Design and Development of Piezoelectric Stack Actuated Trailing Edge Flap for Helicopter Vibration Reduction
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This research investigates on-blade partial span active plain trailing edge flaps (TEFs)with an aim to alleviate the helicopter vibrations. Among all the available smart materials, piezoelectric stack actuator(PEA)has shown its strong candidature for full scale rotor systems. Although, PEAs are quite robust in operation, however, they exhibit rate dependent hysteresis phenomenon and can generate only very small displacements. Dynamic hysteresis is a complex phenomenon which, if not modeled, can lead to drift in the vibration predictions. In this research, a comprehensive experimental analysis is performed on a commercially available piezostack actuator, APA-500L, which is well suited for full scale applications. Rate dependent hysteresis loops are obtained for helicopter operational frequencies. Nonlinear rate-dependent hysteresis loops are modeled using conic section approach and the results are validated with experimental data. Dynamic hysteresis exhibited by the PEA is further cascaded with the helicopter aeroelastic analysis and its effect on helicopter vibration predictions is investigated. PEAs generate high force but are limited by small translational motions. A linear to rotary motion amplification mechanism is required to actuate the TEF for vibration alleviation. A smart flap is designed and developed using computer-aided-design models. A rotor blade test section is fabricated and a lever-fulcrum mechanism (AM-1) is developed for a feasibility study. Smart flap actuation is demonstrated on the rotor blade test section. The conventional motion amplification devices contain several linkages, which are potential sites for structural failure. A novel pinned-pinned post-buckled beam linear-to-rotary motion amplifier (AM-2) is designed and developed to actuate the flaps. A new design of linear-to-linear amplification mechanism (LX-4) is developed and is employed in conjunction with AM-2 to increase the flap angles by an order of magnitude. An analytical model is developed using Mathieu-Hill type differential equations. Static and dynamic tests are conducted on a scaled flap model. Helicopter aeroelastic simulations show substantial reduction in hub loads using AM-2 mechanism. To further enhance the flap angles, an optimization study is performed and optimal beam dimensions are obtained. A new technique is also proposed to actively bias the flaps for both upward and downward motion. Critical flap design parameters, such as flap span, flap chord and flap location influences the flap power requirement and vibration objective function significantly. A comprehensive parametric investigation is performed to obtain the best design of TEFs at various advance ratios. Although, parametric study equips the designer with vital information about various critical system parameters, however, it is a computationally expensive exercise especially when used with large comprehensive helicopter aero elastic codes. A formal optimization procedure is employed to obtain the optimal flap design and location. Surrogate models are developed using design of experiments based on response surface methodology. Two new orthogonal arrays are proposed to construct the second order polynomial response surfaces. Pareto analysis is employed in conjunction with a newly developed computationally efficient evolutionary multi-objective bat algorithm. Optimal flap design and flap locations for dual trailing edge flaps are obtained for mutually conflicting objectives of minimum vibration levels and minimum power requirement to actuate the flaps.
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