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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I014594/1
Title: Nonlinear Flexibility Effects on Flight Dynamics and Control of Next-Generation Aircraft
Principal Investigator: Badcock, Professor K
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Airbus Operations Limited BAE Systems DSTL Portsdown West
Department: School of Engineering
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2011 Ends: 31 March 2015 Value (£): 264,622
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
14 Sep 2010 Materials, Mechanical and Medical Engineering Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project will develop a systematic approach to flight control system (FCS) design for very flexible or very large aircraft, of the type being considered for low-environmental-impact air transport and for long-endurance unmanned operations. It will create a virtual flight test environment that will support the design of advanced nonlinear FCS that fully account for the vehicle structural flexibility. To model the flight dynamics of flexible aircraft, it is necessary to develop analytical methods for generating Reduced Order Models (ROMs) via reduction of the full-order nonlinear equations of motion, and to do this in such a way that the essential nonlinear behaviour is preserved. The key issues addressed by our approach are that:1. The usual separation of flight dynamics and aeroelasticity is not appropriate for flight control when very low structural frequencies (which are also often associated with large amplitude motions) are present. Modelling and design methods based on a fully coupled system analysis are therefore necessary.2. Large wing deformations bring nonlinear dynamic behaviour, but current model reduction methods assume linearity. The development of nonlinear ROMs is an area that urgently needs advances, in general, and is necessary for control applications of flexible aircraft, in particular.3. Standard linear control design methods are inadequate for highly flexible aircraft, since their dynamic behaviour is intrinsically nonlinear. Fresh approaches to nonlinear FCS design are then required to control these systems in a provably robust way.The technical and scientific challenges to be overcome then include the simulation of significant aerodynamic and structural nonlinearities in full aircraft dynamics through the systematic development of a hierarchy of fully coupled large-order models, the reduction of these models to small-order nonlinear systems suitable for control development, and the development of robust control laws based on these reduced nonlinear models for gust load alleviation, trajectory control and stability augmentation. These methods will be exemplified in next-generation aircraft concepts that will be defined in discussion with end users. In fact, the project will benefit from a strong collaboration with major UK industrial partners, which will provide substantial technical inputs and support to the planned research activities.
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Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk