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Design of a Passively Morphing Ornithopter Wing Using a Novel Compliant Spine

[+] Author Affiliations
Yashwanth Tummala, Mary Frecker

The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Aimy Wissa, James E. Hubbard, Jr.

University of Maryland/National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, VA

Paper No. SMASIS2010-3637, pp. 703-713; 11 pages
  • ASME 2010 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • ASME 2010 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, Volume 1
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, September 28–October 1, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4415-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3886-0
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


A new scheme to design morphing ornithopter wings using a passive compliant spine is presented in this paper. The objective of this work is to optimize steady level flight performance of an ornithopter by passively implementing the Continuous Vortex Gait (CVG) which requires bending, twist and sweep coupling during the upstroke. An optimization problem is formulated to design a compliant spine for pre-specified bending, sweep, and twist deflections. As a first step to achieving these 3 DOF kinematics, a 1 DOF compliant spine is considered to produce a specified bending deflection during the upstroke for drag reduction while remaining stiff during the downstroke for increased lift. The effect of the relevant geometric design parameters, namely contact gap, angle, and hinge geometry, are considered and optimized to achieve the aforementioned kinematics for both single and multiple joints, which make up a compliant spine. Results presented include the spine design optimization procedure, as well as a complete analysis for a 1DOF compliant spine to illustrate the efficacy of the methodology. This compliant spine design methodology and optimization procedure will be used, in the future, to design the 3-DOF compliant spine for the passively morphing ornithopter.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Design , Wings



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