Development of Tools and Methods for Characterizing the Impact of Control Surface Free-Play on Flutter

Period of Performance: 04/11/2012 - 10/11/2012


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

VSI Aerospace Inc.
2716 SE 5th St Suite 3
Ames, IA 50010
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Iowa State University
1138 Pearson Hall
Ames, IA 50011
Institution POC


This STTR is aimed at developing methods and tools to characterize the impact of free-play on control surface flutter and overall stability and performance of the system. A successful completion of this two-phased STTR effort will lead to a modeling, analysis, design, and simulation tool that will provide a state-of-the-art capability for stability and performance analysis for any generic control surface configuration with free-play. It will also provide an optimal design capability for the design of control surfaces for new platforms. The modularity of the tool will allow model generation with varying degrees of fidelity using a combination of analytical, computational, and experimental identification methods. The nonlinear dynamic analysis capabilities in the tool will include newly developed nonlinear analysis techniques which will enable optimization of the design space for control surfaces as well as accurate predictions of stability and performance boundaries for existing platforms. The final product is envisioned to be a software that can: Model, simulate, and analyze the existing control surface geometries with free play and provide stability and performance assessment through useful metric. Optimally design new control surfaces for a specified stability and performance robustness with least restrictive free-play specifications.