Andrei V. Popov, Lucian T. Grigorie, Ruxandra Botez, Mahmood Mamou, Youssef Mébarki


In this paper, wind tunnel results of a real time optimization of a morphing wing in wind tunnel for delaying the transition towards the trailing edge are presented. A morphing rectangular finite aspect ratio wing, having a wind tunnel experimental airfoil reference cross-section, was considered with its upper surface made of a flexible composite material and instrumented with Kulite pressure sensors, and two smart memory alloys actuators. Several wind tunnel tests runs for various Mach numbers, angles of attack and Reynolds numbers were performed in the 6’×9’ wind tunnel at the Institute for Aerospace Research at the National Research Council Canada. Unsteady pressure signals were recorded and used as feed back in real time control while the morphing wing was requested to reproduce various optimized airfoils by changing automatically the two actuators strokes. The paper shows the optimization method implemented into the control software code that allows the morphing wing to adjust its shape to an optimum configuration under the wind tunnel airflow conditions.


  1. Allison, D. O., and Dagenhart, J. R., 1978, Design of a Laminar-Flow-Control Supercritical Airfoil for a Swept Wing, CTOL Transport Technology, NASA Langley Research Center, pp. 395-408.
  2. Andersen, G. R. et al., 2007, Aeroelastic modeling, analysis and testing of a morphing wing structure, AIAA-2007-1734, pp. 359-373.
  3. Bharti, S. et al., 2006, Optimal structural design of a morphing aircraft wing using parallel non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm II (NSGA II), Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Industrial and Comercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 6166, pp. 1-12.
  4. Coutu, D., Brailovski, V., Terriault, P., 2009, Promising benefits of an active-extrados morphing laminar wing, AIAA Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 46(2), pp. 730-731.
  5. De Breuker, R. et al., 2007, Energy-based aeroelastic analysis of a morphing wing, Proceedings of SPIE, Vol. 6523, pp. 1-12.
  6. Gandhi, N. et al., 2007, Intelligent control of a morphing aircraft, Paper AIAA-2007-1716, pp. 166-182.
  7. Georges, T., Brailovski, V., Morellon, E., Coutu, D., and Terriault, P., 2009, Design of Shape Memory Alloy Actuators for Morphing Laminar Wing With Flexible Extrados, Journal of Mechanical Design, Vol. 131, No. 9, pp. 091006-1-091006-9.
  8. Hackenberg, Petra, 1995, Numerical optimization of the suction distribution for laminar flow control aerofoils, Doctoral Thesis, University of Southampton (United Kingdom).
  9. Jacob, J.D., 1998, On the Fluid Dynamics of Adaptive Airfoils, Proceedings of ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition November 15-20, 1998, Anaheim, CA, USA.
  10. Jacob, J. D., 1999, Aerodynamic Flow Control Using Shape Adaptive Surfaces, ASME Paper No. DETC99/VIB-8323, ASME 17th Biennial Conference on Mechanical Vibration and Noise, Symposium on Structronics, Mechatronics, and Smart Materials, Las Vegas, Nevada, September.
  11. Khalid, M., 1993, Navier Stokes Investigation of Blunt Trailing Edge Airfoils using O-Grids, AIAA Journal of Aircraft, Vol.30, No.3, pp.797-800
  12. Khalid, M., and Jones, D. J., 1993 , ACFD Investigation of the Blunt Trailing Edge Airfoils in Transonic Flow, Proceedings of the Inaugural Conference of the CFD Society of Canada, Montreal, June14-15.
  13. Love, M. H. et al., 2007, Demonstration of morphing technology through ground and wind tunnel tests, Paper AIAA-2007-1729, pp. 337-348.
  14. Mack, L. M., 1977, Transition and Laminar Instability, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Publication 77-15, Pasadena,CA.
  15. Mangalam, S. M., 2004, Real-Time Extraction of Hydrodynamic Flow Characteristics Using Surface Signature, IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 622-630.
  16. Mébarki, Y., Mamou, M. and Genest, M., 2009, Infrared Measurements of Transition Location on the CRIAQ project Morphing Wing Model, NRC LTR- AL-2009- 0075.
  17. Munday, D., Jacob, J. D., and Huang, G., 2002, Active Flow Control of Separation on a Wing with Oscillatory Camber, AIAA Paper No. 2002-0413, 40th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, NV.
  18. Munday, D., Jacob, J. D., T. Hauser, and Huang, G., 2002, Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Aerodynamic Flow Control Using Oscillating Adaptive Surfaces, AIAA Paper No. 2002-2837, 1st AIAA Flow Control Conference, St. Louis.
  19. Nitcshe, W., Mirow, P., and Dorfler, T., 1989, Investigations on Flow Instabilities on Airfoils by Means of Piezofoil Arrays, Laminar-Turbulent Transition Proceedings of the IUTAM Symposium, Ecole nationale Superieure de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace, Toulouse, France, Sept. 11-15, , Berlin and New York, Springer-Verlag, 1990.
  20. Popov. A-V., Labib, M., Fays, J., Botez, R.M., 2008, Closed loop control simulations on a morphing laminar airfoil using shape memory alloys actuators, AIAA Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 45(5), pp. 1794-1803.
  21. Popov, A-V., Botez, R. M., and Grigorie, L., 2009, Morphing Wing Validation during Bench Tests, Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute Annual General Meeting, Aircraft Design & Development Symposium, 5-7 May, Kanata, Ontario.
  22. Pralits, J., 2003, Optimal Design of Natural and Hybrid Laminar Flow Control on Wings, Doctoral Thesis, Technical Report from Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
  23. Rioual, J.-L., Nelson, P. A., and Fisher, M. J., 1994, Experiments on the Automatic Control of BoundaryLayer Transition, Journal of Aircraft. Vol. 31, No. 6, pp. 1416-1418.
  24. Sainmont, C., Paraschivoiu, I., Coutu, D., 2009, Multidisciplinary Approach for the Optimization of a Laminar Airfoil Equipped with a Morphing Upper Surface, NATO AVT-168 Symposium on "Morphing Vehicles", Evora, Portugal.
  25. Sanders, B. et al., 2003, Aerodynamic and aeroelastic characteristics of wings with conformal control surfaces for morphing aircraft, Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 40(1), pp. 94-99.
  26. Skillen, M. D., Crossley, W. A., 2005, Developing response surface based wing weight equations for conceptual morphing aircraft sizing, Paper AIAA2005-1960, pp. 2007-2019.
  27. Yang, S.-M. , Han, J.-H., Lee, I., 2006, Characteristics of smart composite wing withSMA's and optical fibre sensors, International Journal of Applied Electromagnetics and Mechanics, Vol. 23, pp. 177- 186.
  28. Zingg, D. W., Diosady, L., Billing, L., 2006. Adaptive Airfoils for Drag Reduction at Transonic Speeds, AIAA paper 2006-3656.

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

V. Popov A., T. Grigorie L., Botez R., Mamou M. and Mébarki Y. (2010). MORPHING WING REAL TIME OPTIMIZATION IN WIND TUNNEL TESTS . In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics - Volume 1: ICINCO, ISBN 978-989-8425-00-3, pages 114-124. DOI: 10.5220/0002885701140124

in Bibtex Style

author={Andrei V. Popov and Lucian T. Grigorie and Ruxandra Botez and Mahmood Mamou and Youssef Mébarki},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics - Volume 1: ICINCO,},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics - Volume 1: ICINCO,
SN - 978-989-8425-00-3
AU - V. Popov A.
AU - T. Grigorie L.
AU - Botez R.
AU - Mamou M.
AU - Mébarki Y.
PY - 2010
SP - 114
EP - 124
DO - 10.5220/0002885701140124