Fixed and Flapping Wing Aerodynamics for Micro Air Vehicle Applications

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Recently, there has been a serious effort to design aircraft that are as small as possible for special, limited-duration missions. These vehicles may carry visual, acoustic, chemical, or biological sensors for such missions as traffic management, hostage situation surveillance, rescue operations, etc.

The goal is to develop aircraft systems that weigh less than 90 grams, with a 15-centimeter wingspan. Since it is not possible to meet all of the design requirements of a micro air vehicle with current technology, research is proceeding. This new book reports on the latest research in the area of aerodynamic efficiency of various fixed wing, flapping wing, and rotary wing concepts. It presents the progress made by over 50 active researchers in the field from Canada, Europe, Japan, and the United States. It is the only book of its kind.

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Table of Contents

Preface xv
Chapter 1 An Overview of Micro Air Vehicle Aerodynamics 1
I. Introduction 2
II. Fixed Wing Vehicles 4
III. Flapping Wing Vehicles 6
IV. Concluding Remarks 8
References 9
Part I. Fixed Wing Aerodynamics
Chapter 2 Higher-Order Boundary Layer Formulation and Application to Low Reynolds Number Flows 13
I. Introduction 14
II. Curvilinear Coordinates and Equations 15
III. Equivalent Inviscid Flow 16
IV. Entrainment Equation and Viscous/Inviscid Coupling 17
V. Integral Momentum and Kinetic Energy Equations 17
VI. Turbulent Transport Equation 18
VII. Real Viscous Flow Profiles 19
VIII. Profile Families 21
IX. Higher-Order Corrections 22
X. High-Order Panel Method 24
XI. Viscous/Inviscid System Formulation 29
XII. Results 30
XIII. Conclusions 33
References 33
Chapter 3 Analysis and Design of Airfoils for Use at Ultra-Low Reynolds Numbers 35
I. Introduction 35
II. Computational Analysis Methods 36
III. Flowfield Assumptions 38
IV. Grid Topology 39
V. Comparison with Experiment 40
VI. Effects of Reynolds Number and Geometry Variations on Airfoil Performance 41
VII. Airfoil Optimization 56
VIII. Conclusions 59
References 59
Chapter 4 Adaptive, Unstructured Meshes for Solving the Navier-Stokes Equations for Low-Chord-Reynolds-Number Flows 61
I. Introduction 62
II. Approach 63
III. The Finite Element Approximation 66
IV. Fluid Solver 67
V. Grid Generation and Adaptive Refinement 70
VI. Results 73
VII. Database Validation 76
VIII. Ongoing Work 76
IX. Conclusions 79
Acknowledgment 80
References 80
Chapter 5 Wind Tunnel Tests of Wings and Rings at Low Reynolds Numbers 83
I. Introduction 83
II. Effect of Aspect Ratio and Planform on the Aerodynamic Lift and Drag 84
III. Effect of Low Reynolds Numbers on the Lift and Drag of Ring Airfoils 86
References 90
Chapter 6 Effects of Acoustic Disturbances on Low Re Aerofoil Flows 91
I. Introduction 91
II. Experimental Arrangements 94
III. Results 98
IV. Discussion 106
V. Potential Use of Sound to Improve Performance 110
VI. Conclusions 111
Acknowledgments 112
References 112
Chapter 7 Aerodynamic Characteristics of Low Aspect Ratio Wings at Low Reynolds Numbers 115
I. Introduction 116
II. Apparatus 117
III. Procedures 119
IV. Uncertainty 120
V. Flow Visualization 120
VI. Discussion of Results 121
VII. Vortex-Lattice Method 137
VIII. Conclusions 139
Acknowledgments 139
References 140
Chapter 8 Systematic Airfoil Design Studies at Low Reynolds Numbers 143
I. Introduction 143
II. Design Process 144
III. Parametric Studies in Airfoil Design 147
IV. Summary and Conclusions 164
Acknowledgments 166
References 166
Chapter 9 Numerical Optimization and Wind-Tunnel Testing of Low Reynolds Number Airfoils 169
I. Introduction 170
II. Aerodynamic Model 171
III. Experimental Setup 172
IV. Numerical Optimization of Low Reynolds Number Airfoils 176
V. Experimental Investigations on Very Low Reynolds Number Airfoils 182
VI. Conclusion and Outlook 188
References 188
Chapter 10 Unsteady Stalling Characteristics of Thin Airfoils at Low Reynolds Number 191
I. Introduction 191
II. Experimental Methods 193
III. Results and Discussion 196
IV. Summary and Conclusions 211
Acknowledgments 212
References 212
Part II. Flapping and Rotary Wing Aerodynamics
Chapter 11 Thrust and Drag in Flying Birds: Applications to Birdlike Micro Air Vehicles 217
I. Introduction 217
II. Avian Flight Performance 219
III. Thrust Generation 222
IV. Drag Reduction 224
V. Wing Shape 226
VI. Conclusions 227
Acknowledgments 228
References 228
Chapter 12 Lift and Drag Characteristics of Rotary and Flapping Wings 231
I. Introduction 232
II. Aerodynamics of Hovering Insect Flight 232
III. Propeller Experiments at High Re 237
IV. Results and Discussion 241
Acknowledgments 246
References 246
Chapter 13 A Rational Engineering Analysis of the Efficiency of Flapping Flight 249
I. Introduction 250
II. The Influence of Wake Roll Up on Flapping Flight 253
III. Minimum Loss Flapping Theory 258
IV. Results 264
V. Summary and Discussion 271
Acknowledgments 272
References 272
Chapter 14 Leading-Edge Vortices of Flapping and Rotary Wings at Low Reynolds Number 275
I. Introduction 276
II. Computational Modeling of a Rotary Wing 277
III. Numerical Accuracy 279
IV. Results 279
V. Conclusions 284
Acknowledgment 285
References 285
Chapter 15 On the Flowfield and Forces Generated by a Flapping Rectangular Wing at Low Reynolds Number 287
I. Introduction 287
II. Previous Work 288
III. Scope of Present Work 290
IV. Experimental Setup 290
V. Wing Motion 291
VI. Velocity Data Planes 291
VII. Velocity Field Data Analysis 293
VIII. Force Measurements 294
IX. Results and Discussion 295
X. Conclusions 303
References 303
Chapter 16 Experimental and Computational Investigation of Flapping Wing Propulsion for Micro Air Vehicles 307
I. Introduction 308
II. General Kinematics 308
III. Plunging Airfoils 311
IV. Pitching Airfoils 318
V. Pitching and Plunging Airfoils 320
VI. Airfoil Combinations 324
VII. Summary and Prospective 336
Acknowledgments 336
References 336
Chapter 17 Aerodynamic Characteristics of Wings at Low Reynolds Number 341
I. Introduction 343
II. Unsteady Wing Theory 343
III. Experimental Aerodynamics 354
IV. Geometrical Consideration of Blade Element Theory 363
V. Forces and Moments Acting on Beating Wings 374
VI. Conclusion 385
References 391
Chapter 18 A Nonlinear Aeroelastic Model for the Study of Flapping Wing Flight 399
I. Introduction 401
II. Structural Analysis 405
III. Aerodynamic and Inertial Forces and Moments 407
IV. Damping 415
V. Results and Discussion 419
VI. Conclusions 427
References 428
Chapter 19 Euler Solutions for a Finite-Span Flapping Wing 429
I. Introduction 430
II. Numerical Method 432
III. Investigations for Two-Dimensional Flow 433
IV. Investigations for Three-Dimensional Flow 441
V. Conclusions 449
Acknowledgments 449
References 449
Chapter 20 From Soaring and Flapping Bird Flight to Innovative Wing and Propeller Constructions 453
I. Introduction 453
II. Bionic Airfoil Construction 454
III. Bionic Propeller 465
IV. Conclusions 469
Acknowledgments 470
References 470
Chapter 21 Passive Aeroelastic Tailoring for Optimal Flapping Wings 473
I. Introduction 473
II. Experimental Setup 475
III. Results 477
IV. Conclusions 481
Acknowledgments 482
References 482
Chapter 22 Shape Memory Alloy Actuators as Locomotor Muscles 483
I. Introduction 484
II. Brief Overview of SMA Actuators 486
III. Thermomechanical Transformation Fatigue of SMA Actuators 488
IV. Adaptive Control of SMA Actuator Wires 491
V. Energy Considerations for SMA Actuators 494
VI. SMA Actuators as Locomotor Muscles for a Biomimetic Hydrofoil 496
VII. Conclusions 498
Acknowledgments 498
References 498
Part III. Micro Air Vehicle Applications
Chapter 23 Mesoscale Flight and Miniature Rotorcraft Development 503
I. Introduction 503
II. Approach 508
III. Testing 515
IV. Conclusions 516
Acknowledgments 516
References 517
Chapter 24 Development of the Black Widow Micro Air Vehicle 519
I. Introduction 519
II. Early Prototypes 519
III. Multidisciplinary Design Optimization 520
IV. Energy Storage 524
V. Motors 525
VI. Micropropeller Design 526
VII. Airframe Structural Design 528
VIII. Avionics 530
IX. Video Camera Payload 531
X. Stability and Control 532
XI. Performance 532
XII. Ground Control Unit 533
XIII. Conclusions 533
Acknowledgments 535
References 535
Chapter 25 Computation of Aerodynamic Characteristics of a Micro Air Vehicle 537
I. Introduction 538
II. The Incompressible Flow Solver 538
III. Description of the Micro Air Vehicle Model 539
IV. Discussion of Results 540
V. Summary and Conclusions 554
Acknowledgments 554
References 554
Chapter 26 Optic Flow Sensors for MAV Navigation 557
I. Introduction 557
II. Optic Flow 557
III. Description of the Optic Flow Sensor 560
IV. Use of Optic Flow for Navigation 566
V. Initial In-Flight Experiments 567
VI. Next-Generation Sensors 571
VII. Conclusion 573
Acknowledgments 573
References 573
Series Listing 575
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