George Huang (Committee Member), Joseph Shang (Committee Member), Zifeng Yang (Advisor)
Master of Science in Engineering (MSEgr)
An experimental investigation was conducted to study the flow characteristics of the flow around the flapping wings of a four-wing flapper as well as the lift and thrust coefficient of a four-wing flapper. In the present study, a clap-and-fling type of four-wing flapper was designed and manufactured by using several flexible materials, such as PET film, latex, and aluminized Mylar. Different cross-strut patterns and dimensions of wings were manufactured and tested to optimize the wing designs. In addition to taking the lift and thrust measurements using a highly sensitive force moment sensor unit, a high-resolution Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system was employed to achieve detailed flow field measurements to quantify the evolution of the unsteady vortex flow structure around the wings and in the downstream of the flapper. The force measurements were analyzed in correlation with the detailed flow measurements to elucidate the underlying physics to improve our understanding for an optimized flexible wing design and to achieve better performance for flapping wing micro air vehicles. A woofer loudspeaker was employed at the test section where the four-wing flapper was placed to generate sound distances. The effect of different frequencies and amplitudes of sound waves on the aerodynamic performance was investigated. A sensitive force moment sensor unit and PIV system were utilized to measure the lift and thrust and to take detailed flow field measurements to quantify the effect of sound waves on the flow and wing deformation. The force measurements were analyzed in correlation with the detailed flow measurements and qualitative wing deformation data to elucidate underlying the physics in to improve our understanding of the effect of acoustic disturbances on flexible wings and the overall aerodynamic performance of MAVs.
Department or Program
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Year Degree Awarded
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