Distributed Actuation and Sensing on an Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle

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Title: Distributed Actuation and Sensing on an Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle
Author: Barnwell, William Garrard
Advisors: Dr. Ndaona Chokani, Committee Chair
Dr. Charles E. Hall, Jr., Committee Member
Dr. Harvey J. Charlton, Committee Member
Abstract: An array of effectors and sensors has been designed, tested and implemented on a Blended Wing Body Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This UAV is modified to serve as a flying, controls research, testbed. This effector/sensor array provides for the dynamic vehicle testing of controller designs and the study of decentralized control techniques. Each wing of the UAV is equipped with 12 distributed effectors that comprise a segmented array of independently actuated, contoured control surfaces. A single pressure sensor is installed near the base of each effector to provide a measure of deflections of the effectors. The UAV wings were tested in the North Carolina State University Subsonic Wind Tunnel and the pressure distribution that result from the deflections of the effectors are characterized. The results of the experiments are used to develop a simple, but accurate, prediction method, such that for any arrangement of the effector array the corresponding pressure distribution can be determined. Numerical analysis using the panel code CMARC verifies this prediction method.
Date: 2003-08-12
Degree: MS
Discipline: Aerospace Engineering
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2003

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