Discovering the Complex Aerodynamics of Flapping Flight with Bio-kinematics Using Boltzmann and Eulerian Methods
Feaster, Jeffrey Oden
MetadataShow full item record
The cross-sectional geometry of an insect wing has historically been simplified to a rectangular, elliptic, or having a streamlined airfoil shape. Up until this point, no analysis has utilized a morphologically accurate insect wing. As such, there remains significant questions as to whether or not there are aerodynamic benefits to the wing vein structure accompanying the already known structural improvements. The present study uses a bumblebee specimen (Bombus pensylvanicus) acquired by the author, scanned using a skyscan microCT scanner, and post-processed for computational analysis. The resulting geometry captures the naturally occurring vein structures present in the bee wing and is used to better understand aerodynamic effects of biological corrugation. The aerodynamics associated with a morphologically accurate bee wing geometry are explored in two and three dimensions for the first time. Multiple methodologies are validated with experimental results presented in the literature to capture the fluid dynamics in two dimensions including the Lattice-Boltzmann method and unstructured dynamic remeshing using a Navier-Stokes approach. The effects of wing cross-section are compared first with common geometries used in the literature in two dimensions and then between cross-sections extracted at different locations along the wing span. A three-dimensional methodology is validated and used to compare the true bee wing with one using a rectangular cross-section in symmetric hovering. The influence of spanwise cross-section is revisited in three dimensions and compared to the results found in two-dimensions for the same kinematics in forward flight. The final focus of the dissertation is the first simulation of a morphologically accurate wing using kinematics described in the literature.
- Doctoral Dissertations