Quantitative aeroelastic stability prediction of wings exhibiting nonlinear restoring forces

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In engineering practice, eigen-solution is used to assess the stability of linear dynamical systems. However, the linearity assumption in dynamical systems sometimes implies simplifications, particularly when strong nonlinearities exist. In this case, eigen-analysis requires linerisation of the problem and hence fails to provide a direct stability estimation. For this reason, a more reliable tool should be implemented to predict nonlinear phenomena such as chaos or limit cycle oscillations. One method to overcome this difficulty is the Lyapunov Characteristic Exponents (LCEs), which provide quantitative indications of the stability characteristics of dynamical systems governed by nonlinear time-dependent differential equations. Stability prediction using Lyapunov Characteristic Exponents is compatible with the eigen-solution when the problem is linear. Moreover, LCE estimations do not need a steady or equilibrium solution and they can be calculated as the system response evolves in time. Hence, they provide a generalization of traditional stability analysis using eigenvalues. These properties of Lyapunov Exponents are very useful in aeroelastic problems possessing nonlinear characteristics, which may significantly alter the aeroelastic characteristics, and result in chaotic and limit cycle behaviour. A very common nonlinearity in flexible systems is the nonlinear restoring force such as cubic stiffness, which would substantially benefit from using LCEs in stability assessment. This work presents the quantitative evaluation of aeroelastic stability indicators in the presence of nonlinear restoring force. The method is demonstrated on a two-dimensional aeroelastic problem by comparing the system behaviour and estimated Lyapunov Exponents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-86
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Mathematical Sciences and Modelling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Supporting/Supporting Organizations: No grants were received from any public, private or non-profit organizations for this research

Copyright Statement: Author owns the copyright of their work published in the journal and their work is published under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.


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