Intelligent control of a morphing aircraft

Neha Gandhi, Akhilesh Jha, Jeffrey Monaco, Thomas Michael Seigler, David Ward, Daniel J. Inman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

38 Scopus citations


A morphing aircraft is able to drastically alter its planform to optimize performance at very dissimilar flight conditions. Despite significant strides to develop wing structure and actuation systems, much work remains to effectively control both the morphing wing as well as the entire morphing aircraft. The control solution presented in this paper uses model-based methods that provide precise, closed-loop control of the morphing planform (i.e. wing-shape control) and simultaneously enforce prescribed closed-loop aircraft dynamics (i.e. flight control). The specific planform that is the focus of this research is the N-MAS wing designed by NextGen Aeronautics. At the wing-shape control level, the authors sought to answer two questions: (1) What is the most efficient means of actuating the underlying structure of the N-MAS wing? and (2) Given a fixed set of actuators, how does one precisely manipulate a morphing structure given inherent physical limitations? At the flight-control level, the authors sought to develop a control methodology that can: (1) accommodate different planforms that result in drastically changing plant dynamics, and (2) make the transition between any two configurations while maintaining the stability of the morphing aircraft.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - 48th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2007
Event48th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference - Waikiki, HI, United States
Duration: Apr 23 2007Apr 26 2007

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference
ISSN (Print)0273-4508


Conference48th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWaikiki, HI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • General Materials Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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