The Active Pitch Link (APL) developed by the Carleton University’s Rotorcraft Research Group incorporates a mechanism for helicopter blade pitch dynamic stiffness modulation at the root. This system is experimentally verified superior performance for helicopter rotor-induced vibration reduction was recently reported in the literature. Although a remarkable control performance has been achieved with the APL in experimental tests, the dependence on an external voltage source and possible mechanical failures (due to constant friction) are pointed out as drawbacks of the system. Therefore, this work reports on the design and experimental verification of a new semi-active pitch link system using piezoelectric material for vibration attenuation. Different Synchronized Switching Control techniques are employed to modify the properties of the new pitch link and reduce vibration at a target frequency. A series of investigations will be presented, including benchtop vibration tests and whirl tower experimental tests. The new configuration proposed here refers to a solid-state electromechanical system to address the issues of the mechanical active pitch link and provide a similar vibration attenuation performance.

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Conference 25th AIAA/AHS Adaptive Structures Conference, 2017
Clementino, M.A. (Marcel A.), de Marqui, C. (Carlos), & Nitzsche, F. (2017). Experimental verification of a semi-active piezoelectric pitch link for helicopter vibration attenuation. In 25th AIAA/AHS Adaptive Structures Conference, 2017. doi:10.2514/6.2017-0057