Danayit T. Mekonnen Stanislav Sikulskyi Aleiya Holyoak Zefu Ren Natalia Thackorie Daewon Kim Dr
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Observing volant creatures has demonstrated that adapting the shape of the wing to the changing flight environment increases flight efficiency and performance. Current aerial vehicles have stiff aerod..
Observing volant creatures has demonstrated that adapting the shape of the wing to the changing flight environment increases flight efficiency and performance. Current aerial vehicles have stiff aerodynamic surfaces that limit any adapting capability. The development of the concept of fully morphing structures is enabling the creation of bio-inspired, adaptable structures with outstanding performance. However, current morphing structures suffer from poor implementation that often brings more drawbacks than advantage to the final product. This research focuses on an effective implementation of morphing technology to fully realize it's potential. This can be achieved by employing a novel additive manufacturing method that can fabricate morphing structures with integrated and distributed actuation systems. Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) are one of the most intensively studied soft, smart actuators due to their promising electromechanical properties. As such, this project utilizes DEAs as the primary material for the morphing structure. Preliminary work has been completed in selecting and validating the additive manufacturing method as well as material selection and improvement. The main goal of this research is to implement additive manufacturing coupled with morphing structures to design, build and test a fully morphing wing structure suitable for small aerial vehicles.