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Proceedings Paper

Post-buckled precompressed (PBP) solid state adaptive rotor
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Paper Abstract

This paper is centered on a new actuation philosophy executed on an old rotor design. An adaptive rotor employing twist-active piezoelectric root actuators was used as a testbed to investigate the new branch of structural mechanics devoted to low- and zero-net passive stiffness (ZNPS) structures. One of the more common methods to achieve zero net passive stiffnesses in structures is to employ "negative" springs: that is, mechanisms which when combined with the baseline structure null the passive stiffness of the total structural element. This paper outlines the application of such a system via a Post-Buckled Precompression (PBP) technique at the end of a twist-active piezoelectric rotor blade actuator. The basic performance of the system is handily modeled by using laminated plate theory techniques. A dual cantilevered spring system was used to increasingly null the passive stiffness of the root actuator along the feathering axis of the rotor blade. As the precompression levels were increased, it was shown that corresponding blade pitch levels also increased. The PBP cantilever spring system was designed so as to provide a high level of stabilizing pitch-flap coupling and inherent resistance to rotor propeller moments. Experimental testing showed pitch deflections increasing from just 8° peak-to-peak deflections at 650 V/mm field strength to more than 26° at the same field strength with design precompression levels. Dynamic testing showed the corner frequency of the linear system coming down from 63 Hz (3.8/rev) to 53Hz (3.2/rev). Thrust coefficients manipulation levels were shown to increase from 0.01 to 0.028 with increasing precompression levels. The paper concludes with an overall assessment of the actuator design and conclusions on overall feasibility.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 April 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7643, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2010, 764323 (9 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.847344
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald M. Barrett, The Univ. of Kansas (United States)
Ryan Barnhart, The Univ. of Kansas (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7643:
Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2010
Mehrdad N. Ghasemi-Nejhad, Editor(s)

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