Design, implementation and experimental testing of an inertial sensor system to quantify wing deflection

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Schirmer, Georg
Steck, James E.

This research investigates a novel approach of using inertial micro-electromechanical sensors in combination with a Kalman state estimator to quantify wing deflection of a highly flexible morphing wing. Motivated by NASA's and Boeing?s collaborative research into multiobjective control of a highly flexible morphing wing, the work described herein illustrates the development and implementation of wing shape output feedback part of such a system. Equations for prediction and measurement are developed to estimate bending and torsion. Initially a static structural model serves as a means to construct deflection measurements using sensor data. System inputs are obtained using 3-axis accelerometers and gyroscopes. Sensor fusion of accelerometer and gyroscopic data is discussed. The system is expanded to incorporate a structural dynamics finite element model for the prediction and advanced inertial measurement unit motion processors to take measurements. Sensor analysis is performed to determine sensor specific performance characteristics which are used for the state estimator design. Extensive bench and wind tunnel testing of the final system design was conducted. The implementation, static and dynamic deflection testing and results of the system design are discussed. Future work is proposed and includes the development of a more advanced structural FEM model and the use of higher accuracy sensors units.

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Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering