The design of adaptive structures for wing morphing
This research is concerned with the design of adaptive structures for achieving global multi-shape morphing aerodynamic configurations, by using slender structures. The proposed methodologies pursue two threads towards global optimisation of morphing structures, by providing means of aerodynamic enhancement, using efficient structural shape optimisation. A heuristic approach is proposed in this work that enables morphing through a range of stable cambered airfoils to achieve aerodynamic properties for different manoeuvres, with the benefit of low powered actuation control. This allows large changes in shape by exploiting a range of incremental non-linear structural solutions while keeping prescribed flow characteristics on an aeroelastically stable airfoil. Such an heuristic argument provides basis for global shape control of three-dimensional wings and is applied to aerodynamic design to provide enhanced roll control. A hierarchical strategy is employed, interleaving parameterisation enhancement followed by structural optimisation into the aerodynamic design process, such that the design paradigm, in conjunction with global approximation techniques, is emphasized by enhanced roll while drag is minimised. This figure of merit is complemented by structural metrics and constraints so as to maintain product integrity.