Flow Sensitive Actuators for Micro Air Vehicles
Kumar, V., Hays, M., and Fernandez, E.
A macrofiber piezoelectric composite has been developed for boundary layer management of micro-air vehicles (MAVs). Specifically, a piezoelectric composite that is capable of self-sensing and controlling flow has been modeled, designed, fabricated, and tested in wind tunnel studies to quantify performance characteristics, such as the velocity field response to actuation, which is relevant for actively managing boundary layers (laminar and transition flow control). A nonlinear piezoelectric plate model was utilized to design the active structure for flow control. The dynamic properties of the piezoelectric composite actuator were also evaluated in situ during wind tunnel experiments to quantify sensing performance. Results based on velocity field measurements and unsteady pressure measurements show that these piezoelectric macrofiber composites can sense the state of flow above the surface and provide sufficient control authority to manipulate the flow conditions for transition from laminar to turbulent flow.
Smart Materials and Structures