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Aerospace 2016, 3(4), 41;

On the Importance of Morphing Deformation Scheduling for Actuation Force and Energy

Department of Aerospace Structures and Materials, Delft University of Technology, Kluyverweg 1, 2629HS Delft, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rafic Ajaj
Received: 1 October 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 19 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive/Smart Structures and Multifunctional Materials 2016)
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Morphing aircraft offer superior properties as compared to non-morphing aircraft. They can achieve this by adapting their shape depending on the requirements of various conflicting flight conditions. These shape changes are often associated with large deformations and strains, and hence dedicated morphing concepts are developed to carry out the required changes in shape. Such intricate mechanisms are often heavy, which reduces, or even completely cancels, the performance increase of the morphing aircraft. Part of this weight penalty is determined by the required actuators and associated batteries, which are mainly driven by the required actuation force and energy. Two underexposed influences on the actuation force and energy are the flight condition at which morphing should take place and the order of the morphing manoeuvres, also called morphing scheduling. This paper aims at highlighting the importance of both influences by using a small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with different morphing mechanisms as an example. The results in this paper are generated using a morphing aircraft analysis and design code that was developed at the Delft University of Technology. The importance of the flight condition and a proper morphing schedule is demonstrated by investigating the required actuation forces for various flight conditions and morphing sequences. More importantly, the results show that there is not necessarily one optimal flight condition or morphing schedule and a tradeoff needs to be made. View Full-Text
Keywords: morphing aircraft; actuator force; actuator energy; system level design; preliminary design morphing aircraft; actuator force; actuator energy; system level design; preliminary design

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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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De Breuker, R.; Werter, N. On the Importance of Morphing Deformation Scheduling for Actuation Force and Energy. Aerospace 2016, 3, 41.

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