Maryland's Defense Patent Database

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Active twist hollow beam system

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A system for actively controlling the span-wise rotational twist of a hollow beam along its longitudinal axis, including a hollow beam structure having a leading edge and a trailing edge region, the beam being split along its length, an actuator arranged between split surfaces of the beam, the actuator adapted to move the split surfaces in a longitudinal direction relative to each other, inducing a twist in the beam. The hollow beam is affixed to an external structure at one or both ends, with only the zero warping displacement points of the beam being attached to the external structure, material or device. In one embodiment, the actuator is a plurality of solid blocks with high thermal expansion coefficients arranged between frames of the split surfaces of the beam, with alternating blocks being heated by resistance heaters to cause expansion in the spanwise longitudinal direction.

Thomas, James P.; O'brien, Michael J.; Pogue III, William R.
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Technical domain: 
Handling and Transportation
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Grant time: 
630 days
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