Multi-objective flight control for drag minimization and load alleviation of high-aspect ratio flexiblewing aircraft

Nhan Nguyen, Eric Ting, Daniel Chaparro, Michael Drew, Sean Swei

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

As aircraft wings become much more flexible due to the use of light-weight composites material, adverse aerodynamics at off-design performance can result from changes in wing shapes due to aeroelastic deflections. Increased drag, hence increased fuel burn, is a potential consequence. Without means for aeroelastic compensation, the benefit of weight reduction from the use of light-weight material could be offset by less optimal aerodynamic performance at off-design flight conditions. Performance Adaptive Aeroelastic Wing (PAAW) technology can potentially address these technical challenges for future flexible wing transports. PAAW technology leverages multi-disciplinary solutions to maximize the aerodynamic performance payoff of future adaptive wing design, while addressing simultaneously operational constraints that can prevent the optimal aerodynamic performance from being realized. These operational constraints include reduced flutter margins, increased airframe responses to gust and maneuver loads, pilot handling qualities, and ride qualities. All of these constraints while seeking the optimal aerodynamic performance present themselves as a multi-objective flight control problem. The paper presents a multi-objective flight control approach based on a drag-cognizant optimal control method. A concept of virtual control, which was previously introduced, is implemented to address the pair-wise flap motion constraints imposed by the elastomer material. This method is shown to be able to satisfy the constraints. Real-time drag minimization control is considered to be an important consideration for PAAW technology. Drag minimization control has many technical challenges such as sensing and control. An initial outline of a real-time drag minimization control has already been developed and will be further investigated in the future. A simulation study of a multi-objective flight control for a flight path angle command with aeroelastic mode suppression and drag minimization demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed solution. In-flight structural loads are also an important consideration. As wing flexibility increases, maneuver load and gust load responses can be significant and therefore can pose safety and flight control concerns. In this paper, we will extend the multi-objective flight control framework to include load alleviation control. The study will focus initially on maneuver load minimization control, and then subsequently will address gust load alleviation control in future work.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publication58th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, 2017
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017
Event58th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, 2017 - Grapevine, United States
Duration: 9 Jan 201713 Jan 2017

Publication series

Name58th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, 2017

Conference

Conference58th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityGrapevine
Period9/01/1713/01/17

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