Artificial insect wings of diverse morphology for flapping-wing micro air vehicles
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CitationShang, J K, S A Combes, B M Finio, and R J Wood. 2009. “Artificial Insect Wings of Diverse Morphology for Flapping-Wing Micro Air Vehicles.” Bioinspiration & Biomimetics 4 (3) (August 27): 036002. doi:10.1088/1748-3182/4/3/036002.
AbstractThe development of flapping-wing micro air vehicles (MAVs) demands a systematic exploration of the available design space to identify ways in which the unsteady mechanisms governing flapping-wing flight can best be utilized for producing optimal thrust or maneuverability. Mimicking the wing kinematics of biological flight requires examining the potential effects of wing morphology on flight performance, as wings may be specially adapted for flapping flight. For example, insect wings passively deform during flight, leading to instantaneous and potentially unpredictable changes in aerodynamic behavior. Previous studies have postulated various explanations for insect wing complexity, but there lacks a systematic approach for experimentally examining the functional significance of components of wing morphology, and for determining whether or not natural design principles can or should be used for MAVs. In this work, a novel fabrication process to create centimeter-scale wings of great complexity is introduced; via this process, a wing can be fabricated with a large range of desired mechanical and geometric characteristics. We demonstrate the versatility of the process through the creation of planar, insect-like wings with biomimetic venation patterns that approximate the mechanical properties of their natural counterparts under static loads. This process will provide a platform for studies investigating the effects of wing morphology on flight dynamics, which may lead to the design of highly maneuverable and efficient MAVs and insight into the functional morphology of natural wings.
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