Title page for ETD etd-06202011-160921

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Gustafson, Eric Andrew
URN etd-06202011-160921
Title Design, Simulation, and Wind Tunnel Veri cation of a Morphing Airfoil
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kochersberger, Kevin Bruce Committee Chair
Canfield, Robert A. Committee Member
Inman, Daniel J. Committee Member
  • Macro Fiber Composite
  • Morphing
  • Thin Cambered Airfoil
  • GenMAV
Date of Defense 2011-05-25
Availability unrestricted
The application of smart materials to control the flight dynamics of a Micro Air Vehicle

(MAV) has numerous benefi ts 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 confi guration. The deflection capabilities under actuation are predicted with the commercial fi nite 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 eff ects. 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.

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