Air-Powered One-way Arrays

Graham Schattgen

2016

One-way coupling is a relatively new area of study. By powering the coupling externally an array of one-way coupled elements of an odd number will produce a single soliton that will propagate forever, while an array with an even number of elements will come to quiescence. This behavior has previously been observed extensively in hydromechanical and electrical models and has been demonstrated to work in short aeromechanical designs. This thesis describes the process of increasing the length of previous aeromechanical arrays by refining and miniaturizing the elements as well as reducing the number of moving parts to simplify the array. The array was inspired by Katsuo Maxted’s element design in Mathematica and printed in smooth nylon plastic by Shapeways. I observed annihilation of soliton anti-soliton pairs and studied time to quiescence as a function of initial separation of the solitons. Further improvements of this design may allow for the development of the first mechanical two-dimensional array.