Wing camber variation of an autonomous underwater glider

Alexander J. Angilella, Farhan S. Gandhi, Matthew Lear

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

1 Scopus citations


Autonomous gliders have been used extensively in recent years to collect oceanographic data throughout the world’s oceans. Current gliders have an endurance of up to one year, but still cannot complete longer trips such as crossing the Indian Ocean Basin or circumnavigating Antarctica. In order to reduce the energy used to trim a notional glider and thus improve glider endurance and range, a thermocline activated shape memory alloy (SMA) actuated variable camber wing was designed for legacy class gliders. The variable camber wing (VCW) was analyzed using a user material subroutine (UMAT) in Abaqus FEA. Finite element analysis shows a NACA 16006 based wing with SMA wires implanted from 50%-90% chord is capable of changing camber +/-4°. Performance modeling shows that the energy needed to move masses in order to trim the vehicle can be reduced by 20.7% by implementing this camber change. Furthermore, the trim energy can be virtually eliminated by also moving the wing aft by 7.25% of the vehicle length.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA/AHS Adaptive Structures
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105319
StatePublished - 2018
EventAIAA/AHS Adaptive Structures Conference, 2018 - Kissimmee, United States
Duration: Jan 8 2018Jan 12 2018

Publication series

NameAIAA/AHS Adaptive Structures Conference, 2018


OtherAIAA/AHS Adaptive Structures Conference, 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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