18 April 2011 Piezoelectric composite morphing control surfaces for unmanned aerial vehicles
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The authors have explored the use of morphing control surfaces to replace traditional servo-actuated control surfaces in UAV applications. The morphing actuation is accomplished using Macro Fiber Composite (MFC) piezoelectric actuators in a bimorph configuration to deflect the aft section of a control surface cross section. The resulting camber change produces forces and moments for vehicle control. The flexible piezoelectric actuators are damage tolerant and provide excellent bandwidth. The large amplitude morphing deflections attained in bench-top experiments demonstrate the potential for excellent control authority. Aerodynamic performance calculations using experimentally measured morphed geometries indicate changes in sectional lift coefficients that are superior to a servo-actuated hinged flap airfoil. This morphing flight control actuation technology could eliminate the need for servos and mechanical linkages in small UAVs and thereby increase reliability and reduce drag.
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Osgar John Ohanian, Osgar John Ohanian, Etan D. Karni, Etan D. Karni, Chris C. Olien, Chris C. Olien, Eric A. Gustafson, Eric A. Gustafson, Kevin B. Kochersberger, Kevin B. Kochersberger, Paul A. Gelhausen, Paul A. Gelhausen, Bridget L. Brown, Bridget L. Brown, } "Piezoelectric composite morphing control surfaces for unmanned aerial vehicles", Proc. SPIE 7981, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2011, 79815K (18 April 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.881770; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.881770

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