Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Microstructures

Relating to structures ranging from the atomic to millimeter scales

Showing 6 results for Microstructures + Programs RSS
Manufacturing by assembly provides the flexibility to freely combine materials and components and is fundamental to creating devices from cell phones to appliances to airplanes. However, assembly processes are currently not practical at the nanoscale. The A2P program was conceived to deliver scalable technologies for assembly of nanometer- to micron-scale components—which frequently possess unique characteristics due to their small size—into larger, human-scale systems.
As a global force, the U.S. military is called upon to conduct missions that subject its platforms to extreme operational environments and structural loads. The endurance and performance of future Department of Defense platforms may call for the availability of materials with structural properties that significantly surpass current technology.
Recent advances in our understanding of light-matter interactions, often with patterned and resonant structures, reveal nascent concepts for new interactions that may impact many applications. Examples of these novel phenomena include interactions involving active media, symmetry, non-reciprocity, and linear/nonlinear resonant coupling effects.
Uncertainties in materials and component manufacturing processes are a primary cause of cost escalation and delay during the development, testing and early production of defense systems. In addition, fielded military platforms may have unanticipated performance problems, despite large investment and extensive testing of their key components and subassemblies. These uncertainties and performance problems are often the result of the random variations and non-uniform scaling of manufacturing processes. These challenges, in turn, lead to counterproductive resistance to adoption of new, innovative manufacturing technologies that could offer better results.
Military platforms and structures, such as vehicles, ships, aircraft and buildings, must withstand transient shock, vibrations and other structural loads in a variety of demanding operational environments. These frequent and varying transient loads are often transmitted to occupants, which can degrade warfighters’ performance by creating discomfort and injuries. In addition, varying loads can lead to shortened service life for the military platforms, as well as the equipment inside. Currently, structures designed to achieve high stiffness for static loads (dead weight) typically can’t adapt to or dampen dynamic loads well. Conversely, structures designed for high damping do not carry conventional loads as efficiently.