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Active Wing Shaping Control for Morphing Aircraft Wichita State University/NASA Ames Research Center, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate

This EPSCoR-funded project will be to design, develop and test certifiable control laws for active wing shaping of the Variable Camber Continuous Trailing Edge Flap (VCCTEF) aircraft. This morphing aircraft has been conceptualized by NASA and is a high priority for the NASA ARMD Fixed Wing Project. The VCCTEF’s control laws are of increased complexity. To achieve enhanced performance (higher lift-to-drag ratio) on a traditional flight path, the aircraft’s active wing shaping control will sense and, in real time, continuously adjust the camber across multiple sections of the wings for optimal performance in every flight condition. The research tasks outlined in this proposal are: (1) Development of certifiable adaptive decentralized control laws for active wing shaping, (2) Optimal number and placement of sensors on the wing to measure the wing shape, (3) Distributed sensing system for real-time wing shape monitoring and feedback of the wing shape to the control laws, and (4) Development of a testbed morphing UAV for testing the wing shaping control laws in the wind tunnel and in flight. Morphing and the use of low-weight elastic aircraft is an enabling technology that could lead to reduced drag, less fuel consumption and, thus, more affordable and greener air transportation. Broader impacts of the proposed research include helping establish the Kansas and Missouri aviation industry as global leaders in morphing control technology on civil aviation aircraft, and contributing to the development of a technologicallyadvanced workforce by educating Kansas and Missouri students in advanced nonlinear robust flight control systems and morphing aircraft.

The focal point for UAS flight research is the Garrison Flight Research Center (GFRC), located at the Lawrence Airport, 15 minutes from main campus.

Dr. Animesh Chakravarthy, Science PI, Wichita State University



NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014 -15

Dr. Nhan T. Nguyen, NASA Technical Monitor, NASA Ames Research Center

EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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