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TECHNICAL PAPERS

Biologically Inspired Design Of Small Flapping Wing Air Vehicles Using Four-Bar Mechanisms And Quasi-steady Aerodynamics

[+] Author and Article Information
Rajkiran Madangopal

Mechanical Systems Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering,  University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716madangop@me.udel.edu

Zaeem A. Khan

Mechanical Systems Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering,  University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716khanza@me.udel.edu

Sunil K. Agrawal

Mechanical Systems Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering,  University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716agrawal@me.udel.edu

J. Mech. Des 127(4), 809-816 (Oct 04, 2004) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1899690 History: Received May 25, 2004; Revised October 04, 2004

In this paper, the energetics of a flapping wing micro air vehicle is analyzed with the objective of design of flapping wing air vehicles. The salient features of this study are: (i) design of an energy storage mechanism in the air vehicle similar to an insect thorax which stores part of the kinetic energy of the wing as elastic potential energy in the thorax during a flapping cycle; (ii) inclusion of aerodynamic wing models using blade element theory and inertia of the mechanism using rigid body modeling techniques; (iii) optimization of parameters of the energy storage mechanism using the dynamic models so that the peak power input from the external actuators during a flapping cycle is minimized. A series of engineering prototypes based on these studies have been fabricated which justify the use of these mathematical techniques.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Flapping mechanisms in insects (courtesy: Hooper Virtual Paleontological Museum)

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Figure 2

Prototypes of birds with high speed flapping wings

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Figure 3

Prototypes in flight

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Figure 4

A simple flapping mechanism

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Figure 5

Parameters of the mechanism

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Figure 6

Second four-bar mechanism. Note that the lengths dx and dy are the same for both four-bar mechanisms

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Figure 7

Range of motion of the wing. The values of the parameters used are shown in Table 1

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Figure 8

Frames attached to the links

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Figure 9

Wing section showing aerodynamic forces and moments

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Figure 10

Variation of δθ with θ1 at a wing section

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Figure 11

Leading edge suction effect(10)

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Figure 12

Chord section showing section lift and thrust forces

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Figure 13

Variation of aerodynamic and inertia moments over a cycle of flapping motion

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Figure 14

Variation of total lift and thrust over a cycle of flapping motion

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Figure 15

Selection of β0

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Figure 16

Value of U satisfying optimal flight conditions

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Figure 17

Variation of spring torque over a cycle of flapping motion

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Figure 18

Comparison of variation of load torque over a cycle for a system with and without springs

Tables

Errata

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