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Aerospace 2016, 3(2), 16; doi:10.3390/aerospace3020016

A Shape Memory Alloy Application for Compact Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

1
Adaptive Structures Department, Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali, Via Maiorise, Capua 81043, Italy
2
Space Exploration and Propulsion Facilities, Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali, Via Maiorise, Capua 81043, Italy
3
Aeronautics Systems Engineering Department, Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali, Via Maiorise, Capua 81043, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Javaan Chahl
Received: 2 March 2016 / Revised: 28 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Unmanned Aerial Systems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7159 KB, uploaded 31 May 2016]   |  

Abstract

Shape memory alloys materials, SMA, offer several advantages that designers can rely on such as the possibility of transmitting large forces and deformations, compactness, and the intrinsic capability to absorb loads. Their use as monolithic actuators, moreover, can lead to potential simplifications of the system, through a reduction of number of parts and the removal of many free play gaps among mechanics. For these reasons, technological aerospace research is focusing on this kind of technology more and more, even though fatigue life, performance degradation, and other issues are still open. In the work at hand, landing gear for unmanned aerial vehicles, UAV, is presented, integrated with shape memory alloys springs as actuation devices. A conceptual prototype has been realized to verify the system ability in satisfying specs, in terms of deployment and retraction capability. Starting from the proposed device working principle and the main design parameters identification, the design phase is faced, setting those parameters to meet weight, deployment angle, energy consumption, and available room requirements. Then, system modeling and performance prediction is performed and finally a correlation between numerical and experimental results is presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: shape memory alloys; landing gear; deployable systems shape memory alloys; landing gear; deployable systems
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ameduri, S.; Concilio, A.; Favaloro, N.; Pellone, L. A Shape Memory Alloy Application for Compact Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Aerospace 2016, 3, 16.

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