Post Doc position aimed at designing and testing SmartX technologies in flight Flying V
Delft University of Technology TU Delft

Post Doc position aimed at designing and testing SmartX technologies in flight Flying V

Netherlands 16 Jul 2021

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Delft University of Technology TU Delft
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OPPORTUNITY DETAILS

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16 Jul 2021
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The advancements in aerospace engineering, paired with continuing desire to develop more fuel-efficient aircraft, lead to increasingly flexible aircraft designs. Generally, the flexibility is considered as a side effect of the lighter aircraft design and needs to be adequately accounted for to prevent undesired aerodynamics-structure couplings and ensure the optimized aerodynamic shape. However, a fixed-wing shape - generally optimized for the cruise condition - cannot be fully optimized throughout the flight envelope due to conflicting design requirements. 

Researchers in the Smart and Aeroelastic Structures research group developed an active morphing wing concept to utilize structural flexibility. The wing, named SmartX-Alpha, integrates smart sensing, smart actuation, and smart control, enabling simultaneous achievements of multiple objectives: 1) aeroelastic wing shape control; 2) real-time active aerodynamic performance optimisation; 3) active damping enhancement and flutter suppression; 4) active gust and manoeuvre load alleviation. The effectiveness of the SmartX-Alpha wing has been demonstrated by wind tunnel tests in TU Delft. It also won the Hardware Competition at the 2020 American conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures, and Intelligent Systems. The project video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdagIiYRWyA&t=323s

This three-year postdoctoral project aims at designing and testing a free-flying uninhabited aerial vehicle embedded with the SmartX technologies in flight. The impacts of scaling up on aircraft design, sensing, and actuation should be investigated. The technology readiness levels (TRLs) of SmartX should be raised in this project via following a coherent analysis, design verification and validation process. Automtated manufacturing methods for smart aircraft should be explored as well. The flight testing will be supported by the section of Flight performance and propulsion of TU Delft. 


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