Flutter Excitation

Jun 12, 2016 | Blog


A monumental undertaking was to create an in-flight flutter excitation and telemetry system. The reason is to verify the flutter model developed by ATA. Since wave weather can be infrequent, we don’t want to land while the flutter data is analyzed, then wait for the next wave to climb higher.

Morgan designed and built a system that uses stepper motors to create constant energy excitation up to 20 Hz.  Tom helped with software that allows the LSSD (Life Support System Display) to be used to control the system.  Stewart did many hours wiring the various parts.  Greg build composite brackets.  Tim has helped with installations. The exciters were installed where the wing tip goes into the main wing piece. Telemetry and concentrators are in the science bay. The antenna is behind the wheel fairing. The Perlan 2 now boasts 19 Ardunio processors. (Is that more than Apollo 11?) The ground testing is almost complete and we hope to have a flight test before shipping to Argentina.

The sound on the very first flutter trial video is the minitature “vibrators” where Morgan is experimenting with frequencies and tuning.

From my perspective, this entire project has been the epitome of flight test. From a cadre of volunteers who love aviation, we are continually testing, identifying new solutions, re-testing, and fine tuning. It is exhilarating and exhausting and experimental at its finest. Perlan Soars! Jackie

Recent Posts