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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Nonlinear Aerodynamics-Structure Time Simulation for HALE Aircraft Design/Analysis, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

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Nonlinear Aerodynamics-Structure Time Simulation for HALE Aircraft Design/Analysis, Phase I
Time simulation of a nonlinear aerodynamics model (NA) developed at Virginia Tech coupled with a nonlinear structure model (NS) is proposed as a design/analysis methodology for highly flexible HALE/morphing aircraft. With this nonlinear aero-structure (NAS) approach, large structure deformations and static/dynamic aeroelastic responses of such flexible aircraft can be properly accounted for including all dominant linear/nonlinear effects. The vortex dynamics coupling and spline procedure in NAS render it an ideal tool for expedient time simulations. The proof-of-concept example demonstrates the validity of the NA model and its aeroelastic applicability to a HALE flying wing in an open and closed loop control environment. Pathfinder/Helios flying wing will be selected as the candidate NAS feasibility study case. Further, ZONA Technology will integrate this methodology into an user-friendly, open-architecture software with a highly modular format using the ZONA Database Management (ZDM) system. Phase I effort will focus on the NAS for wing-only configurations. Phase II will enlarge our scope to include modules in time-domain gust, NAS-aeroservoelasticity, and interfacing with commercialized nonlinear structural FEM, and to increase the geometric complexity for wing-body and realistic aircraft configurations. The ZONA team intends to work closely with NASA and AeroVironment throughout these phases. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.