Design and Technology KS3 / GCSE: How smart materials are used in renewable energy solutions

Qinetiq develops stealth materials to help military aircraft avoid detection on enemy radars.

This technology is now being used to help the problem air traffic control systems have in distinguishing wind turbines from aircraft.

An introduction to how smart materials developed and used by one industry are then used to solve the problems of a different industry.

A good example of partnership working.

Teacher Notes

Could be used to demonstrate how technology transfer works, where materials developed for one context (stealth materials for military aircraft) can be adapted for another purpose (wind turbines that do not appear as 'rogue' aircraft on radar displays).

The clip might be used as part of an introduction to smart materials or as a revision activity.

In addition to the practical application of smart materials, the clip might be used to provide information, advice and guidance on careers in materials technology and engineering or control systems.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching KS3 and KS4/GCSE Design and Technology, materials.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC in England and Wales, CCEA in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 and Higher in Scotland.