Undergraduate students win poster competition on morphing wing research
Hannah Stroud and Samuel Murley, undergraduate students in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, won the undergraduate student research poster portion of the University Technical Competition (UTC) hosted by the South Texas division of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
The pair, undergraduate researchers in the Multifunctional Materials and Aerospace Structures Optimization lab led by Dr. Darren Hartl, presented their poster “Multiphysical Characterization of Avian Inspired Morphing Wing Section” covering the design of the wing itself and an overview on the characterization techniques, including 3-D digital image correlation (DIC) which gives shape data for the wing. The poster also covered infrared thermography (IR) which allows the researchers to map temperature data onto the shape, as well as experimental setup, and the DIC/IR results and aerodynamic results from their test.
For their research, the students have a wing that morphs using thermally activated shape memory alloy actuators on the lower surface, and they wanted to know if they were achieving the shape they expected (to give them higher lift) when they morphed it under aero loads. What they discovered was they were able to morph to the same shape consistently and affect the lift and pitching moment in repeatable methods.
UTC is a research competition for graduate and undergraduate students at ASME-partnered universities where students have the opportunity to present their mechanically-focused research or design projects to industry and university professionals. The students were among 25 teams comprised of 70 students participating in three categories: undergraduate design/capstone poster, undergraduate research poster and graduate research presentation. Teams competed from Texas A&M, the University of Houston, Rice University, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi and Prairie View A&M University.