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Title:The Yet-Unconquered Foe: Aeroelastic Instabilities
Author(s):Herrera, Christopher
Subject(s):Aerospace Engineering
Abstract:Since the dawn of heavier-than-air aircraft, an important design consideration has been the presence of aeroelastic instabilities. These can quickly cause wing failure under certain flight conditions, as it likely did in an early flight attempt by Samuel Langley in 1903. While engineers have mostly conquered this problem, a particular aeroelastic effect that still plagues aircraft with external wing store configurations flying close to the speed of sound, such as a fighter with missiles, is the excitation of limit cycle oscillations (LCOs). LCOs can cause wings to vibrate, which reduces their lifetime. LCOs limited the maximum flight speed of early jet aircraft. One attempt to mitigate LCOs was the Control Configured Vehicle (CCV) Program, which involved active suppression. The CCV studied was a B52, such as the one I photographed at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While active suppression was successful, it required the additional electronic hardware,which added weight and complexity. My research computationally investigates a passive suppression technique known as targeted energy transfer. This is realized by attaching a relatively light mass via a non-linear spring to the wing. The energy transferred to the mass is dissipated harmlessly into the airstream.
Issue Date:2014-05
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Christopher Herrera
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-16

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