Title page for ETD etd-08162005-134143


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Seigler, Thomas Michael
URN etd-08162005-134143
Title Dynamics and Control of Morphing Aircraft
Degree PhD
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Inman, Daniel J. Committee Chair
Sanders, Brian Committee Co-Chair
Leo, Donald J. Committee Member
Mason, William H. Committee Member
Robertshaw, Harry H. Committee Member
Woolsey, Craig A. Committee Member
Keywords
  • Flight Dynamics
  • Flight Control
  • Morphing Aircraft
Date of Defense 2005-08-02
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The following work is directed towards an evaluation of aircraft that undergo structural shape change for the purpose of optimized flight and maneuvering control authority. Dynamical equations are derived for a morphing aircraft based on two primary representations; a general non-rigid model and a multi-rigid-body. A simplified model is then proposed by considering the altering structural portions to be composed of a small number of mass particles. The equations are then extended to consider atmospheric flight representations where the longitudinal and lateral equations are derived. Two aspects of morphing control are considered. The first is a regulation problem in which it is desired to maintain stability in the presence of large changes in both aerodynamic and inertial properties. From a baseline aircraft model various wing planform designs were constructed using Datcom to determine the required aerodynamic contributions. Based on nonlinear numerical evaluations adequate stabilization control was demonstrated using a robust linear control design. In maneuvering, divergent characteristics were observed at high structural transition rates. The second aspect considered is the use of structural changes for improved flight performance. A variable span aircraft is then considered in which asymmetric wing extension is used to effect the rolling moment. An evaluation of the variable span aircraft is performed in the context of bank-to-turn guidance in which an input-output control law is implemented.
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