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Experimental and computational analysis for insect inspired flapping wing micro air vehicles

Gami, A. (2016). Experimental and computational analysis for insect inspired flapping wing micro air vehicles. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Many creatures in nature have evolved the ability to fly and some seem to do so effortlessly with captivating movement. The flight characteristics of these natural fliers have greatly fascinated biologists and engineers for a long time that to this day researchers continue to actively work in this field of science with the aim of one day developing a Flapping Wing Micro Aerial Vehicle (FWMAV) which can replicate the flight of nature's creatures. These types of autonomous robotic vehicles can fulfil tasks which are not suitable for manned vehicles especially when risks to human safety are present. Flight techniques such as control, stability and manoeuvrability are flight characteristics which an FWMAV must possess if such a device is employed for various rescue missions. With this in mind symmetrical and asymmetrical wing motions are studied experimentally in the current research programme in such a way that the methodology employed for this type of flight can be implemented into future FWMAVs.

In summary, the research performed during the course of this project produced innovative results in the form of the creation of two micro air vehicles with a thorough explanation of the development process and examination under experimental tests. Various parameters were analysed during the experimental tests such as force, moment, power and wing position measurements. The tests were performed on both models, one of which has the functionality to perform asymmetrical flapping and successfully generate moments about two different axes. A unique wing motion which favoured the upward vertical force production was investigated under various scenarios. The wings keep a fixed angle of attack during the downwards flapping motion and are allowed to passively rotate during the upstroke motion. Computational simulations were performed to investigate the hovering fluid dynamics, forces, moments and power required for various chordwise rotational positions and durations of wing rotation. This investigation aided in understanding the full effects of altering these parameters under hovering conditions for a rectangular wing. The valuable results found from this research program provide a better insight into various topics involving micro air vehicles in addition to developing future flight worthy insect inspired vehicles.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Science & Technology > Engineering
School of Science & Technology > School of Science & Technology Doctoral Theses
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