Flight testing flutter suppression on a small flexible flying-wing aircraft

Brian P. Danowsky, Aditya Kotikalpudi, David K. Schmidt, Chris Regan, Peter Seiler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

High aspect ratio lightweight and flexible aircraft have high lift-to-drag ratios and low mass; all leading to low fuel burn. As aircraft become more flexible, rigid-body and structural dynamics become highly coupled, posing challenges in aircraft design, modeling, and control. Due to significant structural flexibility, active flutter suppression is required for these aircraft to maintain stability and performance in the desired operational flight envelope. A small unmanned flexible flying-wing aircraft built for aeroelastic research has been used to validate active flutter suppression flight control. Three different flutter suppression controllers were designed using a flight-test-validated aeroelastic aircraft model. These three independently-designed controllers were tested via a series of flights where the vehicle velocity was incrementally increased up to and above the aircraft open-loop flutter boundary. The tests involved both open-and closed-loop flights at lower speeds and closed-loop-only flights at higher speeds. Frequency-domain system identification was used to identify critical aircraft modal frequencies and damping ratios from the test data to confirm predicted control performance, and to further validate model accuracy, including estimation of the critical open-loop flutter point using flight test data. The results of these flight tests demonstrate that the flutter boundary can be successfully expanded using active control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2018 Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105500
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018
Event19th AIAA/ISSMO Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization Conference, 2018 - Atlanta, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2018Jun 29 2018

Publication series

Name2018 Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization Conference

Conference

Conference19th AIAA/ISSMO Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization Conference, 2018
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta
Period6/25/186/29/18

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was conducted as part of a multi-year NASA Research Announcement (NRA) program led by the University of Minnesota with Systems Technology, Inc., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, D.K. Schmidt and Associates, CMSoft, Inc., and Aurora Flight Sciences. The authors would like to acknowledge all partners as well as NASA for valuable technical support, resources, and funding. Dr. Jeff Ouellette is serving as the NASA Technical Monitor.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved.

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