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Home>News>2014>NASA awards IAI a new contract to develop and demonstrate an Inflatable Wing Morphing Aircraft Aeroservoelastic Control and Design

NASA awards IAI a new contract to develop and demonstrate an Inflatable Wing Morphing Aircraft Aeroservoelastic Control and Design

Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) are being increasingly employed in tactical missions. Most fixed-wing UAVs have large wingspans and high takeoff weights, and are designed to achieve a single mission objective like reconnaissance, surveillance, or combat. In the future, UAVs used by DoD may need to efficiently achieve multiple mission objectives in a single platform, or may be designed to achieve multi-point optima. Variable geometry aircraft, inspired by biological examples of high efficiency, can help achieve this goal. Actuation development and stable robust control are needed to make this concept practically feasible. Seamless aerodynamic structures that can undergo large-scale changes in wing geometry must be developed. UAVs must also have adaptive control architectures to maintain stability and control over an expanded flight regime, including aeroservoelastic considerations. With such a capability, vehicles with short spans could seamlessly morph into vehicles with longer spans to achieve a higher endurance. To address this need, IAI and its collaborators from the University of Maryland propose an inflatable morphing wing aircraft concept based on pneumatic actuation mechanism to achieve several types of morphing. Novel adaptive control techniques that are provably stable in spite of transitions and aeroservoelastic interactions will also be developed. These will be demonstrated in flight tests to show credibility of the proposed approach and enable rapid transition. The key innovation of this effort is developing adaptive control techniques and morphing mechanisms for an inflatable wing UAV to enable multi-point optimal mission efficiency.

About IAI:
Intelligent Automation, Inc. (IAI) is a technology innovation company headquartered in Rockville, MD. We specialize in providing advanced technology solutions and R&D services to federal agencies, and corporations throughout the United States and internationally. Leveraging agile R&D processes, a multi-disciplinary collaborative environment, and its substantial intellectual property portfolio, IAI excels in developing concepts into market-focused products and customer-driven solutions. IAI’s core R&D areas include: Air Traffic Management, Big Data and Social Media Analytics, Control and Signal Processing, Cyber Security, Education and Training Technologies, Health Technologies, Modeling and Simulation, Networks and Communications, Robotics, and Sensor Systems. For more information on IAI, please visit www.i-a-i.com.

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