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RAP opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory     AFRL

Morphing Aircraft Structural Technology Development


Aerospace Systems Directorate, RQ/Aerospace Vehicles Division

opportunity location
13.30.09.B6873 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 454337103


name email phone
Gregory W. Reich 937.713.7138


Morphing aircraft is by AFRL’s definition a vehicle that can achieve large-scale changes in vehicle shape, such as 50% change in wing platform area or 100% change in wing span. This variation allows a vehicle to perform radically different mission segments at near-optimal conditions, and gives mission planners and commanders on the ground increased flexibility in the types of missions that can be completed with a single vehicle type. Morphing as a technology spans the entire range of vehicle size and speed scales, from super- and hyper-sonic systems down to micro air vehicles. An opportunity exists for basic research in morphing aircraft structural technology development to support the Air Vehicles Directorate’s Adaptive Structures Team. This research focuses on several areas: (1) the integration and distribution of actuation into a structure in order to effectively move the structure using minimum energy; (2) the design of novel structural layouts and mechanization concepts using topology optimization schemes tied to linear and nonlinear structural analysis; (3) the development of viable morphing structural skin concepts that allow large motions to occur with minimum resistance, while maintaining outer mold line integrity for development and transfer of aerodynamic loads; and (4) the application of morphing technologies to micro air vehicles.



Inoyama D, Sanders B, Joo J: Journal of Aircraft 44(4): 1205, 2007


key words
Morphing aircraft structures; Adaptive structures; Topology optimization; Flexible skins; Nonlinear structural mechanics;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$80,000.00 $5,000.00

$3,000 Supplement for Doctorates in Engineering & Computer Science

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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