HRL to Create New Structural Design Paradigm in Dynamically Adaptive Naval Craft for Structural Logic Phase II Program

MALIBU, Calif. April 2, 2013— HRL Laboratories, LLC, will lead a multifaceted team of university researchers and naval engineers to develop and demonstrate novel adaptive structures that mitigate shock and vibration to naval craft in the Structural Logic Phase II Program, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The HRL team will revolutionize structural designs that make up the basis for modern military platforms and systems by enabling these designs to passively adapt to varying loads and simultaneously exhibit high stiffness and high damping over a wide dynamic range. A novel set of architectural designs and structural hardware will be incorporated into a prototype boat that will be tested and compared against a baseline boat at sea.

“These new structures break through traditional design limits of strength and fatigue tolerance by using intentionally nonlinear behavior to automatically adapt to the needs of the vehicle,” said Christopher Henry, HRL research scientist and Structural Logic lead. “Our target is to realize an adaptive naval craft that reduces key vibration and shock loads to passengers by more than 50%.” 

In addition to naval craft applications, the technology could be applied to a variety of automotive, aerospace and architectural structures. “Compared to existing methods, our new nonlinear approaches may ultimately allow structures to better adapt to extreme loads and lead to lower weight and greater efficiency,” Henry said.


HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California ( is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial companies.

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