Dr. Fu-Kuo Chang is a Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. His primary research interest is in the areas of multi-functional materials and intelligent structures with particular emphases on structural health monitoring, self-sensing diagnostics, intelligent sensor networks, and multifunctional energy storage composites for transportation vehicles as well safety-critical assets. He is a recipient of the SHM Lifetime Achievement Award (2004), SPIE NDE Lifetime Achievement Award (2010), and the PHM lifetime Achievement Award (2018). He is the Editor-in-Chief of Int. J. of Structural Health Monitoring. He is also a Fellow of AIAA and ASME.
SPEECH TITLE: DESIGN OF ADVANCED MULTIFUNCTIONAL COMPOSITES FOR FLY-BY-FEEL AUTONOMOUS ELECTRIC VEHICLES
It is envisioned that the next generation aerospace vehicles will be eco-friendly and designed towards being fully autonomous and highly intelligent to achieve optimal performance with highest safety assurance for all operational conditions. The vehicles will be equipped with high-resolution state-sensing and self-awareness capabilities to diagnose their health and operating states on a real-time basis, mimicking the sensory skins of biological systems and enabling “fly-by-feel” capabilities. In addition, the vehicles will be powered by hybrid or electric propulsion systems using energy provided by advanced high-energy batteries. In this presentation, a robust and cost-effective manufacturing technique is proposed to create a new class of Multifunctional Energy Storage Composites (MESC) that can be used to design specifically for the next generation autonomous electric vehicles. The MES Composites will be built with distributed stretchable sensors/electronics networks and embedded lithium-ion batteries to form a completely integrated intelligent material system. Utilizing novel microfabrication methods, the sensor networks can be fabricated in nano/micro scales and then be stretched in several orders of magnitude to be embeddable into composite structures. A novel interlocking fabrication technique is developed to seamlessly integrate lithium-ion batteries into composites without sacrificing the structural integrity of the host while maintaining the energy capacity and electrical performance of the original battery materials. The fly-by-feel technology concept was successfully demonstrated in real-time in a wind tunnel experiment on a composite wing with integrated sensor networks. At the same time, the health of the integrated batteries could be monitored simultaneously using the built-in sensor networks. Prototypes of the multifunctional energy-storage composites were fabricated and demonstrated the feasibility of providing up to 40% weight savings on the combined battery and structural weight of existing commercial electric vehicles.