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Title: A simple vortex-loop-based model for unsteady rotating wings
An analytical model is developed for the lift force produced by unsteady rotating wings; this configuration is a simple representation of a flapping wing. Modelling this is important for the aerodynamic and control-system design for bio-inspired drones. Such efforts have often been limited to being two-dimensional, semi-empirical, sometimes computationally expensive, or quasi-steady. The current model is unsteady and three-dimensional, yet simple to implement, requiring knowledge of only the wing kinematics and geometry. Rotating wings produce a vortex loop consisting of the root vortex, leading-edge vortex, tip vortex and trailing-edge vortex, which grows with time. This is modelled as a tilted planar loop, geometrically specified by the wing size, orientation and motion. By equating the angular impulse of the vortex loop to that of the fluid volume driven by the wing, the circulatory lift force is derived. Potential flow theory gives the fluid-inertial lift. Adding these two contributions yields the total lift formula. The model shows good agreement with a range of experimental and computational cases. Also, a steady-state lift model is developed that compares well with previous work for various angles of attack.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1020 to 1035
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  2. null (Ed.)

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