Design and verification of a smart wing for an extreme-agility micro-air-vehicle


  1. Wickramasinghe, V.
  2. Chen, Y.
  3. Martinez, M.
  4. Wong, F.
  5. Kernaghan, R.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN);National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa ONT (CAN) Inst for Aerospace Research
A special class of fixed-wing micro-air-vehicle (MAV) is currently being designed to fly and hover to provide range superiority as well as being able to hover through a flight maneuver known as prop-hanging to accomplish a variety of surveillance missions. The hover maneuver requires roll control of the wing through differential aileron deflection but a conventional system contributes significantly to the gross weight and complexity of a MAV. Therefore, it is advantageous to use smart structure approaches with active materials to design a lightweight, robust wing for the MAV. The proposed smart wing consists of an active trailing edge flap integrated with bimorph actuators with piezoceramic fibers. Actuation is enhanced by preloading the bimorph actuators with a compressive axial load. The preload is exerted on the actuators through a passive latex or electroactive polymer (EAP) skin that wraps around the airfoil. An EAP skin would further enhance the actuation by providing an electrostatic effect of the dielectric polymer to increase the deflection. Analytical modeling as well as finite element analysis show that the proposed concept could achieve the target bi-directional deflection of 30◦ in typical flight conditions. Several bimorph actuators were manufactured and an experimental setup was designed to measure the static and dynamic deflections. The experimental results validated the analytical technique and finite element models, which have been further used to pred
Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-SL-2011-511 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
23 Nov 2011
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
Smart Mater. Struct., vol 20, 2011, p1-10
Electronic Document(PDF)

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