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Data-Informed Quasi-Steady Aerodynamic Model of a Clap-and-Fling Flapping Wing MAV

J. V. Caetano, S. F. Armanini, C. C. de Visser, G. C.H.E. de Croon, M. Mulder


The existence of a simple and still physically representative aerodynamic model, that could be computed from states measured on-board of a flapping wing micro air vehicle would facilitate the development of autonomous ornithopters. In this regard, a phenomenological aerodynamic model of the forces acting on a clap-and-fling flapping wing robot is devised and compared with the real forces measure using a high resolution force sensor in a wind tunnel. This aerodynamic model, implemented using blade-element theory, accounts for the centripetal, translational and rotational circulation, added mass and viscous effects, and uses the real kinematics of the wings, under the assumption of zero camber and linear torsion of rigid wings. Using only the flapping frequency, attitude and forward velocity as inputs, the model was capable of closely reproducing the real force acting perpendicularly to the stroke plane of the wings, the X force, which is the most important Lift force component for the typical flight regimes of this ornithopter.

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