:::: One-line Brief//
Unmanned aircraft has an unpredictable flight pattern.
:::: Inspiration from Nature//
Moth (Tineola Bisselliella) out-maneuvers a bat by adopting an unpredictable flight pattern and causing radar disruption.
:::: Problem Statement//
Modern warfare is undergoing a major paradigm shift. One of the epicenters of this change is high-energy laser weaponry. It has phenomenal application in air-defense because the accuracy and speed of laser can render even the most advanced jet fighters sterile. A stealth bomber needs to be designed which can counter such a threat from the enemy.
:::: Nature Review//
A moth (Tineola Bisselliella) has to defend itself from a similar threat. It must dodge a lightning-fast airborne attack of the bat which is a much bigger predator than itself. Besides being instant, a bat attack is ultra-precise due to its dependence on the radar-tracking system instead of visual engagement. A moth needs to meet two goals:
1. The returning frequency of a bat should be disrupted so that the speed of its attack becomes its own drawback.
2. The flight trail of moth should not leave an easily decipherable pattern for the bat.
Following these two objectives, a moth has evolved the following two functions:
1. It generates its own radar frequency which deranges the frequency of a bat and
2. Its anatomy (structure and materials) can support a flight pattern with negative-stability.
:::: Technology Review//
F-16 was the first plane deliberately designed for negative-stability in air. Its maneuverability in a dogfight is dreaded to this day. However, an unpredictable and disruptive flight pattern that can dodge laser needs much more sophistication in its chaos. Lockheed Martin F-35 can make vertical take-off and is equipped with state-of-the-art stealth technology. Similarly, China and Russia recently tested the Ramjet engine technology which consumes oxygen from the atmosphere, reaching speeds up to Mach 6. All these technologies must be brought together to configure a flying machine truly capable of out-maneuvering a high energy laser beam.
:::: Nature Gadget//
An unmanned aircraft dodges laser through its negative-stability flight system, ramjet-engine thrust, and radar abruption. A stealth bomber is designed which mimics the anatomy of a moth in terms of its flexibility (1, 23) and weight distribution. The propulsion system (14) is based on ramjet technology (15) and the thrust outlets (2, 6, 8) are located at strategic places to ensure maximum unpredictability and speed.
:::: Citation Montage//
The following technologies helped in designing the systems for this nature gadget.
Row1Column2: Moth Intercepting a Bat Attack
Row1Column3: Belgium Airforce F-16 RAR Fairford
Row1Column4: A Show of F16 Maneuverability
Row2Column1: Lockheed Martin F16 SpecificationsRow2Column2: High Energy Laser Weaponry
Row2Column3: Lockheed Martin High Energy Laser Surface-to-Air Attack Concept
Row2Column4: Lockheed Martin F-35 Stealth Bomber
Row3Column1: Thrust Vector of Lockheed Martin F-35
Row3Column2: Systems of Lockheed Martin F-35
Row3Column3: Neri Oxman at MIT Media Lab (Please check out her work for inspiration)
Row3Column4: Research Breakthrough in Solid Metal Hydrogen
Row4Column1: Counter-Stealth Mechanism of Moth Against a Bat
Row4Column2: Laser Weapon Installed on Apache Helicopter
Row4Column3: Light Painting with Moth Trails
Row4Column4: Moth Flight System Analysis (Umair Zia)
Row1Column1: Closeup of a Moth
Created by Umair Zia