Special Issue "Aerospace Mechanisms and Actuation"

A special issue of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825). This special issue belongs to the section "Aircraft Actuators".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ignazio Dimino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Adaptive Structures, Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali, 81043 Capua (CE), Italy
Interests: morphing devices; electromechanical actuation; vibroacoustic control; shape control; rigid and compliant mechanisms; smart materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Modern commercial transport aircraft relies on complex aerodynamic mechanisms and sophisticated flight control systems to achieve and maintain optimal flight performance at different flight regimes. Typically deployed hydraulically or with servos, aircraft high-lift devices, for instance, consist of moveable mechanical assemblies which are highly optimized to increase the amount of lift produced by the wing during take-off and landing. The design of such complex systems typically starts from the kinematic synthesis of the mechanisms and the preliminary design of the actuation architecture in a multidisciplinary and multiobjective context involving aerodynamic, system, and structural design.

This Special Issue on “Aerospace Mechanisms and Actuation” aims to provide a premier international platform for a wide range of professions, including researchers, academicians, and industry experts to discuss the latest advances in aerospace mechanisms, spanning from rigid-body linkages to flexible compliant members, and major achievements in the related research on both discrete and distributed actuation architectures. Focus will also be given to the evolution of actuation in aerospace by including full electrical drives for safety-critical commercial and military aircraft, helicopters, and space applications.

Dr. Ignazio Dimino
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Actuators is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • High-lift devices and other aerospace applications
  • Rigid-body mechanisms
  • Compliant mechanisms 
  • Centralized and distributed actuation architectures 
  • Conventional (mechanically signaled and hydraulically supplied)
  • EMA and full electrical actuation
  • Design methodologies and optimization 
  • Multibody simulations 
  • Non-linear mechanics 
  • Manufacturing, integration, and maintenance 
  • Safety and reliability

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Topology Optimization of Large-Scale 3D Morphing Wing Structures
Actuators 2021, 10(9), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10090217 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 899
This work proposes a systematic topology optimization approach for simultaneously designing the morphing functionality and actuation in three-dimensional wing structures. The actuation was modeled by a linear-strain-based expansion in the actuation material. A three-phase material model was employed to represent structural and actuating [...] Read more.
This work proposes a systematic topology optimization approach for simultaneously designing the morphing functionality and actuation in three-dimensional wing structures. The actuation was modeled by a linear-strain-based expansion in the actuation material. A three-phase material model was employed to represent structural and actuating materials and voids. To ensure both structural stiffness with respect to aerodynamic loading and morphing capabilities, the optimization problem was formulated to minimize structural compliance, while the morphing functionality was enforced by constraining a morphing error between the actual and target wing shape. Moreover, a feature-mapping approach was utilized to constrain and simplify the actuator geometries. A trailing edge wing section was designed to validate the proposed optimization approach. Numerical results demonstrated that three-dimensional optimized wing sections utilize a more advanced structural layout to enhance structural performance while keeping the morphing functionality better than two-dimensional wing ribs. The work presents the first step towards the systematic design of three-dimensional morphing wing sections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aerospace Mechanisms and Actuation)
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Planned Papers

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: A Preliminary Assessment of an FBG-Based Weight on Wheel System
Authors: Angela Brindisi 1, Cristian Vendittozzi 2, Lidia Travascio 3, Luigi Di Palma 4, Michele Ignarra 5, Vincenzo Fiorillo 5 and Antonio Concilio 1,*
Affiliation: 1 Department of Adaptive Structures, CIRA (the Italian Aerospace Research Centre), 81043 Capua, Italy; [email protected] 2 FGA (Faculdade do Gama), Universidade de Brasília, 72444-240 Gama, Brasília-DF, Brazil; [email protected] 3 Department of Reliability and Safety of Critical Infrastructure, CIRA (the Italian Aerospace Research Centre), Italy; [email protected] 4 Department of Airframe Design and Dynamics, CIRA (the Italian Aerospace Research Centre), 81043 Capua, Italy; [email protected] 5 Aerospace Structure Crash Facility, CIRA (the Italian Aerospace Research Centre), 81043 Capua, Italy; [email protected] (M.I.); [email protected] (V.F.) * Correspondence: [email protected]
Abstract: Weight-on-Wheels (WoW) systems are aimed at indicating if the aircraft weight is loading on the landing gear and its wheels, even partially. That info simply reveals if the vehicle is in flight or on the ground. In this way, several kinds of accident may be prevented, for instance relating to the incorrect deployment of the undercarriage, or even to some kind of manoeuvres at a certain extent, therefore protecting the aircraft from dangerous damage. In general, it can be stated that such an intelligent sensor network may be seen as a fundamental support for the proper landing gear deployment. There are different architectures that have been proposed in bibliography, some of them based on strain gauges deployed on the structure, or on proximity sensors installed on the wheels. Being this device considered critical of safety, it is convenient to couple it with compli-mentary measurements, recorded and processed by different sources.

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