Flight agility, resistance to gusts, capability to hover coupled with a low noise generation might have been some of the reasons why insects are among the oldest species observed in nature. Biologists and aerodynamicists focused on analyzing such flight performances for diverse purposes: understanding the essence of flapping wings aerodynamics and applying this wing concept to the development of micro-air vehicles (MAVs). In order to put into evidence the fundamentally non-linear unsteady mechanisms responsible for the amount of lift generated by a flapping wing (Dickinson et al. in Science 284:1954–1960, 1999), experimental and numerical studies were carried out on typical insect model wings and kinematics. On the other hand, in the recent context of MAVs development, it is of particular interest to study simplified non-biological flapping configurations which could lead to lift and/or efficiency enhancement. In this paper, we propose a parametrical study of a NACA0012 profile undergoing asymmetric hovering flapping motions at Reynolds 1000. On the contrary to normal hovering, which has been widely studied as being the most common configuration observed in the world of insects, asymmetric hovering is characterized by an inclined stroke plane. Besides the fact that the vertical force is hence a combination of both lift and drag (Wang in J Exp Biol 207:1137–1150, 2004), the specificity of such motions resides in the vortex dynamics which present distinct behaviours, whether the upstroke angle of attack leads to a partially attached or a strong separated flow, giving more or less importance to the wake capture phenomenon. A direct consequence of the previous remarks relies on the enhancement of aerodynamic efficiency with asymmetry. If several studies reported results based on the asymmetric flapping motion of dragonfly, only few works concentrated on parametrizing asymmetric motions (e.g. Wang in Phys Rev Lett 85:2216–2219, 2000). The present study relies on TR-PIV measurements which allow determination of the vorticity fields and provide a basis to evaluate the resulting unsteady forces through the momemtum equation approach.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 22, 2009
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