Multi-objective optimization of a three cell morphing wing substructure

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering


Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Advisor: Kevin Hallinan


This thesis investigates the application of distributed actuation within a flexible morphing wingstructure through experimentation and optimization techniques. The goal is to understand the effect that actuator placement, orientation and increased flexibility have on a morphing wing system. A three cell mechanism is used to represent and understand the morphing wing, but this research starts with a single cell of the morphing wing structure, modeled as a four-bar mechanism, and builds a process for modeling, testing and optimization. Both computer analysis and experimentation are performed for the single cell, then scaled up to investigate the three cell. Computer analysis is done using ADAMS [registered trade mark] simulation software and optimization is performed in MATLAB® using Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP) techniques. The objective of the optimization process is to minimize the structural weight and decrease the actuation energy required as the mechanism moves from a starting configuration to an ending configuration. Experimental data is used to match the computer model in order to perform optimization on the computer model.


Airplanes Wings Simulation methods, Airplanes Design and construction, Mathematical optimization

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