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.
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