Friday, June 26, 2009

Micro Air Vehicle Aeroelastic Analysis

VDM-Verlag publishes specialist monographs, and they decided that my old masters thesis fit the bill. I imagine that it's probably because of the very rapid growth in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for surgical strikes, close air support and long-duration reconnaissance missions in Iraq and Afgahnistan. The full title is Aeroelastic Analysis of Micro Air Vehicles: Coupled Computational and Experimental Techniques.

My book is about a coupled aeroelastic method that uses mode-shapes for the flexible wing Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) that were determined with laser-vibrometry. These mode-shapes are loaded and integrated in time with a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code. It's a unique way to model the behaviour of these flexible wing vehicles. The reason for including a flexible wing is for portability (roll it up and stick it in a tube), and for damping gust response. This second item can provide for a more stable sensor/shooter platform.

The "about this book blurb" from the back cover:
A computational aeroelastic analysis of a micro air vehicle (MAV) is conducted. This MAV has a 24-inch wing span, and is designed for local area reconnaissance. Wind tunnel data for the MAV with a rigid carbon fiber wing and a flexible carbon fiber-ribbed nylon wing are compared to CFD results incorporating static and dynamic deformations. We use laser vibrometry to determine the mode shapes of the flexible wing. From these shapes, CFD grid deformations are calculated as part of a closely-coupled aeroelastic solution method. The accuracy of MAV performance predictions using CFD with and without aeroelastic modeling is evaluated against previous wind-tunnel experiments. The performance benefits of the flexible wing, and the applicability and limitations of the model are evaluated in the present research effort. Some suggestions are made as to improvements that can be made to increase the range of applicability and the accuracy of the model.

My experience with VDM publishing was a positive one. They were quick, efficient and professional. The proof copy of the book turned out well (just make sure all your figures look decent in black and white).

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