The present paper describes the design of a hybrid actuation control concept, a fuzzy logic proportional-integral-derivative plus a conventional on-off controller, for a new morphing mechanism using smart materials as actuators, which were made from shape memory alloys (SMA). The research work described here was developed for the open loop phase of a morphing wing system, whose primary goal was to reduce the wing drag by delaying the transition (from laminar to fully turbulent flows) position toward the wing trailing edge. The designed controller drives the actuation system equipped with SMA actuators to modify the flexible upper wing skin surface. The designed controller was also included, as an internal loop, in the closed loop architecture of the morphing wing system, based on the pressure information received from the flexible skin mounted pressure sensors and on the estimation of the transition location.
The controller’s purposes were established following a comprehensive presentation of the morphing wing system architecture and requirements. The strong nonlinearities of the SMA actuators’ characteristics and the system requirements led to the choice of a hybrid controller architecture as a combination of a bi-positional on-off controller and a fuzzy logic controller (FLC). In the chosen architecture, the controller would behave as a switch between the SMA cooling and heating phases, situations where the output current is 0A or is controlled by the FLC.
In the design phase, a proportional-integral-derivative scheme was chosen for the FLC. The input-output mapping of the fuzzy model was designed, taking account of the system’s error and its change in error, and a final architecture for the hybrid controller was obtained. The shapes chosen for the inputs’ membership functions were s -function, π-function, and z -function, and product fuzzy inference and the center average defuzzifier were applied (Sugeno).