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Proceedings Paper

Large planar dielectric elastomer actuators for fish-like propulsion of an airship
Author(s): C. Jordi; S. Michel; C. Dürager; A. Bormann; C. Gebhardt; G. Kovacs
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Paper Abstract

One of the great advantages of dielectric elastomers (DE) is their scalability. Large planar DE are quite unique in the world of actuators. An interesting application of such actuators is the activation of inflatable structures. As research platform a model airship of 8 m in length was constructed that can move its body and tail fin in a fish-like manner. Unlike the propulsion with propellers, the fish-like movement is silent and the airflow around the airship is not disturbed. The bending actuation of the helium-filled hull is realized with planar two-layered DE of 1.6 m2 on either side. The tail fin is moved by four-layer planar DE of 0.3 m2 on either side. A design for actuators of such dimensions was developed and the actuators were characterized in terms of their performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 April 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7642, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010, 764223 (9 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.847854
Show Author Affiliations
C. Jordi, EMPA (Switzerland)
ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
S. Michel, EMPA (Switzerland)
C. Dürager, EMPA (Switzerland)
A. Bormann, Aeroix GmbH (Germany)
C. Gebhardt, Aeroix GmbH (Germany)
G. Kovacs, EMPA (Switzerland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7642:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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