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Open AccessArticle

High-Bandwidth Morphing Actuator for Aeroelastic Model Control

School of Engineering, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Aerospace 2019, 6(2), 13;
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aeroelasticity)
PDF [4205 KB, uploaded 14 February 2019]


The design and testing of a high-bandwidth continuous actuator for aeronautical applications is presented hereinafter. The actuator has a dual goal of controlling both the aeroelastic behaviour and the flight mechanics of the model in which it is installed. In order to achieve these aims, the actuation bandwidth of the active aerofoil, as well as its static camber variation, have to be sufficiently high. The camber morph is achieved by using tailored piezoelectric patches in a sandwich configuration with a linear trailing edge slider to allow the necessary compliance. The morphing actuator is designed for a NACA 0018 aerofoil with a chord of 300 mm and a span of 40 mm. Static and dynamic experimental tests are carried out on a prototype, and a camber variation control technique is implemented. It is proved that the actuator bandwidth is up to 25 Hz and the equivalent maximum deflection is ± 15 degrees. This solution is shown to be a viable light-weight alternative to the conventional brushless/servo-motor approach currently used in aeroelastic models. View Full-Text
Keywords: high bandwidth; morphing; piezoelectric actuator; aeroelastic wind tunnel model high bandwidth; morphing; piezoelectric actuator; aeroelastic wind tunnel model

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Fichera, S.; Isnardi, I.; Mottershead, J.E. High-Bandwidth Morphing Actuator for Aeroelastic Model Control. Aerospace 2019, 6, 13.

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