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Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Membrane Wing for Micro Aerial Vehicle Applications

[+] Author Affiliations
Igor Petrović, Franc Kosel

University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Sean P. Shea, Ian P. Smith, Pier Marzocca

Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY

Paper No. IMECE2014-38581, pp. V001T01A056; 6 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 1: Advances in Aerospace Technology
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, November 14–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4642-1
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Micro-Air-Vehicles (MAV) flight regimes differs significantly from larger scales airplanes. They are operating at low Reynolds numbers of approximate 104, cruising at speed about 12m/s, and are capable of agile maneuvers in limited space environment. They are compact and easily stowable to facilitate transportation. However, due to the small size, they are usually more vulnerable to the wind gusts with significant complexities associated to their flight mechanics, stability and control, which also makes difficult to quantify flight qualities and performances. Furthermore, complex aerodynamics can produce loading scenarios leading to the destruction of the vehicle during flight operation. To minimize the size of the MAV when not in use, their wings are stowed within the body of the vehicle, and are deployed during operation. To supplement the bulk of knowledge in MAV aero-mechanics, the study of the aerodynamic characteristics of a deformable membrane MAV wing is carried out in this paper. The analysis of the membrane airfoil is performed using a fluid-structure interaction 2D model, to select a set of optimal airfoil parameters for the intended flight regime. Numerical simulations are supplied and validated with an M AV model tested in the wind tunnel.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Aircraft , Membranes , Wings



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