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A new hybrid control methodology for a morphing aircraft wing-tip actuation mechanism

  • M. J. Tchatchueng Kammegne (a1), R. M. Botez (a1), L. T. Grigorie (a1) (a2), M. Mamou (a3) and Y. Mébarki (a3)...

Abstract

The focus of this paper is on the modelling of miniature electromechanical actuators used in a morphing wing application, on the development of a control concept for these actuators, and on the experimental validation of the designed control system integrated in the morphing wing-tip model for a real aircraft. The assembled actuator includes as its main component a brushless direct current motor coupled to a trapezoidal screw by using a gearing system. A Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT) is attached on each actuator giving back the actuator position in millimetres for the control system, while an encoder placed inside the motor provides the position of the motor shaft. Two actuation lines, each with two actuators, are integrated inside the wing model to change its shape. For the experimental model, a full-scaled portion of an aircraft wing tip is used with the chord length of 1.5 meters and equipped on the upper surface with a flexible skin made of composite fibre materials. A controllable voltage provided by a power amplifier is used to drive the actuator system. In this way, three control loops are designed and implemented, one to control the torque and the other two to control the position in a parallel architecture. The parallel position control loops use feedback signals from different sources. For the first position control loop, the feedback signal is provided by the integrated encoder, while for the second one, the feedback signal comes from the LVDT. For the experimental model, the parameters for the torque control, but also for the position control-based encoder signal, are implemented in the power amplifier energising the electrical motor. On the other hand, a National Instruments real-time system is used to implement and test the position control-based LVDT signal. The experimental validation of the developed control system is realised in two independent steps: bench testing with no airflow and wind-tunnel testing. The pressure data provided by a number of Kulite sensors equipping the flexible skin upper surface and the infrared thermography camera visualisations are used to estimate the laminar-to-turbulent transition point position.

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Keywords

A new hybrid control methodology for a morphing aircraft wing-tip actuation mechanism

  • M. J. Tchatchueng Kammegne (a1), R. M. Botez (a1), L. T. Grigorie (a1) (a2), M. Mamou (a3) and Y. Mébarki (a3)...

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