KSEF R&D Excellence: Development of Test-Bed for Investigation and Validation of Morphing Wings

  • Jacob, Jamey (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


This project proposes to develop key technologies used for morphing aircraft structures, namely' prediction and measurement of aircraft performance variations during morphing maneuvers, as well as morphing strategies that achieve maximum performance enhancement vvith minimal shape changes. The focus of this proposal is small-scale vehicles, namely VAVsand f-lAVs. The primary difference between the requirements of a morphing system for full-scale vehicles and these small vehicles is that the aerodynamic performance of the latter relies much more heavily on specific shape parameters. This is evident in the lift and drag response of conventional airfoil sections at the low speeds encountered by DAVs. Thus, one can leverage these small changes in shape to affect large changes in the aerodynamic performance. This project proposes to develop a proof-of-concept system of adaptive wing technology. Current aerodynamic technologies, while technically active Hovvcontrol devices, attempt to control the How around a wing by grossly changing the shape of the airfoil using mechanical devices such as Haps, slats, and ailerons. While resulting in higher lift, these devices also result in higher drag (hence, lower lift-to-drag ratio} and have large weight penalties. The project proposes to develop a test-bed wing using adaptive (smart) materials to morph the wing into a new shape optimized for the given Hight conditions. The wing will be constructed using piezoelectric actuators that change the shape of the wings upper surface, thus varying the camber and the wings aerodynamic characteristics. Both experiments and numerical simulations will be conducted to validate the concept over the 12 month period of the grant.
Effective start/end date7/1/036/30/04


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