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Structural Efficiency - Aeroelasticity and Aeroservoelastic Control


Lead Center: LaRC

Participating Center(s): AFRC


The technical discipline of aeroelasticity is a critical ingredient necessary in the design process of a flight vehicle for maintaining optimal performance while ensuring freedom from aeroelastic and aeroservoelastic instabilities. This discipline requires a thorough understanding of the complex interactions between a flexible structure and the steady and unsteady aerodynamic forces acting on the structure, with interactive control systems for flight vehicle performance and stability. This fundamental aeronautics work is focused on active/adaptive aerostructural control for lightweight flexible structures, specifically related to load distribution, flutter prediction and suppression, gust load prediction and alleviation, and aeroservoelasticity for Ultra-Efficient and Supersonic Commercial Vehicles.


The program's work on aeroservoelasticity includes conduct of broad-based research and technology development to obtain a fundamental understanding of aeroelastic and unsteady-aerodynamic phenomena experienced by aerospace vehicles in subsonic, transonic, supersonic, and hypersonic speed regimes.

The program content includes theoretical aeroelasticity, experimental aeroelasticity, and advanced aeroservoelastic concepts. Of interest are:


  • Aeroelastic, aeroservoelastic, and unsteady aerodynamic analyses at the appropriate level of fidelity for the problem at hand.
  • Aeroelastic, aeroservoelastic, and unsteady aerodynamic experiments to validate methodologies and to gain valuable insights available only through testing.
  • Development of computational-fluid-dynamic (CFD), computational-aeroelastic, and computational-aeroservoelastic analysis tools that advance the state of the art in aeroservoelasticity through novel and creative application of aeroelastic knowledge.


Specific subjects to be considered include:


  • Development of aerostructural control design methodologies that include CFD steady and unsteady aerodynamics, flexible structures, and active control systems.
  • Development of efficient methods to generate mathematical models of wind-tunnel models and flight vehicles for performing aeroservoelastic studies.
  • Development of CFD-based methods (reduced-order models) for aeroservoelasticity models and simulation that can be used to predict gust loads, ride quality issues, flight dynamics stability, and aerostructural control issues.
  • Development of novel aeroservoelasticity sensing and control approaches, including active/adaptive control concepts and architectures that employ smart materials embedded in the structure and aerodynamic sensing and control schemes for suppressing aeroelastic instabilities and improving performance.
  • Development of techniques that support simulations, ground testing, wind-tunnel tests, and flight experiments for aerostructural control of aeroservoelastic phenomena.


Links to program/project websites:

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