Bringing Down the Cost of Developing Novel Airplanes and Unmanned Aerial Systems
New airplanes and unmanned aerial systems require a significant number of wind-tunnel and flight-test data before they can be deemed safe. Dr. Ruxandra Mihaela&nbps;Botez, Canada Research Chair in Aircraft Modelling and Simulation Technologies, is finding original ways to ensure their safety while at the same time reducing the number of tests needed for their experimental validation.
Botez and her research team are using three main pieces of equipment to reduce the number of tests needed. The first is a flight simulator used to obtain high-fidelity flight dynamics models for the Cessna Citation X and validate them using flight tests. This simulator is also used to test and validate different aircraft morphing and trajectories optimization technologies. The second piece of equipment is a blow-down wind tunnel (the Price-Païdoussis), which is used to design and test new aerodynamics, aeroelasticity and controls, and morphing technologies in airplanes and unmanned aerial systems. Finally, Botez and her team are using two autonomous aerial systems (UAS-S4 and UAS-S45) to design and test morphing and active controls systems.
By reducing the need for experimental wind tunnel and flight testing data, Botez’s research may significantly reduce fuel consumption, flight costs and time. It may also lead to the development of greener airplanes and unmanned aerial systems.