Aero, Robotics, and Mechatronics (ARM) Laboratory

Morphing Wing Composite Skin Analysis and Design

Cross section of morphing wingWing morphing is a concept wherein the shape of an aircraft’s wing can be altered in a continuous change to suit the needed flight condition. This change can occur in many ways including, but not limited to, changes in the sweep of the wings, changes in the chord, in the span or in the camber.

ANSYS simulation of morphing wingWing morphing aims at increasing the lift-to-drag ratio of the wing in various flight conditions to reduce drag, which is the most significant aerodynamic force responsible for fuel consumption. Wing morphing has the potential to greatly improve the performance and efficiency of an aircraft, in addition to expanding the aircraft’s operational envelope significantly, if the weight of the morphing components is acceptable.

Of the many types of wing morphing, our lab focuses on camber morphing exclusively and developing a morphing skin design for camber morphing applications. We are employing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques, lift-line theory, fluid-structure interaction (FSI) techniques, additive manufacturing (3D printing) and wind tunnel testing. Our lab is funded by the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).