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Active Control of Wingtip Vortices Using Piezoelectric Actuated Winglets

Title: Active Control of Wingtip Vortices Using Piezoelectric Actuated Winglets.
Name(s): Guha, Tufan Kumar, author
Kumar, Rajan (Professor of Mechanical Engineering), professor directing thesis
Liang, Zhiyong Richard, university representative
Oates, William, committee member
Alvi, Farrukh S., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, degree granting college
Department of Mechanical Engineering, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Doctoral Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (180 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Wingtip vortices develop at the tips of aircraft wings due to a pressure imbalance during the process of generating lift. These vortices significantly increase the total aerodynamic drag of an aircraft at high-lift flight conditions such as during take-off and landing. The long trailing vortices contain strong circulation and may induce rolling moments and lift losses on a trailing aircraft, making them a major cause for wake turbulence. A mandatory spacing between aircraft is administered by civil aviation agencies to reduce the probability of hazardous wake encounters. These measures, while necessary, restrict the capacity of major airports and lead to higher wait times between take-off and landing of two aircraft. This poses a major challenge in the face of continuously increasing air traffic volume. Wingtip vortices are also known as a potent source of aerodynamic vibrations and noise. These negative effects have made the study of wingtip vortex attenuation a critical area of research. The problem of induced drag has been addressed with the development of wingtip device, like winglets. Tip devices diffuse the vortex at its very onset leading to lower induced drag. The problem of wake turbulence has been addressed in studies on vortex interactions and co-operative instabilities. These instabilities accelerate the process of vortex breakdown, leading to a lower lifetime in the wake. A few studies have tried to develop active mechanisms that can artificially excite these instabilities. The aim of the present study is to develop a device that can be used for both reducing induced drag and exciting wake instabilities. To accomplish this objective, an active winglet actuator has been developed with the help of piezoelectric Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC). The winglet is capable of oscillating about the main wing-section at desired frequency and amplitude. A passive winglet is a well-established drag reducing device. An oscillating winglet can introduce perturbations that can potentially lead to instabilities and accelerate the process of vortex breakdown. A half-body model of a generic aircraft configuration was fabricated to characterize and evaluate the performance of actuated winglets. Two winglet models having mean dihedral orientations of 0° and 75° were studied. The freestream velocity for these experiments was 20 m/s. The angle of incidence of the wing-section was varied between 0° and 8°. The Reynolds number based on the mid-chord length of the wing-section is 140000. The first part of the study consisted of a detailed structural characterization of the winglets at various input excitation and pressure loading conditions. The second part consisted of low speed wind tunnel tests to investigate the effects of actuation on the development of wingtip vortices at different angles of incidence. Measurements included static surface pressure distributions and Stereoscopic (ensemble and phase-locked) Particle Image Velocimetry (SPIV) at various downstream planes. Modal analysis of the fluctuations existing in the baseline vortex and those introduced by actuation is conducted with the help of Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) technique. The winglet oscillations show bi-modal behavior for both structural and actuation modes of resonance. The oscillatory amplitude at these actuation modes increases linearly with the magnitude of excitation. During wind tunnel tests, fluid structure interactions lead to structural vibrations of the wing. The effect of these vibrations on the winglet oscillations decreases with the increase in the strength of actuation. At high input excitation, the actuated winglet is capable of generating controlled oscillations suitable for perturbing the vortex. The vortex associated with a winglet is stretched along its axis with multiple vorticity peaks. The center of the vortex core is seen at the root of the winglet while the highest vorticity levels are observed at the tip. The vortex core rotates and becomes more circular in shape while diffusing downstream. The shape, position, and strength of the vorticity peaks are found to vary periodically with winglet oscillation. Actuation is even capable of disintegrating the single vortex core into two vortices. The most energetic POD fluctuation modes, at the center of the baseline vortex core, correspond to vortex wandering at the initial downstream planes. At the farthest planes, the most energetic modes can be associated with core deformation. High energy fluctuations in the actuated vortex correspond to spatial oscillations and distortions produced by the winglet motion.
Identifier: FSU_SUMMER2017_Guha_fsu_0071E_14000 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2017.
Date of Defense: June 22, 2017.
Keywords: Flow control, MFC, PIV, POD, Winglet, Wingtip vortex
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Rajan Kumar, Professor Directing Thesis; Richard Liang, University Representative; William S. Oates, Committee Member; Farrukh S. Alvi, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Mechanical engineering
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

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Guha, T. K. (2017). Active Control of Wingtip Vortices Using Piezoelectric Actuated Winglets. Retrieved from