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Use of multiple SMA wires for morphing of inflatable wings

McDonald, A.D. and Walker, S.J.I. (2010) Use of multiple SMA wires for morphing of inflatable wings In Proceedings of the ASME 2010 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems. American Society of Mechanical Engineers..

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


The concept of inflatable wings has design heritage and they have recently seen renewed interest, largely due to the increased demand in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They offer design advantages over conventional wings, particularly with regard to stowage and portability, since they can be tightly packed when undeployed. Unfortunately current methods of flight control involve the use of additional control surfaces attached to the trailing edge of the wing, adversely affecting the stowage capabilities. One way of overcoming this restriction is to use the wing itself as a control surface, by morphing the very shape of the wing to achieve the desired results. This article outlines the research performed at the University of Southampton into differing configurations of Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) wires as a controllable actuator for the wing morphing. Specifically the use of multiple wires to further enhance this control was the focus of this work. A simple test rig was constructed in order to evaluate the pulling force achievable by combinations of SMA wires in a number of configurations. The most promising of these configurations was then attached to an inflatable wing model for further testing. Both static testing and wind tunnel testing was undertaken, evaluating the authority of flight control such a system could achieve. The test results are presented in this paper, giving an initial performance assessment of the proposed control method

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Published date: September 2010
Additional Information: Paper No. SMASIS2010-3606
Venue - Dates: ASME 2010 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, United States, 2010-09-28 - 2010-10-01
Organisations: Aeronautics, Astronautics & Comp. Eng, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, Astronautics Group


Local EPrints ID: 172623
PURE UUID: 70a7100a-6cbc-44b5-8990-4bacd495c222

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Date deposited: 28 Jan 2011 09:15
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:13

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