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CU Aerospace is pursuing efficient high-energy laser technologies. Chemical oxygen-iodine lasers (COIL) and hybrid lasers (ElectricOIL and DPAL) are presently being emphasized but other types are envisaged. The COIL is a high power chemical laser that is unique because of its strong coupling to most materials and its ability to transmit through the atmosphere as well as through common fiber optics.
CU Aerospace develops electric and solar propulsion technologies for satellites. CU Aerospace further offers propulsion services including mission planning, production, testing, integration, and post-delivery support.
Space systems for defense, commercial, and civilian applications are undergoing massive reconfiguration. The utilization of space by the Air Force is seen as a force multiplier in an era of reduced ground and air forces. Commercial space applications, primarily in communications, are on the verge of enormous growth, and NASA's development of space missions for studying the earth environment, the solar system, and the universe is viable although not growing as rapidly.
Due to recent commuter aircraft accidents and the initiation of the NASA Aviation Safety Program, interest in the aircraft icing area is high. The FAA and DOD also are taking significant positions in developing aircraft icing safety technology. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has long been active in determining the performance effects of ice accretion on aircraft and has now coupled this with UIUC expertise in aircraft controls and human factors.
We are interested in bringing self-healing composite technologies that are being heavily pursued by the University of Illinois faculty into an aerospace market that is vast and diverse. Both microcapsule and microvascular approaches are being pursued for aerospace structures, when the material is cracked/ruptured, the reactive components flow to the injured region where they mix, polymerize, and self-heal thus greatly extending reliability and service-life.
CU Aerospace operates and in some instances licenses software for use in the aerospace and software industries. Proprietary computer software that can be used to solve practical problems in a range of systems including multiple laser technologies has been developed.
A genetic algorithm is a search/optimization technique based on natural selection. Successive generations evolve more fit individuals based on Darwinian survival of the fittest. The genetic algorithm is a computer simulation of such evolution where the user provides the environment (function) in which the population must evolve.
VascTech (Vaporization of sacrificial components Technology) is a unique process developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to imbue composites with three-dimensional vasculature.