Comparison of theoretical structural models with experiment for a high-aspect-ratio aeroelastic wing
The effects of the geometrical nonlinearities on the four lowest natural frequencies of a cantilevered high-altitude long-endurance (HALE)-type wings are studied. The total spar length, maximum width, thickness, step distribution, and step width are held constant, while the step width is varied. A computational structural analysis is performed for a high-aspect-ratio, experimental aeroealstic wing model using the commercial finite element program ANSYS. The computational results quantify the effects of spanwise nonuniformities such as ribs, fairings, and a tip store on the first four wing modes. The mode shapes of the nonuniform finite element wing model are well approximated by classical beam modes, which are assumed as trial functions for nonlinear aeroelastic analysis of slender wings. The agreement between computational and experimental results support the use of ANSYS as a design tool for aeroelastic analysis of HALE-type wings.
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