US Patent No. 10,368,401

MULTI-FUNCTIONAL COMPOSITE STRUCTURES


Patent No. 10,368,401
Issue Date July 30, 2019
Title Multi-functional Composite Structures
Inventorship Ed Wen, Manassas, VA (US)
Dan Cottrell, Manassas, VA (US)
Adam Ehrmantraut, Manassas, VA (US)
Mark Blehar, Manassas, VA (US)
David Kordonowy, Manassas, VA (US)
Assignee Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, Manassas, VA (US)

Claim of US Patent No. 10,368,401

1. A multi-functional composite system comprising:a composite aircraft structure having a first composite fiber layer and a second composite fiber layer, each of the first composite fiber layer and the second composite fiber layer having a matrix material;
a composite conductor assembly sandwiched between the first composite fiber layer and the second composite fiber layer, the composite conductor assembly having two or more graphene conductors disposed between two or more insulating layers, wherein the two or more graphene conductors are arranged to define a wide area heater mat configured to generate a predetermined heat profile that defines a first region to yield a first temperature and a second region to yield a second temperature that is lower than the first temperature,
wherein the two or more graphene conductors comprises a first graphene conductor at the first region and a second graphene conductor at the second region that are independently controllable;
an electric power source electronically coupled with said composite conductor assembly to pass electric current through at least one of said two or more graphene conductors, wherein said at least one of said two or more graphene conductors is coupled to the electric power source as a resistive load and configured to generate heat when an electric current is passed through said at least one of said two or more graphene conductors,
wherein the electric power source is configured to selectively pass the electric current through the first graphene conductor, the second graphene conductor, or both the first graphene conductor and the second graphene conductor;
one or more embedded sensors in thermal contact with the first composite fiber layer or the second composite fiber layer; and
a control system operably connected to the electric power source and to the one or more embedded sensors,
wherein the control system is configured to monitor and control dynamically one or more parameters of the wide area heater mat at each of the first region and the second region as a function of feedback received from at least one of the one or more embedded sensors.