Dynamics of nonlinear aeroelastic systems

N. Sri Namachchivaya, A. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates the effects of nonlinearities on the dynamics of flat panels in supersonic flow and presents new bifurcation results for a fairly general nonlinear aeroelastic system. The method of normal forms, bifurcation techniques, and various other dynamical systems tools are used to obtain these results. This paper deals with modeling of unsteady aerodynamic forces and moments acting on flat panels undergoing arbitrary motion in supersonic flow and the structural nonlinearities inherent in panels. While deriving the equations of motion, many in the past have neglected some nonlinear aerodynamic terms as insignificant from the modeling point of view. However, inclusion of these terms in the analysis may completely change the bifurcation behavior. In aeroelastic systems it is the nonlinear dissipative terms that can change the behavior, and it is essential to carefully model these terms in the physical problems. In the absence of dissipative terms, the nonlinear system is reversible, which provides the governing equations with near integrable structure. Thus certain analytical methods are used to study the bifurcation behavior of the system near critical points. For general nonlinear flat panels in supersonic flow, we present these effects as various bifurcation results due to symmetry-breaking imperfections. For aeroelastic systems, the reversible symmetry is broken by the addition of unsteady aerodynamic terms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Aerospace Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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