Fluid-Structure Interaction Modeling of MAV Flapping-Wing Aerodynamics

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

This thesis is on computational fluid-structure interaction (FSI) modeling of bioinspired flapping-wing aerodynamics of a micro aerial vehicle (MAV). The wing motion is prescribed partially, based on the high-speed, multi-camera video recordings of an actual locust in a wind tunnel. The rest of the wing motion comes from the deformation response of the wing structure in the FSI solution. Varying the wing structure design would vary that deformation response and thus influence the aerodynamic performance. This makes the FSI modeling valuable in wing design. The computations are challenging because the motion of the wings is partially based on data extracted from the video recordings of the actual locust. Furthermore, computing the correct aerodynamical forces acting on the wings requires a method that can, with a good level accuracy, resolve the flow field near the wing surfaces. The core computational technology is the space-time variational multiscale (ST-VMS) method. The ST-VMS method is a moving-mesh technique, which enables us maintain the mesh resolution, and consequently the solution accuracy, near moving solid surfaces. The structural mechanics computations are based on the Kirchhoff-Love shell model. A set of special ST techniques is also used in the computations in conjunction with the ST-VMS method. The special techniques include using, in the ST flow computations, NURBS basis functions for the temporal representation of the prescribed part of the wing motion. The computational analysis presented includes comparing the lift and thrust generated with the wing motion fully and partially prescribed from the actual locust.

Master of Science
Micro aerial vehicle, Bio-inspired flapping, Locust, Fluid--Structure Interaction, Space--time techniques, Block-Iterative Coupling

Montel, Kenneth Keef. "Fluid-Structure Interaction Modeling of MAV Flapping-Wing Aerodynamics." (2015) Master’s Thesis, Rice University. https://hdl.handle.net/1911/88237.

Forms part of
Published Version
Link to license
Citable link to this page