Novel Experimental and Numerical Methods for the Aeromechanical Design of Flapping Wing Hovering MAVs
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Recent developments have made clear the strong potential of Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) for a wide range of surveillance and tactical reconnaissance functions, particularly if the challenging but critical hovering capability can be achieved. Implementation of a practical hovering air vehicle at very small scales, however, requires breakthroughs in understanding of the complex flow environment of such vehicles as well as development of practical design and analysis tools for this regime. The proposed effort will support these objectives by advancing the fundamental understanding of the relationship between wing kinematics and forces - including low Re and wing flexibility effects - with the ultimate goal of developing aerodynamic/aeroelastic models for use in simulation and design. This will permit generation of viable aerodynamic flight control schemes for flapping wing MAVs operating in gusty conditions. The effort will build on mutually supporting capabilities of the team members, and will feature application of a suite of both established and evolving computational modeling tools for complex vortex-dominated flows at low Re as well as use of advanced experimental methods for flow diagnostics and aeroelastically scaled models. The project will also leverage a strong foundation of experience in support of design software for vertical flight vehicles.
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Research Institution Information:
CONTINUUM DYNAMICS, INC.
34 Lexington Avenue Ewing, NJ 08618
Number of Employees:
NEW MEXICO STATE UNIV.
P.O. Box 30001
Las Cruces, NM 88003
Nonprofit college or university