Title page for ETD etd-07082009-140914

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hinshaw, Tyler
URN etd-07082009-140914
Title Analysis and Design of a Morphing Wing Tip using Multicellular Flexible Matrix Composite Adaptive Skins
Degree Master of Science
Department Aerospace and Ocean Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Philen, Michael K. Committee Chair
Kapania, Rabesh K. Committee Member
Mason, William H. Committee Member
  • Morphing Wing
  • Skins
  • Intelligent Structures
Date of Defense 2009-07-01
Availability unrestricted
The material presented in this thesis uses concepts of the finite element and doublet panel methods to develop a structural-aerodynamic coupled mathematical model for the analysis of a morphing wing tip composed of smart materials. Much research is currently being performed within many facets of engineering on the use of smart or intelligent materials. Examples of the beneficial characteristics of smart materials might include altering a structure’s mechanical properties, controlling its dynamic response(s) and sensing flaws that might progressively become detrimental to the structure. This thesis describes a bio-inspired adaptive structure that will be used in morphing an aircraft’s wing tip. The actuation system is derived from individual flexible matrix composite tube actuators embedded in a matrix medium that when pressurized, radical structural shape change is possible.

A driving force behind this research, as with any morphing wing related studies, is to expand the limitations of an aircraft’s mission, usually constrained by the wing design. Rather than deploying current methods of achieving certain flight characteristics, changing the shape of a wing greatly increases the flight envelope. This thesis gives some insight as to the structural capability and limitations using current numerical methods to model a morphing wing in a flow.

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