The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the design and experimental work of compliant wing and wingtip morphing devices conducted within the EU FP7 project NOVEMOR and to demonstrate that the optimization tools developed can be used to synthesize compliant morphing devices.
The compliant morphing devices were “designed-through-optimization”, with the optimization algorithms including Simplex optimization for composite compliant skin design, aerodynamic shape optimization able to take into account the structural behaviour of the morphing skin, continuum-based and load path representation topology optimization methods and multi-objective optimization coupled with genetic algorithm for compliant internal substructure design. Low-speed subsonic wind tunnel testing was performed as an effective means of demonstrating proof-of-concept.
It was found that the optimization tools could be successfully implemented in the manufacture and testing stage. Preliminary insight into the performance of the compliant structure has been made during the first wind tunnel tests.
The tools in this work further the development of morphing structures, which when implemented in aircraft have potential implications to environmentally friendlier aircrafts.
The key innovations in this paper include the development of a composite skin optimization tool for the design of highly 3D morphing wings and its ensuing manufacture process; the development of a continuum-based topology optimization tool for shape control design of compliant mechanisms considering the stiffness and displacement functions; the use of a superelastic material for the compliant mechanism; and wind tunnel validation of morphing wing devices based on compliant structure technology.
The presented work is carried out as part of the EU FP7 Project NOVEMOR and the authors thank the European Commission for funding this research (Grant Agreement 285395). Srinivas Vasista is a recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and is grateful for the financial support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The authors also gratefully acknowledge Professor Krister Svanberg for providing the MMA Matlab codes.
Vasista, S., De Gaspari, A., Ricci, S., Riemenschneider, J., Monner, H.P. and van de Kamp, B. (2016), "Compliant structures-based wing and wingtip morphing devices", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 88 No. 2, pp. 311-330. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-02-2015-0067Download as .RIS
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