Laminar Flow Control Flight Experiment Design
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Demonstration of spanwise-periodic discrete roughness element laminar flow control (DRE LFC) technology at operationally relevant flight regimes requires extremely stable flow conditions in flight. A balance must be struck between the capabilities of the host aircraft and the scientific apparatus. A safe, effective, and efficient flight experiment is described to meet the test objectives, a flight test technique is designed to gather research-quality data, flight characteristics are analyzed for data compatibility, and an experiment is designed for data collection and analysis. The objective is to demonstrate DRE effects in a flight environment relevant to transport-category aircraft: [0.67 – 0.75] Mach number and [17.0M – 27.5M] Reynolds number. Within this envelope, flight conditions are determined which meet evaluation criteria for minimum lift coefficient and crossflow transition location. The angle of attack data band is determined, and the natural laminar flow characteristics are evaluated. Finally, DRE LFC technology is demonstrated in the angle of attack data band at the specified flight conditions. Within the angle of attack data band, a test angle of attack must be maintained with a tolerance of ± 0.1° for 15 seconds. A flight test technique is developed that precisely controls angle of attack. Lateral-directional stability characteristics of the host aircraft are exploited to manipulate the position of flight controls near the wing glove. Directional control inputs are applied in conjunction with lateral control inputs to achieve the desired flow conditions. The data are statistically analyzed in a split-plot factorial that produces a system response model in six variables: angle of attack, Mach number, Reynolds number, DRE height, DRE spacing, and the surface roughness of the leading edge. Predictions on aircraft performance are modeled to enable planning tools for efficient flight research while still producing statistically rigorous flight data. The Gulfstream IIB aircraft is determined to be suitable for a laminar flow control wing glove experiment using a low-bank-angle-turn flight test technique to enable precise, repeatable data collection at stabilized flight conditions. Analytical angle of attack models and an experimental design were generated to ensure efficient and effective flight research.
Subjectdesign of experiments
flight test technique
laminar flow control
Tucker, Aaron 1975- (2012). Laminar Flow Control Flight Experiment Design. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from