Aeroelastic behaviour of innovative aircraft configurations by theoretical/experimental analysis of aircraft elements

The need of mass reduction  in the design and manufacture of  innovative aircraft wings (composite civil aircrafts) or unconventional configurations (HALE – UAV) results in a highly flexible aircraft. This aspect forces the designer to deal with specific static and dynamic aeroelastic phenomena not usually considered in classical aircraft definition and it points out different design indications in order to maintain the safety levels imposed by the regulations. The study of the nonlinear aeroservoelastic behaviour of these aircrafts is extremely complex and requires the integration of a variety of disciplines including solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, and controls.

The research of the group in this area  involves theoretical/experimental aspects  in order to acquire new knowledge on the fundamentals of the aeroelastic analysis of High aspect ratio aircrafts within the following thematic:

  • To develop analytical methods used for a better understanding and estimation of different factors contributing to the occurrence of critical and post-critical  behaviour of high aspect ratio wings.
  • To develop multidisciplinary  analysis methods and capabilities of illustrating and understanding the effects of uncertainties on the behaviour of an aeroelastic system.
  •  To design and manufacture aeroelastic experimental-tests-models  by the application of Aeroelastic Scaling Laws.
  • To validate theoretical/numerical results by static, vibration and aeroelastic wind tunnel tests
  • Application of innovative control techniques to dynamic aeroelastic control of a highly flexible wing.
  • Study of innovative solutions for energy harvesting from aeroelastic/dynamic induced vibrations.

Within these topics the group was also  coordinator of the Marie Curie Project (2012-2014) "A2-Net-Team: Advanced Aircraft Network for Theoretical & Experimental Aeroservoelastic Modeling" that includes the involvement of five  international partners and the exchange of 25 researchers (Experienced or Early stage researchers) between the different universities and research institutes.