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Optimal Design of a Smart Conformable Rotor Airfoil

[+] Author Affiliations
Roberto A. Sarjeant, Mary Frecker, Farhan S. Gandhi

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Paper No. IMECE2002-39030, pp. 249-259; 11 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Adaptive Structures and Materials Systems
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3625-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


An optimization method has been developed for the design of a smart conformable rotor airfoil with distributed piezoelectric actuators. A conformable airfoil is proposed as a substitute for trailing edge flaps used for helicopter vibration reduction by achieving high frequency camber variations. A topology optimization approach is used where the objective is to maximize trailing edge deflection while minimizing airfoil deformations due to aerodynamic loads. Solutions of the design problem are obtained using Sequential Linear Programming coupled with a Finite Element Analysis procedure. Results show good algorithm convergence and satisfactory airfoil deformations. A study of the effects of different active material resources, skin thickness and aerodynamic loads is performed. Changes in lift coefficient are found to be lower than those obtained for an equivalent flap at similar deflection angles, suggesting that larger deflections might be required for vibration reduction purposes.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME
Topics: Design , Rotors , Airfoils



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