Guoliang Huang has done extensive research into active and programmable metamaterials, and a grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research just gave him more tools to take his research to the next level.
Huang, a professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Missouri, was one of 175 university researchers nationwide out of 671 applicants to receive a competitive grant from the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP). Huang’s award will support his project titled “Three-Dimensional Wave Propagation Measurement in Multi-functional Metamaterials.”
DURIP seeks to aid cutting-edge research on topics important to the Department of Defense by providing world-class equipment. These awards are administered by the research arms of the Army, Navy and Air Force, respectively.
Huang utilized his funds to purchase a high-quality 3D laser vibrometer, the first of its kind to be housed at the University of Missouri. 3D laser vibrometers allow for investigation of a wide array of vibrating systems in a way that does not impact the organism or object being studied. This allows for an incredible amount of noninvasive research to be done in the areas of engineering, biology, medicine, construction and many more.
“For example, the laser vibrometer can detect audible and inaudible sounds from insects and animals, record cardiovascular activities, such as ballistocardiac movements, heart walls’ local signals and blood vessels’ pressure signals,” Huang explained.
“In industrial research and development, vibrometers can be used to study objects of many different sizes, ranging from entire car bodies, airplane components, engines, bridges and buildings to tiny micro-machines and hard-drive components. Countless other research applications exist in mechanical engineering, acoustics, bioengineering, biology and many other engineering-related disciplines. Measurements can even be taken of glowing hot objects, rotating surfaces, ultrasonic tools, and complex, delicate structures.”
For Huang, it’s a tool to validate much of his previous research into multifunction metamaterials and microsystems by allowing him and his team to closely examine the manipulated elastic waves as they design for a broad frequency ranges.
“With the help of the newly installed equipment, we now are able to look at the high-quality 3D wave propagation, deformation and mode shapes of the controlled structures with wide frequency bandwidth from 0 hertz to 25 megahertz,” he said. “This equipment can almost validate all of our previous numerical results very easily.”
Huang also is excited to have the chance to share this valuable technology with researchers across campus. His hope is to collaborate on groundbreaking research by teaming up with scientists, engineers and clinicians who have studies that can make excellent use of the vibrometer.
“We hope it will be used through the campus and Missouri industry — engineering, the School of Medicine, bioimaging,” he said. “We’d love to have the laser vibrometer for any materials and mechanical systems to be measured visually, and we’re happy to talk about your projects, including those funded by the National Institutes of Health, to see what we can do for you.”