Reconfigurable structures such as morphing aircraft generally require an on board energy source to function. Frictional heating during the high speed deployment of a blunt nosed low speed reconnaissance air vehicle can provide a large amount of thermal energy during a short period of time. This thermal energy can be collected, transferred, and utilized to reconfigure the deployable aircraft. Direct utilization of thermal energy has the ability to significantly decrease or eliminate the losses associated with converting thermal energy to other forms, such as electric. The following work attempts to describe possible system designs and components that can be utilized to transfer the thermal energy harvested at the nose of the aircraft during deployment to internal components for direct thermal actuation of a reconfigurable wing structure. A model of a loop heat pipe is presented and used to predict the time dependant transfer of energy. Previously reported thermal profiles of the nose of the aircraft calculated based on trajectory and mechanical analysis of the actuation mechanism are reviewed and combined with the model of the thermal transport system providing a system level feasibility investigation and design tool. The efficiency, implementation, benefits, and limitations of the direct use thermal system are discussed and compared with currently utilized systems.
- Aerospace Division
System Design and Modeling of a Thermally Activated Reconfigurable Wing
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Beblo, R, Robertson, D, Joo, J, Smyers, B, & Reich, G. "System Design and Modeling of a Thermally Activated Reconfigurable Wing." Proceedings of the ASME 2010 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems. ASME 2010 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, Volume 2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. September 28–October 1, 2010. pp. 293-301. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/SMASIS2010-3636
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