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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 5, Number 6, November 2009 , pages 645-662

Ni-Ti actuators and genetically optimized compliant ribs for an adaptive wing
Giuseppe Mirone

    Adaptive wings are capable of properly modifying their shape depending on the current aerodynamic conditions, in order to improve the overall performance of a flying vehicle. In this paper is presented the concept design of a small-scale compliant wing rib whose outline may be distorted in order to switch from an aerodynamic profile to another. The distortion loads are induced by shape memory alloy actuators placed within the frame of a wing section whose elastic response is predicted by the matrix method with beam formulation. Genetic optimization is used to find a wing rib structure (corresponding to the first airfoil) able to properly deforms itself when loaded by the SMA-induced forces, becoming as close as possible to the desired target shape (second airfoil). An experimental validation of the design procedure is also carried out with reference to a simplified structure layout.
Key Words
    shape memory alloy; SMA actuator; adaptive wing; compliant structure; genetic algorithm.
Giuseppe Mirone; Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale e Meccanica, University of Catania, Viale A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy

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