Recent studies of the joined-wing configuration of the High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) aircraft have been performed by analyzing the aerodynamic and structural behaviors separately. In the present work, a fluid-structure interaction (FSI) analysis is performed, where the fluid pressure on the wing, and the corresponding non-linear structural deformation, are analyzed simultaneously using a finite-element matrix which couples both fluid and structural solution vectors. An unsteady, viscous flow past the high-aspect ratio wing causes it to undergo large deflections, thus changing the domain shape at each time step. The finite element software ANSYS 11.0 is used for the structural analysis and CFX 11.0 is used for the fluid analysis. The structural mesh of the semi-monocoque joined-wing consists of finite elements to model the skin panel, ribs and spars. Appropriate mass and stress distributions are applied across the joined-wing structure [Kaloyanova et al. (2005)], which has been optimized in order to reduce global and local buckling. The fluid region is meshed with very high mesh density at the fluid-structure interface and where flow separation is predicted across the joint of the wing. The FSI module uses a sequentially-coupled finite element equation, where the main coupling matrix utilizes the direction of the normal vector defined for each pair of coincident fluid and structural element faces at the interface [ANSYS 11.0 Documentation]. The k-omega turbulence model captures the fine-scale turbulence effects in the flow. An angle of attack of 12°, at a Mach number of 0.6 [Rangarajan et al. (2003)], is used in the simulation. A 1-way FSI analysis has been performed to verify the proper transfer of loads across the fluid-structure interface. The CFX pressure results on the wing were transferred across the comparatively coarser mesh on the structural surface. A maximum deflection of 16 ft is found at the wing tip with a calculated lift coefficient of 1.35. The results have been compared with the previous study and have proven to be highly accurate. This will be taken as the first step for the 2-way simulation. The effect of a coupled 2-way FSI analysis on the HALE aircraft joined wing configuration will be shown. The structural deformation history will be presented, showing the displacement of the joined-wing, along the wing span over a period of aerodynamic loading. The fluid-structure interface meshing and the convergence at each time step, based on the quantities transferred across the interface will also be discussed.

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