Airframe noise is a significant part of the overall noise produced by typical, transport-class aircraft during the approach and landing phases of flight. Leading-edge slat noise is a prominent source of airframe noise. The concept of a slat-cove filler was proposed in previous work as an effective means of mitigating slat noise.
Bench-top models were developed at 75% scale to study the feasibility of producing a functioning slat-cove filler. Initial results from several concepts led to a more-focused effort investigating a deformable structure based upon pseudoelastic SMA materials. The structure stows in the cavity between the slat and main wing during cruise and deploys simultaneously with the slat to guide the aerodynamic flow suitably for low noise.
A qualitative parametric study of SMA-enabled, slat-cove filler designs was performed on the bench-top. Computational models were developed and analyses were performed to assess the displacement response under representative aerodynamic load. The bench-top and computational results provide significant insight into design trades and an optimal design.