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Aerodynamics of a Flapping Wing MAV: An Experimental Study

Saurav Kumar Ghosh, Joydeep Bhowmik, Debopam Das


Aerodynamics of an indigeneously developed, fully functional flying MAV is investigated experimentally. The model is designed and fabribated initially on the basis of theoretical calculations of Prandtl Lifting Line theory. Force measurement experiments are performed using unsteady force transducers in a wind tunnel to study the dynamic characteristics of aerodynamic loads. The measured force is compared with the theoretical estimated values. Nature of lift and thrust coefficients are deliberated extensively over the whole flapping cycle with variations in flapping frequency, freestream velocity, angle of attack, wing size and aspect ratio. The wings employed in the flapping models are quarter elliptical in shape with 3 different sizes. A high speed camera is used to capture the wing motion and thereby relate the force data values with respect to wing position in a cycle. Wind tunnel experiments are carried out in the Re range of 10000-50000. The importance of rotational forces and inertial forces is observed.

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