Biomimetic Micro Air Vehicle Testing Development and Small Scale Flapping-Wing Analysis
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH DEPT OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS
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The purpose of this research was to develop testing methods capable of analyzing the performance of a miniature flapping-wing mechanism that can later be adapted for the development a biomimetic flapping-wing micro air vehicle MAV. Three small scale flapping mechanisms capable of single plane flapping, flapping with active pitch control, and flappingpitch with out-of-plane movement were designed using SolidWorks. The flapping-only model was fabricated on an Objet 3-dimensional printer and miscellaneous parts. The flapping mechanism was mounted on a supported by air bearings, and thrust was measured for a variety of conditions. The testing was conducted using wings composed of carbon fiber and Mylar in four different size configurations, with flapping speeds ranging from 3.5 - 15 Hertz. The thrust was measured using an axially mounted 50 gram load cell which resulted in an accuracy of - 0.1 gram. The flapping mechanism was then mounted on a 6-component force balance to measure dynamic loading, which demonstrated the ability to gather time-accurate data within a single flapping stroke at speeds as high as 15 Hz. High speed cameras were also used for capturing images of how the structure of the wing changed at various testing conditions. Overall this research successfully demonstrated testing procedures that can be utilized in developing small scale flapping-wing micro air vehicles.
- Pilotless Aircraft