Non-linear controls influence functions in an aircraft dynamics simulator Conference Paper uri icon


  • In the development and testing of novel structural and controls concepts, such as morphing aircraft wings, appropriate models are needed for proper system characterization. In most instances, available system models do not provide the required additional degrees of freedom for morphing structures but may be modified to some extent to achieve a compatible system. The objective of this study is to apply wind tunnel data collected for an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV), that implements trailing edge morphing, to create a non-linear dynamics simulator, using well defined rigid body equations of motion, where the aircraft stability derivatives change with control deflection. An analysis of this wind tunnel data, using data extraction algorithms, was performed to determine the reference aerodynamic force and moment coefficients for the aircraft. Further, non-linear influence functions were obtained for each of the aircraft's control surfaces, including the sixteen trailing edge flap segments. These non-linear controls influence functions are applied to the aircraft dynamics to produce deflection-dependent aircraft stability derivatives in a non-linear dynamics simulator. Time domain analysis of the aircraft motion, trajectory, and state histories can be performed using these non-linear dynamics and may be visualized using a 3-dimensional aircraft model. Linear system models can be extracted to facilitate frequency domain analysis of the system and for control law development. The results of this study are useful in similar projects where trailing edge morphing is employed and will be instrumental in the University of Maryland's continuing study of active wing load control.

name of conference

  • Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Modeling, Signal Processing, and Control

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Guerreiro, N. M., Hubbard, J., & Motte, M. A.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Guerreiro, Nelson M||Hubbard, James E Jr||Motte, Mark A

editor list (cited editors)

  • Lindner, D. K.

publication date

  • January 2006