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The Analysis of Tensegrity Structures for the Design of a Morphing Wing

[+] Author Affiliations
Keith W. Moored, III, Hilary Bart-Smith

University of Virginia

Paper No. IMECE2005-79706, pp. 81-89; 9 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Aerospace
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4210-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Tensegrity structures have become of engineering interest in recent years, but very few have found practical use. This lack of integration is attributed to the lack of a well formulated design procedure. In this paper, a preliminary procedure is presented for developing morphing tensegrity structures that include actuating elements. To do this, the virtual work method has been modified to allow for individual actuation of struts and cables. A generalized connectivity matrix for a cantilever beam constructed from either a single 4-strut cell or multiple 4-strut cells has been developed. Global deflections resulting from actuation of specific elements have been calculated with or without external loads. Furthermore, the force density method is expanded to include a necessary upper bound condition such that a physically feasible structure can be designed. Finally, the importance of relative force density values on the overall shape of a structure comprising of multiple unit cells is discussed.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME
Topics: Design , Wings



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