Biomimetic Insect Flapping Aerodynamics and Controls for Micro Air Vehicles
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The goal of the current research is to develop a hover capable, fully autonomous, flapping wing micro air vehicle with a thorough understanding of the associated aerodynamics and aeroelasticity. The approach followed in this work is to look at this problem from three different perspectives: 1) Instantaneous Rigid Wing Aerodynamics, 2) Time Averaged Flexible Wing Aerodynamics, and 3) Vehicle Integration and Control. Unlike prior studies that have focused on one of these aspects, this study will encompass each aspect using a different methodology. The commonality between these three elements in this study is the flapping mechanism. At the core of this work is a simplified, elegant flapping actuation system that is capable of emulating insect wing kinematics in all its degrees of freedom. The mechanism is shown to be novel compared to existing flapping mechanisms and is easily scalable.