Optimal actuator location within a morphing wing scissor mechanism configuration

James J. Joo, Brian Sanders, Terrence Johnson, Mary I. Frecker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

42 Scopus citations


In this paper, the optimal location of a distributed network of actuators within a scissor wing mechanism is investigated. The analysis begins by developing a mechanical understanding of a single cell representation of the mechanism. This cell contains four linkages connected by pin joints, a single actuator, two springs to represent the bidirectional behavior of a flexible skin, and an external load. Equilibrium equations are developed using static analysis and the principle of virtual work equations. An objective function is developed to maximize the efficiency of the unit cell model. It is defined as useful work over input work. There are two constraints imposed on this problem. The first is placed on force transferred from the external source to the actuator. It should be less than the blocked actuator force. The other is to require the ratio of output displacement over input displacement, i.e., geometrical advantage (GA), of the cell to be larger than a prescribed value. Sequential quadratic programming is used to solve the optimization problem. This process; suggests a systematic approach to identify an optimum location of an actuator and to avoid the selection of location by trial and error. Preliminary results show that optimum locations of an actuator can be selected out of feasible regions according to the requirements of the problem such as a higher GA, a higher efficiency, or a smaller transferred force from external force. Results include analysis of single and multiple cell wing structures and some experimental comparisons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSmart Structures and Materials 2006
Subtitle of host publicationModeling, Signal Processing, and Control
StatePublished - 2006
EventSmart Structures and Materials 2006: Modeling, Signal Processing, and Control - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 27 2006Mar 2 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherSmart Structures and Materials 2006: Modeling, Signal Processing, and Control
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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