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Transonic Flutter Suppression Control Law Design, Analysis and WindTunnel Test Results

By  and Vivek Mukhopadhyay and Vivek Mukhopadhyay


The benchmark active controls technology and wind tunnel test program at NASA Langley Research Center was started with the objective to investigate the nonlinear, unsteady aerodynamics and active flutter suppression of wings in transonic flow. The paper will present the flutter suppression control law design process, numerical nonlinear simulation and wind tunnel test results for the NACA 0012 benchmark active control wing model. The flutter suppression control law design processes using (1) classical, (2) linear quadratic Gaussian (LQG), and (3) minimax techniques are described. A unified general formulation and solution for the LQG and minimax approaches, based on the steady state differential game theory is presented. Design considerations for improving the control law robustness and digital implementation are outlined. It was shown that simple control laws when properly designed based on physical principles, can suppress flutter with limited control power even in the presence of transonic shocks and flow separation. In wind tunnel tests in air and heavy gas medium, the closed-loop flutter dynamic pressure was increased to the tunnel upper limit of 200 psf. The control law robustness and performance predictions were verified in highly nonlinear flow conditions, gain and phase perturbations, and spoiler deployment. A non-design plunge instability condition was also successfully suppressed

Year: 1998
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