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Proceedings Paper

Overview of the DARPA/AFRL/NASA Smart Wing Phase II program
Author(s): Jayanth N. Kudva; Brian P. Sanders; Jennifer L. Pinkerton-Florance; Ephrahim Garcia
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Paper Abstract

The DARPA/AFRL/NASA Smart Wing program, conducted by a team led by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NGC) under the DARPA Smart Materials and Structures initiative, addresses the development of smart technologies and demonstration of relevant concepts to improve the aerodynamic performance of military aircraft. This paper presents an overview of the smart wing program. The program is divided into two phases. Under Phase 1, (1995 - 1999) the NGC team developed adaptive wing structures with integrated actuation mechanisms to replace standard hinged control surfaces and provide variable, optimal aerodynamic shapes for a variety of flight regimes. Two half-span 16% scale wind tunnel models, representative of an advanced military aircraft wing, one with conventional control surfaces and the other with shape memory alloy (SMA) actuated smart control surfaces, were fabricated and tested in the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) Transonic Dynamics Tunnel (TDT) wind tunnel during two series of tests, conducted in May 1996 and June 1998, respectively. Details of the Phase 1 effort are documented in several papers. The on-going Phase 2 effort discussed here was started in January 1997 and includes several significant improvements over Phase 1: 1) a much larger, full-span model; 2) both leading edge (LE) and trailing edge (TE) smart control surfaces; 3) high-band width actuation systems; and 4) wind tunnel tests at transonic Mach numbers and high dynamic pressures (up to 300 psf.) representative of operational flight regimes. Phase 2 includes two wind tunnel tests, both at the NASA LaRC TDT - the first one was completed in March 2000 and the second (and final) test is scheduled for April 2001. The first test-demonstrated roll-effectiveness over a wide range of Mach numbers achieved using a combination of hingeless, smoothly contoured, SMA actuated, LE and TE control surfaces. The second test addresses the development and demonstration of high bandwidth actuation. An overview of the Phase 2 effort is presented here; detailed discussions of the wind tunnel testing, model design and fabrication, and actuation system development are given in companion papers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 June 2001
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4332, Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, (14 June 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.429678
Show Author Affiliations
Jayanth N. Kudva, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Brian P. Sanders, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Jennifer L. Pinkerton-Florance, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Ephrahim Garcia, DARPA (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4332:
Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies
Anna-Maria Rivas McGowan, Editor(s)

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