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Test Setup for Determination of Bat Flight Kinematics

[+] Author Affiliations
Brandon Horton, Alex Matta, Francine Battaglia, Rolf Müller, Javid Bayandor

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. AJKFluids2015-4731, pp. V001T04A004; 6 pages
  • ASME/JSME/KSME 2015 Joint Fluids Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1: Symposia
  • Seoul, South Korea, July 26–31, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5721-2
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Bats can achieve great feats of agility by utilizing more than twenty degrees of freedom, however, this makes aerodynamic data extremely difficult to obtain, even for the simplest flight modes. Therefore, a test setup was developed to accurately map bat flight kinematics throughout the entire flap cycle with minimal occlusion using 3-D Stereo Triangulation. A controlled flight room was constructed in which the two bat species, Hipposideros Pratti and Hipposideros Armiger, could be safely monitored and directed. 3-D Stereo Triangulation was performed using three rings of ten high-speed cameras, as well as matte white markers on all of the major joint locations and scattered throughout the wing membrane. Flight direction was controlled by use of an elevated flight tunnel, ensuring that each bat would fly straight through all three camera rings. Obstacles were also incorporated to investigate the incredible banking and flight reversal that these bats are capable of. This research builds off of a previous study where markers were only placed on the major joint locations and Two-Camera Stereo Triangulation was used.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Kinematics , Flight



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