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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Embedded Fiber Optic Shape Sensing for Aeroelastic Wing Components, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

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Embedded Fiber Optic Shape Sensing for Aeroelastic Wing Components, Phase I
As the aerospace industry continues to push for greater vehicle efficiency, performance, and longevity, properties of wing aeroelasticity and flight dynamics have become increasingly important. Both the study and the active control of wing dynamics require advanced sensing technology to inform the design process on the ground and provide feedback for aeroservoelastic systems in the sky. Existing aeroelastic monitoring systems rely on large networks of individual strain sensors, which must be precisely mapped to the wing's surface, and from which dynamic wing shape can only be inferred from the synthesis of their strain measurements. To date, no technology has been demonstrated which can make a true measurement of distributed wing shape using a single embedded sensor. Luna Innovations, Inc. proposes to leverage its ongoing fiber optic shape sensing development effort to create a unique technology capable of measuring wing geometry and vibration in response to gusts, static or dynamic loading, and aeroservoelastic control. In partnership with Dr. Rakesh Kapania, Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Virginia Tech, Luna will design a model-based sensor layout, embed their miniature fiber optic shape sensing technology in an idealized flexible wing model, and demonstrate the feasibility of the technology in a wind tunnel environment. More »

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