F-16 Ventral Fin Buffet Alleviation Using Piezoelectric Actuators

Richard Cobb, Joseph Browning, Robert Canfield, Sean Miller
2009 50th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference   unpublished
Buffet-induced vibrations have been problematic for aircraft for many years, and can have a disastrous impact when allowed to continue to the point of structural failure. Early attempts at combating harmful vibrations included relatively passive methods such as structural enhancements and leading edge fences used to minimize the strength of vortices. However, modern techniques have shown greater promise employing active control using piezoelectric actuators. Strategically mounted to the surface
more » ... of the affected structure, they impart directional strain to reduce the negative effects associated with the strain energy of specific modal vibrations. The Block 15 F-16 ventral fin is representative of an aircraft structure prone to failure when subjected to the buffet field from a Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) pod. However, ventral fin failures pose relatively little risk to the pilot or the aircraft. Therefore, it has great potential as a platform for further investigation into the effectiveness of piezoelectric actuators, which is the subject of this research. Sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in collaboration with the United States Air Force Test Pilot School (TPS), the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) is conducting test flights to demonstrate the effectiveness of active control using piezoelectric actuators for buffet alleviation. This paper documents the hardware design and ground test results in preparation for flight testing, and presents preliminary flight test results.
doi:10.2514/6.2009-2538 fatcat:x73cai4r7rbxxmcmvrnp4qi7si