Gryphon M^3 system: integration of MEMS for flight control
By using distributed arrays of micro-actuators as effectors, micro-sensors to detect the optimal actuation location, and microelectronics to provide close loop feedback decisions, a low power control system has been developed for controlling a UAV. Implementing the Microsensors, Microactuators, and Microelectronics leads to what is known as a M^3 (M-cubic) system. This project involves demonstrating the concept of using small actuators (approximately micron-millimeter scale) to provide large control forces for a large-scale system (approximately meter scale) through natural flow amplification phenomenon. This is theorized by using fluid separation phenomenon, vortex evolution, and vortex symmetry on a delta wing aircraft. By using MEMS actuators to control leading edge vortex separation and growth, a desired aerodynamic force can be produced about the aircraft for flight control. Consequently, a MEMS shear stress sensor array was developed for detecting the leading edge separation line where leading edge vortex flow separation occurs. By knowing the leading edge separation line, a closely coupled micro actuation from the effectors can cause the required separation that leads to vortex control. A robust and flexible balloon type actuator was developed using pneumatic pressure as the actuation force. Recently, efforts have started to address the most elusive problem of amplified distributed control (ADC) through data mining algorithms. Preliminary data mining results are promising and this part of the research is ongoing. All wind tunnel data used the baseline 56.5 degree(s) sweepback delta wing with root chord of 31.75 cm.
Additional Information© 2001 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). The authors would like to thank the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the NASA DRYDEN Research Flight Center, and National Science Foundation (NSF) for the support of the projects. The authors would also like to thank numerous previous graduate students and other personnel involved in this project, specially noted is G.B. Lee who was the primary graduate student of the first phase of this project.
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