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The Application of Finite Element Methods to Aeroelastic Lifting Surface Flutter

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Title: The Application of Finite Element Methods to Aeroelastic Lifting Surface Flutter
Author: Guertin, Matthew
Advisor: Akin, John Edward.
Degree: Master of Science thesis
Abstract: Aeroelastic behavior prediction is often confined to analytical or highly computational methods, so I developed a low degree of freedom computational method using structural finite elements and unsteady loading to cover a gap in the literature. Finite elements are readily suitable for determination of the free vibration characteristics of eccentric, elastic structures, and the free vibration characteristics fundamentally determine the aeroelastic behavior. I used Theodorsen’s unsteady strip loading formulation to model the aerodynamic loading on linear elastic structures assuming harmonic motion. I applied Hassig’s ‘p-k’ method to predict the flutter boundary of nonsymmetric, aeroelastic systems. I investigated the application of a quintic interpolation assumed displacement shape to accurately predict higher order characteristic effects compared to linear analytical results. I show that quintic interpolation is especially accurate over cubic interpolation when multi-modal interactions are considered in low degree of freedom flutter behavior for high aspect ratio HALE aircraft wings.
Citation: Guertin, Matthew. (2012) "The Application of Finite Element Methods to Aeroelastic Lifting Surface Flutter." Masters Thesis, Rice University. http://hdl.handle.net/1911/64631.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1911/64631
Date: 2012-09-05

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