Intelligent Control for Morphing Aircraft
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
A morphing aircraft tailors its configuration to optimize performance at very dissimilar flight conditions. To lay the foundation for a truly multi-role aircraft, research efforts are currently focusing on technologies that enable substantial changes to the wing configuration, including 200 percent aspect-ratio, 50 percent surface-area, 5 deg. wing-twist, and 20 deg. wing-sweep variations. Despite significant strides to develop wing/actuation systems that achieve such configuration changes, much work remains to effectively control these systems. The proposed Phase I research will address two significant control challenges associated with advanced morphing wing designs. First, how does one control the aircraft-wing shape itself using multiple, innovative effectors in a dynamic environment characterized by variable loads? Second, how does one integrate wing control and flight control to ensure aircraft stability during wing-state transitions? In Phase I, Barron Associates, NextGen Aeronautics, and Dr. Dan Inman of VT will develop morphing-wing and aircraft models suitable for on-line interrogation in a control law. The team will emphasize the design of real-time control architecture - made up of two integrated nonlinear controllers that exploit these models - to accomplish the stated control objectives. This research sets the stage for Phase II hardware-in-the-loop, wind-tunnel, and (possibly) flight tests of the morphing-aircraft controllers.
Small Business Information at Submission:
BARRON ASSOC., INC.
1410 Sachem Place, Suite 202 Charlottesville, VA 22901
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