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Researchers at the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, have developed a novel, lightweight artificial hair sensor that mimics those used by natural fliers—like bats and crickets—by using carbon nanotube forests grown inside glass fiber capillaries. The hairs are sensitive to air flow changes during flight, enabling quick analysis and response by agile fliers. The diagram pairs an overview of the hair sensor components with an image captured on a Scanning Electron Microscope. (Graphic courtesy of AFRL.)


Bio-inspired: Crickets, bats inspire AFRL researchers to develop smart ‘hair’ sensors for flight

Researchers at the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, have developed a novel, lightweight artificial hair sensor that mimics those used by natural fliers—like bats and crickets—by using carbon nanotube forests grown inside glass fiber capillaries. The hairs are sensitive to air flow changes during flight, enabling quick analysis and response by agile fliers. The diagram pairs an overview of the hair sensor components with an image captured on a Scanning Electron Microscope. (Graphic courtesy of AFRL.)

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