Determinate Structures for Wing Camber Control

D Baker & MI Friswell (University of Bristol)

Smart Materials and Structures, Vol. 18, No. 3, March 2009, paper 035014


An investigation of truss structures for the purpose of creating a continuously variable camber trailing edge device for an aircraft wing is presented. By creating structures that are both statically and kinematically determinate and then substituting truss elements for actuators, it is possible to impose structural deflection without inducing member stress.

A limited number of actuators with limited strain capabilities are located within the structure in order to achieve a target deflected shape starting from an initially symmetric profile. Two objective functions are used to achieve this: a geometric objective for which the target displacement is fixed and a shape objective for which the target displacement is dependent on the surface shape of the targeted aerofoil. The proposed shape objective function is able to offer improvements over the geometric objective by removing some of the constraints applied to the targeted structure joint locations.

Four methods for selecting the location of a set of actuators are compared, namely exhaustive search, a genetic algorithm, stepwise forward selection (SFS) and incremental forward selection (IFS). Both SFS and IFS are variations of regression methods for subset selection; in each case an approach has been created to allow the imposing of upper and lower bounds on the search space. It is shown that the genetic algorithm is well suited to addressing the problem of optimally locating a set of actuators; however, regression methods, particularly IFS, can provide a rapid tool suitable for addressing large selection problems.

Paper Availability

This material has been published in the Journal of Smart Materials and Structures, Vol. 18, No. 3, March 2009, paper 035014, 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: 10.1088/0964-1726/18/3/035014

Smart Materials and Structures

The Institute of Physics