Dynamic Control of a Bistable Wing under Aerodynamic Loading

O Bilgen (Old Dominion University, USA), AF Arrieta (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), MI Friswell (Swansea University) & P Hagedorn (Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Germany)

Smart Materials and Structures, Vol. 22, No. 2, February 2013, paper 025020


The aerodynamic evaluation of a dynamic control technique applied to a bistable unsymmetrical cross-ply composite plate with surface-bonded piezoelectric actuators is presented. The plate is clamped on one end to form a low aspect-ratio wing. A previously proposed dynamic control method, utilizing bending resonance in different stable equilibrium positions, is used to induce snap-through between the two equilibrium states. Compared to quasi- static actuation, driving the bistable plate near resonance using surface bonded piezoelectric materials requires, theoretically, a lower peak excitation voltage to achieve snap-through. First, a set of extensive wind tunnel experiments are conducted on the passive bistable wing to understand the change in the dynamic behavior under various aerodynamic conditions. The passive wing demonstrated sufficient bending stiffness to sustain its shape under aerodynamic loading while preserving the desired bistable behavior. Next, by the use of the resonant control technique, the plate is turned into an effectively monostable structure, or alternatively, both stable equilibrium positions can be reached actively from the other stable equilibrium. Dynamic forward and reverse snap-through is demonstrated in the wind tunnel which shows both the effectiveness of the piezoelectric actuation as well as the load carrying capability of both states of the bistable wing.

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This material has been published in the Journal of Smart Materials and Structures, Vol. 22, No. 2, February 2013, paper 025020, the only definitive repository of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by the Institute of Physics.

Link to paper using doi: 10.1088/0964-1726/22/2/025020

Smart Materials and Structures

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