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Published August 10, 2009 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Vortex Model Based Adaptive Flight Control Using Synthetic Jets


A simple low-order model is derived for developing flight control laws for controlling the longitudinal dynamics of an aircraft using synthetic jet type actuators. Bi-directional changes in the pitching moment over a range of angles of attack are effected by controllable, nominally-symmetric trapped vorticity concentrations on both the suction and pressure surfaces near the trailing edge. Actuation is applied on both surfaces by hybrid actuators that are each comprised of a miniature obstruction integrated with a synthetic jet actuator to manipulate and regulate the vorticity concentrations. In previous work, a simple model was derived from a reduced order vortex model that includes one explicit nonlinear state for fluid variables and can be easily coupled to the rigid body dynamics of an aircraft. This paper further simplifies this model for control design. The control design is based on an output feedback adaptive control methodology that illustrates the effectiveness of using the model for achieving flight control at a higher bandwidth than achievable with typical static actuator assumptions. A unique feature of the control design is that the control variable is a pseudo-control based on regulating a control vortex strength. Wind tunnel experiments on a unique dynamics traverse verify that tracking performance is indeed better than control designs employing standard actuator modeling assumptions.

Additional Information

© 2009 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. This work has been supported by AFOSR. The authors would also like to Dr. Ari Glezer of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Georgia Tech, and the members of his team (Dan Brzozowski and John Culp) for their efforts in making this research possible.

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