To boldly go where no man has gone before!
Mankind has built stations in orbit, set foot on the Moon, and sent spacecraft into interstellar space. We believe humans will reach beyond the Earth and Moon, to Mars, asteroids, and satellites of the outer planets. On the other hand, the deep sea remains largely unexplored. More men have been to the Moon than to the sea deeper than 20,000 feet.
The extreme, remote environments in deep space and deep sea represent the next frontier for human and robotic exploration. Exploring these strange new worlds requires unusual, unprecedented systems that can survive, monitor, and mitigate the extreme micro-climate such as high and low temperatures, thermal cycling, high pressures, radiation, dusty environment, etc.
We envision future exploration of extreme environments in deep space and deep sea needs novel structures that are not only passive, load-carrying components but also active systems that can morph, sense, communicate, harvest energy, etc. All of these systems will be integrated into lightweight, compact, and shape-adaptive configurations. There will be no clear borderline between structures and systems.
The mission of the Advanced Structures Laboratory is to
- Establish the fundamental understanding required to design and manufacture new structural systems and devices for exploring previously inaccessible extreme environments.
- Develop prototypes of novel structural systems and devices for exploring extreme environments.
- Educate the next generation of innovators capable of pushing scientific and technological boundaries.
Our research is highly collaborative and encompasses multidisciplinary fields. We work at the intersection of the following areas:
- Mechanics of structures and materials, structural optimization
- Materials (composites, electronic materials, soft materials)
- Manufacturing (micro/nanofabrication, composite manufacturing, transfer printing, additive manufacturing)
By using a combined experimental, analytical, and numerical approach, we are currently exploring the following topics: