Development and Analysis-Driven Optimization of Superelastic Slat-Cove Fillers for Airframe Noise Reduction Academic Article uri icon


  • Copyright 2015 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved. Airframe noise constitutes a significant component of the total noise generated by transport aircraft during lowspeed maneuvers, such as approach and landing; the leading-edge slat is a major source. Previous work has shown that the noise produced by the slat can be mitigated through the use of a slat-cove filler. Results from the initial prototype testing led to slat-cove filler concepts that incorporated a segmented structure and superelastic shapememory alloy materials. A finite-element analysis model, based on the physical prototypes (with a shape profile optimized for maximumnoise reduction), was created and used to analyze the slat-cove filler response to aerodynamic and slat retraction loads with the goal of optimization. The objective was minimization of the actuation force needed to retract the slat/slat-cove filler assembly subject to constraints that involved aeroelastic deflection of the slat-cove filler when deployed, maximum stress in the shape-memory alloy flexures, and the required ability of the slat-cove filler to deploy autonomously during slat deployment. The design variables considered included shape-memory alloy flexure thicknesses and lengths of various slat-cove filler components. Design of experiment studies were conducted and used to guide the subsequent optimization. From the optimization, it was found that a monolithic shape-memory alloy slatcove filler minimized the actuation force while satisfying design constraints, which was consistent with prototype testing results.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Scholten, W. D., Hartl, D. J., Turner, T. L., & Kidd, R. T.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Scholten, William D||Hartl, Darren J||Turner, Travis L||Kidd, Reggie T

publication date

  • March 2016