1 April 2014 Aeroelastic performance evaluation of a flexure box morphing airfoil concept
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The flexure-box morphing aileron concept utilizes Macro-Fiber Composites (MFCs) and a compliant box to create a conformal morphing aileron. This work evaluates the impact of the number of MFCs on the performance, power and mass of the aileron by experimentally investigating two different actuator configurations: unimorph and bimorph. Implemented in a NACA 0012 airfoil with 304.8 mm chord, the unimorph and bimorph configurations are experimentally tested over a range of flow speeds from 5 to 20 m/s and angles of attack from -20 to 20 degrees under aerodynamic loads in a wind tunnel. An embedded flexible sensor is installed in the aileron to evaluate the effect of aerodynamic loading on tip position. For both design choices, the effect of actuation on lift, drag and pitching moment coefficients are measured. Finally, the impact on aileron mass and average power consumption due to the added MFCs is considered. The results showed the unimorph exhibiting superior ability to influence flow up to 15 m/s, with equivalent power consumption and lower overall mass. At 20 m/s, the bimorph exhibited superior control over aerodynamic forces and the unimorph experienced significant deformation due to aerodynamic loading.
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Alexander M. Pankonien, Alexander M. Pankonien, Daniel J. Inman, Daniel J. Inman, "Aeroelastic performance evaluation of a flexure box morphing airfoil concept", Proc. SPIE 9057, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2014, 905716 (1 April 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2046406; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2046406

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