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Technical Paper

Aeroelastic Behaviour of Flexible Wings Carrying Distributed Electric Propulsion Systems

An accurate aeroelastic assessment of powered HALE aircraft is of paramount importance considering that their behaviour contrasts the one of conventional aircraft mainly due to the use of high aspect-ratio wings with distributed propulsion systems. This particular configuration shows strong dependency of the wing natural frequencies to the propulsion distribution and operating conditions. Numerical and experimental investigations are carried out to better understand the behaviour of flexible wings, focusing on the effect of distributed electric propulsion systems. Several configurations are investigated, including a single propulsion system using an engine pod (a weight with embedded electric motor, a propeller, and the wing-attached structure) installed at selected spanwise positions, and configurations with two and three propellers.
Technical Paper

Efficient Procedure for Robust Optimal Design of Aerospace Laminated Structures

Innovative aircraft design studies have noted that uncertainty effects could become significant and greatly emphasized during the conceptual design phases due to the scarcity of information about the new aero-structure being designed. The introduction of these effects in design methodologies are strongly recommended in order to perform a consistent evaluation of structural integrity. The benefit to run a Robust Optimization is the opportunity to take into account uncertainties inside the optimization process obtaining a set of robust solutions. A major drawback of performing Robust Multi-Objective Optimization is the computational time required. The proposed research focus on the reduction of the computational time using mathematic and computational techniques. In the paper, a generalized approach to operate a Robust Multi-Objective Optimization (RMOO) for Aerospace structure using MSC software Patran/Nastran to evaluate the Objectives Function, is proposed.
Journal Article

Theoretical and Experimental Flutter Predictions in High Aspect Ratio Composite Wings

Next generation of composite civil aircrafts and unconventional configurations, such as High Altitude Long Endurance HALE-UAV, exhibit aeroelastic instabilities quite different from their rigid counterparts. Consequently, one has to deal with phenomena not usually considered in classical aircraft design. Alternative design criteria are needed in order to maintain the safety levels imposed by the regulations and required for certification. The A2-Net-Team project aims to build a multi-disciplinary network of researchers with complementary expertise to develop analytical methods used for a better understanding and assessment of the factors contributing to the occurrence of critical aeroservoelastic instabilities. Along with modeling and numerical investigations a test article will also provide the opportunity to modify and calibrate theoretical models, to highlight and explore their limits, to recommend the necessary modifications and future pertinent investigations.
Journal Article

A Reduced Order Model for the Aeroelastic Analysis of Flexible Wings

The aeroelastic design of highly flexible wings, made of extremely light structures yet still capable of carrying a considerable amount of non-structural weights, requires significant effort. The complexity involved in such design demands for simplified mathematical tools based on appropriate reduced order models capable of predicting the accurate aeroelastic behaviour. The model presented in this paper is based on a consistent nonlinear beam model, capable of simulating the unconventional aeroelastic behaviour of flexible composite wings. The partial differential equations describing the wing dynamics are reduced to a dimensionless form in terms of three ordinary differential equations using a discretization technique, along with Galerkin's method. Within this approach the nonlinear structural model an unsteady indicial based aerodynamic model with dynamic stall are coupled.