Traveling waves have shown the potential to transport material and are thus investigated as a propulsion mechanism. Through the use of piezoelectric actuators (PZTs), traveling waves were produced in beams with both free-free and fixed-free boundary conditions. It is shown that traveling waves can be generated by exciting two PZTs at a common frequency with a phase difference between the PZT signals. Experimentation showed the signal that creates the best traveling wave occurs at a driving frequency halfway between adjacent bending resonance frequencies and a phase difference of 90° between both PZTs signals. This has produced traveling waves in fixed-free beams and free-free beams in both air and water as well as for an underwater vehicle. These traveling waves generated useful propulsion in both the fixed-free and free-free beams.
- Aerospace Division
Vehicle Propulsion by Solid State Motion
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Jones, L, Spahnie, J, Lefeave, K, Haltom, C, Underwood, A, Aber, J, Malladi, VVNS, Joyce, BS, & Tarazaga, PA. "Vehicle Propulsion by Solid State Motion." Proceedings of the ASME 2014 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems. Volume 2: Mechanics and Behavior of Active Materials; Integrated System Design and Implementation; Bioinspired Smart Materials and Systems; Energy Harvesting. Newport, Rhode Island, USA. September 8–10, 2014. V002T04A007. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/SMASIS2014-7516
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