Sensing Unsteady Pressure on MAV Wings: A New Method for Turbulence Alleviation


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Experiments at low Reynolds numbers were performed on a pressure tapped NACA 2313 wing in a 3 x 2 x 9 meter wind tunnel under nominally smooth (Ti = 1.2%) and turbulent (Ti = 7.2%) flows at a mean flow velocity of 8ms-1 (Re ≈120,000). The NACA 2313 wing is a replica of Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) wing of the Flash 3D aircraft used at RMIT University for research purposes. Unsteady surface pressures were measured to understand if the information could be adopted for resolving turbulence-induced perturbations and to furthermore use it in a turbulence mitigation system. Two span-wise locations of chord-wise pressure were acquired when tested under the two different flow conditions. It was discovered that at both span-wise locations, a local Coefficient of Pressure (Cp) held high correlation to the chord-wise Cp integration and allowed for a linear relationship to be formed between the two variables. The defined relationship provided a 95% confidence for angles of attack below stall and was used to estimate the integrated chord-wise pressure coefficient at a particular span wise location. The relationship between a single pressure tap and the integrated Cp of that chord-wise section was valid for the two different span-wise locations with similar defining equations. As one pressure tap is sufficient to adequately estimate the integrated Cp on a chord-wise wing section, a limited amount of pressure taps across the wings span approximates the pressure distribution across the span and eventually approximates the flight perturbations. Being a novel method of sensing aircraft disturbance, applications are not restricted to MAV. The methodology presented could very well be applied to larger aircraft to reduce the effects of turbulence within the terminal area and can provide other means of active stabilization.



Edited by:

R. Varatharajoo, F.I. Romli, K.A. Ahmad, D.L. Majid and F. Mustapha




M. J. Marino et al., "Sensing Unsteady Pressure on MAV Wings: A New Method for Turbulence Alleviation", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 629, pp. 48-54, 2014

Online since:

October 2014




* - Corresponding Author

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