Skip to Main Content
This paper focuses on the design of smart control surfaces for micro air vehicles using nano- and microscale actuators and sensors. These thin-film-based actuators/sensors are uniquely suitable for mini air vehicles, missiles, and interceptors. We use multi-layered microactuators (fabricated using thin-film technology) to displace and change the geometry of control surfaces. These thin-film actuators/sensors (transducers) are integrated as the large-scale arrays. Furthermore, nano- and microscale transducers should be controlled changing the applied voltage supplied to each actuator or measuring the voltage induced by each sensor. The major objective of this paper is to report fundamental and applied research in modeling, analysis and design of flight surfaces with thin-film-based actuator-sensor arrays controlled by hierarchically distributed systems. We demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the application of smart flight surfaces for coordinated longitudinal and lateral vehicle control (pitch, roll, and yaw moments are developed deflecting and changing the geometry of control surfaces). Active aerodynamic flow control can be achieved in order to reduce the drag.