US media: US developed deformable UAV

 US media: US developed deformable UAV

According to the daily science website of the United States on June 18, researchers from the Army Research and Experiment Institute of the U.S. Army Combat Capability Development Command and the Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University released the results of two-year research on convective solid coupling. They have developed a tool that can quickly optimize the configuration of future vertical lift aircraft, taking into account the interaction between air and structure.

In the next year, this tool will be used to develop and rapidly optimize the future vertical lift vehicle that can change shape in flight, so as to optimize the performance of the vehicle at different stages.

Dr. Francis Phillips, an aerospace engineer at the Institute, said: think about the need for the vehicle to get in place quickly, or sprint, and then stay in position for as long as possible, or circle. In sprint, short wings are preferable for fast movement and more maneuverability. But in the circle flight, in order to achieve low power and high endurance flight, long wings are preferable.

He said the tool will enable the aircraft to achieve structural optimization during deformation, while taking into account the deformation of the wing under the fluid structure coupling.

Phillips said one of the things that need to be concerned about is that they need to have enough bending stiffness and flexibility to deform. If the wing bends too easily, it will counteract the theoretical benefits of the deformation, as well as the potential for control problems and instability.

This means that the calculation cost of analysis for a single fluid solid configuration will be high. To overcome the challenge, Phillips said, researchers have developed a way to separate the fluid solver from the structural solver, which can reduce the cost of computing up to 80% in one run.

According to the report, in the past 20 years, the research on aircraft deformation has made continuous progress, but the difference of the US Armys research is that it focuses on fluid solid coupling in the process of aircraft design and structure optimization, rather than first designing the aircraft and then studying its fluid solid coupling.

This research will have a direct impact on the ability to develop vehicles for future warfighters, Phillips said. By reducing the calculation cost of fluid structure coupling analysis, the structural optimization of vertical lift vehicle in the future can be completed in a shorter time.

Once implemented within the optimization framework and combined with additive manufacturing (3D printing), future warfighters will be able to use the tool to build optimized custom aircraft to perform specific tasks, Phillips said.

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