Development of a shape memory alloy actuated biomimetic vehicle
Additional Document Info
The development of a biomimetic active hydrofoil that utilizes shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator technology is presented. This work is the first stage prototype of a vehicle that will consist of many actuated body segments. The current work describes the design, modeling and testing of a single-segment demonstration SMA actuated hydrofoil. The SMA actuation elements are two sets of thin wires on either side of an elastomeric component that joins together the leading and Wailing edges of the hydrofoil. Controlled heating and cooling of the two wire sets generates bi-directional bending of the elastomer, which in turn deflects the trailing edge of the hydrofoil. In this paper the design of the hydrofoil and the experimental tests preformed thereon are explained. A detailed account of SMA actuator preparation (training) and material characterization is given. Finite-element method (FEM) modeling of hydrofoil response to electrical heating of the SMA actuators is carried out using a thermomechanical constitutive model for the SMA with input from the material characterization. The modeling predictions are finally compared with experimental measurements of the trailing edge deflection and the SMA actuator temperature.