Comptes Rendus
Stroke plane angle controls leading edge vortex in a bat-inspired flapper
Comptes Rendus. Mécanique, Volume 340 (2012) no. 1-2, pp. 95-106.

The present interest in micro air vehicles has given the research on bat flight a new impulse. With the use of high speed cameras and improved PIV techniques, the kinematics and aerodynamics of bats have been studied in great detail. A robotic flapper makes it possible to do measurements by systematically changing only one parameter at a time and investigate the parameter space outside the natural flight envelope of bats without risking animal safety. For this study, a robotic flapper (RoBat), inspired by Leptonycteris yerbabuenae was developed and tested over the speed range 1–7 m/s, with variable maximum angles of attacks (AoAmax=55° and 15°, respectively) and constant AoAmax=55°. These measurements show the presence of a leading edge vortex (LEV) for low speeds and a fully attached flow for high speeds at low AoAmax, which is in line with natural bat flight. A LEV occurs for AoAmax=55° throughout the complete flight speed range, and throughout which the LEV circulation coefficient remains rather constant. This implies that bats and micro air vehicles could use LEVs for high load maneuvers also at relatively high flight speeds. However, at high flight speeds the LEV bursts, which causes increased drag, most likely due to a decrease in Strouhal number.

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Published online:
DOI: 10.1016/j.crme.2011.11.013
Keywords: Aerodynamics, Bat flight, Bio-inspired robot, Leading edge vortex, Micro air vehicle

Gide Koekkoek 1, 2; Florian T. Muijres 1; L. Christoffer Johansson 1; Melanie Stuiver 1, 2; Bas W. van Oudheusden 2; Anders Hedenström 1

1 Lund University, Department of Biology, Ecology Building, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden
2 Delft University of Technology, Department of Aerospace Engineering, P.O. Box 5058, 2600 GB Delft, The Netherlands
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Gide Koekkoek; Florian T. Muijres; L. Christoffer Johansson; Melanie Stuiver; Bas W. van Oudheusden; Anders Hedenström. Stroke plane angle controls leading edge vortex in a bat-inspired flapper. Comptes Rendus. Mécanique, Volume 340 (2012) no. 1-2, pp. 95-106. doi : 10.1016/j.crme.2011.11.013.

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