Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Aerospace Engineering
Room: Marriott Balcony A
Balaji Iyengar - Parkland College
Co-Author(s): George Barton, Parkland College, Champaign, IL; Logan McKee, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
The military has a need for small, stealthy, and maneuverable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that can possibly be met with ornithopters. Ornithopters are flapping wing UAVs that have greater advantages during missions than rotary or fixed wing UAVs. For ornithopters to be used in practice, flight performance must be improved. The objective of this work was to mimic the wing kinematics observed in birds during flight to improve the flight performance (i.e. improve lift and reduce power consumption) of ornithopters. In this study, we experimentally evaluated the effects of an asymmetric hinge on aerodynamic force generation, and power consumption of an ornithopter. The asymmetric hinge was designed to remain stiff during the downward motion of the wing, and bend while moving upwards. We performed bench-top force and power measurements then compared the results to the performance of the ornithopter without the hinge. Force measurements were taken using a 6-axis force transducer, and power using a hall effect current sensor. Three throttle speeds were tested with and without the hinge and wing membrane. Although implementing the hinge successfully allowed the ornithopter to mimic the wing kinematics observed in birds, all test results showed the hinge increased negative lift and power consumption. Positive lift increased by 16%, negative lift increased by 8%, and power consumption increased by 10% compared to the ornithopter?s performance without the hinge. Sensor synchronization errors in trials and further testing of the sensors indicated that the sensors used to test flight performance may be malfunctioning. These inaccuracies might explain the increase in negative lift and power consumption instead of a decrease. Future research would involve testing the ornithopter with different sensors to confirm or explain why mimicking the wing kinematics observed in birds decreases flight performance.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Research Experience and Mentoring site of EFRI NewLAW #1741565
Faculty Advisor: Mihary Ito, email@example.com
Role: I experimentally evaluated the effects of an asymmetric hinge on lift generation and power consumption of an ornithopter using a 6-axis force transducer for lift and hall effect current sensor for power. I conducted the bench top tests and processed the data from the sensors using MATLAB. I modified old LabVIEW code that controlled the sensors. I made the hardware connections between the sensors on the ornithopter to the data acquisition apparatus.