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Title: Aeroelastic Characterization of Real and Artificial Monarch Butterfly Wings
The annual migration of monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus, from their summer breeding grounds in North America to their overwintering sites in Mexico can span over 4000 kilometers. Little is known about the aerodynamic mechanism behind this extended flight. This study is motivated by the hypothesis that their flapping wing flight is enhanced by fluid-structure interactions. The objective of this study to quantify the aeroelastic performance of monarch butterfly wings and apply those values in the creation of an artificial wing with an end goal of creating a biomimetic micro-air vehicle. A micro-CT scan, force-deflection measurements, and a finite element solver on real monarch butterfly wings were used to determine the density and elastic modulus. These structural parameters were then used to create a monarch butterfly inspired artificial wing. A solidification process was used to adhere 3D printed vein structures to a membrane. The performance of the artificial butterfly wing was tested by measuring the lift at flapping frequencies between 6.3 and 14 Hz. Our results show that the elastic modulus of a real wing is 1.8 GPa along the span and 0.20 GPa along the chord, suggesting that the butterfly wing material is highly anisotropic. Real right forewings performed optimally at approximately 10 Hz, the flapping frequency of a live monarch butterfly, with a peak force of 4 mN. The artificial wing performed optimally at approximately 8 Hz with a peak force of 5 mN.  more » « less
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AIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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