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Aerodynamic Performance Optimization of Smart Wing Using SMA Actuator

Author Affiliations

  • 1Nehru Institute of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore, INDIA
  • 2 RVS College of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore,
  • 3 INDIA Government College of Engineering, Salem, INDIA

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 2, Issue (6), Pages 17-22, June,2 (2013)


Airplanes found today in commercial, private or military use possess fix wings that allow them to fly. The different shapes of wings, camber angles, textures among other characteristics gives the aircraft its own aerodynamic properties. These properties allow the aircraft to fulfill the specific task for which it was intended. However, new technology and development has pushed forward the idea of a wing that could have different aerodynamics properties by changing its form and shape. This would make it able to adapt itself to different flight conditions. The main objective of the current research work is to improve the aerodynamic performance of an experimental aircraft wing that operates at various cruise conditions. The improvement is realized through viscous drag reduction by promoting a large laminar flow run on the upper surface of the wing. To achieve this aerodynamic ability, regardless of the flow conditions, the wing upper surface is subject to controlled and well-studied deformation (in-flight morphing) to keep the drag at its lowest possible value. In the current research work, the wing is equipped with new morphing actuation mechanism hardware with suitably designed controllers. The purpose of this experiment was to develop a mechanism using Shape Memory Allows (SMA) to vary the camber thickness of the wing. The airfoil used in this experiment was a NACA0021. The fabrication of morphing wing has been done and the two-dimensional analysis, using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and aerodynamic tests were conducted in an open-circuit wind tunnel for this morphing wing. The tests were carried out for this morphing wing to determine the lift to drag ratio at various angles of attack. Then the results obtained by CFD and experimental have been discussed.


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