The present invention comprises a novel, lightweight, massively parallel device comprising microelectromechanical (MEMS) fluidic actuators, to reconfigure the profile, of a surface. Each microfluidic actuator comprises an independent bladder that can act as both a sensor and an actuator. A MEMS sensor, and a MEMS valve within each microfluidic actuator, operate cooperatively to monitor the fluid within each bladder, and regulate the flow of the fluid entering and exiting each bladder. When adjacently spaced in a array, microfluidic actuators can create arbitrary surface profiles in response to a change in the operating environment of the surface. In an embodiment of the invention, the profile of an airfoil is controlled by independent extension and contraction of a plurality of actuators, that operate to displace a compliant cover.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has certain rights in this invention pursuant to Department of Energy Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 with Sandia Corporation.