Smart actuation of inlet guide vanes for small turbine engine
Kwok-Choon, Stephen T.
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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have gained popularity over the past few years to become an indispensable part of aerial missions that include reconnaissance, surveillance, and communication . As a result, advancements in small jet-engine performance are needed to increase the performance (range, payload and efficiency) of the UAV. These jet engines designed especially for UAV's are characterized by thrust force on the order of 100N and due to their size and weight limitations, may lack advanced flow control devices such as IGV . The goal of the current study was to present a conceptual design of an IGV smart-material based actuation mechanism that would be simple, compact and lightweight. The compressor section of an engine increases the pressure and conditions the flow before the air enters the combustion chamber . The airflow entering the compressor is often turbulent due to the high angle of incidence between engine inlet and free-stream velocity, or existing atmospheric turbulence. Actuated IGV are used to help control the relative angle of incidence of the flow that enters the engine compressor, thereby preventing flow separation, compressor stall and thus extending the compressor's operating envelope . Turbine jet- engines which employ variable IGV were developed by Rolls Royce (Trent DR-900) and General Electric (J79).