Design and Analysis of a Deterministic Disturbance Generator

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Virginia Tech

This thesis introduces the Deterministic Disturbance Generator (DDG) and its development process. The DDG performs two motions and five pitch rates. The flap motion, which rotates the airfoil from 0◦ to 20◦ and back, and the ramp motion, which rotates it from 0◦ to 20◦ with a dwell of 1s before returning to 0◦. To determine the angle of attack, a Matlab function converted thrust rod displacement into the assumed angle, validated against true angle of attack measurements on the DDG. Mean angular displacements were plotted, and standard deviations of the 95% confidence intervals were calculated within ±1.3◦ for all motions. The mechanical force on the actuator was computed to be 77N. Aerodynamic forces on the DDG were determined to be 15N and 19N for flap and ramp motions respectively. The total force on the system did not exceed 100N in any case, staying below the peak force capacity, while acceleration reached its limit. Flow velocimetry in the Virginia Tech Stability Wind Tunnel (VTSWT) employed a time-resolved Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) to study the effects of 20◦ flap and ramp motions, with mean actuation times of 63ms and 37ms. Flap motion showed a significant deficit in mean streamwise velocities, and the ramp motion exhibited similar behavior until its dwell position, generating a large wake region due to airfoil stall after its peak. Comparison of data from the Goodwin Hall Subsonic Tunnel (GHST) with VTSWT data for overlapping domains revealed similar flow field features when normalized based on the boundary layer velocity (43mm plane from wall) of the latter. Considering actuation time differences, the freestream normalized GHST data was combined with VTSWT data. The cohesive PIV domain offered a broader perspective on the missing flow features.

disturbance generator, transient wake, oscillating airfoil models, actuator testing, flow velocimetry of a disturbance