Smart materials applied in a micro remotely piloted aircraft system with morphing wing

Miguel A Barcala-Montejano, Ángel A Rodríguez-Sevillano, Rafael Bardera-Mora, Jaime García-Ramírez, Joaquín de Nova-Trigueros, Iñigo Urcelay-Oca, Israel Morillas-Castellano. 2018. Smart materials applied in a micro remotely piloted aircraft system with morphing wing. Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures 29, 16, 3317-3332, DOI: 10.1177/1045389X18783893

The article presents a research in the field of morphing wings (adaptive wing geometry) developed over a prototype of micro-unmanned air vehicle based on smart materials technology. This morphing wing will optimize the aircraft performance features. Modifying the curvature of the wing, the micro-unmanned air vehicles will adjust its performance in an optimum mode to cruise flight condition as well as in the phases of takeoff and landing. The installation of mechanical elements for control surfaces in small size aircraft means, on some occasions, an extra complexity. In addition, it takes into account an increase in aircraft weight. In this research, the adaptive wing geometry is based on macro-fiber composites, so that its position on the inner surfaces of the wing allows the appropriate modification of the curvature, adapting them to the flight profile. This research will present the conceptual design of the vehicle, computational calculations, experimental results of the wind tunnel testing, validations using non-intrusive techniques (particle image velocimetry) and a theoretical-experimental analysis of the macro-fiber composite effects over the wing. An Arduino board will perform the control parameters of the macro-fiber composite deformation. With these analytical, computational, and experimental results, the most relevant conclusions are presented.

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