify its shape in real time in order to optimize for fuel efficiency or quiet flight as the flight phase and conditions change. The team is one of five transformative system-level aviation innovations that NASA has selected as part of the NASA Aeronautics’ University Leadership Initiative (ULI.)
Dr. Skelton's proposal "“Tensegrity Approaches to In-Space Construction of a 1g Growable Habitat” was selected by the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program to receive as much as $500,000 in funding over the next several years. Dr. Skelton's research is exploring tensegrity as a structural paradigm for future space stations to, among other things, bring artificial gravity to astronauts, an important step for the future of long-term spaceflight. As a first step, Dr. Skelton's group will focus on the design of the habitat and how it will grow in space, as well as looking at smart manufacturing and robotics technologies to manufacture structures in space.
The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and NASA/Johnson Space Center (JSC) has signed a Space Act Agreement (SAA) that establishes a framework for increasing collaboration among the agencies’ researchers and engineers.