Space--Time Finite Element Computation of the Aerodynamics of Flapping Wings
Henicke, Bradley J.
Tezduyar, Tayfun E.
Master of Science
The details of the aerodynamics of flapping flight continue to pose a considerable challenge to a complete understanding of flight. Advanced computational fluid mechanics technology coupled with experimental data offers a unique perspective into these aerodynamics. The difficulty of computing such complex aerodynamics is mostly related to the presence of moving and deforming solid surfaces. The finite element method with the Deforming-Spatial-Domain/Stabilized Space-Time (DSD/SST) formulation, which was developed by the Team for Advanced Flow Simulation and Modeling for the computation of flow problems involving moving boundaries and interfaces, is well-suited for this type of problem. The DSD/SST method is further enhanced with a variational multiscale turbulence model and other special techniques, which were developed in the context of the DSD/SST method for flapping flight computations and involve temporal NURBS basis functions. These techniques are applied to the computation of locust flapping flight, where the prescribed motion and deformation of the wings are based on digital data extracted from wind tunnel experiments. This forms a foundation upon which further study may reveal additional insight into flapping flight aerodynamics.
Applied sciences; Mechanical engineering