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Advanced Adaptive Wing-Control Technology to be Demonstrated at University of Washington
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Advanced Adaptive Wing-Control Technology to be Demonstrated at University of Washington

A wind tunnel test will be conducted during July 17 - August 2, 2019, at the University of Washington’s Kirsten Wind Tunnel. This test will demonstrate advanced adaptive wing-control technology developed at NASA Ames. The experiment is funded by the NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II-X/III and the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) Advanced Air Transport Technologies (AATT) project. Participating organizations include the prime contractor, Scientific Systems Company, Inc., and their subcontractors, the University of Washington and Boeing Company, along with NASA Ames. The wind tunnel model is a highly flexible wing that represents a modern transport aircraft high aspect ratio wing equipped with an active Variable Camber Continuous Trailing Edge Flap (VCCTEF) system, an adaptive wing-shaping control mechanism developed by NASA Ames. Multi-objective control technology for Gust Load Alleviation (GLA) and real-time drag optimization, also developed by NASA Ames, will also be validated in the wind tunnel experiment to demonstrate its effectiveness.

BACKGROUND: Modern advanced transport aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 and 777-X, employ light-weight flexible composite wing structures for fuel efficiency. Wing flexibility causes aircraft to be more susceptible to gust and maneuver loads that can compromise ride quality and structural integrity. Structural deformation of the wing also causes drag to increase. GLA control technology aims at reducing the response of an aircraft to gust excitation in order to maintain/improve passenger ride quality. Real-time drag optimization technology provides the ability to actively control wing shape to improve fuel efficiency. The AATT project is conducting research to develop advanced adaptive wing-shaping control technologies for next-generation high aspect ratio wing transport aircraft. The VCCTEF and the multi-objective control technologies have been developed at NASA Ames to provide future capabilities for improving fuel efficiency and safe operation of modern transport aircraft via real-time drag optimization and GLA. Experimental validation of these technologies is an important step toward technology commercialization. This wind tunnel experiment is the fourth test since 2013 in a series of wind tunnel experiments carried out to validate the VCCTEF and wing-shaping control technologies so that they are advanced to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Advanced Air Transport Technologies (AATT) project, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD)

AAAT TEAM: Nick Cramer, Michael Drew, Jason Fugate, Kelley Hashemi, Nhan Nguyen, and Juntao Xiong


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