General Context and Objectives

The SMARTWING MORPHING CENTRE, SMC aims at the creation of  a  platform, linking upstream research approaches with applications in the aeronautics industry mainly in the context of the design of air-vehicles.  This platform focuses on creating a multi-disciplinary research structure,  associating the competences of research centres and industrial partners in the domains of aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, novel smart materials and  flight control. This aims at improving the aerodynamic efficiency of a new generation of air-vehicles, by means of Electroactive Morphing. This thematic axis is at the ‘cutting edge’ of the state-of-the-art in the domain of smart airvehicle design. A main objective of the platform  is to facilitate scientific and industrial exchanges in the domain of optimal shapes and efficient dynamic response to attenuate and control nuisance phenomena related to instabilities, flutter, vibrations and noise, by means of distributed actuation  at low energetic cost. Efficient Flight Control Commands will be studied to ensure real time Morphing. Furthermore, the SMC platform includes the study of Biomimetic concepts associated with the Morphing devices, to optimise ailerons, rudders, blades, etc… This will be achieved by applying new generations of electroactive materials able to mimic the birds flight. Hybridation among different classes of electroactive actuators ensures an optimal operation by coupling the advantages of the different materials (e.g. shape memory alloys, mini-piezo-actuators,  and electroactive polymers). The applications concern different scales from drones to aircraft’s ailerons and rotor blades. In the context of the SMC platform, a network of excellence will be created  by participating in EU research programs, organisation of workshops and  international conferences. The SMARTWING MORPHING CENTRE  will imply high-level international collaboration and will provide a framework for advancing R&D activities.

The SMC animates two principal research activities supported by the Foundation STAE:RTRA (Sciences et Techniques de l’Aéronautique et Espace:Réseau Thématique de Recherche Avancée). The research program EMMAV (Electroactive Morphing for Micro Airvehicles) during 2010-2012 and the RTRA research initiative – ‘chantier’ – SMARTWING, (2012-2015) which includes the research project DYNAMORPH.

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