Experiments and analysis of an active hydrofoil with SMA actuators Conference Paper uri icon


  • 1997, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. We present here our progress towards the development of a type of biomimetic active hydrofoil that utilizes Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) actuator technology. The actuation is presently applied to the control of hydrodynamic forces and moments, including thrust generation, on a 2-D hydrofoil. The SMA actuation elements are two sets of thin wires (0.015" to 0.027") on either side of an elastomeric element that provides the main structural support. Controlled heating and cooling of the two wire sets generates bi-directional bending of the elastomer, which in turn deflects (for quasi-static control) or oscillates (for thrust generation) the trailing edge of the hydrofoil. The aquatic environment of the hydrofoil lends itself to cooling schemes that utilize the excellent heat transfer properties of water. The SMA muscle was able to deflect the trailing edge by +/- 5 at rates as high as 2 Hz. FEM modeling of hydrofoil response to thermoelectric heating has been carried out using a thermo mechanical constitutive model for SMAs. FEM predictions are compared with experimental measurements.

published proceedings

  • 36th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit

author list (cited authors)

  • Rediniotis, O. K., Lagoudas, D. C., Garner, L. J., & Wilson, N.

publication date

  • January 1, 1998 11:11 AM