Aeroelastic deformation measurement of Martian airplane for high-altitude flight experiment using stereophotogrammetry

Shuichi Hiramatsu, Masayuki Anyoji, Koji Fujita, Hiroki Nagai, Akira Oyama, Hiroyuki Kato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Afixed-wing aircraft called Mars Airplane Balloon Experiment-2 (MABE2) developed by the authors was the subject of high-altitude flight demonstration test in this paper, which can simulate the nearactual environment of a Martian atmospheric flight. Although the flight condition is in the low- Reynolds-number region due to low density at high altitude, the wing suffers from aeroelastic deformation given the relatively high dynamic pressure load in the pull-up phase. Stereophotogrammetry was applied in the 6.5m × 5.5m low-speed wind tunnel at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), aiming to optically measure MABE2's aeroelastic deformation under dynamic pressure loads equivalent to high-altitude flight test, with the MABE2's reinforced structural strength. The results of the accuracy test indicated that stereophotogrammetry measures aeroelastic deformation at high accuracy of ± 0.1mm around the image center and ± 0.3mm around the edge. A slight deflection of up to 4mmwas observed on the main wing, whereas both the main and tail wings were hardly twisted. Compared with flight-simulation-assumed errors, these deformations are extremely small and have a negligible effect on the high-altitude flight test. The study results confirmed the practicality and efficiency of this optical measurement technique in aeroelastic deformation measurement for a real light aircraft.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015035
JournalEngineering Research Express
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar


  • Aeroelastic deformation
  • Low Reynolds number
  • Mars airplane
  • Stereophotogrammetry
  • Wind tunnel


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