Adaptive highly flexible multifunctional wings for active and passive control and energy harvesting with piezoelectric materials

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

The purpose of this dissertation is to develop an analytical framework to analyze highly flexible multifunctional wings with integral active and passive control and energy harvesting using piezoelectric transduction. Such multifunctional wings can be designed to enhance aircraft flight performance, especially to support long-endurance flights and to be adaptive to various flight conditions. This work also demonstrates the feasibility of the concept of piezoelectric multifunctional wings for the concurrent active control and energy harvesting to improve the aeroelastic performance of high-altitude long-endurance unmanned air vehicles. Functions of flutter suppression, gust alleviation, energy generation, and energy storage are realized for the performance improvement. The multifunctional wings utilize active and passive piezoelectric effects for the efficient adaptive control and energy harvesting. An energy storage with thin-film lithium-ion battery cells is designed for harvested energy accumulation. Piezoelectric effects are included in a strain-based geometrically nonlinear beam formulation for the numerical studies. The resulting structural dynamic equations are coupled with a finite-state unsteady aerodynamic formulation, allowing for piezoelectric energy harvesting and active actuation with the nonlinear aeroelastic system. This development helps to provide an integral electro-aeroelastic solution of concurrent active piezoelectric control and energy harvesting for wing vibrations, with the consideration of the geometrical nonlinear effects of slender multifunctional wings. A multifunctional structure for active actuation is designed by introducing anisotropic piezoelectric laminates. Linear quadratic regulator and linear quadratic Gaussian controllers are implemented for the active control of wing vibrations including post-flutter limit-cycle oscillations and gust perturbation. An adaptive control algorithm for gust perturbation is then developed. In this research, the active piezoelectric actuation is applied as the primary approach for flutter suppression, with energy harvesting, as a secondary passive approach, concurrently working to provide an additional damping effect on the wing vibration. The multifunctional wing also generates extra energy from residual wing vibration. This research presents a comprehensive approach for an effective flutter suppression and gust alleviation of highly flexible piezoelectric wings, while allowing to harvest the residual vibration energy. Numerical results with the multifunctional wing concept show the potential to improve the aircraft performance from both aeroelastic stability and energy consumption aspects.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Aerospace engineering, Mechanical engineering, Electrical engineering