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Design and Fabrication of a Variable Stiffness Link for Use in a Morphable Unmanned Air Vehicle

Boyerinas, Brad Michael (2009) Design and Fabrication of a Variable Stiffness Link for Use in a Morphable Unmanned Air Vehicle. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Morphing structures have recently been researched by scientists and engineers due to their ability to adapt to a physical environment and increase the odds of performance and survival. One area of implementation, aeronautics, has been of specific interest since aircraft are commonly called upon to perform in several varying scenarios, some of which the aircraft is ill-suited for survival. These varying scenarios are most commonly experienced by military aircraft where the capabilities of efficient cruising, straight-line speed, and agile maneuvering can be encountered in just one flight. This thesis focuses on the development of a smart structural link that has the capability of being deformed and locked in several positions. The link was designed for and tested in a morphable unmanned air vehicle where the wings can both sweep and morph for greater aerodynamic performance under different conditions. This structural link bends to high degrees of deformation while its main constituent, shape memory polymer, is thermally activated and possesses a very low stiffness. This entire setup was tested in the Kirsten Wind Tunnel at the University of Washington and the morphing system was successfully implemented for several cycles.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Boyerinas, Brad Michaelbmb11@pitt.eduBMB11
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWeiland, Lisalweiland@engr.pitt.eduLMW36
Committee MemberSlaughter, William S.wss@engr.pitt.eduWSS
Committee MemberClark, William W.wclark@engr.pitt.eduWCLARK
Date: 29 June 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 12 December 2008
Approval Date: 29 June 2009
Submission Date: 10 March 2009
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Mechanical Engineering
Degree: MSME - Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: morphing wing; shape memory polymer; smart material
Other ID:, etd-03102009-143440
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:32
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:35


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