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Model Reduction in Flexible-Aircraft Dynamics with Large Rigid-Body Motion


H. Hesse, R. Palacios

AIAA Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, Boston, USA

This paper investigates the model reduction, using balanced realizations, of the unsteady aerodynamics of maneuvering flexible aircraft. The aeroelastic response of the vehicle, which may be subject to large wing deformations at trimmed flight, is captured by coupling a displacement-based, flexible-body dynamics formulation with an aerodynamic model based on the unsteady vortex lattice method. Consistent linearization of the aeroelastic problem allows the projection of the structural degrees of freedom on a few vibration modes of the unconstrained vehicle, but preserves all couplings between the rigid and elastic motions and permits the vehicle flight dynamics to have arbitrarily-large angular velocities. The high-order aerodynamic system, which defines the mapping between the small number of generalized coordinates and unsteady aerodynamic loads, is then reduced using the balanced truncation method. Numerical studies on a representative high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft show a very substantial reduction in model size, by up to three orders of magnitude, that leads to model orders (and computational cost) similar to those in conventional frequency-based methods but with higher modeling fidelity to compute maneuver loads. Closed-loop results for the Goland wing finally demonstrate the application of this approach in the synthesis of a robust flutter suppression controller.


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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@InProceedings { HesPal:2013:IFA_4988,
    author={H. Hesse and R. Palacios},
    title={{Model Reduction in Flexible-Aircraft Dynamics with Large
	  Rigid-Body Motion}},
    booktitle={AIAA Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials
    address={Boston, USA},
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