Active tiltrotor whirl flutter control
Supervisors: Dr Jonathan du Bois, Dr David Cleaver
Future rotorcraft need to combine the advantages of vertical take-off and landing with better range and endurance as well as improved efficiencies, pilot and crew comfort, and payload capacity. Tiltrotors are important to address such challenges as they convert from helicopter mode to aeroplane mode by changing the inclination of their proprotors from vertical to horizontal.
This configuration poses new challenges; in particular, dynamic instabilities arising from the location of the proprotors at the end of flexible wings. Presently this is overcome by increasing the stiffness and consequently the weight of the structural elements. Active control systems need to be developed to prevent whirl flutter and allow more lightweight, efficient structures to be employed.
Novel integrated control of fluid-borne noise in fluid power systems
Supervisor: Dr Min Pan
Hydraulically-powered machines generate high noise levels; a problem that industry and the general public are becoming increasingly aware of. Applying existing passive and active systems for fluid-borne noise attenuation in fluid power systems has shown to be effective in reducing noise. However, they are limited by their heavy weight, bulky size and cancellation bandwidth.
This project will investigate a novel noise control system that integrates an active attenuator and passive tuned flexible hoses to obtain effective, robust and high bandwidth noise attenuation for fluid power systems.
Flexure coupling mechanisms for high performance robotics and automation
Supervisors: Dr Nicola Bailey, Professor Patrick Keogh
Many automated processes depend upon fast, repeatable and precisely controlled motion of multibody mechanisms. Conventional multibody systems, used in robotics and automated machinery, contain joints that give complex and uncertain tribological effects, impacting negatively on performance. Eliminating the interaction forces within the joint by replacing the bearings with flexure couplings, which are compact deformable structures acting as pseudo-joints, provides more precise and predictable small-scale motion behaviour. Research is needed to optimise flexure couplings to give precise three dimensional motion.
Perception and autonomy for unmanned aircraft
Supervisors: Dr Jonathan du Bois, Dr Pejman Iravani, Dr David Cleaver
Autonomous aircraft are becoming prevalent. Their integration into civilian airspace is presently limited by safety concerns over their sensing and decision-making processes. This research covers a variety of technologies including - sensors and data fusion - detect and avoid - route planning - system health monitoring and prognostics - mission optimisation
This work aims to create robust and reliable automation to enable the uptake of unmanned aircraft systems across a range of civilian sectors.