BASIC WIND TUNNEL INVESTIGATION TO EXPLORE THE USE OF
ACTIVE FLOW CONTROL TECHNOLOGY
FOR AERODYNAMIC LOAD CONTROL

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STARLET is a project co-financed by the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking and Instytut Lotnictwa (ILOT) with support from the Ministry of Science. The Project programme was defined in an answer to Clean Sky Call for Proposal

STARLET project objective is to design a new concept of active flow control system based on suction-blowing devices for the control of the aerodynamic load on aircraft wing and to check its usability by CFD calculations and wind tunnel tests.

The aim of the flow control concept to be investigated is the alleviation of wing structural loading, especially of the bending moment, having direct influence on the structure fatigue life, through the modification of wing aerodynamic load distribution in gusts and off-design flight conditions.

To achieve this goal the implementation of suction-blowing technique for active control of aerodynamic load distribution on aircraft wing is proposed. Several concepts of active flow control system will be proposed and evaluated using CFD calculations and the most promising solutions of suction-blowing systems will be investigated through wind tunnel tests. These experimental tests will include fully-3D investigations on a large scale wing model (semi-span wing). It is expected, that as a results of these investigations, innovative, dedicated solutions of suction-blowing "smart structures" will be designed and adapted in wing-load-control systems.

The proposed work has begun with a review of the existing state of knowledge on the topics of the project, leading to the formulation of requirements for the concept of active load control.

It is assumed that ILOT concept will be directed towards blowing devices located in selected regions of the wing including spoiler area and vicinity of the trailing edge. For the wind-tunnel investigation an 2.4 m, existing semi-span wing model equipped with movable aileron and flap is proposed to be used. The model of wing will be prepared for balance measurements on the 5-component wall balance. The model should also enable the estimation of spanwise load distribution.

To achieve the goals of the project a special policy of project monitoring and reduction of the potential risk is adopted.