MTS Compliant Actuator Technology combines a custom manifold and added control port accumulation to mitigate disturbance and reduce errors in test applications that require load following
A full-range of double-ended Model 244 hydraulic actuators with integrated MTS Compliant Actuator Technology
Load-following LeadershipMTS Systems Corporation recently completed development of a new compliant actuator technology engineered specifically for applications requiring load-following capabilities, such as dynamic, real-time mechanical testing of aircraft flight control systems.
These tests can be uniquely challenging because they require test rig actuators to match - or follow - precisely, the dynamic motions of test articles (powered flight surfaces) while simultaneously applying accurate loading profiles to simulate real-world conditions (airflow). The challenge of such testing is rooted in the fact that the powered test rig and test article, while mechanically linked, employ different control systems; particularly dynamic testing will cause these separate, unsynchronized control systems to struggle with each other, introducing unwanted disturbance and error into the test.
The key to effective load-following, then, is to make the test system less sensitive to these disturbances. This can be achieved by introducing compliance into the test system.
Mechanical approaches to introducing compliance, such as integrating a spring into the loading scheme, seem simple and elegant, but have yielded limited success. Springs cannot offer the required performance range, are difficult to package and integrate, are expensive to manufacture, and cannot be adjusted or readily applied to new tests.
Hydraulic compliance, the MTS approach, solves the problem by adding extra accumulation to the control ports of hydraulic actuator manifolds, which enables rapid, precision adjustments to be applied to accumulator pre-charge levels. When tested, this approach proved surprisingly effective, reducing the magnitude and duration of disturbance-caused errors while still meeting frequency and velocity requirements of test system. MTS hydraulic compliance technology also allows for precise tuning, therefore offering far more application flexibility than mechanical compliance solutions.
In addition to flight controls testing, aerospace test applications that could benefit greatly from MTS compliant actuator technology include, landing gear testing, helicopter blade CF loading, and aircraft empennage structural testing.
Contact MTS today and learn how MTS compliant actuator technology can help your lab overcome the challenges of test applications that require load-following.
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