Experimental investigation of active rib stitch knitted architecture for flow control applications

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Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, ISSN: 0277-786X, Vol: 7643, Issue: PART 1

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Julianna M. Abel; Mehrdad N. Ghasemi-Nejhad; Poorna Mane; Benjamin Pascoe; Jonathan Luntz; Diann Brei
SPIE-Intl Soc Optical Eng
Materials Science; Physics and Astronomy; Computer Science; Mathematics; Engineering
conference paper description
Actively manipulating flow characteristics around the wing can enhance the high-lift capability and reduce drag; thereby, increasing fuel economy, improving maneuverability and operation over diverse flight conditions which enables longer, more varied missions. Active knits, a novel class of cellular structural smart material actuator architectures created by continuous, interlocked loops of stranded active material, produce distributed actuation that can actively manipulate the local surface of the aircraft wing to improve flow characteristics. Rib stitch active knits actuate normal to the surface, producing span-wise discrete periodic arrays that can withstand aerodynamic forces while supplying the necessary displacement for flow control. This paper presents a preliminary experimental investigation of the pressuredisplacement actuation performance capabilities of a rib stitch active knit based upon shape memory alloy (SMA) wire. SMA rib stitch prototypes in both individual form and in stacked and nestled architectures were experimentally tested for their quasi-static load-displacement characteristics, verifying the parallel and series relationships of the architectural configurations. The various configurations tested demonstrated the potential of active knits to generate the required level of distributed surface displacements while under aerodynamic level loads for various forms of flow control. © 2010 SPIE.