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Linear Aeroelastic Stability of Beams and Plates in

Three-Dimensional Flow
by

Samuel Chad Gibbs IV


Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Duke University
Date:

Approved:

Earl H. Dowell, Supervisor

Kenneth C. Hall

Donald B. Bliss

Thomas P. Witelski

Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of


Master of Science in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials
Science in the Graduate School of Duke University
2012

Abstract
Linear Aeroelastic Stability of Beams and Plates in
Three-Dimensional Flow
by

Samuel Chad Gibbs IV


Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Duke University
Date:

Approved:

Earl H. Dowell, Supervisor

Kenneth C. Hall

Donald B. Bliss

Thomas P. Witelski

An abstract of a thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the


degree of Master of Science in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and
Materials Science in the Graduate School of Duke University
2012

c 2012 by Samuel Chad Gibbs IV


Copyright
All rights reserved except the rights granted by the
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial Licence

Abstract
The aeroelastic stability of beams and plates in three-dimensional flows is explored
as the elastic and aerodynamic parameters are varied. First principal energy methods are used to derive the structural equations of motion. The structural models
are coupled with a three-dimensional linear vortex lattice model of the aerodynamics. An aeroelastic model with the beam structural model is used to explore the
transition between different fixed boundary conditions and the effect of varying two
non-dimensional parameters, the mass ratio and aspect ratio H , for a beam with
a fixed edge normal to the flow. The trends matched previously published theoretical and experimental data, validating the current aeroelastic model. The transition
in flutter velocity between the clamped free and pinned free configuration is a nonmonotomic transition, with the lowest flutter velocity coming with a finite size spring
stiffness. Next a plate-membrane model is used to explore the instability dynamics
for different combinations of boundary conditions. For the specific configuration of
the trailing edge free and all other edges clamped, the sensitivity to the physical
parameters shows that decreasing the streamwise length and increasing the tension
in the direction normal to the flow can increase the onset instability velocity. Finally
the transition in aeroelastic instabilities for non-axially aligned flows is explored for
the cantilevered beam and three sides clamped plate. The cantilevered beam configuration transitions from an entirely bending motion when the clamped edge is
normal to the flow to a typical bending/torsional wing flutter when the clamped

iv

edge is aligned with the flow. As the flow is rotated the transition to the wing flutter
occurs when the flow angle is only 10 deg from the perfectly normal configuration.
With three edges clamped, the motion goes from a divergence instability when the
free edge is aligned with the flow to a flutter instability when the free edge is normal
to the flow. The transition occurs at an intermediate angle. Experiments are carried
out to validate the beam and plate elastic models. The beam aeroelastic results are
also confirmed experimentally. Experimental values consistently match well with the
theoretical predictions for both the aeroelastic and structural models.

Contents
Abstract

iv

List of Tables

List of Figures

xi

List of Abbreviations and Symbols

xv

1 Introduction and Literature Review

2 Structural Model
2.1

10

Beam Structural Model Derivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

2.1.1

Boundary Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

14

2.1.2

Equations of Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

15

2.1.3

Normalized Equations of Motion

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

15

2.1.4

Bending Separation of Variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

16

2.1.5

Torsional Separation of Variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

17

Specific Beam Mode Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

19

2.2.1

Clamped-Free . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

19

2.2.2

Pinned-Free . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

22

2.2.3

Clamped-Clamped . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

25

2.2.4

Free-Free . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

28

2.3

Pinned Edge Torsional Spring Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

29

2.4

Plate Structural Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

33

2.2

vi

2.4.1
2.5

Plate Structural Analysis Typical Results . . . . . . . . . . . .

38

Forced System Modification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

44

3 Aerodynamic Model

47

3.1

Aerodynamic Theory Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

47

3.2

Vortex Lattice Aeroelastic Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

55

3.2.1

Downwash State Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

56

3.2.2

Non-dimensional Generalized Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

58

3.2.3

Governing Aeroelastic Matrix Equations . . . . . . . . . . . .

60

Code Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

61

3.3.1

Matrix Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

62

3.3.2

Flutter Speed and Eigenvalue Determination . . . . . . . . . .

62

3.3.3

Generating Time Histories from Eigenanalysis . . . . . . . . .

67

3.4

Inclusion of Fixed Support Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

68

3.5

Mirroring to Simulate Wind Tunnel Walls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

69

3.6

Using ANSYS Structural Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

70

3.7

Rotated Wing Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

72

3.7.1

Generalized Force Calculation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

75

3.7.2

Downwash Calculation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

75

3.3

4 Results from Aeroelastic Simulations


4.1

4.2

77

Dimensional Beam Simulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

77

4.1.1

Time History Analysis vs. Eigenanalysis . . . . . . . . . . . .

78

4.1.2

Fixed Leading Airfoil Effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

79

Wind Tunnel Wall Confinement Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

79

4.2.1

Out-of-Plane Normal to Flow Confinement . . . . . . . . . . .

80

4.2.2

In-Plane Normal to Flow Wind Tunnel Wall Confinement . . .

81

vii

4.3

4.4

4.5

Non-dimensional Simulations (Modified from Journal of Fluids and


Structures Journal Submission) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

82

4.3.1

Leading Edge Spring Simulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

83

4.3.2

Aspect Ratio Variation Simulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

85

4.3.3

Mass Ratio Variation Simulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

86

Plate Simulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

90

4.4.1

NASA Simulations (Configuration 6) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

90

4.4.2

Increasing the Flutter Velocity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

94

4.4.3

Additional Plate Boundary Configurations . . . . . . . . . . .

98

4.4.4

Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

Axially Misaligned Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108


4.5.1

Axially Misaligned Beam Simulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

4.5.2

Axially Misaligned Plate Simulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

5 Experiments
5.1

5.2

120

Experiments to Validate Beam Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120


5.1.1

Beam Structural Experiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

5.1.2

Beam Aeroelastic Experiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123

Experiments to Validate Plate Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125


5.2.1

Design of Experimental Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126

5.2.2

Static Structural Experiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

5.2.3

Dynamic Structural Experiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130

5.2.4

Plate Aeroelastic Experiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138

5.3

Configuration 1 Aeroelastic Experiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139

5.4

Configuration 6 Aeroelastic Experiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142

6 Conclusion and Future Work


6.1

145

Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
viii

6.2

Future Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147


6.2.1

Theoretical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147

6.2.2

Experimental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148

6.2.3

Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148

A Beam Aeroelastic Experimental Data Points

150

B Configuration 2 Raw Data

152

Bibliography

154

ix

List of Tables
2.1

Non-Dimensional Natural Frequencies for a Single Edge Fixed Beam .

30

2.2

NASA Membrane Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

38

4.1

Plate Aeroelastic Simulation Summary (s = 0.01) . . . . . . . . . . .

98

4.2

Plate Aeroelastic Simulation Summary (s = 0.05) . . . . . . . . . . .

99

4.3

Rotated Wing Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

5.1

Beam Experimental Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

5.2

Equipment Used in the Ground Vibration Experiment . . . . . . . . . 131

5.3

First Three Modal Damping Ratios with No Tension . . . . . . . . . 137

5.4

Equipment Used in the Flutter Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139

5.5

Plate Aeroelastic Experimental Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

5.6

Configuration 1 Experimental Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

5.7

Flutter Speed and Frequency for the Un-Tensioned Specimen: Theory


and Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

A.1 Experimental Datapoints for a Clamped-Free Plate . . . . . . . . . . 150


A.2 Experimental vs Theoretical Error

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151

List of Figures
1.1

Continuous Mold-Line Link . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.2

Plate Configurations to Explore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.1

Clamped Free Schematic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

20

2.2

Clamped Free Frequencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

20

2.3

Clamped Free Bending Mode Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

21

2.4

Pinned Free Schematic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

23

2.5

Pinned Free Frequencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

23

2.6

Pinned Free Mode Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

24

2.7

Clamped Clamped Schematic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

25

2.8

Clamped Clamped Frequencies

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

26

2.9

Clamped Clamped Mode Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

27

2.10 Free Free Frequencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

29

2.11 Free Free Mode Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

30

Mode Shapes . . . . . . . .
2.12 Pinned-Free, Clamped-Free and Large K

31

2.13 Structural Frequency Evolution with Leading Edge Torsional Spring .

32

2.14 Configuration 1 Natural Frequencies and Mode Shapes . . . . . . . .

40

2.15 Configuration 2 Natural Frequencies and Mode Shapes . . . . . . . .

40

2.16 Configuration 3 Natural Frequencies and Mode Shapes . . . . . . . .

41

2.17 Configuration 4 Natural Frequencies and Mode Shapes . . . . . . . .

41

2.18 Configuration 5 Natural Frequencies and Mode Shapes . . . . . . . .

42

xi

2.19 Configuration 6 Natural Frequencies and Mode Shapes . . . . . . . .

42

2.20 Configuration 2 Natural Frequency Evolution for Chord Variation . .

43

2.21 Configuration 2 Natural Frequency Evolution for Tension Variation .

44

3.1

Visualization of Structural Mode Shapes with Vortex Lattice Wake .

48

3.2

Expanded Schematic of Vortex Lattice Mesh . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

50

3.3

Aeroelastic Simulation Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

60

3.4

Typical Near Flutter Time History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

63

3.5

Near Flutter Time History Modal FFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

64

3.6

Near Flutter Time History Modal Damping . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

65

3.7

Typical Velocity Sweep . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

67

3.8

Typical Root Locus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

67

3.9

Mirrored Wall Schematic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

70

3.10 Cantilevered Wing Configuration Schematic . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

71

3.11 Aerodynamic and Elastic Coordinate Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . .

73

3.12 Rotated Wing Mesh Visualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

74

4.1

Eigenanalyis vs Time History Analyis Root Locus . . . . . . . . . . .

78

4.2

Eigenanalyis vs Time History Analysis Damping vs. Velocity . . . . .

78

4.3

Leading Airfoil Root Locus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

79

4.4

Leading Airfoil Damping vs. Velocity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

79

4.5

Impact of Out-of-Plane Confinement on Flutter Frequency Prediction

80

4.6

Impact of In-Plane Confinement on Flutter Velocity Prediction . . . .

81

4.7

Impact of In-Plane Confinement on Flutter Frequency Prediction . .

82

4.8

Flutter Frequency and Velocity vs. K . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

84

4.9

Flutter Velocity as a function of the Aspect Ratio . . . . . . . . . . .

86

4.10 Flutter Velocity and Frequency vs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

87

xii

4.11 Growing Mass Ratio Simulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

88

4.12 Configuration 6 Aeroelastic Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

92

4.13 Plate Structural Model Convergence Plots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

93

4.14 Plate Structural Model: Support Structure Influence Plots . . . . . .

95

4.15 Configuration 2 Aspect Ratio Variation Flutter Boundary . . . . . . .

96

4.16 Configuration 2 Aspect Ratio Variation Flutter Boundary Mode Shapes 96


4.17 Configuration 2 Aspect Tension Variation Flutter Boundary . . . . .

97

4.18 Configuration 2 Tension Variation Flutter Boundary Mode Shapes . .

97

4.19 Configuration 1 Aeroelastic Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101


4.20 Configuration 2 Aeroelastic Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
4.21 Configuration 3 Aeroelastic Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
4.22 Configuration 4 Aeroelastic Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
4.23 Configuration 5 Aeroelastic Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
4.24 Rotating Beam Flutter Boundary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
4.25 Rotation Angle=0, One Period Flutter Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
4.26 Rotation Angle=6.92, One Period Flutter Motion . . . . . . . . . . . 112
4.27 Rotation Angle=11.53, One Period Flutter Motion

. . . . . . . . . . 113

4.28 Rotation Angle=90, One Period Flutter Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . 114


4.29 Rotated Plate Aeroelastic Boundary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
4.30 Rotated Plate Aeroelastic Boundary Mode Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . 115
4.31 Rotation Angle=0, One Period Flutter Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
4.32 Rotation Angle=45 deg, One Period Flutter Motion . . . . . . . . . . 118
4.33 Rotation Angle=60 deg, One Period Flutter Motion . . . . . . . . . . 119
5.1

Experiment Apparatus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

5.2

Natural Frequency Experimental Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

xiii

5.3

Mass Ratio Variation with Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124

5.4

CAD Rendering of Baffle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126

5.5

Close up of the Connector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

5.6

Different Strain Settings Allowing for Varying Span-wise Tension . . . 128

5.7

Stress Strain Curve and Estimation of Elastic Modulus . . . . . . . . 129

5.8

Estimated Poissons Ratio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130

5.9

Photographs of the Experimental Setups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

5.10 Configuration 1 Dynamic Experimental Results . . . . . . . . . . . . 132


5.11 Configuration 2 Dynamic Experimental Results . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
5.12 The (1,2) Mode Visualization for Configuration 2 . . . . . . . . . . . 133
5.13 Configuration 4 Dynamic Experimental Results . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
5.14 Ground Vibration Test Setup for Configuration 4 . . . . . . . . . . . 135
5.15 Laser Readout and Shaker Excitation Locations . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
5.16 Natural Frequency Results for 4 Levels of Tension: Theory and Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
5.17 Photograph of Baffle Inside the Wind Tunnel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
5.18 Configuration 1 Aeroelastic Experimental Results . . . . . . . . . . . 140
5.19 Example Waterfall Plot for the Un-Tensioned Specimen . . . . . . . . 142
B.1 Configuration 2 Sample Spectrum Analyzer Output . . . . . . . . . . 153

xiv

List of Abbreviations and Symbols


Symbols
As

Number of airfoil elements in normal to flow(~y ) direction

Ac

Number of airfoil elements in chordwise(~x) direction

At

Total number of airfoil elements

Youngs modulus of the structure

Shear modulous of the structure

Structure thickness

Area moment of inertia of the structure

Iea
Kk,l

K
L, Lx

Moment of inertial around the elastic axis


Kernel function for the influence of the kth discrete on the
lth panel
Stiffness matrix
Structure streamwise length

Mass matrix

Mass per unit length of the structure

p(x, y, t)

Aerodynamic pressure at the panel location (x,y) at time (t)

~
Q

Generalized aerodynamic force

r~t

Distance from circulation element to point in space (t)

S, Ly
Ss

Structure normal to flow length


Number of structure elements in normal to flow(~y ) direction
xv

Sc

Number of structure elements in streamwise(~x) direction

St

Total number of structure elements

Structure kinetic energy

Ty , Tx

Elastic tension in the subscript direction

Free stream fluid velocity

Structure potential energy

Vd

Vertical velocity of the elastic structure at collocation points

Ws

Number of wake elements in normal to flow(~y ) direction

Wc

Number of wake elements in streamwise(~x) direction

Wt

Total Number of structure elements

w(x, y, t)
x, y
(x , y )

W
~
(x, y)

Displacement at Structure location (x,y) at time (t)


Streamwise and span wise direction respectively
(x,y) location of the (, ) panel
vortex lattice relaxation factor
Virtual work
Discrete circulation values
Continuous circulation at (x,y)

Natural frequency of the structure

Index of column in vortex mesh

Vector of position and velocity coordinates of natural modes

Density

Vector with and

Index of row in vortex mesh or aerodynamic damping ratio depending on context


item[s ] Structural damping ratio

xvi

Superscripts

Non-dimensional

Time derivative

Spatial derivative

Vector quantity

Matrix quantity

Abbreviations
VLM

Vortex Lattice Method

xvii

1
Introduction and Literature Review

This thesis is to outlines a technique to predict the aeroelastic instability boundary for one-dimensional beams and two-dimensional rectangular plates due to threedimensional aerodynamic forces. Specifically the linear aeroelastic instability boundary for a wide variety of configurations and parameters is explored. The most common aeroelastic instability encountered is a flutter instability. Flutter is the dynamic
instability of a structure in a moving fluid that exhibits unsteady oscillations due to
the interaction between the structure and the fluid. Such systems tend to exhibit
limit cycle oscillations (LCO) that persist even if the free stream velocity falls below
the flutter onset velocity creating what is called a hysteresis band, the possibility of
multiple states at a given velocity. However, because all of the analysis conducted in
this paper is linear, the origins of this hysteresis behavior is not explicitly discussed.
Historically, the majority of flutter research has been focused on suppressing flutter because it is catastrophic in many structures including aircraft, bridges, and
turbomachinery. Recently, attention has been refocused to gaining a better understanding of flutter, especially for the cantilevered beam configuration, due to a
growing interest in small scale energy harvesting systems. In addition to energy
1

harvesting applications, the configurations explored throughout this thesis can also
be used to understand the dynamics of human snoring [19] and to reduce the noise
generated during landing by subsonic fixed wing aircraft [26]. For this thesis, the
aeroelastic models are specifically used to:
Analyze the aeroelastic instabilities for a cantilevered beam in the transition
between pinned and clamped leading fixed edge
Analyze the aeroelastic instabilities for a beam with a clamped leading edge as
the governing non-dimensional parameters are varied
Analyze the aeroelastic instabilities for a plate with three sides fixed, a proposed
configuration to reduce airframe noise on low subsonic aircraft during landing
Analyze the aeroelastic instabilities that occur for plates as the boundary conditions are varied
Analyze the aeroelastic instabilities for axially mis-aligned flows for a one-side
clamped beam and three-sides clamped plate
Generally the motivation for the research stems from a desire to continue to
advance the understanding of the aeroelastic instabilities that occur in rectangular
structures. Developing an aeroelastic model requires developing models for both the
structural dynamics and the aerodynamics. Once an aeroelastic model is created the
model is used to analyze configurations of interest.
The first problem explored is the interaction between a cantilevered flexible elastic
beam and a uniform axial flow, a canonical fluid-structure interaction problem. It is
well known that this system exhibits a flutter instability in low subsonic flow as the
free stream velocity is increased above a critical velocity. The structure then enters a
large and violent limit cycle oscillation (LCO). Since the experimental observations
2

of the flapping flag by Taneda [30] in 1968, many scholars have explored the stability
of this system experimentally and theoretically. Although extensively explored in
the literature, a full understanding of the dynamics of this relatively simple fluidstructure interaction remains elusive. In addition to the problems inherent physical
significance, Doare and Michelin [7], Dunnmon et al. [11] and Giacomello and Porfiri
[16] have recently proposed using the phenomena for energy harvesting applications
and Eloy and Schouveiler [12] and Hellum et al. [18] have explored the potential
of using this flutter for propulsion. Furthermore, Balint and Lucey [3], Huang [20]
and Howell et al. [19] have shown that flutter in the human soft palette can explain
snoring and Watanabe et al. [38] has explored flutter in the printing industry.
Many structural and aerodynamic models have been developed or applied to
improve the understanding of the dynamics of this system. The initial models looked
at the limiting cases where either the streamwise or normal to flow dimension of the
elastic member is assumed to be infinite. For the first case, the problem approaches a
two-dimensional limit. In the two-dimensional limit the potential flow equations have
been solved to determine the aerodynamic forces using the continuous equation with
the appropriate boundary conditions [20, 22, 17, 39] and or discrete approximations.
The discrete approximations can be split into the discrete vortex models [31, 34,
35, 25, 1, 19] or numerical simulations solving the Navier-Stokes equations [3, 39].
In the latter limit, where the length is much larger than the span, a slender body
approximation has been used by Lemaitre et al. [23] to explore the dynamics. For the
two-dimensional case, Howell et al. [19] explored the influence of spatial confinement
and Michelin and Smith [24] and Tang and Padoussis [36] have modeled the influence
of cascades.
In addition to these two-dimensional aerodynamic models, researchers have coupled different structural models when exploring the response of the system. The
structural models have largely consisted of linear and non-linear models of beams
3

with simple out of plane displacements. In general linear structural models are used
to explore the stability boundary as parameters are varied. Non-linear models have
been used by Michelin et al. [25], Tang and Padoussis [35], Tang et al. [32], Tang and
Padoussis [34] and Dunnmon et al. [11] to explore the post critical behaviors such
as LCO amplitude and hysteresis loops which are observed experimentally. Recently
interest in piezoelectric energy harvesting has motivated detailed exploration of the
non-linear post critical behavior because predicting the amplitude and frequency of
the limit cycle is vital to optimizing the energy harvested from the system [11, 16, 7].
The critical velocities predicted by the two-dimensional models are remarkably
similar to each other regardless of the solution technique used. Unfortunately their
collective agreement does not match published experimental results reported by
Taneda [30], Kornecki et al. [22], Watanabe et al. [38], Yamaguchi et al. [40], Tang
et al. [32], Eloy et al. [14] and Dunnmon et al. [11]. In fact, across the range of
parameters tested the two-dimensional model predicted flutter boundaries are significantly below the experimentally observed values. Even when Huang [20] attempted
to create a two-dimensional experimental model by having test pieces span the wind
tunnel, the experimentally observed critical velocities are still much higher than the
theoretical predictions.
This discrepancy has motivated the application of three-dimensional aerodynamic
models. Many of the initial three-dimensional aerodynamic models were used to explore the flutter characteristics of a single configuration. For example Tang et al.
[32] used an unsteady three-dimensional vortex lattice model(VLM) and a non-linear
structural model to explore the flutter boundary and post critical behavior of a single aluminum plate. The success of initial three-dimensional simulations to match
the flutter boundary between theory and experiment has prompted the most recent
explorations of the stability boundary in parameter space with three-dimensional
aerodynamic models by Eloy et al. [13] and Eloy et al. [14]. In general these simula4

tions have shown much better agreement with the experimental results. Furthermore
an exploration of the three-dimensional effects of in-plane normal to the flow confinement by Doare et al. [8] demonstrates that the small distance between wind tunnel
walls and experimental specimen required to produce the two-dimensional limit experimentally would be prohibitively difficult to achieve. Three-dimensional effects
are believed to explain the systemic discrepancies between strictly two-dimensional
theoretical predictions and experimental observations for the critical flutter velocity.
With the new understanding of the importance of three-dimensional effects on the
quantitative behavior of this fluid-structure system there is a need to analyze the impact of different influences such as structural boundary conditions, confinement and
experimental support structure with a three-dimensional aerodynamic model. The
three-dimensional unsteady vortex lattice model remains a versatile means to explore the aforementioned influences. Numerical simulations have the benefit of being
able to model the effect of different configurations without changing the framework
of the analysis. The work presented for this configuration is a continuation of the
work done by Tang et al. [32]. The VLM aerodynamic model is generalized and used
to explore the stability boundary for the cantilevered beam in the non-dimensional
parameter space. Specifically the critical flow velocity as a function of mass ratio
and aspect ratio is explored and compared with new experimental results as well as
experimental and theoretical results found in the literature. In general the qualitative trends and quantitative values match the existing three-dimensional theoretical
and experimental results.
Additionally the analysis of this configuration explores the effect of the leading
edge boundary condition on the critical flutter velocity. Using a leading edge torsional spring the transition between the two limiting cases is presented, including a
surprising, non-monotonic transition in the critical flutter velocity. Finally normal to
the flow confinement in both the in plane and out of plane directions are presented.
5

Next, an aeroelastic model is created to analyze the aeroelastic stability of twodimensional rectangular plates. The project was initially motivated by a desire to
analyze a plate configuration similar to one created by NASAs proposed aircraft
noise reduction effort is explored. NASA, as a part of its strategic plan in 2000,
defined goals for designing the next generation of commercial transport aircraft with
several performance requirements, one of which is noise reduction.[26] Experimental
and numerical studies have shown that a large portion of aircraft noise during landing
is generated by the interaction of shed vortices and wing structure at the discontinuity
between the wing and the trailing edge flap.[6, 28] The noise reduction potential of
several geometries and mechanisms have been studied, but experiments showed that
the most effective method for significant noise reduction is to introduce a continuous
mold-line link (CML), a fairing surface that smoothly connects the edge of the flap
to the wing.[29] This is shown in Fig. 1.1. The experiments are performed using
a rigid fairing, but to actually implement this method on an aircraft the fairing
must be deformable. Therefore, a flexible plate, or a plate-membrane structure, is
an ideal material for the fairing structure because it can be hidden for most of the
time and extended when the trailing edge flaps are deployed. A plate has stiffness
in bending, while a plate-membrane has both bending stiffness and stiffness due to
applied tension. Both types of structures will herein be referred to as plates for
simplicity.
Despite significant progress in reducing noise from other sources, such as airframe
and propulsive devices, an assessment of the overall progress toward the next generation of aircraft showed that additional research in CMLs may be necessary for
meeting the noise reduction goal.[4] Because these structures are flexible and would
be designed to be light-weight, it is important to analyze their aeroelastic behavior
to prevent structural failure due to divergence or flutter. Rectangular panel problems have been studied extensively in the past, specifically the aircraft structural
6

Figure 1.1: Continuous Mold-Line Link


panel problem with all edges clamped[9], and the flag flutter problem described earlier. However, there is less existing research on the aeroelastic behavior of panels for
non-traditional applications, where the more physically correct boundary conditions
are not necessarily those that have been extensively studied. NASAs CML project
is just one of many problems that may require the use of novel plate structure designs. As the design of aerospace structures focuses more on lighter materials and
novel configurations, analytical and experimental results for unexplored boundary
conditions and different materials will important in determining viable designs.
1

X
X

X
X X

X
X
6
X

4
X
X

2
X

X X

X
X

Figure 1.2: Combinations of boundary conditions and flow directions explored in


this paper. The diagonal marks indicate a clamped boundary and other boundaries
are free with no restraint. The arrows indicate different fluid flow directions that
are considered. The x symbols indicate the presence of a baffle next to the plate
boundary instead of free space. Each configuration considers a single fluid flow
direction.

This section analyzes the structural dynamics and linear aeroelastic instabilities
of a plate using five different sets of boundary conditions in addition to the NASA
7

CML configuration. The boundary conditions are shown schematically in Figure


1.2, in which the diagonal marks indicate clamped boundary, the absence of marks
indicate free boundary, the x symbols indicate the presence of a baffle near the plate
boundary instead of free space, and the flow direction is from left to right. The baffle
is necessary in the experimental set up - all clamped boundaries are baffled because
there must be a structure with which the clamping is applied. However, some free
boundaries are also baffled to provide structural support to the entire experimental
set up. The theory models the structural dynamics using a plate-membrane model
that accounts for flexural rigidity of the material (fourth order derivative) and tension
applied to the material (second order derivative). The structural model is coupled
to an unsteady vortex lattice aerodynamic model that accounts for the plate as well
as any baffle structure surrounding the plate. A modular baffle system is designed
around the plate and is able to apply either clamped or free boundary conditions
at any of the four edges of the plate. The baffle design and experimental data are
presented.
Next, the transition between configurations is explored as the axial alignment of
the flow is varied. This exploration is motivated by the quantitative and qualitative
transition in flutter boundary and motion as the orientation of boundary conditions
relative to the flow is changed. For example, for a plate with three sides free, if
the trailing edge is free the system becomes unstable in a flutter instability, but
if the system is rotated 90 deg so the free edge is aligned with the flow then the
dynamic flutter becomes a static divergence. For this section the appropriate mesh
and coordinate transformations are presented to analyze structures which are not
aligned with the flow. The aeroelastic stability is then solved for as the flow angle is
varied.
Experimental results are then presented to validate the theoretical models. Finally there are concluding remarks about the research conducted to this point as well
8

a brief discussion of future work.

2
Structural Model

In this thesis both a one-dimensional beam and a two-dimensional plate structural


model will be derived and discussed. The first structural model developed is that of
a beam in bending and torsion. Although the derivation of the governing structural
equations and natural mode shapes is straight forward, finding a single source that
contains the equations of motion derivation as well as the natural mode shapes for all
boundary conditions is difficult. Because the natural modes for a uniform property
beam are used for the analysis of the plate, it is convenient to have a complete
reference for a beam with all possible combinations of boundary conditions required
for the analysis in this thesis.
The following section outlines the steps, starting with the energies of a beam,
using these energies to derive the unforced equations of motion and the associated
natural boundary conditions for a beam, applying a separation of variables technique
to determe the spatial mode shapes.

10

2.1 Beam Structural Model Derivation


In order to derive the equations of motion for this structure, the first step is to
define the potential and kinetic energy equations for the system. Assuming that the
motion of the beam can be described as the linear combination of an out of plane
displacement w(x, t) and a rotation around the elastic axis of the beam (x, t) the
expression for the potential energy of the beam can be written as, where x is the
axis which runs along the length of the beam:
1
V =
2


EI

2w
x2

2

1
dx +
2


GJ

2
dx

(2.1)

Similarly, the kinetic energy for this system can be written as:
1
T =
2


m

w
t

2

1
dx +
2


Iea

2
dx

(2.2)

with m being the mass per unit length and Iea the moment of inertial around the
elastic axis per unit length. Now that the kinetic and potential energy expressions
have been written, the next step is to apply Hamiltons Principal. The principle as
stated in Dowell and Tang [10] for a conservative system, is that the time integral
of the virtual change in kinetic energy minus the virtual change in potential energy
must equal zero. This can be expressed mathematically as:
Z

t2

[T V ] dt = 0

(2.3)

t1

The next step is to rewrite the virtual changes in kinetic and potential energy in
terms of a virtual change in w(x, t), ((w)) and (x, t), (()).
Starting with the equation for potential energy and applying the virtual change
operator:
Z

t2

t2

V dt =
t1

t1

( Z
 2 2
 2 )
Z
1 L
w
1 L

EI
dx +
GJ
dx dt
2
2 0
x
2 0
x
11

(2.4)

The operator may be treated like the differential operation:


Z

t2

t1

" Z
 2   2 
    #
Z
1 L
w
w
1 L

2EI

dx +
2GJ

dx dt
2
2
2 0
x
x
2 0
x
x

(2.5)

Knowing that the final result must end up multiplying w and it is clear that the
next step is to integrate by parts. For this equation integrate by parts with respect
to x for the EI term.
 2 
2w
w
Let: u = EI 2 and v =
dx
x
x2


 

2w
w
EI 2 dx and v =
u =
x
x
x

(2.6a)

(2.6b)

Using the integration by parts relationship


Z

Z
udv = vu

vdu

(2.7)

and the transformations given in Equations 2.6, The EI portion of Equation 2.5 can
be rewritten as:
Z

t2

t1

EI w
x2

 L Z L

  
2

w
w
w
EI 2
dx dt

x
x
x
0 x

(2.8)

Integrating by parts once more:

L
  L


Z t2

2
2
EI w w EI w (w) dt

x2
x
x
x2
t1
0

t2

+
t1

(2.9)



2w
2
EI 2 (w) dx dt
x2
x

Equation 2.9 is in a form that can be directly included into Equation 2.3. A similar
exercise can be conducted for the GJ portion of the equation. This yields
Z

t2

t1

"

L Z
#
 2 

L


GJ
dx dt
GJ

x
x2
0
0

12

(2.10)

Next a similar analysis must be done for the kinetic energy. Again integration
by parts is used until there is an integral statement which multiplies w and another
statement which multiplies . Substituting the kinetic energy (T) from Equation
2.2 into Equation 2.3.
t2

t1

( Z
 2
 2 )
Z
1 L
w
1 L

m
dx +
Iea
dx dt
2 0
t
2 0
t

(2.11)

Now applying the operator:


Z

t2

1
2

t1


2m

w
t

  
   
w

+ 2Iea

dx dt
t
t
t

At this point it is important to note that is operating on

w
t

and

(2.12)

. In order

to reduce this to w and it is clear that one must integrate by parts with respect
to t. Integrating by parts for the w term yields the following result for the time
integral of the virtual change in kinetic energy.
"


m

w
t

t2 #
Z t2 Z L  2 

w

w
w dx dt
dx
m

t2
t1
0

(2.13)

t1

Similarly, integrating by parts for the term yields the following result for the time
integral of the virtual change in kinetic energy:
Z

"


Iea

t2 #
 2 
Z t2 Z L




dx
Iea
dx dt

t2
t1
0

(2.14)

t1

However Equations 2.13 and 2.14 can be made even simpler by invoking a relationship that is commonly used with Hamiltons Principle. Namely it is assumed
that w and at t = t1 and t = t2 are both known and identically equal to zero.
This allows one to rewrite the virtual change in kinetic energy as:
Z

t2

t2

T dt =
t1


m

t1

2w
t2

t2

w dx dt


Iea

t1

13

2
t2


dx dt

(2.15)

Now that the individual components of the virtual changes in kinetic and potential
energies for Hamiltons principle have been calculated, Equations 2.9, and 2.15 can
be substituted into Equation 2.3 to yield the following result.
Z t2
[T V ] dt
0=
t1
t2

Z
=

t1

t2

EI w
x2

t2

2.1.1


 2 
 2 


Iea
+
GJ
dx dt
t2
x2

+
t1


 2 


w
2
2w
m
2 EI 2 w dx dt
t2
x
x

L
L
 L



2

w

w

EI 2 (w) + GJ dt


x
x
x
x

+
t1

(2.16)

Boundary Conditions

Equation 2.16 represents the governing equation for a beam. Equation 2.16 contains
information about the boundary conditions and the equations of motion for the
system. Because the system has both out of plane and rotational degrees of freedom,
there are two sets of natural boundary conditions and two equations of motion.
Starting with the boundary terms multiplying w.
Z

t2

t1

EI w
x2

L
 L



2

w
w

EI 2 (w) dt = 0


x
x
x
0

(2.17)

In order for Equation 2.17 to be satisfied both of the terms inside the integral
must be equal to zero. Moreover because each term is made up of a product of two
terms, at least one term in each product must be equal to be zero. The boundary
conditions must be satisfied at both x = 0 and x = L. Mathematically this can be

14

stated as:
2w
EI 2 = 0 or
x

w
x


=0
and

(2.18)




2w
EI 2 = 0 or (w) = 0
x
x
A similar analysis for the natural boundary conditions for the torsional coordinate
yields the following boundary conditions at both x = 0 and x = L.

= 0 or = 0
x
2.1.2

(2.19)

Equations of Motion

Equation 2.16 also contains information about the elastic equations of motion for
the system. Once the natural boundary conditions are satisfied, in order for the
integral portion of Equation 2.16 to be satisfied for every w and the fundamental
theorem of calculus of variation requires that the following differential equations must
be satisfied.

m

2w
t2



2
2w
2 EI 2 = 0
x
x

(2.20)

and

Iea
2.1.3

2
t2


+ GJ

2
x2


=0

(2.21)

Normalized Equations of Motion

In order to present a more general form of the analysis, it is common to normalize the
equations of motion into their scale invariant forms. The equations are normalized
pm
using the characteristic length L and a characteristic time T equal to L2 EI
for
q
Iea
the bending equation and L GJ
for the torsion equation. These normalizing factors
15

will also be used in the aeroelastic analysis. Substituting these normalizing factors
in and assuming the beam characteristics are constant along the beam allows the
equations of motion to be written as:

2 w 4 w

=0
x4
t2

(2.22)

2 2
+ 2 =0
x
t2

(2.23)

and

The boundary conditions remain the same except the scaling factors are removed
and the boundary conditions are satisfied at x = 0 and x = 1.
2.1.4

Bending Separation of Variables

The solution to the homogeneous equation for w(


x, t) gives the bending natural
frequencies and the mode-shapes for the system. The equation of motion is solved
using the method of separation of variables. The following substitution is used.
w(
x, t) = q(t)(
x)

(2.24)

Substituting Equation 2.24 into the homogeneous equation of motion yields:




4 
2 
q(
t
)(
x
)
+
q(
t
)(
x
)
=0
t2
x4

(2.25)

Evaluating the derivatives and dividing by q(t), and (


x)
q(t) 0000 (
x)
+
=0
(
x)
q(t)
This can only be satisfied if both

q(t)
q(t)

and

0000 (
x)
(
x)

(2.26)

are equal to a constant of opposite

sign. With this definition the two equations can be solved separately and the value
of the constant 2 and the equations for q(t) and (
x) can be determined.
16

Looking first at the equation for q(t) and setting it equal to 2 yields:
q(t) + 2 q(t) = 0

(2.27)

This equation can be solved by assuming a solution of the form:


q(t) = A cos(t) + B sin(t)

(2.28)

Because there are no initial conditions in the time domain, this is the closest to a
solution for the time function that can be determined. Equation 2.28 also clearly
shows that the s are the natural frequencies of the system.
The next step is to look at the equation for (
x):
0000 (
x) 2 (
x) = 0

(2.29)

This equation can best be solved by assuming a solution that is a linear combination of trigonometric and hyperbolic trigonometric functions. For convenience the
following constant is defined:
kn2 =

(2.30)

Thus the assumed solution becomes:


(x) = C sinh(kn x) + D cosh(kn x) + E sin(kn x) + F cos(kn x)

(2.31)

At this point the specific choice of boundary conditions determines the values of
the A, B, C and D, up to an arbitrary constant and the specific values for kn .
2.1.5

Torsional Separation of Variables

The solution to the homogeneous equation for (x, t) will give the torsional natural frequencies and mode-shapes for the system. The homogeneous version of the
equation of motion is also solved using the method of separation of variables. The
following substitution is used.
(
x, t) = A(t)(
x)
17

(2.32)

Substituting Equation 2.32 into the homogeneous equation of motion yields:




2 
2 
A(
t
)(
x
)

A(
t
)(
x
)
=0
2
x
t2

(2.33)

Evaluating and dividing by A(t), and (t)


t) 00 (
A(
x)
=0

(
x)
A(t)
This can only be satisfied if both

t)
A(
A(t)

and

00 (
x)
(
x)

(2.34)

are equal to a constant of the same

sign. With this definition the two equations can be solved separately and the value
of the constant 2 and the equations for A(t) and (
x) can be determined.
Looking first at the equation for q(t) and setting it equal to 2 yields:
t) + 2 A(t) = 0
A(

(2.35)

This equation can be solved by assuming a solution of the form:


A(t) = G cos(t) + H sin(t)

(2.36)

Again, because there are no initial conditions for the time domain, this is the closest
to a solution for the time function that can be determined. Equation 2.36 also clearly
shows that the s are again the natural frequencies of the system.
The next step is to look at the equation for (
x). Setting the equation equal to
(2 ) and rearranging gives:
00 (
x) + 2 (
x) = 0

(2.37)

This equation can best be solved by assuming a solution that is a linear combination of trigonometric functions. For convenience the following constant is defined:
jn2 = 2
18

(2.38)

Thus the assumed solution becomes:


(x) = I sin(jn x) + J cos(jn x)

(2.39)

At this point the specific choice of boundary conditions determines the values for
I and J up to an arbitrary constant and the specific values for jn .

2.2 Specific Beam Mode Shapes


For the analysis that will be conducted throughout this paper the following mode
shapes and natural frequencies will be used.
2.2.1

Clamped-Free

Bending Mode Shapes


For the clamped-free configuration the boundary conditions are:



=0
x
=0,t



=0
x x=0,t
(2.40)

2
=0
x2 x=1,t

3
=0
x3 x=1,t
Figure 2.1 shows the diagram of the clamped-free configuration. Applying the boundary conditions at x = 0 yields:
D+F =0
(2.41)
C +E =0
Applying the boundary conditions at x = 1 yields:
C sinh kn + D cosh kn E sin kn F cos kn = 0
(2.42)
C cosh kn + D sinh kn E cos kn + F sin kn = 0
19

Figure 2.1: Clamped Free Schematic

Using Equations 2.41 to simplify Equations 2.42 yields:


C(sinh kn + sin kn ) + D(cosh kn + cos kn ) = 0
(2.43)
C(cosh kn + cos kn ) + D(sinh kn sin kn ) = 0
Using Equations 2.43 to solve for kn by setting the determinate of the coefficients C
and D equal to zero yields:
cos(kn ) =

1
cosh(kn )

(2.44)

Figure 2.2 shows the intersection of the two sides of Equation 2.44. The first non-

Figure 2.2: Clamped Free Frequencies

dimensional frequency is 1 = (.597)2 2 and the second frequency is 2 = (1.49)2 2 .


20

For the nth frequency where n is larger than two the natural frequency is approximately n (n 1/2)2 2 . Furthermore the mode shapes can be written in terms of
an arbitrary constant D as:

sin(kn ) sinh(kn )
(sinh(kn x) sin(kn x)) + (cosh(kn x) cos(kn x))
(
x) = D
cos(kn ) + cosh(kn )


(2.45)
The mode shapes are shown in Figure 2.3.
1
0
1
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
1

Figure 2.3: Clamped Free Bending Mode Shapes

Torsional Mode Shapes


For the clamped-free configuration the boundary conditions are:



=0
x
=0,t

(2.46)


=0
x x=1,t
Applying the boundary conditions at x = 0 yields:
J =0
21

(2.47)

Applying the boundary conditions at x = 1 yields:


cos jn = 0
Equation 2.48 has the solution jn =

2n1
.
2

(2.48)

Furthermore the torsional mode shapes

can be described by:


(
x) = I sin jn x
2.2.2

(2.49)

Pinned-Free

Bending Mode Shapes


For the pinned-free configuration the boundary conditions are:



=0
x
=0,t


2
=0
x2 x=0,t
(2.50)
2



=0
x2 x=1,t

3
=0
x3 x=1,t
Figure 2.4 shows the diagram of the pinned-free configuration. Applying the boundary conditions at x = 0 yields:
D+F =0
(2.51)
DF =0
These two relationships require that D = F = 0. Knowing that D and F are equal
to zero allows on to simplify the form of the solution to:
(
x) = C sinh kn x + E sin kn x

(2.52)

Applying the boundary conditions at x = 1 yields:


C sinh kn E sin kn = 0
(2.53)
C cosh kn E cos kn = 0
22

Figure 2.4: Pinned Free Schematic


Using Equations 2.53 to solve for kn yields:
cos(kn ) tanh(kn ) = sin(kn )

(2.54)

Figure 2.5 shows the intersection of the two sides of Equation 2.54. The first natural

Figure 2.5: Pinned Free Frequencies

frequency occurs at 0. This corresponds to the rigid body motion which has a mode
shape given as 1 (
x). The other frequencies all take the form of (n 3/4)2 2 for the
nth frequency for every n larger than 1. The mode shapes are described by:
1 = C1 x


cos kn
n (
x) = E
sinh kn x + sin kn x
cosh kn
23

(2.55)

The mode shapes are shown in Figure 2.6.


1
0
1
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
1

Figure 2.6: Pinned Free Mode Shapes

Torsional Mode Shapes


For the pinned-free configuration the boundary conditions are:



=0
x
=0,t

(2.56)


=0
x x=1,t
These are the same boundary conditions as the clamped free configuration, so the
torsional mode shapes are exactly the same as discussed in the previous section.

24

2.2.3

Clamped-Clamped

Bending Mode Shapes


For the clamped-clamped configuration the boundary conditions are:



=0
x
=0,t



=0
x x=0,t
(2.57)


=0
x
=1,t



=0
x x=1,t
Figure 2.7 shows the diagram of the clamped-clamped configuration.

Figure 2.7: Clamped Clamped Schematic

Applying the boundary conditions at x = 0 yields:


D+F =0
(2.58)
C +E =0
Applying the boundary conditions at x = 1 yields:
C sinh kn + D cosh kn + E sin kn + F cos kn = 0
(2.59)
C cosh kn + D sinh kn + E cos kn F sin kn = 0
25

Using Equations 2.58 to simplify Equations 2.59 yields:


C(sinh kn sin kn ) + D(cosh kn cos kn ) = 0
(2.60)
C(cosh kn cos kn ) + D(sinh kn + sin kn ) = 0
Equations 2.60 can be rearranged to solve for kn :
cos(kn ) =

1
cosh(kn )

(2.61)

Figure 2.8 shows the intersection of the two sides of Equation 2.61. The ith fre-

Figure 2.8: Clamped Clamped Frequencies

quency from this plot can be written as (i + .5)2 2 .


Finally solving for C in terms of D and plugging into Equation 2.60 yields the
following equation for the mode shapes:


cosh(kn ) cos(kn )
(
x) = D
(sinh(kn x) sin(kn x)) + (cosh(kn x) cos(kn x))
sinh(kn ) sin(kn )
(2.62)
The mode shapes are shown in Figure 2.9.

26

1
0
1
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
1

Figure 2.9: Clamped Clamped Mode Shapes

Torsional Mode Shapes


For the clamped-clamped configuration the boundary conditions are:



=0
x
=0,t

(2.63)


=0
x
=1,t

Applying the boundary conditions at x = 0 yields:


J =0

(2.64)

Applying the boundary conditions at x = 1 yields:


sin jn = 0

(2.65)

Equation 2.65 has the solution jn = n. Therefore the torsional mode shapes are
described by:
(
x) = I sin jn x
27

(2.66)

2.2.4

Free-Free

Bending Mode Shapes


For the free-free configuration the boundary conditions are:

2
=0
x2 x=0,t

3
=0
x3 x=0,t
(2.67)

2
=0
x2 x=1,t

3
=0
x3 x=1,t
Applying the boundary conditions at x = 0 yields:
DF =0
(2.68)
C E =0
Applying the boundary conditions at x = 1 yields:
C sinh kn D cosh kn + E sin kn F cos kn = 0
(2.69)
C cosh kn + D sinh kn + E cos kn F sin kn = 0
Using Equations 2.68 to simplify Equations 2.69 yields:
C(sinh kn sin kn ) + D(cosh kn cos kn ) = 0
(2.70)
C(cosh kn cos kn ) + D(sinh kn + sin kn ) = 0
Equations 2.70 can be rearranged to solve for kn :
cos(kn ) =

1
cosh(kn )

(2.71)

Figure 2.10 shows the intersection of the two sides of Equation 2.71. There is an
28

1
X: 0
Y: 1

0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2

X: 7.853
Y: 0.0007773

X: 14.14
Y: 0.006977

0
X: 4.685
Y: 0.01847

0.2

X: 10.99
Y: 3.371e005

0.4
0.6
0.8
1

10

15

kn

Figure 2.10: Free Free Frequencies

intersection at a frequency equal to zero. This crossing corresponds to the rigid body
and rigid rotation modes which can be written as:
1
(
x) = C1 + C2 ( x)
2

(2.72)

where C1 and C2 are arbitrary constants. The ith frequency from this plot can be
written as (i .5)2 2 .
Finally solving for C in terms of D and plugging into Equation 2.70 yields the
following equation for the mode shapes:



cosh(kn ) cos(kn )
(
x) = D
(sinh(kn x) + sin(kn x)) + (cosh(kn x) + cos(kn x))
sinh(kn ) sin(kn )
(2.73)
The mode shapes are shown in Figure 2.11.

2.3 Pinned Edge Torsional Spring Model


Next a structural model which includes a torsional spring at the leading edge is
derived. This model is presented because it is used to model the transition between
the two fixed boundary conditions, clamped and pinned. A summary of the nondimensional (radians/non-dimensional time) natural frequencies for the pinned-free
29

1
0
1
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
1

Figure 2.11: Free Free Mode Shapes

and clamped-free beams is given in Table 2.1. Furthermore the normalized spatial
mode shapes can be seen in Figure 2.12
Mode
Pinned-Free
Number Frequency
1
0
2
(2 34 )2 2
3
(3 34 )2 2
..
..
.
.
(n 34 )2 2
n

Clamped-Free
Frequency
(.517)2 2
(1.49)2 2
(3 12 )2 2
..
.
(n 12 )2 2

Table 2.1: Non-Dimensional Natural Frequencies for a Single Edge Fixed Beam

The leading edge spring can either be modeled by incorporating the potential
energy due to the spring into the equations of motion or modifying the boundary
conditions to include the restoring moment due to the torsional spring. For this
thesis the boundary condition method is used because the resulting mode shapes are
the natural modes of the spring system and therefore the elastic portion of the aeroelastic equations remain uncoupled. This minimizes the number of modes required to
30

3 (
x)

2 (
x)

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

4 (
x)

1 (
x)

0
1
2

0.2

0.4

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.6

0.8

0
1

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

Figure 2.12: The solid line corresponds to the clamped-free mode shapes, dashed
= 1000 mode
line to the pined-free mode shapes, and the dotted line to the K
shapes. All mode shapes normalized to a generalized mass of one.

capture the dynamics in the aeroelastic simulations. The boundary conditions at the
pinned edge with the torsional spring can be determined by applying a force balance
at x = 0. Here the torsional force applied by the spring modeled by hooks law must
be identically equal to bending moment. Mathematically this can be written as:

2 w(0,
t)
t)
w(0,
=K
2
x
x

(2.74)

= K (L/EI). To ensure the mode shapes satisfy this boundary condition


where K
as well as the three other natural boundary conditions, the assumed solution is
plugged into the boundary condition equations. This process yields the following
matrix equation.


1
1
1
1
C
0

1
K
1

D = 0

cosh sinh cos sin E 0

F
0
sinh cosh sin cos

(2.75)

The set of four coupled equations captured in Equation 2.75 can be used to
solve for the natural frequencies by determining the values of which make the
31

determinate of the matrix equal to zero. There are an infinite number of frequencies
that will satisfy this requirement. Depending on the number of mode shapes desired,
the Nullspace of the matrix can be used to determine the values for C, D, E, F up
to an arbitrary constant for each of the s which satisfy the determinant equation.
A common choice for the constant is one that normalizes the generalized mass to
one.
70

n [radians]

60
50
40
30
20
10
0

10

10

10

K
Figure 2.13: Structural Frequency Evolution. The solid lines are the natural frequencies of the beam with a torsional spring, the dotted lines are the pinned-free
natural frequencies and the dashed lines are the clamped-free natural frequencies.

Before moving on to the aeroelastic analysis, it is important to demonstrate the


ability of a leading edge spring to model the transition between pinned-free and
clamped-free structural modes. To evaluate the effectiveness of the method one can
look at the convergence of the frequencies as a function of non-dimensional torsional
). First, it is reassuring to see that the frequencies do converge
spring stiffness (K
to the clamped-free frequencies at high values of K . The second observation that
can be made from Figure 2.13 is that the non-dimensional spring stiffness range
where the frequencies move from the pinned-free to the clamped-free values shifts to
32

higher values of K as the mode number increases. Physically, this arises because the
stiffness of a given mode increases in proportion the natural frequency squared, so in
order for the torsional spring to affect the larger modes, its stiffness must be larger.
This also means that lower frequencies close the gap between the higher frequency
modes before these higher frequencies begin to move and restore the gap. This is
a result that could explain why increasing the torsional spring stiffness can initially
lower the flutter velocity, a result which will be shown later.
The results of this structural analysis suggest that the pinned edge torsional
spring will be an effective way to model the transition between pinned-free and
clamped-free flutter. Furthermore, being able to model both of the boundary con is an elegant way to create the model
ditions simply by varying the parameter K
of the system with arbitrary boundary conditions. In fact it is clear that modifying
the terms in Equation 2.75 will allow you to model any arbitrary boundary beam
boundary conditions.

2.4 Plate Structural Model


Although the beam model is useful for plates with aspect ratios far from unity,
when this is not the case and boundary conditions in both the directions need to
be accounted for, a more complex structural model must be used. In order to do
this a two-dimensional plate structural model is used. Instead of relying on a finite
element model simulation to determine the mode shapes and natural frequencies, an
analytical approach is implemented. Because a direct solution of the plate equation
PDE with the appropriate natural boundary conditions is difficult without specific
boundary conditions and the use of special functions, a Raleigh-Ritz method is used.
The basis functions are a product of beam modes in each of the two plate dimensions
are used. Because the Raleigh-Ritz method only requires the geometric boundary
conditions and not the natural boundary conditions to be satisfied, the beam modes
33

are a viable set of assumed solutions.


The Raleigh-Ritz method begins with expressing the assumed form of the displacement.
w(x, y, t) =

qn (t)jk (x, y)

(2.76)

In Equation 2.76, the nth structural mode is labeled jk because the mode shape
can be broken in to two components.
jk (x, y) = j (x)k (y)

(2.77)

The energies of the system need to be derived and then placed into Lagranges
equations. The energies for a plate in tension can be written as[9]:
Z Lx Z Ly  2
w
1
dx dy
T = h
2
t
0
0
"  
 2
 2 2
 2 2
Z
Z
2
1 Lx Ly
w
w
w
w
Tx
V =
+ Ty
+ Dx
+ Dy
2
2 0
x
y
x
y 2
0

(2.78)

(2.79)
+2D0

w
x2 y 2


+ 4Dxy

w
xy

2 #
dx dy

It is at this point that the assumed form of the solution is plugged into Equations
2.78 and 2.79. The inertial term in the kinetic energy equation can be rewritten as:
1
T = h
2

Z
0

Lx

Z
0

Ly

XX
n

qn (t)qm (t)jk (x, y)pq (x, y) dx dy

(2.80)

where jk is the nth mode shape and pq is the mth mode shape.
Because the generalized coordinates do not vary with position they can be pulled
outside of the integral. Furthermore, it is useful to use vector notation to represent
the double sum. The displacement w(x, y, t) can be written as a multiplication of
two column vectors as shown here:
~ =
~ T ~q
w(x, y, t) = ~q T
34

(2.81)

Using this relationship, Equation 2.80 can be rewritten as:


~q
T = ~q T M

(2.82)

Where the mass matrix M is equal to:


= 1 h
M
2

Z
0

Lx

Ly

~
~ T dx dy

(2.83)

Because the terms in Equation 2.83 are products of beam mode shapes integrated
in each direction, the orthogonality of the beam modes means that only when both
the indices of are equal is the integral not equal to zero. Because of this the mass
matrix is a diagonal matrix.
The next term to explore is the first term in the potential energy expression.
Before witting down the substitution for w(x, y, t) it is important to discuss what
happens when a spatial derivative of the assumed mode is taken. For example the
first derivative with respect to x of the displacement is given by:
 
w
T
~
= ~q

x
x

(2.84)

Equation 2.84 can be further simplified by expanding out the assumed modes into
~ using the
its x and y components. This will be captured in the description of
following notation:
~
~ =

(2.85)

where the previous equation shows that the structural mode shape vector has two
components. Plugging this into Equation 2.84 and using the prime () notation to
indicate a spatial derivative with respect to the direction of the mode shape yields
the following relationship.
w
= ~q T ~0
x
35

(2.86)

Plugging in this relationship into the tension in the x-direction portion of the
potential energy expression yields:
1
Vtx = ~q T
2

Lx

Ly

T
Tx ~0 ~0 dy dx~q

(2.87)

To simplify the previous equation, the orthogonality of the y mode shapes can be
used to cancel terms where the index of the y mode shapes are not equal. Furthermore
the following notation will be used to define the integral portion of the previous
equation.
tx = 1
K
2

Lx

Ly

T
Tx ~0 ~0 dy dx

(2.88)

Using a similar method, the y direction tension term can be written as:
ty ~q
Vty = ~q T K

(2.89)

ty is the y tension stiffness matrix which can be written as:


where K
ty = 1
K
2

Lx

Ly

~ 0
~ 0 T dy dx
Ty

(2.90)

Furthermore by inspection the following stiffness matrices can be defined for the
additional potential energy terms. Once the stiffness matrices are defined the form
of the associated potential energy is the same as shown in Equation 2.89. Starting
with the potentials associated with the Dx and Dy terms.

Dx = 1 Dx
K
2

Dx = 1 Dy
K
2

Lx

Ly

~ 00
~ 00 T dy dx

(2.91)

T
~00 ~00 dy dx

(2.92)

0
Lx

Ly

Dx
Because both the mode shapes and their second derivatives are orthogonal, the K
Dy matrices are diagonal.
and K
36

Finally the last two stiffness matrices can be written as:


D0 = D
K

Lx

~ 00 T dy dx
~00

(2.93)

Dxy = 2Dxy
K

Ly

Z
0

Lx

Ly

T
~0 0 ~0 0 dy dx

(2.94)

for these two terms there is no modal orthogonality so all of the integrations of the
mode shapes must be conducted.
Now that the useful definitions have been made, the potential and kinetic energy
relationships can be rewritten in a simplified form as:

T =

T
(~q )M (~q)
t
t



tx + K
ty + K
Dx + K
Dy + K
D0 + K
Dxy ~q
V = ~q T K

(2.95)
(2.96)

With the potential and kinetic energies defined they can be plugged into Lagranges equation to yield the equations of motion. The familiar form of Lagranges
equation is:


L
d L

=0
qn dt qn

(2.97)

where L is the Lagrangian and equal to the kinetic energy minus the potential energy. After plugging in the energies given in Equations 2.95 and 2.96 the following
equations of motion in matrix form is produced.



2

M 2 ~q + Ktx + Kty + KDx + KDy + KD0 + KDxy ~q = 0


t

(2.98)

The equation of motion given in Equation 2.98 can be solved in many different
ways. For example the equation could be placed into state space and solved using
numerical integration techniques. The author choose to use eigenanalysis of the
37

system. For this analysis a solution of the form q(t) = qeit is assumed. Plugging
this solution into equation 24 yields:


+K
~q = 0
2 M

(2.99)

is composed of the sum of the individual stiffness terms. Equation 2.99 is


where K
in the form of a generalized eigenvalue problem which can be solved using available
eigenvalue solvers. The resulting eigenvalues can be used to reconstruct the natural
frequencies and mode shapes of the plate system. This model allows a variation of
boundary conditions by changing the assumed solution with the appropriate beam
modes.
2.4.1

Plate Structural Analysis Typical Results

Initial plate simulations are done for a material provided by NASA for the use in
noise reduction between control surfaces and wings on the configurations outlined in
the introduction. The material properties are given in Table 2.2.
Table 2.2: NASA Membrane Properties
Property
Symbol Value
Density
s
1230 kg/m3
Youngs Modulus
E
18.4 MPa
Poissons Ratio

.5
Thickness
h
1.74 mm
Chord
152.4 mm
Span
114.3 mm

The results of the elastic simulation for each of the configurations are given in
Figures 2.14-2.19. The natural frequencies have been sorted by their y direction
mode number which is determined from the system eigenvector. Below the plot
of the natural frequencies are plots of the first four modes with the lowest natural
38

frequencies. For each mode shape, a thick line along a boundary represents a clamped
boundary condition. The title above each mode shape gives the natural frequency
followed by the mode number organized as (x Mode, y Mode). For the aeroelastic
setup corresponding to a given configuration the flow is assumed to flow along the
x-axis.
A discussion about the structural model can occur at this point. The first and second beam mode shapes for a free-free beam are a rigid body rotation and translation
and share a natural frequency of zero so it is not surprising that there is overlap in the
natural frequencies for cases where there is at least one free-free boundary condition.
Next, the more edges fixed, the higher the natural frequencies are. This is intuitive
because the structural modes constructing the plate which increase in their natural
frequency the more fixed edges they have. By looking at the mode shape figures, it
appears that the beam mode basis function assumption are a good assumption for
the natural modes of the system. This can be seen by looking at the construction
of each of the plate modes which are clearly combinations of an assumed mode in
each of the directions with only small contributions from additional modes. More
discussion of the agreement with experiment is given in the experiments section.
An alternative method to the plate model presented here would have been to use
ANSYS or another finite element package to determine the modes shapes and natural
frequencies. However, this method would have required running an external simulation any time a parameter or boundary condition is changed. Using the beam mode
combination basis functions and building this elastic model into the aeroelastic analysis allowed the author to vary the tension, dimensions and boundary conditions on
the fly which makes exploring the flutter boundary as a function of these parameters
easier.
Additionally, elastic simulations for different streamwise lengths and tension in
the normal to flow direction are conducted. These simulations are run because it
39

Natural Frequency [Hz]

Normal to Flow Mode 1

Normal to Flow Mode 2

50
40

60

30

40

20
20

10
0

Natural Frequency [Hz]

Normal to Flow Mode 3

Normal to Flow Mode 4

100

150
100

50
50
0

1
2
Streamwise Mode

1.689 Hz (1,1)

1
2
Streamwise Mode

4.929 Hz (1,2)

10.524 Hz (2,1)

16.374 Hz (2,2)

0.1

0.1
0.1

0.05

0.1
0.1

0.05

0 0

0.1
0.1

0.05

0 0

0.1

0.05

0 0

0 0

Figure 2.14: Configuration 1 Natural Frequencies and Mode Shapes

Natural Frequency [Hz]

Normal to Flow Mode 1

Normal to Flow Mode 2

25

40

20

30

15
20
10
10

5
0

Natural Frequency [Hz]

Normal to Flow Mode 3

Normal to Flow Mode 4


150

60
100
40
50

20
0

1
2
Streamwise Mode

3.004 Hz (1,1)

1
2
Streamwise Mode

5.580 Hz (2,1)

14.587 Hz (3,1)

18.709 Hz (1,2)

0.1

0.1
0.1

0.05
0 0

0.1
0.1

0.05

0.1
0.1

0.05

0 0

0 0

0.1

0.05
0 0

Figure 2.15: Configuration 2 Natural Frequencies and Mode Shapes

40

Natural Frequency [Hz]

Normal to Flow Mode 1

Normal to Flow Mode 2

60

60

40

40

20

20

Natural Frequency [Hz]

Normal to Flow Mode 3

Normal to Flow Mode 4

100

200
150

50

100
50

1
2
Streamwise Mode

10.808 Hz (1,1)

1
2
Streamwise Mode

13.329 Hz (1,2)

28.245 Hz (1,3)

29.627 Hz (2,1)

0.1

0.1
0.1

0.05

0.1
0.1

0.05

0 0

0.1
0.1

0.05

0 0

0.1

0.05

0 0

0 0

Figure 2.16: Configuration 3 Natural Frequencies and Mode Shapes

Natural Frequency [Hz]

Normal to Flow Mode 1

Normal to Flow Mode 2

30
60
20
40
10

20

Natural Frequency [Hz]

Normal to Flow Mode 3

Normal to Flow Mode 4


200

100

150
100

50

50
0

1
2
Streamwise Mode

19.215 Hz (1,1)

1
2
Streamwise Mode

20.756 Hz (2,1)

28.303 Hz (3,1)

52.669 Hz (1,2)

0.1

0.1
0.1

0.05
0 0

0.1
0.1

0.05

0.1
0.1

0.05

0 0

0 0

0.1

0.05
0 0

Figure 2.17: Configuration 4 Natural Frequencies and Mode Shapes

41

Natural Frequency [Hz]

Normal to Flow Mode 1

Normal to Flow Mode 2

60
60
40
40
20

20

Natural Frequency [Hz]

Normal to Flow Mode 3

Normal to Flow Mode 4


200

100

150
100

50

50
0

1
2
Streamwise Mode

12.078 Hz (1,1)

1
2
Streamwise Mode

26.358 Hz (1,2)

31.049 Hz (2,1)

45.597 Hz (2,2)

0.1

0.1
0.1

0.05

0.1
0.1

0.05

0 0

0.1
0.1

0.05

0 0

0.1

0.05

0 0

0 0

Figure 2.18: Configuration 5 Natural Frequencies and Mode Shapes

Natural Frequency [Hz]

Normal to Flow Mode 1

Normal to Flow Mode 2

60

80
60

40

40
20

20

Natural Frequency [Hz]

Normal to Flow Mode 3

Normal to Flow Mode 4

150

200
150

100

100
50

50

1
2
Streamwise Mode

19.816 Hz (1,1)

1
2
Streamwise Mode

26.611 Hz (2,1)

43.183 Hz (3,1)

53.443 Hz (1,2)

0.1

0.1
0.1

0.05
0 0

0.1
0.1

0.05

0.1
0.1

0.05

0 0

0 0

0.1

0.05
0 0

Figure 2.19: Configuration 6 Natural Frequencies and Mode Shapes

42

is hypothesized that these two variations may be able to largely impact the flutter
boundary for Configuration 6, the configuration of interest for the NASA noise suppression research. Figure 2.20 shows the frequency evolution as the streamwise chord
is varied. Interestingly there are natural frequency crossings. This occurs because
the natural frequency of the normal to flow direction mode remains the same, while
the streamwise frequency varies. Another trend that is observed is for a given mode
in the normal to flow direction, as the chord increases all the frequencies which share
the same normal to the flow mode number begin to converge. In the limit as the
chord goes to infinity the system appears to converge to the beam natural frequencies in the normal to flow direction. This arises because, as the streamwise length
increases, the local response at any cross section in the normal to flow direction
does not depend on the boundary conditions in the streamwise direction, essentially
turning the cross section into a beam with the normal to flow direction boundary
conditions.
200
180
160

[Hz]

140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

0.3

Streamwise Dimension

Figure 2.20: Natural frequency evolution as the streamwise chord is varied for
Configuration 2. Solid lines correspond to first mode in the normal to flow direction,
dashed lines to the second mode in the normal to flow direction and the dotted lines
correspond to the first two beam natural frequencies for the normal to flow direction
mode shapes.

Finally, the natural frequency dependence on tension is also explored. Figure


43

2.21 clearly shows that frequencies evolve differently than others. This arises due
to the fact that for a given mode in the normal to flow direction, the direction of
the applied tension, the effect of the tension is multiplied by the natural frequency
squared because the tension term is not attached to a time derivative in the equations
of motion. This means that the tension has a larger effect on the higher normal to
flow direction mode numbers. This can be seen by comparing the evolution of the
two lowest frequency solid lines, to the two dotted lines which are the two lowest
frequencies that are comprised of the second mode in the tension direction.
300

250

[Hz]

200

150

100

50

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

200

Tension in the Normal to Flow Direction [N/m]

Figure 2.21: Natural frequency evolution as the normal to the flow tension is
varied for Configuration 2. Solid lines correspond to first mode in the normal to flow
direction, dotted lines to the second mode in the normal to flow direction.

2.5 Forced System Modification


All of the analysis done up to this point is done on an unforced elastic structures.
Before moving on to the discussion of the aerodynamic theory it is usefully to identify how the structural dynamics equations are modified to include external forcing.
Regardless of how the equations of motion are derived, whether through Hamiltons
principle for the beam equations or Lagranges equation for the beam, the final unforced equations can be written in the following form:
44

~q + K~
q = 0
M

(2.100)

is the generalized mass matrix, K


is the generalized stiffness matrix, and
Where M
~q are the modal coordinates for the included mode shapes.
If the system is forced Equation 2.100 is modified by adding a generalized forcing
term to the other side of the equation.
~q + K~
q = Q
~
M

(2.101)

This ith element in the generalized force vector is determined by taking the
real force applied to the system multiplying it by the ith generalized mode shape
and integrating the result over the plate. This is a classical result that is found
throughout the literature.

Z
F i (x, y) dA

Qi =

(2.102)

In solving the aeroelastic equations the goal is to determine the aerodynamic


force and then to solve Equation 2.101 to determine the structural response. What
makes the problem interesting is that the aerodynamic forces are tightly coupled to
the structures displacement and motion. The next section will outline in more detail
the specifics of the aerodynamic modeling which is used to model the aerodynamic
forcing due to the dynamic response of the structure.
Before moving on the the aerodynamic theory it is useful to discretize the structural equations of motion because the vortex lattice aerodynamic equations are discrete. First the elastic equations of motion are placed into state space and time
discretized. The best way to illustrate this process is to start by looking at the ith
equation for the relationship defined in Equation 2.102. This relationship can be

45

expressed as
N
X


j,i qi + K
j,i qi = Q
~i
M

(2.103)

j=1

As is common for transforming an equation into state space, it is necessary to define


two state variables y1 = qi and y2 = qi and discretized the variables as follows:
n+1/2

y2n+1 y2n
=
t

(2.104a)

n+1/2
y1

y1n+1 + y1n
=
2

(2.104b)

y n+1 y1n
y2n+1 + y2n
= 1
= y1 n+1/2
2
t

(2.104c)

y2

y2 n+1/2 =

The last equation is just a discrete relationship between y1 and y2 . Moving both of
the discrete representations of the half time step to one side and setting equal to
zero one can obtain the following relationship.
y1n+1 y1n y2n+1 + y2n

=0
t
2

(2.105)

Furthermore, the definitions in Equation 2.104 can be used to re-write Equation


2.103 as:
N
X
j=1

"
j,i
M

~qi n+1 ~qi n


t

!
j,i
+K

~qi n+1 + ~qi n


2

46

#

~ n+1/2
=Q
i

(2.106)

3
Aerodynamic Model

3.1 Aerodynamic Theory Introduction


As mentioned earlier, the forcing on the elastic model is due to the flow of the
surrounding fluid. For this application the aerodynamic forces are calculated using
a vortex lattice method. This method is a lattice method of accounting for discrete
vortex filaments (tubes of constant circulation) as they progress through time. For
this specific application, a certain type of vortex filament called a horseshoe vortex is
used. The reason to track the vortex filaments is that the strength of the circulation
inside the filament corresponds to the applied forces. The general explanation of
the method is that a set of vortex elements are fixed to stationary points on the
structure. These elements allow the structure to interact with the fluid. Their
strength is governed by a requirement that the downwash they create satisfy the noflow through boundary condition at what are known as the collocation points on the
structure. Additional vortex elements that are free to move are introduced behind
the structure and are used to account for the influence of the unsteady wake. All of
the models used in this thesis include a flat prescribed wake which makes tracking

47

the convected vorticity in the wake significantly easier. The flat prescribed wake
behind a rectangular structure is shown in Figure 3.1.

Figure 3.1: Visualization of Structural Mode Shapes with Vortex Lattice Wake

Before discussing the specifics of the VLM, it is useful to define some general
properties of the vortex filament. A vortex filament is a tube of flow that has a
vorticity, which, in the limit as the tube diameter becomes small, contains a fixed
circulation . The vortex filament represents a fundamental solution to Laplaces
Equation, the governing equation for a constant density inviscid, irrotational flow.
The vortex tubes must also satisfy the Helmholtz Vortex Theorems. First the circulation around a vortex filament is constant all along the tube. Mathematically this
RR
can be stated as

~ ~n ds = 0 where
~ is the vorticity. Second, a vortex tube
c.s
can never end in a fluid, but must close on itself, end at a boundary, or go to infinity.
And third a fluid element that is initially irrotational remains irrotational.
48

The velocity induced by a vortex filament at any position in the fluid is governed
by the Biot-Savart Law. This vector equation dictates both the direction and the
strength of the induced velocity from a vortex filament with circulation strength .
Specifically the velocity at point t is:

Vt =
4

Z
c

r~t d~s
r~t 3

(3.1)

It is computationally efficient to create an algebraic kernel function which relates


the velocity field of a specific vortex element at other positions in the flow. To do this
one must define a carefully constructed vortex filament, such as the horseshoe vortex,
that satisfies the three Helmholtz Vortex Theorems, and analytically calculate the
induced velocity at a point (x, y, z). The kernel function for common vortex elements
(rings, horseshoe vortices, infinite vortex filaments) can be found in the aerodynamics
literature.
The discussion of the aerodynamic theory begins with a discussion of the mesh
on the elastic structure and in the wake. In this derivation the simple square mesh
on a rectangular plate as shown in Figure 3.2 is used. The information shown in
the figure can be stated in words with the following set of definitions that must be
made before proceeding. First it is assumed that the streamwise dimension all of
the elements is uniformly x. Second is defined as the index of the row and is
defined as the index of the column in the mesh. Third, the horseshoe vortex (, )
passes through the

1
4

chord of the element in the th row and th column. Finally,

the collocation point (x , y ) is at the

3
4

chord of the element in the th row and th

column. It is at this collocation point on the panel that we require that no induced
velocity through the panel.
For this case the following numbering convention is used: the element in the th
row and th column is defined to be the (( 1) Sc + )th element. This allows
the transformation of an by matrix that contains the strength of the individual
49

Wake Span
(Ws Elements)

Plate Chord
(Sc Elements)

Plate Span
(Ss Elements)

Wake Chord
(Wc Elements)

i'th Element

Colocation
point

x
i

Figure 3.2: Expanded Schematic of Vortex Lattice Mesh


(, )s to a column vector ~.
Solving for the circulation (~) in this method is achieved by solving a matrix
equation that relates the circulation at time n+1 to the known circulation at time
n. In order to do this a set of equations equal to the number of unknown circulation
strengths (St +Wt ) must be derived. The set of governing equations for the vortex
lattice method can be segmented into four types of equations that govern the circulation on a given element. Furthermore, for the square lattice that is constructed for
this problem the equations for a given column are the same for all of the elements
in that column. For more complicated structures or to model additional effects the
same types of fundamental equations are modified as needed. The four types of
equations are:
A11 Over the structure (St equations)
This set of equations relates the downwash caused by horseshoe vortex
elements to the motion of the elastic structure at the collocation points.
W11 First column of the wake (Wc equations).
50

This set of equations relates the circulation in this first column of the wake
to the change in circulation on the structure.
W12 Second to second to last column in the wake ((Wt 2 Wc ) equations)
For this set of equations by specifying a time step shown in Equation 3.2
the circulation for a given element at a given time step can be assumed to be
convected circulation of the element in the same row, but previous column at
the previous time step.
t =

1
x
U

Equation 3.2 also sets the scaling factor of

L
T

(3.2)
for the velocity. Plugging in the

scaling factors determined for the non-dimensional structural analysis, U =


1 m U and the non-dimensional, scale invariant time step definition given in

EI

Equation 3.3.
t =

(3.3)

W13 Last column of the wake (Wc equations)


Because there are a finite number of elements in the computational model
the last column includes the convection from the previous column at the previous time step plus an added relaxation factor applied to the circulation at the
given element from the previous time step.
First: Explore circulation over the wing (A1)
The circulation strength () over the panel elements is constrained by a boundary
condition at the

3
4

chord of the panels on the structure. As discussed previously,

the horseshoe vortex creates a resultant velocity everywhere in the fluid which is
described by the kernel function. At the

3
4

51

chord of the panels it is required that

the sum of the downwash from all the circulations in the vortex mesh be identically
equal to the vertical velocity of the panel at the given time, in the reference frame
of the fluid. For the th row and th column this is described as:

Vd

n+1

(, ) =

SX
+Ws
c +Wc Ss
X
i=1

K(,),(i,j) n+1
(i,j)

(3.4)

j=1

where K(,),(i,j) is the kernel function which transforms the downwash caused by the
horseshoe vortex at (i, j) at a point (, ) and whose form can be found in many
aerodynamic textbooks. The kernel function for horseshoe vorticies can be found
in Katz and Plotkin [21]. In this document both dimensional and non-dimensional
analysis is conducted. For the non-dimensional case Equation 3.4 also makes it clear
that the normalized circulation must normalized by the velocity scaling factor times
the length scale. Use of the ( ) notation will denote a non-dimensional parameter
or result.
At this point it is necessary to use the numbering convention defined earlier to
write the governing equation for the normalized circulation strength on the panel.
Let k = (( 1) Sc + )
l = ((i 1) Sc + j)
(3.5)
Vdn+1 (k) =

SX
t +Wt

n+1
Kk,l (l)

l=1

where k goes from 1 to the number of elements on the panel St and l goes from 1 to
the total number of elements in the lattice of horseshoe vortices(St + Wt ).
The matrix form of this equation for all of the elements on the structure can be

52

written as:

K1,1 K1,2
..
.
.
..
KSt ,1

..
.
..
.
..
.
..
.
..
.

K1,St +Wt
Vd (1)

.
..

..
.

..

..

.
.

KSt ,St +Wt


Vd (St )

St +Wt

Second: Explore circulation in first column of wake circulation (W1)


The horseshoe elements in the wake left behind the elastic member are treated differently from the elements on the elastic structure. In the wake, there is no boundary
condition to govern the strength of the circulation. Instead, in the wake the equations account for the horseshoe elements as they move with the fluid. For the first
column in the streamwise direction following the elastic structure the governing equation states that the circulation at time step n + 1 is the change in the strength the
circulation in the same row as the given element on the elastic structure between
time step n and n + 1. Mathematically this can be written as shown in Equation 3.6
given in the global index notation with j = ((i 1) Ss + ).

n+1 (St + ) =

Sc
X

n+1 (j)
n (j)]
[

(3.6)

j=1

After re-arranging and setting equal to zero this can be written in matrix form as
n+1 + W12~
n = 0
W11~

(3.7)

Note, for these relationships the non-dimensional and dimensional forms are the
same.

53

Third: Explore circulation in second to second to last column of wake (W2)


The calculation of the vorticity in the wake uses the understanding that the vortex
is convected through the wake at the free stream velocity U . Because the time step
is defined to be the free stream velocity divided by the chord length of the mesh the
vorticity of an element in the th row is shed a distance U t = x in the process of
one time step. At this point it is important to note that setting a t that is a given
fraction of the fastest structural frequency of structural oscillation effectively sets
the streamwise dimension of the mesh. Mathematically the convection relationship
can be written as:
n+1 (i) =
n (i Ws )

(3.8)

n+1 (i)
n (i Ws ) = 0

(3.9)

n+1 term and W2,2 for the


n , which look
This creates two matrices, W2,1 for the
like the identity matrix and the negative of an offset identity respectively.
Fourth: Explore circulation in the last column of wake (W3)
While the hypothetical wake for the vortex lattice method extends indefinitely, in
order to construct an efficient model, a finite wake size is used. To deal with the
finite nature of the modeled wake a relaxation factor is introduced to capture the
effect of the horseshoe vortices that leave the wake. This relaxation factor is often
denoted as . For the last column in the wake the equation is much the same as
the rest of the wake with the addition of the relaxation term. Mathematically this
is written as
n+1 (i) =
n (i Ws ) +
n (i)

(3.10)

n+1 (i)
n (i Ws )
n (i) = 0

(3.11)

n+1 term and W3,2 for the


n , which
This again creates two matrices, W3,1 for the
look like the identity matrix and the negative of an offset identity with alpha on the
54

diagonal respectively.
Now that the set of relationships have been defined the final step is to create a
final set of matrix equations that represents a set of St + Wt equations which govern
Using the matrix identifiers defined earlier this can be written
the strength of the s.
as:
n+1 + ~
n = Vd~n+1

(3.12)

Where

A11

W11
W21

, =

W31

W12
W22
W32

Finally the downwash vector V~d is zero everywhere except for on the panel where it
is equal to the vertical velocity of the elastic member. This represents the coupling
term for the aerodynamics and will require determining the convective derivative of
the panel velocity.

3.2 Vortex Lattice Aeroelastic Model


Now that the non-dimensional governing aerodynamic equations has been defined
it is possible to construct the non-dimensional aeroelastic system. This requires a
discussion of the way that the governing equations are coupled. For this method
the equations are coupled in two places: the downwash state relationship in the
aerodynamics and the generalized force term in the elastic equation of motion.

55

3.2.1

Downwash State Relations

The no flow through boundary condition on the structure allows the VLM aerodynamic model to interact with the structural model. This downwash relationship is
governed by the actual movement of the elastic plate. Further complicating the system is the fact that the coordinate system for the downwash is the coordinate system
of the moving vortex, while the global coordinate system is fixed on the plate. The
relationship between the moving flow and the fixed plate requires specifying both
the reference frame and the quantity that is required for the downwash.

dw

Vd =

dt

(3.13)
plate moving in the reference frame of flow

Note, this equation would be the same in dimensional form. In order to find this
relationship one has to note that the position of the plate (w(
x, t)) is a function of
both the position (
x) and time (t). In order to compute the velocity one has to apply
the chain rule to the position



dw

fluid


w
=

x

plate


w
d
x+

t

dt

(3.14)

plate

The downwash for the vortex lattice derivation is the time rate of change of the
vertical location w so it is necessary to divide both sides of the equation by dt

dw

dt

fluid


w
=

x

plate


d
x w
+

dt
t

plate

dt
dt

(3.15)

Considering the above equation two simplifications can be applied directly. The first
is to note that

dt
dt

is identically equal to 1 for all times. Second, the

d
x
dt

is a statement

of how fast the plate is moving in the streamwise direction in the reference frame of
the fluid flow. From this statement it follows that the
56

d
x
dt

is equal to the free stream

velocity of the fluid U . Using these relations the downwash Vd is equal to:


d
w


Vd =

dt

fluid


w
=

x

plate


U +

t

(3.16)
plate

At this point there is a continuous definition (in time and space) for the downwash
velocity. However, because the VLM is discrete in both space in time, it is necessary
to derive a representation of the downwash at the discrete collocation points and
finite time steps. Invoking the separation of variables used to solve the homogeneous
P
equation as discussed earlier (w(
x, t) =
i (
x)qi (t)) and examining the kth term
the time and space derivatives can be written as:
w k (
x, t) = k (
x)qk (t)

(3.17a)

wk0 (
x, t) = 0k (
x)qk (t)

(3.17b)

Substituting these definitions into Equation 3.16 allows one to write


Vd,k (
x) = U 0k (
x)qk (t) + qk (t)k (
x)

(3.18)

where Vd,k (
x) is the downwash due to the motion of the kth mode at position x.
This relationship can now be written in a matrix form that is useful for solving the
system.



 qk (t) n+1
n+1
0

Vd,k (
x) = U k (
x) k (
x)
qk (t)
There is one of these equations for every element on the structure and for every
eigenmode. The complete matrix equation can be written as:
~Vd n+1 =
~

57

(3.19)

where


i) = U 0 (
(:,
xi )
k xi ) 1 (


q1
q1



0
~
U k (
xi ) n (
xi ) , = ...

qn
qn

(3.20)

where xi is the x location location of the collocation point of the ith panel.
3.2.2

Non-dimensional Generalized Force

The final coupling equation is the generalized force caused by the aerodynamics. In
order to calculate the generalized force a transformation from the circulation to the
induced pressure must be defined. An application of Bernoullis equation yields the
following pressure field due to a continuous circulation field (x, t):


p(x, t) = U (x, y) +
t


(xi , t)dxi

(3.21)

However, Equation 3.21 is not particularly useful because the VLM requires a discrete
description. Discretising the previous equation in terms of (i) for each of the i
elements on the panel gives:.

P (i)n = y U n (i) +

ceil(i/Ss )

n (k Ss + (i ceil(i/Ss )))x

(3.22)

k=0

Where P is now the pressure force per unit length caused by the aerodynamics. With
this definition it is clear that an approximation of the time derivative must be made
to allow the equation to become completely discrete. Using the limit definition of a
derivative

(k)
t

can be written as:

(k)n+1 (k)n
(k) =
t
t
58

(3.23)

This approximation is a good approximation for the time derivative centered on the
time step n + 1/2. Therefore it is common to define the pressure at the half step
using the fact that for a value only defined at discrete time steps the value at the half
time step is the average of the values at time n and time n + 1.Using the relationship
in Equation 3.23 and the simplification that c(k) = k Ss + (i ceil(i/Ss )) and noting
that

x
t

is equal to U , the equation written as:

1
yU (n (i) + n+1 (i)) +
2

P (i)(n+1/2) =

ceil(i/Ss )

(3.24)

(n+1 (c(k)) n (c(k))

k=0

The dimensional form of the pressure force written above in used for the dimensional aeroelastic analysis. Before moving on it is important to discuss the nondimensionalization of Equation 3.24. From the normalizing of the elastic equations
of motion previously discussed in the torsional spring section, the non-dimensional
pressure per unit length is given by p(x, t) =

EI
p(
x, t).
L2

Plugging this, plus the other

normalizing factors into Equation 3.24 yields two non-dimensional parameters that
define this aeroelastic system. The first one is the aspect ratio of the system H
which is equal to the normal to flow direction dimension divided by the streamwise
dimension. The second is the mass ratio which is defined as a ratio of the mass
of the air to the mass of the beam, specifically, =

a L
.
s h

Using these definitions the

non-dimensional pressure equation becomes:


P (i)(n+1/2) =

ceil(i/Ss )
X

1 n
n+1 (i)) +
n+1 (c(k))
n (c(k)))

y U (
(i) +
(

H
2
k=0

59

(3.25)

3.2.3

Governing Aeroelastic Matrix Equations

Finally the pressure defined in Equation 3.25 is used in the governing aeroelastic
equations through the generalized force terms Q which are written using a sum in
place of the integral in the original definition:

Qn = qn (t)

St
X

P (i)n (i)

(3.26)

i=1

y
Top of
Wind Tunnel

Rigid Airfoil

Flat Plate

Vortex Wake

Air Flow

Horshoe
Vortex
Span
X

Plate Chord

Bottom of
Wind Tunnel

Airfoil
Chord

Figure 3.3: Aeroelastic Simulation Model

Equation 3.26 is then plugged into the matrix structural equation of motion,
Equation 2.106 and then combined with the time discretized equations for the aerodynamics to yield a matrix equation of the form given in Equation 3.27.
n=0

n+1 +

(3.27)

are large sparse matrices containing sectors that are described


In this case
and
60

in terms of previously defined sets of equations.

C1

D1

=
,

C2

D2

, =

(3.28)

and contain the aerodynamic terms, contains the downwash relationships,


and D2
contain the elastic terms and C1
and C2
contain the generalized force
D1
relationships.

3.3 Code Development


The theory established in the previous sections is incorporated into a code used to
produce vortex lattice based aeroelastic simulations. The capability of the code has
grown from a simple time history based analysis of a dimensional cantilevered plate
with a user observation of the result to deduce the frequency and damping to a
fully automated system that can run multiple types of simulations and analysis for
frequency and flutter velocity. Specifically the system can be analyzed in either the
frequency or the time domain. For both simulations the frequencies and damping
for the system are determined automatically. Furthermore analysis can either be run
in a velocity sweep method to get a clean response evolution of the system, or an
intelligent flutter velocity discovery method when the flutter boundary as a function
of a structural or aerodynamic parameter is required.
The code is written in Matlab and includes a text based user interface. Depending
on the user choices, the code then creates the appropriate data storage structure and
runs the analysis. The code is structured in a way that common tasks such as
building the aerodynamic and elastic matrices are in self-contained modules which
can be called by different types of analysis.
61

3.3.1

Matrix Definition

After the text based interface determines the configuration and type of analysis that
will be run, the parameters that are required to create the aeroelastic vortex lattice
matrices are generated. At this point a matrix definition code is called. Using the
defined parameters and relations established in the theory, the matrix definition
matrices.
subroutine generates the
and
This setup is extremely useful for expanding the vortex lattice analysis module
to include different configurations. For example, instead of using the analytic mode
shapes which are derived in the structural theory derivation section, ANSYS finite
element modes can be used without changing the aerodynamic matrix definition
code. This is done by modifying the position at a given (x,y) coordinate for a given
mode to return the position from an interpolation of the ANSYS result whenever
called.
3.3.2

Flutter Speed and Eigenvalue Determination

One of the elegant aspects of the vortex lattice method is that for any similar geometry and aerodynamics the motion is governed by Equation 3.27. Because of this,
matrices have been defined the analysis methods remain the same
once the
and
regardless of the configuration that is being simulated. Regardless of how the matrix equation is built the analysis methods presented proceed in a common manner.
Because the system defined is strictly linear, both an eigenvalue solution and an
analysis of the time history simulation will yield the same aeroelastic results.
Time History: Frequency
The first analysis that is done is based on the time history method. A time history
of the solution can be constructed by time stepping Equation 3.27 from an arbitrary
initial condition. The time history can then be analyzed to determine the system
62

damping and frequency for a specific flow velocity. Figure 3.4 shows a typical time
history result for a cantilevered beam that is slightly above its flutter velocity.

Figure 3.4: Typical Near Flutter Time History

The frequency of oscillation of the system is determined from a fast Fourier


transform (FFT) of the time history. Figure 3.5 shows the FFTs of the individual
mode time histories. These FFTs reveal the relative strength of the modes. For
example it is clear that the second structural mode drives the aeroelastic instability
for this system. The minimal contribution of the 3rd and 4th mode also suggestions
that the number of structural modes used to represent this system is adequate. It is
also clear at this above flutter speed that the peak frequency for all of the modes has
been driven to the flutter frequency of system and the individual modal frequency
content has been lost.
63

Figure 3.5: Near Flutter Time History Modal FFT

Time history: Damping


The time history is also used to determine the system damping. This is an important
parameter because it indicates when the system goes from a decaying oscillation
(positive damping) to a growing oscillation (negative damping). The damping for
the system is estimated by first making the assumption that the solution has an
oscillatory behavior:
q(t) = er +ii

(3.29)

This interpretation leads to the conclusion that the time history is the product of
an exponential and oscillatory solutions. To isolate the exponential portion of the
solution to discover r , it is convenient to look at the peak to peak decay near the
end of the time history. Looking at two adjacent peaks and defining qr (t) = er t and
qr (t + t) = er (t+t) and then dividing qr (t + t) by qr (t) yields:
qr (t + t)
= er t
qr (t)

64

(3.30)

Figure 3.6: Near Flutter Time History Modal Damping

This clearly gives rise to the definition of the damping of the system as:

r =

ln [qr (t + t)] ln [qr (t)]


t

(3.31)

This definition allows the damping (r ) of the system to be determined by


looking at the peak to peak slope of the natural log of the time history. Figure 3.6
includes the natural log of the time history with the slope of the peaks drawn on for
each of the modes. It is clear from this plot that the system is above its flutter speed
because the second mode has a positive slope which corresponds with a growing
exponential and negative damping. This figure also shows that the cleanest way to
determine the system damping is to look at the natural log of the time history of the
mode which is driving the flutter. Because this signal is growing the fastest it will
65

be the dominating factor in the system response.


Frequency Domain Analysis
For the entirely linear system that is analyzed, all of the information that is gleaned
from the time history analysis can be determined from an eigenanalysis without time
stepping the solution. The eigenanalysis for this system is conducted on Equation
3.27 assuming a solution for the circulation and the state variables of:
t
= e

(3.32)

Substituting this relationship into Equation 3.27 yields:




=0
et
+

(3.33)

It is clear that Equation 3.33 is in the form of a generalized eigenvalue problem


once one defines = exp[t]. As before, the real and imaginary parts of the eigenvalues are the values that will determine the stability and frequency of the system.
Fortunately the eigenvalues of the system with the largest magnitude correspond to
the structural motion found from time marching. After determining = ln()/t
the values are sorted by their proximity to the eigenvalues of the previous velocity
and the real and imaginary parts directly correspond to the damping and frequency
of the system, respectively. The flutter velocity is determined by running a series
of different velocities and tracking the modal damping and frequency. The velocity at which the damping becomes positive represents the flutter velocity and the
corresponding frequency from the eigenvalue is the flutter frequency.
The eigenanalysis for the strictly linear system has two advantages over a time
history analysis. First, the frequency and damping values found through the eigenanalysis can be recovered for each of the individual modes for all velocities. This
allows a clear definition of the mode which drives the system unstable and the creation of a root locus plot to analyze how frequencies evolve with damping. Second,
66

because only the largest eigenvalues are important for the analysis, Matlabs eigs
function can be used to solve for the largest eigenvalues quickly.
The speed of the eigenanalysis allows for the creation of a velocity sweep for the
stability of the system for a range of different parameters. Figure 3.7 shows the
damping of the structural modes as the velocity is increased from below to above
the flutter velocity for a fixed leading edge beam configuration. This velocity sweep
clearly shows that the second mode is the mode that drives the system unstable.
Figure 3.8 shows how the frequency changes as the damping changes. Again this
shows that the second mode drives the system unstable at a frequency that is close
the frequency of second structural mode.

Figure 3.7: Typical Velocity Sweep

3.3.3

Figure 3.8: Typical Root Locus

Generating Time Histories from Eigenanalysis

Although the eigenanalysis is often chosen for the linear case to speed up the analysis,
post-critical visualization of the structure motion can give insight into the nature of
an instability. In order to visualize this for the eigenvalue solution, the complex eigenvectors, specifically the complex eigenvector associated with the least stable mode,
is used to reconstruct the motion. Starting from the definition of the displacement:

w(x, t) =

X
n

67

qn (t)n (x)

(3.34)

and using the assumed form of the temporal coordinates:


~q = ~v et

(3.35)

Where and ~v are the eigenvalue and corresponding eigenvector determined through
the aeroelastic analysis. Both the eigenvalue and the eigenvector can be written in
terms of real and imaginary parts:
~v = ~vR + i~vI
(3.36)
= R + iI
Plugging this form into the definition of the generalized coordinates and using
Euler identities to separate the real and complex parts of Equation 3.35.

~q = (~vR cos I t ~vI sin I t)eR t + i(~vR sin I t + ~vI cos I t)eR t

(3.37)

Using the just the real part of the generalized coordinates for the eigenvalue with
the largest real part allows one to reconstruct the time history of the displacement.
Furthermore if the real part is ignored the motion at the flutter boundary can be
reconstructed to a good approximation. This process is used to generate time histories and videos from eigenanalysis results. Again the value of using an eigenanalysis
can be seen through this exercise. After finding the eigenvalue and eigenvector time
histories of arbitrary lengths may be generated by plugging in the desired time vector
into Equation 3.37.

3.4 Inclusion of Fixed Support Structures


Because of the way that the vortex lattice theory is developed, it is simple to include
the influence of rigid support structures that are used for testing to ensure smooth
flow. This is done by including vortex elements on the support structure and requiring that the downwash be equal to the zero. In practice, the (0,0) coordinate
68

remains on the bottom leading edge of the elastic panel and circulations elements
are added to on the sides of the structure. Therefore any element between 0 and Lx
in the streamwise direction and 0 and Ly in the normal to flow direction are known
to be on the elastic structure, while elements outside of this range are assumed to
be on the support structure or in the wake.

3.5 Mirroring to Simulate Wind Tunnel Walls


Based on observations of the experiments there is a possibility that the wind tunnel
wall confinement has a strong influence of the motion of the cantilevered panel. A
common technique for simulating the existence of the wind tunnel wall with the
vortex lattice method is called mirroring. The basic principal of this technique is
are introduced to ensure that the induced velocity from
that phantom circulations ()
the circulation elements on the real panel are exactly canceled out by the phantom
circulation elements at the wind tunnel wall locations.
When implementing the mirrored technique into the vortex lattice analysis module the first task is to identify where the vortex lattice code will be modified by the
inclusion of the wind tunnel wall. It is important that if the mirrored circulation
i is the same distance from the wall the original circulation element i and has
the opposite sign the vertical component of the velocities at the wind tunnel wall
(directly between them) will be zero. This result is because the influence function
is a function of the circulation strength and the distance implying that points equal
distant (in a given direction) but opposite signed and with the same magnitude circulations have an induced velocity in the given direction equal to zero. A picture
of the mirrored panel configuration for confinement in the normal to the flow out of
plane displacements is given in Figure 3.9.
Mathematically this effect is captured by modifying the kernel function to include

69

Wind Tunnel
Diameter

Figure 3.9: Schematic of the airfoil/panel geometry with the wind tunnel wall
simulated by a single pair of mirrored elements

the impact of the mirrored circulation elements.


Vdn+1 =

X
n+1 n+1
K(i,j) + K(i,j)u + K(i,j)d

(3.38)

where the subscripts u and d correspond to the upper and lower mirrored influences.
This method can also be used to simulate the impact of normal to the flow in plane
confinement, a method that is used experimentally to recreate two dimensional aerodynamics. The model can also be improved by including multiple levels of mirrors
that counteract the induced velocity by the mirrored circulations at the far wall. This
is an elegant method of simulating the influence of the walls which demonstrates the
VLM methods ability to incorporate additional effects with minimal effort.

3.6 Using ANSYS Structural Modes


Another aspect of the vortex lattice method is that the elastic model can be modified to include a different structural models without a large change to the overall
70

Figure 3.10: Cantilevered Wing Configuration Schematic

architecture of the analysis. In order to validate the ability of the code to be applied
to a system with numerically determined structural modes, the code is modified to
include the ANSYS structural modes for a flat plate in a wing like configuration
shown in Figure 3.10. This configuration is convenient because there is an extensive
library of existing research which allowed for the comparison of the theoretical simulations to existing experimental and analytical results. Because the elastic model
remains the same with the only difference being the structural mode shapes, the only
modifications to the code required to implement this analysis is a new way to predict
the displacement at a point (x,y) for a given mode shape.
The modal displacement at the collocation and circulation locations ((x, y)) is
calculated by interpolating the ANSYS numerical modes. By instructing the code to
use the new function to calculate the modal positions for the creation of the generalized force matrices C1 and C2 and the downwash matrix , the code is effectively
modified from a code that analyzed the cantilevered plates in a flapping flag configuration with only bending modes to a code that uses ANSYS modes to analyze the
panel in the wing configuration.
The ability to switch quickly the configuration of the elastic model without large
modifications to the code and additional theory derivation is promising for developing

71

the ability to use the code to run analysis on flat plates in fluid flow with a wide
range of boundary conditions for which there is less understanding of the flutter
characteristics.

3.7 Rotated Wing Analysis


In the study of the aeroelasticity of beams and plates, the flow is usually assumed
to be axially aligned with the structure. For example, a simple plate with one edge
clamped the two axially aligned configurations have been explored extensively in the
literature. Air flowing parallel to the clamped edge has been explored because this
configuration looks very similar to an aircraft wing. The flutter motion for this configuration is known to be a combination of the first torsion and first bending modes
for normal parameters. If the wing is rotated 90 deg, so the airflow is perpendicular
to the clamped leading edge the instability is dominated by a second bending mode
flutter, an instability which has been labeled flag flutter in the literature.
However, even though both of these cases have been discussed in the literature
the flutter at flow configurations that occur between the wing flutter and flag flutter
have not been explored. This story is also true for the other configurations explored
in this thesis. During this process the sensitivity of frequency and flutter velocity to
small deviations from the perfectly normal or perfectly axial cases are explored.
First, it is clear that the existing structural models can be used, and the changes
to the theory to capture this transition are all aerodynamic mesh changes. The first
step in developing the aerodynamic theory for a structure that is not axially aligned
with the flow is to decide what type of vortex elements are used. For the initial
model typical horseshoe elements are used and the mesh is determined by including
all horseshoe elements which have a collocation point that are on the elastic structure.
In order to implement this model with the existing structural model, two coordinate
systems are used as shown in Figure 3.11. For this system the prime notation dictates
72

y'
x
x

Figure 3.11: Aerodynamic and Elastic Coordinate Systems


quantities that are measured in the structure coordinate system. By thinking of the
system in two separate coordinate systems, the strictly aerodynamic and strictly
elastic portions of the aeroelastic equations can be treated exactly the same. The
rotation is captured in the downwash and generalized force equations where a careful
accounting of the coordinate system is used. The relationship between the two
coordinate systems can be written as:
x = (Ly 0 y 0 ) sin + x0 cos
y = y 0 cos + x0 sin

(3.39)

A similar transformation can be defined to go from the aerodynamic coordinate


system ([x,y]) to the the structure coordinate system ([x,y]). In order to use the
typical horseshoe elements and a square mesh, the first step is to define a square
box aligned with the flow that completely encompasses the rotated structure. A
rectangular grid in the flow coordinate system is then defined that has Ss element
in the normal to flow direction and Sc elements in the flow direction. With this grid
defined, the code loops though all of the collocation points and checks if they lie on
73

the structure. Practically this is done by transforming all of the collocation points to
their coordinates in the structure coordinate system and checking that 0 x0c Lx0
and 0 yc0 Ly 0 . While looping through the points, if the collocation point is on
the structure the [x,y] location of the collocation point and the [x,y] location of the
top and bottom of the horseshoe element for that panel are stored as well as the row
in the mesh that the element falls in.

3
2.5
2

1.5
1
0.5
0
0.5
1
0

Figure 3.12: Mesh for = 450 . The red xs are the collocation points, the green
.s are the top and bottom of the circulation elements on the the structure and the
black .s are the top and bottom of the circulation elements in the wake

After the structure circulation elements have been constructed the location of the
wake elements are also determined. Figure 3.12 shows the mesh that is generated for
a panel at a = 450 . The trailing edge of the wake directly mirrors the trailing edge
of the panel to allow simple convection and relaxation relations derived earlier to be
74

used. A concern with this method is that, there is a discretization error associated
with keeping the circulation elements square and not having the elements mirror the
leading and trailing edge. This fact can lead to sawtooth instability frequency and
velocity results, especially at angles near 0 or 90 degs. For the preliminary analysis
it is determined that implementing a finer mesh until a smooth boundary is found is
more efficient than deriving complex vortex elements that change in shape for every
flow angle.
3.7.1

Generalized Force Calculation

The pressure force is again calculated using the application of Bernoullis principal
stated in Equation 3.24. However the summation limits are different. The summation incorporates the pressure induced by all of the circulations prior to the given
circulation, but in the same row. For the axially aligned cases, the elements in the
same streamwise row as a given element can be determined by the dimensions of
the aerodynamic mesh. For the case of the rotated mesh for this analysis, while the
initial aerodynamic mesh is created a separate vector containing the row of bound
circulation elements is created, and the pressure is determined by summing up all of
the elements that are in the row of the given circulation element, but have an index
smaller than the given circulation element.
Next it is assumed that the force caused by the circulation acts on the horseshoe
vortex halfway between the two trailing elements. The x and y locations in the fluid
coordinate system at this point are transformed to the panel coordinate system and
the mode shape used to calculate the generalized force is evaluated at this point.
3.7.2

Downwash Calculation

The downwash calculation, like the generalized force calculation, required transforming the x and y coordinates of the collocation points for the bound vorticies in the

75

fluid coordinate system to their panel coordinate system equivalents. Once this transition is made the dimensional form of Equation 3.18 is used.

76

4
Results from Aeroelastic Simulations

4.1 Dimensional Beam Simulations


Now that the methodology and analysis techniques have been described the accuracy
of the aeroelastic model must be validated. Fortunately there is an existing literature which contains both analytical and experimental results for the cantilevered
beam configuration. A paper by Tang et al. [33] contains experimental data for a
rectangular aluminum panel that is .39mm thick, has a 266.7mm streamwise dimension, and a 76.2mm normal to the flow dimension. The aluminum panel is made of
7075 aluminum which has a density(s ) of 2.84 103 kg/m3 and a stiffness (E) of
72 109 kg/m2 . The density of air is assumed to be 1.2kg/m3 and the vortex lattice
relaxation factor () is set to .992.
With these material properties the first four natural frequencies of the structure
found using the presented beam model are 4.46 Hz, 27.79 Hz, 78.24 Hz, and 153.35 Hz
which are nearly identical to the published values in Tang et al. [33] of 4.57 Hz, 28.62
Hz, and 80.15 Hz. With these material properties it is expected that the system will
have a flutter velocity of 29.5 m/s and a frequency of 22.5 Hz. The figures presented

77

earlier such as Figures 3.7 and 3.8 are the plots that are generated for the system
analyzed with 4 structural modes, the number of streamwise elements required for a
time step of 1/40th the period of the fastest structural frequency and 10 elements in
the normal to the flow direction. The plots show a typical flutter velocity prediction
of 27.5 m/s and a flutter frequency of 23.5. Both of these results are well within 10%
of the experimental value and represent a good aeoroelastic prediction.
For all the simulations that are run, convergence studies are conducted to ensure
that the length of the wake, the number of structural modes included, and the
aerodynamic mesh are well converged. For the initial dimensional model of the
flapping flag 10 elements in the normal to the flow direction, 100 elements in the
streamwise direction and 6 structural modes proved to be adequate.
4.1.1

Time History Analysis vs. Eigenanalysis

Figure 4.1: Root Locus

Figure 4.2: Damping vs. Velocity

Another study that is conducted to validate the model is to compare the frequency and damping values calculated from the eigenanalysis versus a time history.
It is expecteted that for the linear model these two results should be exactly the
same. Looking at Figures 4.1 and 4.2 it is clear that this assumption is correct.
The only divergence between the two curves comes from the fact that the damping and frequency determination from the time history is susceptible to noise which
78

sometimes throws off the damping prediction.


4.1.2

Fixed Leading Airfoil Effect

Figure 4.3: Root Locus

Figure 4.4: Damping vs. Velocity

The comparison of the eigenanalyses with and without a fixed leading airfoil for
the cantilevered configuration is shown in Figures 4.3 and 4.4 and clearly indicates
that including the fixed airfoil does not change the result in any noticeable manner.
This result implies that the fixed leading airfoil does not affect the motion of the
panel which is what one would intuitively believe. Furthermore, running an analysis
which does not include the leading airfoil reduces the number of elements and is
therefore more computationally efficient. The support structure impact is explored
in more detail for the NASA plate configuration later in this section.

4.2 Wind Tunnel Wall Confinement Effects


The influence of confinement effects in both the in plane and out of plane direction
is explored using the non-dimensional aeroelastic model. A beam which is clamped
free in the streamwise direction, has an aspect ratio of 0.5 and a mass ratio of .232
is simulated with 100 streamwise, 10 normal elements and 8 structural modes.

79

4.2.1

Out-of-Plane Normal to Flow Confinement


16
14
12

10
8
6
4
2
0

10

10

Out of Plane Wall Gap

20
18
16

[Radians]

14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

10

10

Out of Plane Wall Gap

Figure 4.5: Impact of Out-of-Plane Confinement on Flutter Frequency Prediction

The distance of the simulated top and bottom wind tunnel walls is varied from
3/10ths to 10 times the streamwise length of the panel. Once the top and bottom
wind tunnel get closer than this numerical instabilities occur because of the singularities that make up the vortex lattice mesh. The wind tunnel wall influence is clearly
very small for the parameter range considered. However, for the actual wind tunnel wall configuration the spacing between the elastic structure and the wind tunnel
wall is usually slightly larger than the streamwise dimension of the structure. At this
80

distance, the influence of the wall is negligible suggesting that it does not influence
the linear flutter boundary in experiments. Once the non-linear structural model
has been included, it will be interesting to observe if there is a larger influence of the
wind tunnel walls on the LCO amplitude because the observed LCO amplitude is
quite large, rapidly closing the gap between the structure and the wind tunnel walls.
Finally these results confirm that if an experiment is conducted with wind tunnel
walls that are closer than the streamwise length of the elastic panel then confinement
effects should be included even when calculating the linear stability boundary.
4.2.2

In-Plane Normal to Flow Wind Tunnel Wall Confinement


15

10

0
4
10

10

10

10

10

10

Wind Tunnel Wall Gap

Figure 4.6: Impact of In-Plane Confinement on Flutter Velocity Prediction

The in-plane axial confinement in the normal to the flow direction can also be
modeled using the method of images. This is an interesting case because a method to
recreate two-dimensional theoretical results experimentally is to have the structure
you are evaluating span the entire cross section of the wind tunnel. Figures 4.6 and
4.7 show that the wind tunnel walls must be less than 1/10th of the streamwise
dimension away from the side of the panel before any effects of the wall are felt. It
81

20
18
16

[Radians]

14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
4
10

10

10

10

10

10

Wind Tunnel Wall Gap

Figure 4.7: Impact of In-Plane Confinement on Flutter Frequency Prediction

is conceivable that you would be able to get this close experimentally. However, in
order to reach the confined, two-dimensional asymptote, the wind tunnel wall must
be less than 1/1000th the streamwise dimension away from the elastic panel. It
is unlikely that the experiments would be able to get this close, as for a typical 1
meter streamwise length this would require less than 1 mm separation which would
be almost impossible to achieve experimentally. This result may give some insight
into why two-dimensional theory has always significantly under predicted the flutter
boundary even when experiments have attempted to simulate a two-dimensional
airflow.

4.3 Non-dimensional Simulations (Modified from Journal of Fluids


and Structures Journal Submission)
This section contains a theoretical study of the flutter characteristics of clamped-free
and pinned-free beams with varying mass ratios and aspect ratios. The simulation
configuration is given in Figure 3.3. As shown in the figure the rigid airfoil which
is present in the experimental configuration shown in Figure 5.1 is not included in

82

the vortex lattice mesh and therefore not included in the aeroelastic simulations.
The influence of the airfoil can be included in the aeroelastic model by including
bound circulation on the fixed airfoil which is governed by Equation 3.16, where the
downwash on the rigid structure is equal to zero. The airfoil is not included to allow
for theoretical results that could be compared to previous theoretical simulations.
However, initial simulations done comparing the flutter velocity with and without the
airfoil show that the airfoil can act to destabilize the system and lower the theoretical
flutter velocity by up to 20 percent for small mass ratio. A further exploration of
the influence of the leading edge airfoil, which is present in experiments, will not be
explored in this paper, but could be the subject of future research.
4.3.1

Leading Edge Spring Simulations

The first question studied in detail is the change in flutter characteristics from the
pinned-free to clamped-free boundary conditions. Using = .277, H = .5, and N
= 10 appropriate in-vacuum beam modes, a set of simulations is run with a varying
magnitude pinned edge torsional spring. The simulation is run using 150 panel
elements and 300 wake elements in the streamwise direction and 10 elements in the
normal to flow direction.
Figure 4.8b shows the transition between pinned-free and clamped-free flutter.
The analysis suggests a monotonic transition for the flutter frequency between the
pinned-free and clamped-free configurations. This result matches the transition in
frequency behavior observed in the structural model, an unsurprising result. Fur are in the same range as they are for the transition
thermore the critical values for K
in the natural frequency analysis for the flutter mode. The result also demonstrates
that for this configuration flutter arises from an interaction between the first and
second modes for both the pinned-free and camped-free case.
However the flutter velocity transition from pinned-free to clamped-free does not
83

14
13
12

11
10
9
8
7
2
10

10

10

10

10

10

K
(a)

25

n [radians]

20
15
10
5
0
2
10

10

10

10

10

10

K
(b)

Figure 4.8: Flutter Velocity (a) and Frequency (b) vs. K . Small values of K
correspond to a pinned-free case (dotted) and large values correspond to a clampedfree case (dashed). The first and second natural frequency evolution results are also
included as the thin lines in (b). The thick lines correspond to the aeroelastic results.

84

monotonically move from the pinned-free case to the clamped-free case, see Figure
4.8a. This unexpected result shows that a small torsional spring at the leading edge
of a pinned-free beam will actually drive the flutter velocity below the pinned-free
critical velocity. In fact, for small values of torsional spring stiffness, making the
spring stiffer will actually drive down the flutter velocity. It is hypothesized that
the larger effect on the natural frequencies of the lower modes at small torsional
spring stiffnesses initially brings the first two natural frequencies closer which leads
to a reduction in the flutter boundary. Because of the inherent torsional stiffness
for many pinned systems, this is a significant result because it suggests that using
the pinned-free model may not be a conservative estimate, and therefore an effort to
quantify the torsional stiffness of the pinned connection must be explored. This result
could also be significant for applications in energy harvesting where a lower flutter
velocity is desired. Looking closer at the inflection point of the flutter velocity curve,
which corresponds with the spring stiffness required
it appears to occur at a K
to start the transition from pinned-free to clamped-free frequencies from the elastic
simulation. It is at this critical point where the torsional spring begins to become
strong enough to force the response to behave more like the clamped-free case.
4.3.2

Aspect Ratio Variation Simulations

Another key parameter to explore with this model is the Aspect Ratio (H ). Figure
4.9 shows the current theoretical prediction for a = 0.6 beam as the aspect ratio is
varied. Again, for this set of simulations, 150 panel elements and 300 wake elements in
the streamwise direction, 10 normal to flow elements and 10 clamped-free modes are
used. The result shown in Figure 4.9 matches previous theoretical results published
by Eloy et al. [14]. Also shown in the figure are the experimental data points collected
by Eloy et al. [14]. For the linear analysis presented here the only experimental data
that the theoretical model should be compared to is the unfilled squares because the
85

gap down to the filled in squares represents a hysteretic effect which is not captured
by the current linear model.
25

20

15

10

5
1
10

10
H

Figure 4.9: Flutter velocity as a function of the aspect ratio at a mass ratio () of
0.6 and clamped-free boundary conditions. The thick line corresponds to the current
researchers theoretical predictions, the dashed line is taken from Eloy et al. [14]. The
squares are previously published experimental data points [14]. The empty squares
correspond to the velocity at which the system becomes unstable as the velocity
increases and the filled in squares correspond to the velocity where the response
returns from unstable oscillations to stable as the flow velocity is decreased.

4.3.3

Mass Ratio Variation Simulations

The next set of simulations which is conducted provides a comparison between the
pinned-free and clamped-free flutter as a function of the mass ratio. This is explored
both from a frequency and a flutter velocity perspective. Aspect ratios of 0.5, 1.0
and 1.5 are simulated. This set of simulations is conducted with the same lattice
properties as the previous analyses.
Figure 4.10a also shows the comparison between the flutter velocities of the
pinned-free and clamped-free beams. It is clear from the results that for mass ratios between .1 and 1, the pinned-free and clamped-free flutter boundaries are very
86

22
20

Clamped S = 0.5

18

Clamped S = 1.0

16

Pinned S = 0.5
Clamped S = 1.0 from [25]

14

12
10
8
6
4
2
0
1
10

10

10

(a)

60
50

[radians]

40
30
20
10
0
1
10

10

10

(b)

Figure 4.10: Flutter Velocity (a) and Frequency (b) vs. . The thick solid line corresponds to the Clamped-Free beam with S = 1.0, the thin dashed line to ClampedFree beam with S = 0.5, and the thick dotted line to a Pinned-Free beam with
S = 0.5. Also included in the velocity figure is theoretical predictions for a ClampedFree beam with S = 1.0 from Eloy et al. [13]
87


[Radians]

=.537

=.9349

=1.628

=2.834

70

70

70

70

60

60

60

60

50

50

50

50

40

40

40

40

30

30

30

30

20

20

20

20

10

10

10

10

0
10

0
0
0
0
10 10
0
10 10
0
10 10
0
10
Damping
Damping
Damping
Damping

(a)

Damping

=.537

=1.628

=.9349

=2.834

10

10

10

10

10

10

10
15

10

10
15

10

10
15

10

15

(b)

Figure 4.11: The two figures show the evolution as the mass ratio is increased over
the range where the flutter characteristics move from second bending to third bending
for the clamped-free configuration. (a) shows the root locus evolution and (b) shows
the velocity vs damping evolution. The triangles correspond to first bending, the xs
to second bending and the dots to third bending. The solid line is the zero damping
and the open circle identifies where a mode becomes unstable.

88

similar. This is also the case for the frequency comparison shown in Figure 4.10b.
For both cases the flutter mode, as identified by the frequency is second mode flutter (second mode for pinned-free is often called its first bending mode, because the
first mode is a rigid body motion). Also for both cases the frequency of the flutter
falls below the respective in-vacuum second mode frequency. Another common trend
which is observed is that the frequency of oscillation begins to decrease as the mass
ratio increases.
A phenomenon observed both using the lattice method discussed here and in
alternate analysis done with more traditional aerodynamic theory, see Eloy et al.
[13] and Guo [17], is a transition in flutter mode to third mode flutter at a higher
frequency and velocity as the mass ratio increases above a critical value. At the
mass ratios where there is flutter in both modes, there is an interesting behavior in
the modal damping evolution. At the lower velocity the second mode goes unstable
in its normal manner. However, instead of having an aeroelastic damping value
whose magnitude continues to grow, the damping levels out. Simultaneously the
third mode begins to become less negatively damped and the frequencies of the
second and third mode begin to come together. At the velocity corresponding to the
third mode flutter, the third mode becomes unstable and the second mode becomes
stable again. This transition is shown in Figures 4.11a and 4.11b If a time marching
analysis was done, all that would be observed is the jump in frequency and flutter
shape at the upper flutter velocity, while the eigenanalysis allows the tracking of the
stability of the individual modes. As with previous works, this transition occurs at
a lower mass ratio for the pinned-free case. Unfortunately the current experimental
model would not allow for testing of mass ratios where higher mode flutter would be
expected to be observed.
It is clear from Figures 4.10a and 4.10b that the difference between the pinnedfree and clamped-free cases would be more noticeable in the flutter frequency than in
89

the flutter velocity. In fact the difference between the clamped-free and pinned-free
flutter velocity values is so small, it may not be observable during experiments.
Overall, this implementation of the vortex lattice method for modeling the aerodynamics produced results similar to the theoretical results of previous researchers.
Although the vortex lattice method may take longer to create a simulation, it has
value in that it produces results that compare well with experimental data and can be
directly modified to capture aerodynamic nonlinearities and other real world considerations such as wind tunnel walls and experimental support structures. For example
see Preidikman and Mook [27] or Attar [2].

4.4 Plate Simulations


Next aeroelastic simulations using the plate (versus beam) structural model are presented.
4.4.1

NASA Simulations (Configuration 6)

The aeroelastic simulations for the NASA configuration, three sides clamped and
the trailing edge free, are done both to predict the nature and onset velocity of
the instability as well as explore the sensitivity to factors such as the tension in
the structure, the size of the support structure relative to the elastic member and
the effect of changing the aspect ratio. Before discussing the sensitivities to these
parameters, the results of a typical aeroelastic simulation are presented. The typical
analysis is done using the parameters listed in Table 2.2 with the inclusion of a
structural damping ratio equal to 0.01. Six structural modes in the streamwise
direction and three in the normal direction are used giving the system 18 structural
degrees of freedom. The analysis considered rigid support structures on all four sides
of the elastic membrane with lengths equal to 1/2 the streamwise length of the elastic
membrane. The aerodynamic mesh is comprised of 150 elements in the streamwise
90

direction and 10 elements in the normal to the flow direction. The wake extends 400
elements in the streamwise direction behind the trailing edge of the rigid support
structure.
As with the elastic simulations, the linear system is analyzed in the frequency
domain and the stability of the system is assessed using the aeroelastic eigenvalues at
different discrete flow velocities. In Figure 4.12 the typical aeroelastic eigenvalues are
presented in three different forms. First is the damping ratio versus the flow velocity
which can be used to determine the critical velocity where the aeroelastic system
becomes unstable and small perturbations to the system would grow exponentially.
Next, is a root locus plot which is used to determine the frequency at which this
instability occurs. Finally a plot of the frequency evolution as the velocity changes
gives insight into the interactions between the frequencies that occur to cause the
instability. In this case the interaction between the first and second frequencies is
the cause of the instability. The fourth plot includes snapshots of the mode shape
of the instability. The mode shape is reconstructed using the magnitude of the
complex eigenvector associated with the unstable eigenvalue. For this configuration
the mode shape confirms that the the instability motion is a combination of the first
and second structural modes in the streamwise direction and the first mode in the
normal or spanwise direction.
Before analyzing methods of increasing the stability of the system convergence
studies are conducted on the size of the aerodynamic mesh, wake length and the
number of structural degrees of freedom included in the model. Specifically the
modal convergence as more modes in the streamwise direction is of interest due to
previous studies of the system which suggested higher mode flutter [5]. Figure 4.13
clearly shows that the stability boundary for this configuration does not depend on
the number of structural modes included provided at leas four modes are included.
Although the boundary does increase slightly with the inclusion of more modes there
91

100
0.2

80
0.1

60

[Hz]

0
0.1

40

0.2
0.3

20

0.4
0.5

10

12

14

16

18

0
10

20

10

Real(Eigenvalue)

U[m/s]
(a) Damping Ratio vs Flow Velocity

(b) Root Locus

100
0.2

80

[Hz]

0.1

60
0

40

0.1
0.2
0.15

20

0.15

0.1

0.1

10

12

14

16

18

20

0.05

U[m/s]
(c) Frequency vs Flow Velocity

0.05
0

(d) Mode Shape

Figure 4.12: Configuration 6 aeroelastic results which demonstrates the plots created during a typical plate aeroelastic simulation

is not the jump to a higher mode that was presented in the previous work. The
present theory only includes a finite size support structure and therefore includes
an aerodynamic wake which the previous author did not account for. Even though
the influence of the support structure given in Figure 4.14 suggests that further
increasing the support structure dimensions past one chord length would not change
the aeroelastic boundary it is conceivable that in the limit of the boundary going to
infinity the previous results could be recovered.

92

18

25

16
20

12

[Hz]

U[m/s]

14

10
8

15
10

6
4

2
0

0
4

10

10

Streamwise Modes

Streamwise Modes
20
25
20

[Hz]

U[m/s]

15

10

15
10

5
5
0

0
1

1.5

2.5

3.5

4.5

5.5

1.5

2.5

3.5

4.5

5.5

Modes Normal to Flow

Modes Normal to Flow


25
16
14

20

[Hz]

U[m/s]

12
10
8
6
4

15
10
5

2
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

50

100

Streamwise Panel Elements

150

200

250

300

Streamise Elements

Figure 4.13: Flutter boundary as the number of streamwise modes, normal modes,
and streamwise elements included in the structural model is varied
Similar studies are conducted for the aerodynamic mesh size and modes in the
normal direction. The studies clearly revealed for this configuration, the solution has
converged for the following values:
Streamwise Mesh Elements on Elastic Structure : 100
Normal Mesh Elements on Elastic Structure : 10
Streamwise Modes Included : 6
Normal Modes Included : 3
The solution is said to be converged if an asymptote is reached when plotting the
flutter characteristics versus the parameter. The values determined from this analysis
are used for the remainder of the simulations discussed in this section unless otherwise
stated.
93

Support Structure Size Variation


One of the reasons for using the VLM method to analyze this system is the capability to model a finite size support structure and analyze the influence of the size and
inclusion of the support structure on the aeroelastic stability. Figure 4.14 shows the
results of varying the size of support structure while maintaining the unvaried support structures nominal size of 1/2 of the streamwise chord of the elastic structure.
In general the aeroelastic results are not sensitive to the inclusion of the support
structure which suggests that their inclusion in aeroelastic models of plates may
not be necessary. Interestingly it appears that the inclusion of the leading airfoil
increases the instability onset velocity slightly while including the top and bottom
rigid support structures (varied simultaneously) has the impact of lowering the instability onset velocity. The trailing support structure, unless it is small relative to
the structure does not appear to impact the velocity in either direction. For all cases
the impact on the frequency of the aeroelastic instability is even less pronounced.
4.4.2

Increasing the Flutter Velocity

Aspect Ratio Variation


Two methods of increasing the flutter velocity are explored. Higher onset instability
velocities are desired for this application because the current predicted flutter velocity is sufficiently low that if a similar configuration is implemented to reduce the
acoustic signature of an aircraft during landing, flutter would be encountered. The
first parameter to explore is the flutter boundarys dependence on aspect ratio. To
visualize this dependence all of the parameters are held constant while the streamwise dimension is varied. Figure 4.15 shows the instability boundary frequency and
velocity as the parameter is varied.
The plot demonstrates two interesting behaviors. First, for lengths shorter than
0.15 m, it is possible to raise the flutter velocity and frequency by continuously
94

18

25

16
20

14

15

[Hz]

U[m/s]

12
10
8

10
6
4

2
0

0
0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

Chord Normalized Leading Airfoil Size

Chord Normalized Leading Airfoil Size

16

25

14
20

10

[Hz]

U[m/s]

12

15

10

6
4

5
2
0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

Chord Normalized Trailing Airfoil Size

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

Chord Normalized Trailing Airfoil Size

18
25

16
14

20

[Hz]

U[m/s]

12
10
8

15

10

6
4

5
2
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

Chord Normalized Top and Bottom Support

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

Chord Normalized Top and Bottom Support

Figure 4.14: Flutter boundary as the support structure size (chord normalized) is
varied. For each plot the size of the support structures not being varied is 1/2 the
streamwise chord of the elastic structure

95

40

100
90

35

80
30

[Hz]

U[m/s]

70
25
20
15

60
50
40
30

10
20
5
0

10
0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

0.3

0.05

0.1

0.15

Chord [m]

0.2

0.25

0.3

Chord [m]

Figure 4.15: Flutter boundary as the streamwise chord is varied. In the frequency
plot, the solid line without xs correspond to the first three elastic natural frequencies
of the unforced system

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2
0.2

0.1
0.1
0.05

0.05
0

(a) Chord = 0.05 m

0.15

0.1
0.1
0.05

0.2
0.1

0.05
0

(b) Chord = 0.1475 m

0.1

0.05

(c) Chord = 0.20 m

Figure 4.16: Snapshot of the mode shape at the aeroelastic instability for three
different streamwise chord lenghts

shortening the length. For the CML design this suggests that designs that are able
to minimize the streamwise length of flexible structure will be best able to avoid
flutter. The other behavior is a jump in flutter frequency and velocity at a length of
0.20 m. From Figure 4.15 it is clear that the instability frequency jumps from being
between the first and second natural frequencies to between the second and third
natural frequencies. This change can be seen more clearly by comparing (b) and (c)
form Figure 4.16 where the shape has clearly gone from a second to third bending
mode in the chordwise direction. This transition is very similar to a phenomenon that
is observed in the cantilevered beam analysis literature as the mass ratio(a Ly /s h)
96

of the beam is increased for a constant aspect ratio[13, 17].

50

100

45

90

40

80

35

70

30

60

[Hz]

U[m/s]

Tension Variation

25

50

20

40

15

30

10

20
10

5
0

0
0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

Ty [N/m]

Ty [N/m]

Figure 4.17: Flutter Boundary as the tension in the normal to streamwise direction.
In the frequency plot, the dashed lines correspond to the first three elastic natural
frequencies of the unforced system

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2
0.15

0.2
0.15
0.15

0.1

0.2
0.15
0.15

0.1

0.1
0.05

0.05
0

0.2
0.15
0.15

0.1

0.1
0.05

0.05

0.05
0

0.15

0.1

0.1

0.05
0

0.1
0.05

0.05
0

(a) Tension = 0 N/m (b) Tension = 90 N/m (c) Tension = 400 N/m(d) Tension = 700 N/m

Figure 4.18: Snapshot of the mode shape at the aeroelastic instability for three
different normal tension values

The next parameter which could reasonably be varied for the CML design, if
the streamwise length is fixed, is the tension in the clamped-clamped normal to flow
direction. Furthermore, it is reasonable to expect than when a flap is deployed it will
induce a tension in the CML plate/membrane. For the analysis all values are the
nominal values for the plate as the tension value (T y) is varied. The results of the
simulation are shown in Figure 4.17. The first thing that is clear is that the initial
increase in the tension has an impressive capability to rapidly increase the flutter
boundary.
97

Another trend is the change in flutter mode and subsequent leveling of the flutter
boundary once the tension reaches 90 N/m. The frequency plot in Figure 4.17 and the
transition in mode shape from (a) to (b) and (c) in Figure 4.18 clearly demonstrates
a qualitative and quantitative transition from a combination of first and second mode
to a primarily second mode flutter. More significantly from a design perspective is
the leveling off of the flutter boundary once the transition in flutter mode occurs. If
this theoretical result is confirmed experimentally, it suggests that once a critical level
is reached, flutter suppression cannot be achieved by further increasing the tension.
Instead different parameters such as the stiffness of the system must be changed.
Additionally this confirms that for the three sides clamped flexible membrane/plate
with these parameters, flutter may occur at a velocity that will be encountered during
the landing of a transport aircraft.
4.4.3

Additional Plate Boundary Configurations

Table 4.1: Plate Aeroelastic Simulation Summary (s = 0.01)

Configuration
1
2
3
4
5
6

Type
Flutter
Flutter
Divergence
Flutter
Divergence
Flutter

Velocity [m/s]
8.55
8.09
16.04
18.89
19.25
15.09

Frequency [hz]
8.54
3.95
17.54
23.21

The plate aeroelastic model that has been developed up to this point, is general
enough, that by simply using the correct beam mode shapes which satisfy the geometric boundary conditions, any rectangular configuration may be studied. This
capability and the existence of certain configurations which have not been explored
extensively in the literature for low subsonic flow (Configurations 3-6 from Figure
98

1.2) has motivated the exploration of the 6 configurations shown. Configuration 1


and 2 are used to validate the model against previous three-dimensional aeroelastic
simulations and experiments. For each configuration the instability type, velocity
and frequency are of interest. Table 4.1 outlines the aeroelastic results that have
been collected using the originally estimated structural damping ratio of 0.01. The
structural and aerodynamic parameters remain the same as those used for the previous plate analysis, with the material properties being those outlined in Table 2.2,
6 streamwise and 3 normal to the flow structural modes, and an aerodynamic mesh
comprised of 10 elements in the normal direction and 100 in the streamwise direction.
A baffle 1/2 the streamwise length is included on all sides with xs from Figure 1.2.
Table 4.2: Plate Aeroelastic Simulation Summary (s = 0.05)

Configuration
1
2
3
4
5
6

Type
Flutter
Flutter
Divergence
Divergence
Divergence
Flutter

Velocity [m/s]
10.15
8.77
16.25
32.45
19.62
21.40

Frequency [hz]
7.54
3.64

21.37

The detailed exploration of the material during the elastic experimental tests for
Configuration 6 revealed that the actual structural damping of the material was closer
to 0.05 than the 0.01 used in the initial simulations. Table 4.2 shows the updated
aeroelastic stability boundaries with the higher structural damping ratio included.
For Configuration 1, 2 and 6, the flutter velocity is increased slightly by increasing the
structural damping. For the configurations that diverged, the addition of structural
damping does not change the instability boundary. Finally the addition of structural
damping to Configuration 4 caused the instability to move from a dynamic flutter to
a static divergence. This arose because the original flutter mode for this configuration
99

is a hump mode. The addition of the structural damping caused a suppression of the
hump mode leaving the first instability as a divergence instability at a significantly
higher velocity. The implications of the increased structural damping for the detailed
simulations for Configuration 6 includes a shift higher in flutter boundary although
qualitatively the trends remain. The discussion of the individual configurations will
be limited to a discussion of the instabilities that arise using the initial, lower estimate
for the structural damping ratio.
Configuration 1 Flutter Results
Configuration 1 is clamped-free in the streamwise direction and free-free in the normal direction. This is the same configuration that has been described as the flag
flutter problem. Not surprisingly, even though a different structural model in the
normal direction is used the same aeroelastic behavior is captured by this model.
Specifically the root locus given in (b) of Figure 4.19 shows the interaction of two
roots that correspond to the first and second bending modes in the streamwise direction.
Another feature of the aeroelastic instability for this configuration is the relatively sharp crossing of the zero axis in (a). This slope signifies that effects such
as structural damping, which are at best just approximations, will not largely effect the flutter boundary. This may explain while historically, the VLM theoretical
aeroelastic models have matched well the experimental results for this configuration.
Configuration 2 Flutter Results
Configuration 2 has free-free boundary conditions in the streamwise direction and
clamped-free boundary conditions in the normal direction. This configuration is often explored in the literature because it is a simplified version of an aircraft wing.
This model differs slightly from the normal wing configuration because it has an

100

0.5

40

0.4
35

0.3
30

0.2

25

[Hz]

0.1

0
0.1

20
15

0.2
10

0.3
5

0.4
0.5

6.5

7.5

8.5

9.5

10

0
10

U[m/s]

10

Damping (Real(Eigenvalue))

(a) Damping Ratio vs Flow Velocity

(b) Root Locus

20
18
16
0.2

[Hz]

14
0.1

12
10

8
0.1

6
0.2
0.15

4
2

0.15

0.1
0.1

0.05

6.5

7.5

8.5

9.5

10

U[m/s]

(c) Frequency vs Flow Velocity

0.05
0

(d) Mode Shape

Figure 4.19: Aeroelastic results for Configuration 1. The analysis clearly shows a
coupling between the first and second bending modes in the streamwise direction

aspect ratio which is less than 1, while aircraft traditionally are designed with higher
aspect ratios. Nonetheless the instability of this system occurs due to the interaction
between the first bending and first torsion mode in the normal to flow direction. Because torsion modes are not explicitly modeled with the employed structural model,
the coupling in this model is between the first bending in the normal direction and
the rigid body rotation in the streamwise direction.
Interestingly, although Configuration 2 can be described as a 90 degree rotation
from Configuration 1 with respect to the flow, the differences in the flutter instability
101

0.5
60

50

[Hz]

40

30

0.5
20

10

6.5

7.5

8.5

9.5

10

0
6

10.5

U[m/s]

Real(Eigenvalue)

(a) Damping Ratio vs Flow Velocity

(b) Root Locus

60

50
0.2

40

[Hz]

0.1

30

0
0.1

20

0.2
0.15

10

0.15

0.1
0.1

0.05

6.5

7.5

8.5

9.5

10

U[m/s]

(c) Frequency vs Flow Velocity

10.5

0.05
0

(d) Mode Shape

Figure 4.20: Aeroelastic results for Configuration 2. The analysis clearly shows
a coupling between the first bending and first bending mode in the normal to flow
direction and the antisymetric rigid body displacement mode in the streamwise direction

are significant, something that is easily seen by comparing the mode shapes for each of
the configurations. In a later section the transition between these two configurations
by rotating the flow is explored in detail.
Configuration 3 Flutter Results
Configuration 3 represents a configuration which has not received as much exploration in the literature, especially in the context of three-dimensional aerodynamic
theories. For this configuration there is a noticeably different governing dynamics
102

0.25

50

0.2

45

0.15

40

0.1

35

[Hz]

0.05

0
0.05

30
25
20

0.1

15

0.15

10

0.2

0.25
13

14

15

16

17

18

19

0
5

20

10

Real(Eigenvalue)

U[m/s]

(a) Damping Ratio vs Flow Velocity

(b) Root Locus

50
45
40
0.2

[Hz]

35
0.1

30
25

20
0.1

15
0.2
0.15

10

0
13

0.15

0.1

0.1
0.05

14

15

16

17

18

19

U[m/s]

(c) Frequency vs Flow Velocity

20

0.05
0

(d) Mode Shape

Figure 4.21: Aeroelastic results for Configuration 3. The analysis shows a diverge
of the first bending motion in the streamwise direction and rigid body translation in
the normal direction

for the aeroelastic instability. Figure 4.21 (c) clearly shows that at the instability
onset velocity the frequency of the first mode goes to 0. This correlates to a static
post-critical response for the system that is called divergence. This figure also shows
that this divergence is not the result of the interaction of two of the natural modes
of the system. Instead it is a aeroelastic instability dominated by the first mode.
Divergence is often considered the more benign form of aeroelastic instability
because it does not lead to limit cycle oscillations which can induce life cycle fatigue.
Furthermore, non-linear simulations for the dynamics of post buckled beams show
103

that they retain the ability to maintain a load and encounter deflections that are
only on the order of the thickness of the plate near the divergence speed. In fact,
panels on aircraft which are often clamped on four sides can experience divergence
and not threaten the aerodynamic performance or structural integrity of the aircraft.
The three-dimensional results confirms the two-dimensional results presented by Guo
[17].
Configuration 4 Flutter Results
Configuration 4 is another configuration which has not received as much attention
in the literature. The results of the analysis shown in Figure 4.22 demonstrate that
flutter is again the dynamic instability that dominates the motion is a flutter instability. For this configuration there are two branches that become unstable near each
other. The first branch that becomes unstable appears to do so without interacting
with any other frequencies. Furthermore this modes crossing of the zero damping
axis is much shallower than the other instabilities encountered so far. This shallow crossing means that structural damping could largely change the theoretically
predicted flutter boundary.
The second instability which occurs when the damping ratio of the third mode
becomes positive near 20.75 m/s is a more typical coalescence flutter type instability
with interactions between the first and second bending modes in the streamwise
direction and rigid body translation in the normal to flow direction. Furthermore
when the branch corresponding to this instability crosses the zero damping axis in
Figure 4.22 (a), it does so with a significantly steeper slope than the earlier instability.
The combination of this with the shallow slope of the first instability leads the author
to speculate that in an experimental test the second instability may be the dominant
instability. Looking at the root locus in 4.22 (b) and (c) it is clear that the first three
natural frequencies are incredibly close to begin with. This could lead rise to a mode
104

0.1
0.05
0
0.05

0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
0.35
0.4
15

16

17

18

19

20

21

U[m/s]
(a) Damping Ratio vs Flow Velocity
60

60

50

50

40

[Hz]

[Hz]

40

30

30

20

20

10

10

0
15

16

17

18

19

20

21

(b) Frequency vs Flow Velocity

(c) Root Locus

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2
0.15

0.2
0.15
0.15

0.1

0.15

0.1

0.1
0.05

0.1
0.05

0.05
0

Real(Eigenvalue)

U[m/s]

0.05
0

(d) Aeroelastic Mode Shape for the first branch(e) Aeroelastic Mode Shape for the second branch
going unstable
going unstable

Figure 4.22: Aeroelastic results for Configuration 4. The analysis shows two unique
aeroelastic instabilities which occur in the same region
105

that theoretically will become unstable very quickly while in practice it will be a
benign instability which will be readily damped by either structural or aerodynamic
damping.
Configuration 5 Flutter Results

60

0.6

50

0.4
0.2

[Hz]

40

0
0.2

30

20

0.4
10

0.6
17

18

19

20

21

22

23

U[m/s]

10

15

20

Real(Eigenvalue)

(a) Damping Ratio vs Flow Velocity

(b) Root Locus

60

50
0.2

40

[Hz]

0.1

30

0
0.1

20

0.2
0.15

10

0.15

0.1
0.1

0
17

0.05

18

19

20

21

22

U[m/s]

(c) Frequency vs Flow Velocity

23

0.05
0

(d) Mode Shape

Figure 4.23: Aeroelastic results for Configuration 5. This configuration experiences


a static divergence

Just like Configurations 3 and 4 can be thought of as being in the same family
when rotated, Configuration 5 is a rotation of Configuration 6 which is analyzed in
detail when discussing the NASA noise suppression efforts. Similarly to the previous
106

boundary condition pairs, as one moves the free edges from being normal to the flow
to being axially aligned with the flow and therefore causing the leading and trailing
edges to be fixed, the instability transitions from a dynamic instability observed
for Configurations 4 and 6 to the static instability seen for this configuration and
Configuration 3. However, unlike the previous result, the static instability in this case
occurs at a higher velocity than the rotated dynamic instability for Configuration 6.
4.4.4

Discussion

The aeroelastic model deployed for this set of simulation have the interesting capability of varying the structural boundary conditions as if it is a parameter of the
system. By developing this model it is easy to identify the aeroelastic instabilities
which will arise for different configurations. This effort both provides insight into the
type of instabilities that arise for different boundary conditions as well as identify
some interesting trends. First, the model identified that for configurations with both
the leading and trailing edge free, a divergence instability is to be expected.
Second, looking back at the summary of the results given in Table 4.1, an interesting comparison can be made between Configuration 4 and the NASA configuration.
The only difference between these two configurations is whether or not the leading
edge is clamped. Intuitively one would expect that an extra edge clamped would
increase the instability onset velocity. From the table it is clear that the opposite
actually occurs. In fact, by moving from a clamped to a free leading edge the flutter
boundary increases by more than 20%. This result has consequences in the preliminary design phase for this system as it suggests that constraining as many edges as
physically possible may not be the best way to create the most stable configuration.

107

4.5 Axially Misaligned Analysis


As mentioned in the previous section, it is clear that for a fixed number of clamped
boundary conditions, rotating the flow by 90 deg will drastically change the type of
instability that is experienced. In order the quantitatively look at this transition
the aeroelastic model which allows for axially misaligned flows is deployed. The
simulations are conducted to determine at what angle the transition occurs and
what the transition looks like in terms of the flutter velocity and flutter frequency.
4.5.1

Axially Misaligned Beam Simulations

Table 4.3: Rotated Wing Properties


Property
Thickness
Density
Youngs Modulus
Poissons Ratio

Symbol
h
s
E

Clamped-Free Dimension
Free-Free Dimension
Air Density

Value
1 mm
2700 kg/m3
69 GPa
.3
600 mm
300 mm
1.2 kg/m3

The first transition that is explored uses a beam model with a single edge clamped.
As we have seen before the transition between the leading edge clamped and the
side edge clamped corresponds with a transition between a flutter instability that is
dominated by a coalescence flutter between the first and second bending modes for
the first case and a first bending, first torsion coalescence in the latter case. Because
the flutter boundaries for Configuration 1 and 2 are too similar, different structural
parameters are used to explore the transition. Furthermore, in order to have a
model which could be validated at both extrema positions (clamped leading edge and
clamped side edges), values are selected which had existing theoretical predictions
108

for both. These values are given in Table 4.3. Furthermore as mentioned in the
theory section, a significantly finer aerodynamic mesh is implemented. Specifically,
44 elements in the normal to the flow direction and 120 elements in the streamwise
direction and a wake extending 2.5 times the longer dimension are used.
Figure 4.24 shows the flutter velocity and frequency boundaries as the flow is
rotated with respect to the beam. The transition is somewhat surprising. As you
can clearly see from the frequency transition, the large jump in frequency occurs
at a small rotation angle. Physically, this means that the instability begins to look
like the wing flutter coupling of the first bending and first torsional modes at this
small angle. This can clearly be seen by looking at the snapshots of the mode shape
for a rotation angle of 11.53 deg shown in Figure 4.27. In these snapshots from the
time history, it is clear that there is a large contribution from the first torsional
mode which is indicative of wing flutter. The immediate implications for this low
angle transition are for the energy harvesting applications of the cantilevered beam
configuration. As energy harvesters are nominally optimized to capture energy at
a specific frequency, the precipitous drop in frequency for non-axially aligned flows
can drastically reduce the energy captured by the system. Designers of such systems
must be certain that the incoming flow will remain axially aligned or attempt to
create an energy harvesting system that is able to capture energy over the wider
band of frequencies.
To the best knowledge of this researcher this is the first time these non-axially
aligned configuration has been explored either experimentally or theoretically. There
is currently an effort to confirm these theoretical results experimentally. If these
trends are confirmed in experiment it suggests that additional care must be taken
when conducting aeroelastic analysis for systems which may have deviations from
axially aligned flow when deployed.

109

40

35

30

U(m/s)

25

20

15

10

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

70

80

90

Rotation Angle

20

18

16

14

[Hz]

12

10

10

20

30

40

50

60

Rotation Angle

Figure 4.24: Flutter boundary as the wing is rotated from the flapping flag configuration to the wing configuration. In the frequency plot, the solid line without xs
correspond to the first three elastic natural frequencies of the unforced system

110

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.5

0.5

0 0

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0 0

0.5

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0.2

0.5

0 0

0.5

0 0

0.5

0.5

0 0

0.5

0.2

0.5

0.5

0 0

0.5

0.5

0 0

Figure 4.25: Rotation Angle=0, One Period Flutter Motion

111

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

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0 0

0.5

0 0

0.5

0.5

0 0

0.5

0.2

0.5

0.5

0 0

0.5

0.5

0 0

Figure 4.26: Rotation Angle=6.92, One Period Flutter Motion

112

0.2

0.2

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0.1

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0 0

0.5

0.5

0 0

0.5

0.2

0.5

0.5

0 0

0.5

0.5

0 0

Figure 4.27: Rotation Angle=11.53, One Period Flutter Motion

113

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.1

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0.1

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0.5

0 0

0.5

0.5

0 0

0.5

0.2

0.5

0.5

0 0

0.5

0.5

0 0

Figure 4.28: Rotation Angle=90, One Period Flutter Motion

114

4.5.2

Axially Misaligned Plate Simulations

35

30

30

25

25

20

[Hz]

U[m/s]

20

15

15
10
10

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

10

20

Rotation Angle

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

Rotation Angle

Figure 4.29: Flutter boundary as the plate is rotated from the leading edge clamped
to the top edge clamped. In the frequency plot, the solid line without xs correspond
to the first three elastic natural frequencies of the unforced system

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2
0.15

0.2
0.15
0.15

0.1

0.2
0.15
0.15

0.1

0.1
0.05

0.05
0

0.15

0.1

0.1
0.05

0.05
0

0.1
0.05

0.05
0

(a) Rotation Angle = 0 deg (b) Rotation Angle = 45 deg (c) Rotation Angle = 90 deg

Figure 4.30: Snapshot of the mode shapes at the aeroelastic instability for three
different streamwise rotation angles

A trend that is observed when exploring the different plate boundary conditions
is that a static divergence is encountered when both the leading and trailing edges
are clamped. Again it is of interest to explore how the instability transitions from a
dynamic flutter to a static divergence, and at what critical incident flow angle does
the transition occur. Figure 4.29 shows this transition. It is clear that the transition
115

occurs near 45 deg and there is a transition range that extends from 30 to 60 deg.
This central transition range is what was originally expected for all configurations
when the incident flow angle is varied. The images taken from the time simulation
of the plate at different rotation angles confirms the transition to a divergence mode
once the angle is at 60 deg.

116

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

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0 0

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0 0

0.1

0.1

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

Figure 4.31: Rotation Angle=0, One Period Flutter Motion

117

0.2

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0 0

0.1

0.1

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

Figure 4.32: Rotation Angle=45 deg, One Period Flutter Motion

118

0.2

0.2

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0 0

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0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0

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0.1

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0.1

0.1

0.1

Figure 4.33: Rotation Angle=60 deg, One Period Flutter Motion

119

5
Experiments

5.1 Experiments to Validate Beam Model

Figure 5.1: Experiment Apparatus

To validate the non-dimensional beam model vibration and aeroelastic experiments are conducted on samples of varying sized 3003 aluminum plates. For the .381
mm thick aluminum the length is varied from 200mm to 300mm in increments of 25
mm, and an aspect ratio of 0.5 is used. For the .25 mm thick aluminum the length
is varied between 225 mm and 275 mm in 25mm increments and again the aspect
120

ratio of 0.5 is used. The properties for this material are assumed to be the common
values for the alloy given in Table 5.1.
Table 5.1: Beam Experimental Parameters
Property
Elastic plate properties
Alloy
Thickness
Density
Youngs Modulus

Symbol

Airfoil Streamwise Length


Airfoil Normal to Flow Length
Air Density

Value

h
s
E

3003
.381 mm, .25 mm
2840 kg/m3
72 GPa

101 mm
550 mm
1.2 kg/m3

Piezoelectric Patch Properties


Source
Series
Size

Measurement Specialty
DT Series Patch
30mm by 12mm

Spectrum Analyzer Properties


Manufacturer
Name

Scientific Atlanta
Spectral Dynamics SD380

To record the frequency content of the plate movements two methods are used.
First, a small piezoelectric patch is attached at the root of the plate. The properties
of the piezoelectric patch are given in Table 5.1. The piezoelectric patch is chosen to
be small enough that it will not affect the motion of the system. This is verified by
the ground vibration experiments. For the second method an accelerometer is placed
at the root of the plate. Results are not sensitive to the measurement device and
they are interchanged throughout the experimental process. For both methods, the
sensor signal is collected and analyzed in real time by the Spectral Dynamics SD380
spectrum analyzer for frequency content.

121

5.1.1

Beam Structural Experiments

Vibration testing is done to ensure that the plate frequencies, which are used in
the theoretical aeroelastic model, are accurate representations of the actual natural
frequencies of the test specimens. Furthermore the structural testing ensures that the
test apparatus and frequency measuring piezoelectric patch or accelerometer do not
have a large effect on the test specimens behavior. Figure 5.1 shows the experimental
apparatus, described in the previous section, which is used to measure the frequency
of the plate. The natural frequencies of the plate are determined by applying an
impulse in force at the tip of the beam and observing the frequency content of the
response.
Overall the natural frequencies measured in experiment match the expected
clamped-free natural frequencies over the range of test specimens as can be seen
in Figure 5.2. This experiment also helps validate the time scaling because it is clear
that for all of the mass ratios the non-dimensional frequencies do in fact remain
constant. Finally this experiment shows that the frequency measuring devices do
70
60

[radians]

50
40
ClampedFree Theory
ClampedFree Experiment
30
20
10
0
0.2

0.22

0.24

0.26

0.28

0.3

0.32

0.34

0.36

0.38

Figure 5.2: Natural Frequency Experimental Results

122

0.4

not change the natural frequencies and therefore do not affect the response of the
system. This confirms that the effect of the measuring device does not need to be
explicitly dealt with in the structural model.
5.1.2

Beam Aeroelastic Experiments

The aeroelastic experiments are carried out in the Duke University wind tunnel. The
specimen is mounted in the wind tunnel using a rigid airfoil that spans the height
of the wind tunnel to provide the leading edge clamping of the elastic plate. The
leading airfoil is used both to mount the elastic panel, as well as to ensure smooth
flow over the elastic panel. As with the structural experiments, the flutter frequency
is calculated from the signal of the attached piezoelectric patch or accelerometer
during at the flutter velocity.
The flutter velocity is measured by slowly incrementing the flow velocity in the
wind tunnel up until the specimen entered an oscillation. As the velocity of the wind
tunnel came close to the flutter velocity, a peak in the frequency response begins to
appear. At this point the increment in the flow velocity is reduced to around .25
m/s per increment. At each flow speed the velocity is held for 2-3 seconds before
incrementing again. At a certain velocity, the oscillations grow and the specimen
enters a large oscillation. The velocity where the beam entered this oscillation is
recorded as the flutter velocity and the frequency at this speed is read from the
spectrum analyzer. For each specimen the test is repeated three times and the
average flutter velocity and frequency is recorded.
The goal of the wind tunnel testing is to validate the theoretical model with
experimental data points. Specifically, a study of flutter as a function of the mass
ratio for the clamped-free configuration is presented. Good agreement between the
clamped-free experiment and theory helps validate the aeroelastic model and suggests
that simulations outside of the experimental test suite are also valid.
123

25
20

15
10
5
0
1
10

10

(a)

30

[Radians]

25
20
15
10
5
0
1
10

10

(b)

Figure 5.3: Mass Ratio Variation with Experiment. This figure includes new experimental data (x), previous experimental data from Huang [20] for S = .6 to 1.5(*),
Eloy et al. [14] for S = 1.0 (), and Eloy et al. [15] S = 0.5 (). Also included in
the figure are theoretical results for S = 0.5 (thick line) and S = 1.0 (thin line).

124

The experimental testing for the mass ratio variation is done for the clamped-free
configuration because the Duke University wind tunnel has an established experimental setup and test protocol for this configuration. As one can see by looking at Figure
5.3, there is very good agreement between theory and experiment. Quantitatively
this is shown by a small average error and standard deviation of the error from the
experiments given in Table A.2. The averages are calculated by subtracting the theoretical value from the experimental value and then dividing the difference by the
theoretical values. This small error is consistent with previous comparisons with
dimensional vortex lattice simulations and experiments carried out by Tang et al.
[32] and Dunnmon et al. [11]. For the frequency results presented in Figure 5.3 there
is a consistent bias for the experimental values to be under the theoretical values.
This may be because a beam is used in the simulations while a plate is used in the
experimental setup. An initial exploration of the inclusion of the leading edge airfoil
in the theoretical model also suggest that the experimental apparatus may also be a
cause of the lower flutter frequencies and lower flutter velocities. This impact would
also explain the increasing error as the mass ratio increases which corresponds to
a relatively larger support structure compared to the size of the elastic specimen.
Regardless, the good agreement between theory and experiment is encouraging and
suggests that for the flutter velocity and frequency, the vortex lattice aerodynamic
method is an accurate model for the linear response of the system.

5.2 Experiments to Validate Plate Model


The experimental work to validate the plate structural and aeroelastic model is primarily conducted to support the NASA continuous mold link project, and therefore
the material tested in the experiment is a red polymer plate-membrane that is supplied by NASA. Although the CML configuration is three sides clamped, one side
free, care is taken to use an experimental setup that is capable of simulating all of
125

the 5 additional boundary conditions explored in the theory section. At this point
the author wishes to formally acknowledge fellow graduate student Ivan Wang for
his significant contributions to the design of the experimental support structural and
the collection of experimental data.
5.2.1

Design of Experimental Setup

The primary experimental apparatus is a modular baffle structure that can implement a clamped boundary condition on one or more sides of a rectangular plate, in
addition to providing a means to streamline the flow that goes over the plate. A
CAD rendering of the baffle design is shown in Figure 5.4. The figure shows (1) the
top baffle, (2) the bottom baffle, (3) the leading edge baffle, (4) the trailing edge
baffle, and (5) the connector pieces that link the individual baffle sections. Each
baffle section consists of a front and back structure, as well as a clamp that can be
screwed on to constrain the plate.

Figure 5.4: CAD Rendering of Baffle

126

Each baffle section also has a flange that can be secured to a stable structure
outside the wind tunnel. Therefore, each baffle section can be mounted in the wind
tunnel individually, allowing all combinations of boundary conditions to be tested.
This modular design revolves around the connector, which is shown in Figure 5.5.
The T-shape design and the slot allows the top and bottom baffles to slide relative
to the leading and trailing edge baffles, such that plates of different spans (top
to bottom dimension) can be tested. Specifically, the T-shape allows an extended
back section of the baffle, on which additional bolt holes can be tapped for securing
additional clamps. Also, the slot on the connector allows the connector to slide
without worrying about matching up bolt holes for securing the connector. To test
a plate with a larger span, the only modifications are to make a new clamp piece to
extend the boundary and to tap bolt holes on the back side of the baffle to mount
the new clamp.

Figure 5.5: Close up of the Connector

It is also not difficult to test plates with larger streamwise lengths by making
additional top and bottom baffle sections, which are designed with symmetric edges
on the leading and trailing edge sides such that additional sections can be secured
together using the same connector design.
Finally, the baffle allows the plate to be tensioned by setting the strain. Figure
5.6 shows three different strain settings, each corresponding to a level of tension.
127

Because the top and bottom baffles are designed to be able to slide, the bottom
baffle can slide down to a different strain setting in order to tension the plate before
the remaining clamps are applied. From a practical point of view, some tensioning is
necessary in order to avoid free play nonlinearities, but the material may also have
nonlinear stiffness under different tensile loads. This is especially important for the
NASA CML project since the structures will be tensioned during flap deployment.

2
3
1

Figure 5.6: Different Strain Settings Allowing for Varying Span-wise Tension

5.2.2

Static Structural Experiments

The nominal properties from Bloomhardt and Dowell [5] of the red plate-membrane
are the values used in the aeroelastic simulations listed in Table 2.2.
Before designing the actual wind tunnel experiment, some static tension tests were
conducted by Ivan Wang to obtain estimates of the elastic modulus and Poissons
ratio in order to validate the given material properties. A material sample is secured
in an axial load cell, and the load cell is used to pull on the sample to apply a
measurable amount of tension. The sample has a length of 0.1135 m and a width
of 1.27 cm. The axial strain (change in length) and transverse strain (change in
cross sectional width) are then measured to calculate a stress-strain curve as well
as estimate Poissons ratio. Figure 5.7 (a) shows the stress-strain plot for one of
the trials of the tensile test. The results are shown up to a strain of 5%. Some
nonlinearity can be observed in the curve.
128

30

0.25

25
Youngs Modulus (MPa)

Stress (MPa)

0.2

0.15

0.1

0.05

0
0

20
15
10
5

0.01

0.02

0.03

0.04

0
0

0.05

Strain

0.01

0.02

0.03

0.04

0.05

Strain

(a)

(b)

Figure 5.7: (a) Measured Stress Strain Curve for One Tensile Test Trial. (b)
Estimated Elastic Modulus vs Axial Strain

The variation in the elastic modulus with respect to strain is calculated from
taking the derivative of the stress-strain curve obtained from the axial load cell data.
The results are summarized in Figure 5.7 (b). On average, the stiffness is about 17
MPa for strain less than .3%, and then varies around 6 MPa for higher strains. It
is interesting to note that the reported value is less than 2 MPa. It is postulated
that there is a typographical error in Bloomhardt and Dowell [5], and that the actual
value is 18.4 MPa. This is explored further in the following section in which dynamic
(natural frequency) testing results are discussed. The sample length is measured with
a set of calipers with 0.03-mm precision after the tensile test and no measurable
plastic deformation occurred after reaching at least 5% axial strain. Therefore, the
baffle tension mechanism is designed with three built-in strain settings: 2%, 5%.
Poissons ratio is estimated by measuring the transverse dimension (width) of the
sample cross section under tension, and calculating the ratio of transverse strain to
axial strain. Three separate trials are conducted. This is a rough estimate because
it does not account for the curvature of the sides of the test sample as it is stretched.
Nevertheless, the results for Poissons ratio, shown in Figure 5.8, suggest that the
Poissons ratio is near 0.5, which is expected of elastic polymers.

129

Poissons Ratio Results Average 0.486346 StdDev 0.100638


0.8
0.7

Poissons Ratio

0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2

Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Mean

0.1
0
0

0.02

0.04

0.06
Axial Strain

0.08

0.1

Figure 5.8: Estimated Poissons Ratio

5.2.3

Dynamic Structural Experiments

Ground vibration experiments are conducted to measure the natural frequencies and
confirm the mode shapes for four of the six configurations. Figure 5.9a shows a
far view photograph of the experimental set up for the ground vibration test for
Configuration 6, including 1) the test specimen, 2) clamps that secure the baffle
to a fixed structure, 3) the electromagnetic shaker, and 4) the laser vibrometer.
Figure 5.9b shows the excitation mechanism in more detail, specifically showing 1)
the test specimen, 2) the shaker, and 3) the aluminum tape onto which the shaker
tip is affixed. A laser vibrometer is used to measure the velocity at one point on
the membrane. A shaker is used to excite another point on the opposite side of
the membrane. The shaker is specified to excite the structure over a sine sweep
from 0.25 Hz to 100 Hz, and a spectrum analyzer is used to calculate the frequency
response function using the shaker force transducer signal as the input and the laser
vibrometer signal as the output.
Small pieces of aluminum tape, approximately 1 cm long on each side, are placed
at the locations where velocity measurements are desired because the laser vibrometer
requires a reflective surface to function properly. Because the mass of the aluminum
tape is much less than the mass of the plate-membrane specimen, the added inertial
effects of the tape are ignored. Aluminum tape is also used as a mounting surface
130

(a) Far View of Ground Vibration Test(b) Close View of Ground Vibration Test
Setup
Setup

Figure 5.9: Photographs of the Experimental Setups

Table 5.2: Equipment Used in the Ground Vibration Experiment


Component
Brand
Model
Signal amplifier
Bruel & Kjaer
Type 2635
Spectrum analyzer Scientific Atlanta
SD380
Shaker
Bruel & Kjaer
Type 4810
Force transducer
Bruel & Kjaer
Type 8200
Laser vibrometer
Ometron
VPI4000

for the shaker tip. The wax used for attaching the shaker tip does not stick to the
test specimen, so aluminum tape is first placed on the specimen, and the shaker
tip is attached to the aluminum tape with wax. Again, the added inertial effects
are ignored. Table 5.2 summarizes the equipment used for conducting the ground
vibration experiments.
The natural frequencies are the peaks in the frequency response function. To
determine the mode shapes, the specimen is excited at the measured natural frequencies, and the response of the specimen is observed and compared to theoretical
predictions of mode shapes. A strobe light is used to make it easier to visualize the
mode shape at higher frequencies.

131

Normal to Flow Mode 1


20
18

Normal to Flow Mode 2

Normal to Flow Mode 3

40

80

35

70

30

60

25

50

20

40

15

30

10

20

10

Natural Frequency [Hz]

16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

1
2
Streamwise Mode

1
2
Streamwise Mode

1
2
Streamwise Mode

Figure 5.10: Configuration 1 ground vibration test theoretical and experimental


natural frequencies. The xs correspond to the theoretical predictions, and the os
are the average experimental results and error bars are included.

Configuration 1
Configuration 1 has the short edge clamped and all other edges free. Figure 5.10
shows the comparison between the ground vibration experimental data and the theoretical predictions. The trends and magnitude of the natural frequencies are very
good. This experiment confirms that the structural model is a valid model, and that
the use of a poisons ratio of .5 and a stiffness of 18.4 MPa is correct.
Configuration 2
Figure 5.10 shows the predicted and measured natural frequencies, organized by the
mode shape for Configuration 2. Each sub-figure lists the natural frequencies versus
the streamwise mode number for a fixed normal to the flow mode number. The
normal direction is perpendicular to the clamped edge. The results show that the
theory is able to predict the natural frequencies within 10% of the measured values.
Figure 5.12 shows an image captured durring the mode identification stage of the
experiment. After the natural frequencies are determined the plates are forced at

132

Normal to Flow Mode 1


20
18

Normal to Flow Mode 2

Normal to Flow Mode 3

40

80

35

70

30

60

25

50

20

40

15

30

10

20

10

Natural Frequency [Hz]

16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

1
2
Streamwise Mode

1
2
Streamwise Mode

1
2
Streamwise Mode

Figure 5.11: Configuration 2 ground vibration test theoretical and experimental


natural frequencies. The xs correspond to the theoretical predictions, and the os
are the average experimental results and error bars are included.

Figure 5.12: The (1,2) Mode Visualization for Configuration 2

133

the natural frequencies so the mode shape associated with every frequency can be
determined. For this picture the system is forced at 25 Hz and the system responded
in the rigid body translation in the streamwise direction and the second bending in
the normal direction.
It is important to note that again the theoretical calculations use an elastic modulus of 18.4 MPa instead of the 1.84 MPa reported in Bloomhardt and Dowell [5].
As mentioned previously, it is possible that there is a typographical error in the
reference.
Configuration 4
Normal to Flow Mode 1

Normal to Flow Mode 2

40

70

35

60

Natural Frequency [Hz]

30

50

25
40
20
30
15
20

10

10

5
0

1
2
Streamwise Mode

1
2
Streamwise Mode

Figure 5.13: Configuration 4 ground vibration test theoretical and experimental


natural frequencies. The xs correspond to the theoretical predictions, and the os
are the average experimental results and error bars are included.

Configuration 4 is clamped-clamped in the normal to flow direction and free-free


in the streamwise direction. Figure 5.14 shows the setup for this configuration. Attached to the near side of the membrane is the shaft attached to the shaker and
seen in the background is the large box that makes up the laser vibrometer. Setting
up Configuration 4 so there is no tension in the streamwise direction and keeping
the undisturbed membrane flat proved difficult. The experimental results in Figure
134

Figure 5.14: Ground Vibration Test Setup for Configuration 4

5.13 are uniformly below the theoretical values. This can either be caused by overestimating the modulus of the material, or the presence of axial compression in the
initial setup. Reducing the modulus to 16.4 MPa or including a compression of 4
N/m causes the experimental values to exactly match the theoretical predictions.
Configuration 6
For this series of tests, the measurements were taken at a combination of 2 laser
locations and 3 shaker locations, for a total of 6 measurements. Figure 5.15 shows
the locations of laser vibrometer readings and shaker excitations. In addition, impact
tests were used as another method to obtain natural frequencies because shakers are
known to affect the structural dynamics of flexible structures.
For this ground vibration test the frequency peaks and the half power bandwidths
are recorded for calculating the natural frequencies and the damping ratios. Depending on the location of the shaker, the sine sweep results for the (1,1) mode can vary
by 30% from the impact test results, though the frequencies of the other modes vary
135

(a) Laser Point Locations on Front


Side

(b) Shaker Tip Locations on Back


Side

Figure 5.15: Laser Readout and Shaker Excitation Locations

at most by 10% from the impact test results. This confirms the expectation that
the shaker introduces mass and stiffness that affects the overall structural dynamics.
Therefore, the experimental data presented in this paper averages the impact test
data, but the shaker is still used to determine the mode shapes.
The data is collected and averages and standard deviations are calculated for
each tension level and each natural mode. The frequency response does not give
any information about the mode shapes, so additional testing is done to match each
frequency to a mode shape by exciting the specimen at the natural frequency and
comparing the resulting response to theoretically predicted mode shapes. Finding the
mode shapes allows the natural frequencies to be organized by the mode number in
the cross-flow direction, which is the top-bottom direction. The results are presented
in Fig. 5.16 in 4 subfigures, one for each tension level. In each subfigure, the left
half shows the first 3 natural frequencies that exhibit the first mode in the cross-flow
direction - the (1,1), (2,1), and (3,1) modes - and the right half shows the first 3
natural frequencies that exhibit the second mode in the cross-flow direction - the
(2,1), (2,2), and (3,2) modes.
The damping ratio can be estimated from the transfer function using the half
power method[37]. Table 5.3 lists the estimated modal damping for the first 3 modes.

136

Normal to Flow Mode 1

Normal to Flow Mode 2

60

Normal to Flow Mode 1

80

70

70

60

90

50

80
Natural Frequency [Hz]

Natural Frequency [Hz]

60
40
50
30

40
30

20
20

Experiment
Theory

1
2
Streamwise Mode

50

50
30

40
30

20
10

Normal to Flow Mode 1

60

40

10

Experiment
Theory

10
1
2
Streamwise Mode

(a) Natural Frequencies for Ty=0 N/m

1
2
Streamwise Mode

1
2
Streamwise Mode

(b) Natural Frequencies for Ty=56 N/m

Normal to Flow Mode 2

70

70

20

10

Normal to Flow Mode 2


100

Normal to Flow Mode 1

110

Normal to Flow Mode 2

70

120

100
60

90
80

50

Natural Frequency [Hz]

Natural Frequency [Hz]

60

70
40

60
50

30

40
20

30

Experiment
Theory

20

10

100

50
80
40
60
30
40
Experiment
Theory

20
20

10

10
0

1
2
Streamwise Mode

1
2
Streamwise Mode

(c) Natural Frequencies for Ty=122 N/m

1
2
Streamwise Mode

1
2
Streamwise Mode

(d) Natural Frequencies for Ty=200 N/m

Figure 5.16: Natural Frequency Results for 4 Levels of Tension: Theory and Experiment

Note that the results do not take multiple-degrees-of-freedom behavior into account
and the calculations treat each frequency peak as a single-degree-of-freedom system.
Nevertheless, the results suggest high damping ratio compared to typical isotropic
elastic materials.
Table 5.3: First Three Modal Damping Ratios with No Tension
Mode Number Damping Ratio Std Dev
(1,1)
3.6%
1.1%
(2,1)
5.9%
1.6%
(3,1)
5.8%
2.0%

137

Summary
The experimental results confirmed the validity of the structural model to capture
the dynamics of the plate and validated the parameters of the plate. Based on the
results from the configurations tested it appears that the 18.4 MPa material modulus
is correct. Additionally the more detailed experiments conducted for Configuration
6 suggest that the material has higher structural damping then was assumed for the
aeroelastic simulations.
5.2.4

Plate Aeroelastic Experiments

Flutter experiments are conducted in the Duke university wind tunnel, which is a low
speed wind tunnel, at a Mach number on the order of 0.1. The air speed is steadily
increased and the response of the membrane is measured using a strain gauge that
is attached to the specimen. The strain gauge does not protrude from the specimen,
so it has little effect on the flow field. The strain gauge signal is analyzed using
LabVIEW as well as the spectrum analyzer to obtain frequency content and a time
history of the response amplitude. From the data, it is possible to determine the
flutter speed and flutter frequency. Table 5.4 summarizes the equipment and software
used for conducting the membrane flutter experiments. The laser vibrometer was
not used because the reflection of the acrylic wind tunnel door resulted in poor data
resolution. Figure 5.17 shows a photograph of the aeroelastic experiment set up,
specifically showing the baffle mounted inside the wind tunnel cross section, with air
flow from right to left.
Table 5.5 gives a summary of the aeroelastic experiments. If there is a range given
in the experimental values then a significant hysteresis behavior was observed. The
first number given for both the frequency and velocity is the lower flutter boundary as
the wind tunnel velocity is decreased from fluttering to stable behavior. The second
number is the upper flutter boundary corresponding to the velocity and frequency
138

Table 5.4: Equipment Used in the Flutter Experiment


Component
Brand
Model
Signal amplifier
Bruel & Kjaer
Type 2635
Spectrum analyzer
Scientific Atlanta
SD380
Strain gauge
Micro-Measurements CEA-06-125UN-350
Data acquisition National Instruments
NI 9219

Figure 5.17: Photograph of Baffle Inside the Wind Tunnel

that the system goes from stable to unstable as the wind tunnel velocity is increased.

5.3 Configuration 1 Aeroelastic Experiments


Configuration 1 is the same configuration as the beam experiments. During the
experiments for this configuration significant hysteresis behavior were observed. This
resulted in a wide range between the velocity at which the system originally becomes
unstable as the wind tunnel velocity is increased and the velocity at which the system
returns to being stable as the wind tunnel velocity is decrease. Figure 5.18 (a) shows
the time history of the acceleration and the time history of the velocity side by side
and clearly demonstrates this behavior.
139

0.1

20

0.05

Wind Speed [m/s]

Accelerometer Data [V]

15
0

0.05

10

0.1
5

0.15

30

40

50
60
Time [s]

70

30

40

50
60
Time [s]

70

0.06

0.06

0.05

0.05

FFT of Accelerometer Data

FFT of Accelerometer Data

(a) Acceleration and Velocity Time History

0.04

0.03

0.04

0.03

0.02

0.02

0.01

0.01

8
10
12
Frequency [Hz]

14

16

18

20

(b) Upper Flutter Boundary FFT

8
10
12
Frequency [Hz]

14

16

18

20

(c) Lower Flutter Boundary FFT

Figure 5.18: Aeroelastic experimental results for Configuration 1. This configuration experiences a significant hysterisis behavior during experiment

140

Table 5.5: Plate Aeroelastic Experimental Results

Configuration
1
2
6

Theory
Velocity Frequency
[m/s]
[hz]
8.55
8.54
8.09
3.95
15.09
23.21

Experiment
Velocity
Frequency
[m/s]
[hz]
5.94 17.50 3.78 8.18
7.77 8.90 4.15 3.70
24.05
29.05

Table 5.6: Configuration 1 Experimental Results

Run
1
2
3
4
Avg

Lower
Velocity Frequency
[m/s]
[hz]
5.96
3.66
5.99
5.80
3.91
6.00
3.78
5.94
3.78

Upper
Velocity Frequency
[m/s]
[hz]
17.05
7.93
18.29
8.55
18.24
8.18
16.43
8.06
17.50
8.18

Interestingly only the frequency at the upper flutter boundary matches the theoretical predictions while only the velocity at the lower flutter boundary is similar to
theoretical predictions. The second result can be explained by the motion seen near
the lower flutter boundary. As the velocity decreases the motion of the flag begins
to contain a significant torsional component as the flag attempts to buckle under
its own weight due to its lack of stiffness. A proposed remedy to this problem is to
include a lightweight support string at the trailing edge of the cantilevered system
to support the weight of the the structure and avoid the buckling. This sag may also
explain the high initial flutter velocity as the sag induces a curvature which may act
to stiffen the system before the motion begins.

141

5.4 Configuration 6 Aeroelastic Experiments


The aeroelastic tests are done for the un-tensioned case. For each test, the air speed
is increased in increments, and the frequency response is taken at those specific
air speeds. Because 3 of the sides are clamped, the aeroelastic response is not easily
observed by eye. Instead, the flutter boundary is determined based only on the strain
gauge data. A waterfall plot of the frequency response functions over a range of air
speeds is created for each test run, and the flutter boundary is the combination of air
speed and frequency at which the strain gauge response begins to noticeably increase.
An example waterfall plot is shown in Fig. 5.19. For this particular example, the
flutter speed is approximately 23 m/s, and the flutter frequency is approximately 28
Hz.

28
26
0.02

24

0.01

22

0
40

20
18

30
20

16

10
(Hz)

U (m/s)

Figure 5.19: Example Waterfall Plot for the Un-Tensioned Specimen

Five trials are conducted for the un-tensioned specimen. The experimentally
measured flutter speed and frequency are compared to the theoretically predicted
142

values in Table 5.7. Two sets of theoretical values, one computed with 1% structural
damping, and one computed with 5% structural damping, are shown in the Table.
The experimental results agree better with the high damping theoretical results. This
corroborates with the high structural damping measurements from the ground vibration tests, and suggests that the flutter boundary is sensitive to structural damping
for this configuration. The aeroelastic results for this particular configuration show
Table 5.7: Flutter Speed and Frequency for the Un-Tensioned Specimen: Theory
and Experiment
Damping
Flutter
Flutter
Ratio
Speed (m/s) Frequency (Hz)
Low Damping Theory
1.0%
15.5
23.1
High Damping Theory
5.0%
21.6
21.3
Experiment Average
5.1%
24.1
29.1
Experiment Stdev
1.3%
0.47
0.55
High Damping Theory Error
-10%
-27%
the effect of structural damping. The theoretical flutter speed increases by 30%
when the structural damping is increased from a typical value of 1% to the experimentally estimated value of 5%. The error in flutter speed compared to experiment
is 10%. However, the error in flutter frequency is 27%. One possible source is error
is unintended tension in the membrane, which if introduced would cause the flutter
speed and frequency to increase. The usage of structural damping in the aeroelastic
calculations can also be improved. Using a different value for each mode may affect
the aeroelastic results.
Another effect is static deformation due to initial angle of attack of the baffle
structure. It is very difficult to align the baffle perfectly with the flow, and a nonzero
static angle of attack leads to aerodynamic loads on the specimen, static displacement, and additional tensioning. This behavior is observed when starting the experiment as the strain measurement steadily increases as the air speed is increased.
However, the extent to which the baffle is misaligned has not been quantified, and
143

will be done in future work.


Lastly, the small aeroelastic deformations make it difficult to determine when
flutter occurs. Typically for wing or panel flutter, a drastic increase in displacement
of the test specimen occurs over a very small range of air speeds, making it easier to
determine the flutter speed. Therefore, the low oscillation amplitude as well as the
slow rate of increase in amplitude are possible causes of overestimating the flutter
speed and frequency when looking at the waterfall data.

144

6
Conclusion and Future Work

6.1 Conclusions
This thesis is a survey of the linear aeroelastic behavior of beams and plate/membranes
in low subsonic three-dimensional flow. The aerodynamics are modeled using a linear vortex lattice model, and various beam and plate/membrane structural models
are used. The work included the confirmation and expansion of existing theoretical
and experimental results as well as an exploration of configurations and parameters
which have not been explicitly explored in the aeroelastic literature. While much
of the research is motivated by potential applications such as energy harvesters or
noise reduction for subsonic transport aircraft, the analysis was conducted for very
simplified configurations to try and isolate the fundamental dynamics of the systems
that are explored.
First the cantilevered beam configuration aeroelastic model was non-dimensionalized
and shown to be dependent on two non-dimensional parameters, the aspect ratio H
and the mass ratio, , a result which was consistent with previous theoretical explorations of the system.[13, 14] Furthermore, the trends as the parameters were

145

varied also matched well with previous theoretical and experimental results as well
as new experimental results collected in the Duke University wind tunnel. A novel
aeroelastic result was also discovered during this work by exploring the transition
between a pinned and clamped leading edge using a torsional spring. The theoretical
exploration exposed the non-trivial leading edge spring stiffness corresponded to the
lowest flutter velocity.
Next the structural model was changed to allow the modeling of plates with
arbitrary boundary conditions. Six configurations, including one that is a simplified
model of the NASA CML design were explored. For the three sides clamped, trailing
edge free configuration, the configuration corresponding to the NASA CML design,
an exploration of including tension in the clamped-clamped direction and varying
the streamwise dimension is presented. The simulations demonstrate that the flutter
velocity can be increased by either decreasing the streamwise dimension or increasing
the tension in the normal to flow direction, however doing so yields non monotonic
trends as the flutter motion experiences qualitative transitions as the parameters are
varied.
In addition to a detailed exploration of the NASA configuration, the flutter type
and boundary for the five additional configurations was presented. For configurations
with more than 1 fixed boundary condition, clamping the leading and trailing edge
caused a divergence instability while a free trailing edge boundary condition leads to
a flutter instability.
Finally the transition between boundary conditions was explored by implementing
a vortex lattice model that allowed for axially misaligned flows. The transition for
the single side clamped configuration occurred at a low flow angle, much differently
than is expected, while the transition between flutter and divergence for the three
sides clamped case occurred at an intermediate flow angle.
Overall the vortex lattice aerodynamic model coupled with first principals struc146

tural model proves to be a powerful tool in analyzing the aeroelastic stability of plates
and beams in three-dimensional flow. The body of work presented in this document
is a comprehensive review of the aeroelastic instabilities and trends that occur for
simple plate and beam like structures subject to aerodynamic flows. While a specific application is not targeted the implications of the research have been discussed
throughout the document.

6.2 Future Work


6.2.1

Theoretical

There are many additional theoretical avenues which have yet to be explored. One
of the first things that could be explored is the post critical aeroelastic response,
specifically the limit cycle oscillations that are seen experimentally. In order to capture this response, non-linear structural or aerodynamic models need to be included.
Structural non-linearities could be modeled by including a cubic stiffening in the
structure or modeling free play at the fixed edges. Aerodynamic non-linearities can
be included by allowing for a free wake evolution, and allowing the bound circulation
elements to move with the structure instead of remaining fixed in the plate plane.
By including non-linearities, it will no longer be possible to analyze the system in
the frequency domain, and instead time simulations will be used. In order to speed
up these time simulations if a structural non-linearity is modeled, a reduced order
aerodynamic model built around the linear eigenmodes of the aerodynamic matrix
equation could be developed. The non-linear model is especially interesting because
of hysteresis seen experimentally. Neither, the non-linearity which is responsible
for this hysteresis, nor the type of bifurcation underlying this behavior have been
satisfactorily explained in the literature,
Another theoretical development relates to analysis of non-axially aligned flow.
The existing theory approximates the angled edges of the structures as step functions,
147

which allows simple horseshoe vortex elements to be used. In order to model the
actual geometry, developing an aerodynamic mesh which uses parallelogram elements
instead of square elements would be an improvement. Specifically modeling flow
angles near 0 and 90 deg may be accomplished without using a fine mesh.
6.2.2

Experimental

There is a significant amount of experimental work that will be done to support the
existing theoretical predictions. First, the leading edge torsional spring result which
suggested that a finite strength torsional spring at the leading edge will correspond to
the lowest flutter velocity has not been confirmed experimentally. Before the result
is fully believed this experiment must be conducted.
Next, the ability to conduct experiments on models with axially misaligned flows
is desirable. There is currently an undergraduate research project at Duke focused on
building an experimental apparatus that will allow the rotation of a one side clamped
plate which will attempt to confirm the theoretical results presented earlier in this
document. Finally, experiments on beams and plates with additional parameter values for all configurations would be useful as they would help validate the theoretical
model over a larger region of parameter space.
6.2.3

Applications

Finally, the author is interested in solving real problems using the methods and
techniques developed. The model could be used to improve the understanding of the
aeroelastic instabilities that have hindered the development of High Altitude Long
Endurance (HALE) aircraft, as exhibited by the high profile crash of NASAs Helios
prototype in 2003. HALE combines the low-cost relocation and storage of aircraft
with the persistence and vantage point of a satellite system. However, in order to
achieve mission success, these aircraft must have a high fuel fraction leading to flex-

148

ible designs that are susceptible to aeroelastic instabilities. Currently the DARPA
program, Project Vulture, has funded the Boeing Company to build an experimental
HALE aircraft and my research group is part of this team with significant responsibility for nonlinear aeroelastic analysis and testing of wind tunnel models. One
could improve the existing Nonlinear Aeroelastic Trim and Stability for HALE aircraft (NATASHA) code, developed by D.H. Hodges and others to study the dynamics
of HALE aircraft, by incorporating a nonlinear VLM module. This 3D aerodynamic
model will complement the existing geometrically exact nonlinear structural model
to provide more accurate aeroelastic predictions required for HALE design and analysis. This will improve the validity of this tool and help HALE aircraft become a
vital tool for maintaining an operational advantage for US defense and intelligence
operations around the world.
Additional applications include conducting more detailed analysis of the NASA
CML configuration and providing design support for the project or developing an
free wake aeroelastic wind turbine model.

149

Appendix A
Beam Aeroelastic Experimental Data Points

This appendix contains the data collected from the Duke University wind tunnel
testing. All velocities are in the units of normalized velocity and all of the frequencies
are in the units of radians/non-dimensional time.
Table A.1: Experimental Datapoints for a Clamped-Free Plate

0.185
0.208
0.222
0.231
0.254
0.277
0.277
0.312
0.333
0.347
0.381

Theory
Uf lutter
f lutter
15.50
14.69
14.27
14.03
13.47
12.98
12.98
12.36
12.05
11.85
11.44

17.45
17.42
17.40
17.39
17.35
17.31
17.31
17.25
17.21
17.18
17.11

Experiment
Uf lutter
f lutter
13.11
13.15
13.54
12.60
12.46
11.98
12.90
8.96
12.03
8.67
8.62

150

17.42
16.47
17.40
17.20
17.73
17.95
17.43
14.58
17.43
13.56
15.66

Error (%)
Uf lutter
f lutter
15.40
10.50
5.12
10.22
7.44
7.69
0.64
27.53
0.17
26.89
24.72

0.21
5.50
0.04
1.11
-2.19
-3.70
-0.68
15.46
-1.28
21.06
8.48

Table A.2: Experimental vs Theoretical Error


Velocity

Frequency

Error

12.39%

4.0%

Error
Standard
Deviation

9.51%

7.57%

151

Appendix B
Configuration 2 Raw Data

This appendix shows the type of raw data that is collected from the plate ground
vibration tests presented in the experimental section. The transfer function between
the shaker input and laser vibrometer output is calculated on the fly by the spectrum analyzer. After a set of sweeps a plot such as the one presented below for
Configuration 2 is generated and used to determine the natural frequencies. For
all configurations the location of the shaker and the laser vibrometer is varied and
multiple sine sweeps are carried out. Only one data set is shown here as the data
collected during different runs is qualitatively the same.

152

Figure B.1: Sample transfer function created by the spectrum analyzer after a sine
sweep from 0 Hz to 100 Hz has been conducted.

153

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