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Investigation of the flow over fixed and pitching wings for MAVs

The rise of Micro-Air-Vehicles opened up a new field of research for determining e.g. the causal relations between wing design and flapping kinematics and the resulting flow topology and the associated force production. The results of wind tunnel force measurements and numerical analysis featuring an unorthodox approach will be presented. The results will be evaluated against analytical solutions and existing published results.

The presented numerical approach is equivalent to the Direct Numerical Solution of the Navier-Stokes-Equations but with sub sampling resolutions after having proven that turbulence has a negligible meaning to the dominant vortex structures in the given Reynolds number domain, wherein the approach delivers throughout results in good agreement to experimental results as well as to analytical theory. With this methodology, this work elaborates the essential flow structures featuring primary and secondary vortex phenomena depending on wing planform and aspect ratio as well as on the different parameters of flapping kinematics towards the deliberate, effective and efficient production of aerodynamic forces over time.