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Nanotechnology's impact on aircraft design and maintenance

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Unique research efforts relating to the development of nanoscale devices to replace standard integrated circuits, and eventually entire electronic systems. Standard integrated circuits (IC) have limitations or restrictions in size, speed, reliability, complexity and finding suitable replacements for discontinued items. Nanoscale device development and understanding has dramatically grown. One of the key properties of quantum physics that quantum computers rely on is the ability of certain atoms or nuclei to work together as quantum bits. These computing devices are a fraction of the size of typical ICs (nanoscale). Nanoscale devices developed using quantum physics principles have unlimited potential to revolutionize the methods and design of fabricated printed circuit cards and complete systems. They can replace an entire PC board or the set of PC boards that comprise a Line Replaceable Unit (LRU). This would be a good and practical jumping-off point to going directly to the complete device, system, or function level. This might include a nanoscale computer (general purpose or flight control), transmitter, GPS receiver, position and/or attitude sensors in either a stand-alone configuration, or combined within conventional devices (e.g., a nanoscale communications suite (xmtr/rcvr, etc.)) encapsulated within the Plexiglas canopy or the control yoke of an F16 rather than behind the instrument panel or maybe the whole comm suite into the pilot's helmet.

Published in:

IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 4 )