5 April 2006 Development and verification of real-time controllers for the F/A-18 vertical fin buffet load alleviation
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Abstract
Twin-tail fighter aircraft such as the F/A-18 may experience intense buffet loads at high angles of attack flight conditions and the broadband buffet loads primarily excite the first bending and torsional modes of the vertical fin that results in severe vibration and dynamic stresses on the vertical fin structures. To reduce the premature fatigue failure of the structure and to increase mission availability, a novel hybrid actuation system was developed to actively alleviate the buffet response of a full-scale F/A-18 vertical fin. A hydraulic rudder actuator was used to control the bending mode of the fin by engaging the rudder inertial force. Multiple Macro Fiber Composites actuators were surface mounted to provide induced strain actuation authority to control the torsional mode. Experimental system identification approach was selected to obtain a state-space model of the system using open-loop test data. An LQG controller was developed to minimize the dynamic response of the vertical fin at critical locations. Extensive simulations were conducted to evaluate the control authority of the actuators and the performance of the controller under various buffet load cases and levels. Closed-loop tests were performed on a full-scale F/A-18 empennage and the results validated the effectiveness of the real-time controller as well as the development methodology. In addition, the ground vibration test demonstrated that the hybrid actuation system is a feasible solution to alleviate the vertical tail buffet loads in high performance fighter aircraft.
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Yong Chen, Yong Chen, Wickramasinghe Viresh, Wickramasinghe Viresh, David Zimcik, David Zimcik, "Development and verification of real-time controllers for the F/A-18 vertical fin buffet load alleviation", Proc. SPIE 6173, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, 617310 (5 April 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.649573; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.649573
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