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Proceedings Paper

Remote control of a morphing model aircraft with distributed sensors
Author(s): J. Smoker; A. Baz
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Paper Abstract

A remotely-controlled model aircraft with morphing wings is built and its performance is evaluated. The aircraft relies in its operation on a network of distributed sensors that are embedded in the composite fabric of the wings to monitor the wing shape during morphing. The output of the sensor network is wirelessly transmitted to the ground command computer to simultaneously map the wing shape and the strain distribution of the aircraft during flight. The error between the actual wing shape and the desired shape corresponding to a specific aircraft mission is determined. The necessary control action is computed according to a selected control law and the resulting action is tele-metered from the ground computer to the modified servo-motors of the flying aircraft to compensate for the shape errors. The theory of operation of the sensor network and its interaction with the wing and aircraft dynamics are introduced. Comparisons between the desired and actual shapes of the morphing wings are also presented for different control law parameters. The developed theoretical and experimental techniques provide invaluable tools for the design and operation of other classes of remotely-controlled morphing aircraft. [Work is funded by NSF].

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 April 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6529, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2007, 65290P (10 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.715862
Show Author Affiliations
J. Smoker, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
A. Baz, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6529:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2007
Masayoshi Tomizuka; Chung-Bang Yun; Victor Giurgiutiu, Editor(s)

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