Design, Simulation, and Wind Tunnel Verication of a Morphing Airfoil
Gustafson, Eric Andrew
MetadataShow full item record
The application of smart materials to control the flight dynamics of a Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) has numerous benefits over traditional servomechanisms. Under study is wing morphing achieved through the use of piezoelectric Macro Fiber Composites (MFCs). These devices exhibit low power draw but excellent bandwidth characteristics. This thesis provides a background in the 2D analytical and computer modeling tools and methods needed to design and characterize an MFC-actuated airfoil. A composite airfoil is designed with embedded MFCs in a bimorph configuration. The deflection capabilities under actuation are predicted with the commercial finite element package NX Nastran. Placement of the piezoelectric actuator is studied for optimal effectiveness. A thermal analogy is used to represent piezoelectric strain. Lift and drag coefficients in low Reynolds number flow are explored with XFOIL. Predictions are made on static aeroelastic effects. The thin, cambered Generic Micro Aerial Vehicle (GenMAV) airfoil is fabricated with a bimorph actuator. Experimental data are taken with and without aerodynamic loading to validate the computer model. This is accomplished with in-house 2D wind tunnel testing.
- Masters Theses