Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Spring 2013

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

James H. J. Buchholz

Abstract

An investigation was performed with the intent of characterizing the effect of flexibility on a plunging airfoil, over a parameter space applicable to birds and flapping MAVs. The kinematics of the motion was determined using of a high speed camera, and the deformations and strains involved in the motion were examined. The vortex dynamics associated with the plunging motion were mapped out using particle image velocimetry (PIV), and categorized according to the behavior of the leading edge vortex (LEV). The development and shedding process of the LEVs was also studied, along with their flow trajectories. Results of the flexible airfoils were compared to similar cases performed with a rigid airfoil, so as to determine the effects caused by flexibility. Aerodynamic loads of the airfoils were also measured using a force sensor, and the recorded thrust, lift and power coefficients were analyzed for dependencies, as was the overall propulsive efficiency. Thrust and power coefficients were found to scale with the Strouhal number defined by the trialing edge amplitude, causing the data of the flexible airfoils to collapse down to a single curve. The lift coefficient was likewise found to scale with trailing edge Strouhal number; however, its data tended to collapse down to a linear relationship. On the other hand, the wake classification and the propulsive efficiency were more successfully scaled by the reduced frequency of the motion. The circulation of the LEV was determined in each case and the resulting data was scaled using a parameter developed for this specific study, which provided significant collapse of the data throughout the entire parameter space tested.

Keywords

airfoil, flexible, wake

Pages

xi, 120 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 119-120).

Comments

This thesis has been optimized for improved web viewing. If you require the original version, contact the University Archives at the University of Iowa: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc/contact/.

Copyright

Copyright 2013 James Akkala

Share

COinS