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TECHNICAL PAPERS

The Analysis of Tensegrity Structures for the Design of a Morphing Wing

[+] Author and Article Information
Keith W. Moored

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 22904

Hilary Bart-Smith1

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 22904hb8h@virginia.edu

1

Corresponding author.

J. Appl. Mech 74(4), 668-676 (Jul 19, 2006) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2424718 History: Received January 16, 2006; Revised July 19, 2006

Current attempts to build fast, efficient, and maneuverable underwater vehicles have looked to nature for inspiration. However, they have all been based on traditional propulsive techniques, i.e., rotary motors. In the current study a promising and potentially revolutionary approach is taken that overcomes the limitations of these traditional methods—morphing structure concepts with integrated actuation and sensing. Inspiration for this work comes from the manta ray (Manta birostris) and other batoid fish. These creatures are highly maneuverable but are also able to cruise at high speeds over long distances. In this paper, the structural foundation for the biomimetic morphing wing is a tensegrity structure. A preliminary procedure is presented for developing morphing tensegrity structures that include actuating elements. To do this, the virtual work method has been modified to allow for individual actuation of struts and cables. The actuation response of tensegrity beams and plates are studied and results are presented. Specifically, global deflections resulting from actuation of specific elements have been calculated with or without external loads. Finally, a shape optimization analysis of different tensegrity structures to the biological displacement field will be presented.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Three strut, four strut, and six strut tensegrity unit cell structures

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Figure 2

The configuration vector describes the structural layout of a plate tensegrity structure composed of unit cells. Each square represents a unit cell.

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Figure 3

Flow diagram of patternsearch optimization

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Figure 4

Cownose ray wing curvature during a flapping cycle at different time steps. 10∕30s is the upward extreme in a normal forward propelling flapping cycle.

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Figure 5

61% downward deflection of a seven cell beam due to 20% contraction of the spanwise bottom cables

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Figure 6

Graph showing increased deflection capabilities of a beam as a function of number of cells and length to height ratio of the individual cell

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Figure 7

34% downward deflection of a seven cell elliptical plate due to 20% contraction of the bottom spanwise cables

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Figure 8

63% downward and 60% upward deflection of a 19 cell manta ray shaped wing due to 20% contraction of the bottom spanwise cables and 20% contraction of the top cables, respectively

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Figure 9

(a) Optimal upward deflection of the unconstrained three cell beam; and (b) comparison of the top surface of the structure to the desired shape. With more cells or more allowed actuation strain the desired shape can be easily reached.

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Figure 10

Contraction amounts of individual cables in unit cell determined by the optimization scheme for upward deflection

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Figure 11

(a) Optimal downward deflection of the unconstrained three cell beam; and (b) comparison of the top surface of the structure to the desired shape. Since the length of the top of the structure to significantly larger than the length the cownose ray wing in a downward deflection, the structure cannot achieve the same deflection. This accounts for the large error in the x direction.

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Figure 12

Contraction amounts of individual cables in unit cell determined by the optimization scheme for downward deflection

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Figure 13

(a) Optimal upward deflection of the constrained three cell beam; and (b) comparison of the top surface of the structure to the desired shape

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Figure 14

(a) Optimal downward deflection of the constrained three cell beam; and (b) comparison of the top surface of the structure to the desired shape

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Figure 15

Nine cell plate optimized for a 15deg twist

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