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Cessna To Create Advanced Aircraft Skin For NASA

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NASA hopes a new aircraft skin called STAR-C2 (smoothing, thermal, absorbing, reflective, conductive, cosmetic) will makes planes safer. Cessna Aircraft Company, the creator of STAR-C2 technology, was recently awarded a $1.9 million contract to further develop the tech for future airplanes.

The STAR-C2 skin is applied to an aircraft as different layers of energy-absorbing foam, covered with a conductive film — essentially creating an “active health monitoring system.”

Cessna claims the skin will be able to protect airplanes from lightning, electromagnetic interference, temperature extremes, and impact damage. If any impacts occur during flight, the skin will react to give ground engineers a visual indicator of recent plane damage.

Cessna’s original report about the future of aircraft tech said that “the technology could incorporate devices that include temperature sensors, humidity sensors, strain sensors, accelerometers and light or motion sensors.”

As cool and practical as this is, don’t expect to see it anytime soon. The research being conducted is a part of NASA’s futurist research into 2030-2035 flight.

[via Wired]