Topical Collection "Adaptive/Smart Structures and Multifunctional Materials in Aerospace"
A topical collection in Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310).
Dr. Rafic Ajaj
Prof. Dr. Norman M. Wereley
Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland, 3179J Martin Hall, College Park, MD 20742 USA
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Interests: smart materials and structures; actuators; sensors; dampers; energy absorbers; pneumatic artificial muscles; control systems; applications to aircraft, ground vehicles, and robotic systems
Recent advances in smart structures and multifunctional materials have facilitated many novel aerospace technologies such as morphing aircraft. A morphing aircraft, bio-inspired by natural fliers, has gained a lot of interest as a potential technology to meet the ambitious goals of the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) Vision 2020 and the FlightPath 2050 documents. A morphing aircraft continuously adjusts its wing geometry to enhance flight performance, control authority, and multi-mission capability.
In the last 30 years, there have been a number of international research programmes and projects on morphing wings. Many of these programmes are still active, especially in Europe. These programmes/projects have developed many adaptive/smart structures to allow large and small shape changes and they have investigated multifunctional materials to act as actuators and/or sensors. Furthermore, adaptive structures and multifunctional materials have been used to design compliant skins which are one of the main challenges of morphing wings. These skins have to be flexible in the morphing direction but rigid in other directions to maintain the aerodynamic shape of the wing and withstand the aerodynamic loads. The other main challenge facing morphing aircraft is the ability to design light weight, stiff, and robust adaptive structures that require minimal actuation power.
The use of adaptive/smart structures and multifunctional materials is not limited to morphing aircraft but has been used extensively in other fields, such as structural health monitoring, energy harvesting, suspension systems, wind-turbine blades, and many others. Therefore, we invite papers either addressing the research opportunities outlined here, or in the general topic area of adaptive/smart structures and multifunctional materials that will make a substantive contribution to the state of the art in aerospace area.
Dr. Rafic Ajaj
Prof. Dr. Norman M. Wereley
Manuscript Submission Information
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- adaptive structures
- multifunctional materials
- morphing aircraft
- energy harvesting
- structural health monitoring
- suspension systems
- wind-turbine blades
- compliant skins
Jump to: 2017
Jump to: 2018
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: Ground Dynamic Characterization of a Fully Electrically Actuated Bi-Modal Morphing Flap
Author: Maurizio Arena, Francesco Amoroso and Rosario Pecora
Affiliation: Department of Industrial Engineering (Aerospace Section), University of Naples “Federico II”, Via Claudio, 21 -80125- Napoli (NA), Italy
Abstract: An adaptive structure is the integration of increasingly innovative technologies: reliable kinematic mechanisms, embedded servo-actuation and control systems are designed in order to assure a device fully compatible with stringent airworthiness requirements. A true-scale segment of the outer wing flap, addressed to the next generation green regional aircraft, 130-seats with open rotor configuration, was selected as test article for these investigation purposes. Such smart structural concept (4 meters span with a mean chord of 0.9 meters), conceived within JTI – Clean Sky EU Project, was designed in order to enable two different morphing modes on the basis of the A/C flight condition as well as the flap setting:
- Mode 1: Overall camber morphing to enhance high-lift performances during take-off and landing (flap deployed);
- Mode 2: Tab-like morphing mode for load control. Upwards and downwards deflection of the flap tip during cruise (flap stowed) for load control at high speed.
The specific study within the present paper aimed at investigating the dynamic performance of the morphing structure through the identification of the most significant low-frequency normal modes. The modal behaviour characterization of an aircraft represents, as known, an important early design stage for aero-servo-elastic issue, but especially for an adaptive system whose structural configuration might highly change during the flight. When dealing with the design of morphing wings, conventional structural arrangements are commonly replaced by innovative solutions enabling shape changes through actively controlled elasticity or mechanical systems. A particular attention has been given to the modal identification of the trim tab, being more exposed to dynamic vibrations at very high speed, which may lead to flutter coupling mechanism than the whole flap, always stowed during aircraft cruise phase. Often the generalized masses were determined only theoretically, starting from the discrete inertial model of the structure. In this study, instead, generalized masses associated at main mode shapes of load-control tab have been estimated by experimental way, implementing a few sensors based network with a controlled excitation. Such research activity deals then with the experimental-numerical validation of a structural model representative of the true scale flap segment. Further studies will be devoted to perform aero-servo-elastic sensitivity analyses integrating the innovative concept onto a large aircraft (i.e. CS-25 class) wing. Relying upon the good correlation level with test evidence, the numerical model represented certainly an appropriate tool for simulating hereafter critical operating scenarios.
Keywords: Electro-mechanical actuator; Finite Element Model; Generalized Mass; Ground Vibration Test; Morphing device.