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Published January 1998 | public
Book Section - Chapter Open

Micro Balloon Actuators for Aerodynamic Control


A robust, large-force, large-deflection micro balloon actuator for aerodynamic (manoeuvring) control of transonic aircraft has been developed. Using a novel process, high yield linear arrays of silicone balloons on a robust silicon substrate have been fabricated that can deflect vertically in excess of one mm. Balloon actuators have been tested under cyclic conditions to assess reliability. The actuators have been characterized in a wind tunnel to assess their suitability as aerodynamic control surfaces and flight-tested on a jet fighter to assess their resistance to varied temperatures and pressures at high velocity.

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"© 1998 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE." This work is supported under Navy Contract N66001-97-C-8610. The authors would like to thank Xuan-Qi Wang for help with Parylene deposition and Trevor Roper for fabrication assistance.


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