29 July 2004 Variable sweep geometry primary structure actuation
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Abstract
Several corporations including QorTek and Boeing have both independently proposed variable sweep primary structures for future adaptive airframe structures as to enable miniaturized area dominance munitions and UAVs. Various new vehicle concepts must insert a high power actuator to overcome low speed aerodynamic forces within a limited packaging availability. In order to meet requirements for this and other UAV/UCAV/MMT missions, require a re-thinking on how to accomplish large motor torque/lb (rather than energy/lb) while integrating the speed and torque capability in a small package. The difficulty is highlighted by considering that piezo devices are nicely compact but can only deliver is typically 1-2ft-lb/lb; whereas SMA has potential of being lighter solution and can deliver 100-200 ft-lb/lb but has two problems: slow recovery and large weight penalty for thermal components. Fortunately, some munition applications have relatively modest control surface actuation bandwidth requirements. However, until now, the thermal aspect has been prohibitive. QorTek will present a new SMA-based motor that provides high torque/lb for UAV/UCAV/MMT systems. This unique motor design has eliminated the need for additional power components for thermal excitation (transient heating) of the SMA elements as to accomplish phase transition. The resulting package is the desirable lightweight and compact packaged solution to many air vehicle and munition needs. Moreover, the design eliminates the undesirable "snapping" action associated with SMA phase transition.
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Gareth J. Knowles, Gareth J. Knowles, Ross W. Bird, Ross W. Bird, Edward V. White, Edward V. White, Michael Valentino, Michael Valentino, } "Variable sweep geometry primary structure actuation", Proc. SPIE 5388, Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, (29 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.546329; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.546329
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