Date of Graduation

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Huang, Po-Huang Adam

Reader

Roe, Larry A.

Abstract

In recent years, the promising nature of flapping wing flight has led researchers to investigate the wing morphology and unsteady wing aerodynamics found in insects to aid in the design of modern micro air vehicles (MAVs). A high-fidelity flapping wing MAV could achieve high mobility, hovering stability, increased stealth, and efficient flight at low speeds. These characteristics offer a viable solution to the operational requirements for the typical hazardous and dynamic environments encountered during flight. While the kinematics and morphology of flapping wings are well-understood, significant research has yet to be completed with respect to the control and power requirements necessary for reliable and repeatable operation in the transient conditions encountered during MAV flight. This paper explores initial experiments designed to test the power consumption necessary to maintain several wing beat frequencies at a variety of angles of attack and heading angles of a flapping wing MAV under simulated gust excitations. The test results will be used to quantify the performance of flapping wing flight as a function of various gust speeds and to aid in the design and evaluation of future models.

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