Inventors of the Month - May 2016

This article was posted on: May 4, 2016

Javid Bayandor, Scott Perino

An Advanced Omnidirectional Impact Absorber

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation recognizes Javid Bayandor and Scott Perino as Inventors of the Month for May 2016 for their invention, “An Advanced Omnidirectional Impact Absorber,” disclosed to Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties Inc.

When NASA needed to find a way to return rock samples from Mars in the most efficient way, they knew some novel approaches would be required. So they approached Virginia Tech’s CRASH lab for answers. And Javid Bayandor and graduate student Scott Perino provided the answers.

Ilustration of bicycle wheel model for this inventionBayandor and Perino extended the basic principle of a bicycle wheel (illustrated here on the left), where the tensioned spokes provide a cushioning effect to the rider, to develop a 3-dimensional version that incorporated tensioned cords and deformable structural elements, resulting in amazing crush-resistant capabilities.

In fact, the design is so good that NASA believes it may be able to return samples from the Red Planet and land them on Earth without any parachutes. Incorporating an aerodynamic recovery shell will slow the descent from space, allowing the capsule to just crash into the ground without damaging the cargo.

The technology has many other more practical applications in transportation, bumpers, crash helmets, elevators, guard rails and shipping containers. So, while it may be rocket science, it works here on Earth just as well.

Javid Bayandor is the director of the Crashworthiness for Aerospace Structures and Hybrids (CRASH) Lab and associate professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. He is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Throughout his career, Bayandor has worked directly on site with several international research organizations on a variety of aerospace related programs, such as Airbus Deutschland GmbH, Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures (CRC-ACS), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In April 2016, Bayandor was named as one of a handful of select NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Fellows.

Javid Bayandor

Scott Perino graduated with his Ph.D. and was headed for a job at NASA Langley Research Center, but before he could get there, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory snatched him away to work on their Mars Mission team.


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