Design of active flow control device integration into a composite flap structure

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Li, Jason
Colton, Jonathan S.
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Integration of active flow control technology into civil transport aircraft is a highly desired objective due to the potential part count, weight, and recurring manufacturing cost reductions. However, the costs and the manufacturability of integrating active flow control devices, specifically fluidic oscillators, into a civil transport aircraft are not known. Additionally, the effects of different manufacturing techniques on fluidic oscillator performance are not known, specifically with regard to fused deposition molding (FDM) and selective laser sintering (SLS) manufacturing methods. In this thesis, fluidic oscillators fabricated by FDM and SLS are compared to devices manufactured using injection molding, machining, and stereolithography. Slight correlations are determined between manufactured characteristics and air flow performance. Furthermore, the nozzle wall thickness and the air flow rate were determined to affect velocity profiles. All tested devices ultimately produced successful oscillation frequencies and a velocity profile with two local velocity peaks. Next, a best design concept (BDC) of a fluidic oscillator integrated into the leading edge of a trailing edge composite flap structure is attained through checking against design specifications, utilizing experimental results, applying design methodologies, and simulating expected loading conditions. Moreover, three BDC designs are visualized, each representing different manufacturing and assembly methods. Manufacturing and assembly procedures at the macro- and micro-scales are described. Finally, cost analyses of manufacturing, assembly, material, and weight costs are conducted for the three BDC designs to estimate the total costs of the integration solution, which ranges from about $4090 per aircraft for low production volumes to about $2600 per aircraft for high production volumes.
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