16 April 2016 Active vortex generator deployed on demand by size independent actuation of shape memory alloy wires integrated in fiber reinforced polymers
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Abstract
Static vortex generators (VGs) are installed on different aircraft types. They generate vortices and interfuse the slow boundary layer with the fast moving air above. Due to this energizing, a flow separation of the boundary layer can be suppressed at high angles of attack. However the VGs cause a permanently increased drag over the whole flight cycle reducing the cruise efficiency. This drawback is currently limiting the use of VGs. New active VGs, deployed only on demand at low speed, can help to overcome this contradiction. Active hybrid structures, combining the actuation of shape memory alloys (SMA) with fiber reinforced polymers (FRP) on the materials level, provide an actuation principle with high lightweight potential and minimum space requirements. Being one of the first applications of active hybrid structures from SMA and FRP, these active vortex generators help to demonstrate the advantages of this new technology. A new design approach and experimental results of active VGs are presented based on the application of unique design tools and advanced manufacturing approaches for these active hybrid structures. The experimental investigation of the actuation focuses on the deflection potential and the dynamic response. Benchmark performance data such as a weight of 1.5g and a maximum thickness of only 1.8mm per vortex generator finally ensure a simple integration in the wing structure.
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M. Hübler, M. Hübler, S. Nissle, S. Nissle, M. Gurka, M. Gurka, J. Wassenaar, J. Wassenaar, "Active vortex generator deployed on demand by size independent actuation of shape memory alloy wires integrated in fiber reinforced polymers", Proc. SPIE 9801, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2016, 98010G (16 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2217659; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2217659
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