Thomas Arthur Ward


2 Fabrication and Analysis of Simplified Dragonfly Wing Structures Created Using Balsa Wood and Red Prepreg Fibre Glass for Use in Biomimetic Micro Air Vehicles

Authors: Thomas Arthur Ward, Praveena Nair Sivasankaran, Rubentheren Viyapuri


Paper describes a methodology to fabricate a simplified dragonfly wing structure using balsa wood and red prepreg fibre glass. These simplified wing structures were created for use in Biomimetic Micro Air Vehicles (BMAV). Dragonfly wings are highly corrugated and possess complex vein structures. In order to mimic the wings function and retain its properties, a simplified version of the wing was designed. The simplified dragonfly wing structure was created using a method called spatial network analysis which utilizes Canny edge detection method. The vein structure of the wings were carved out in balsa wood and red prepreg fibre glass. Balsa wood and red prepreg fibre glass was chosen due to its ultra- lightweight property and hence, highly suitable to be used in our application. The fabricated structure was then immersed in a nanocomposite solution containing chitosan as a film matrix, reinforced with chitin nanowhiskers and tannic acid as a crosslinking agent. These materials closely mimic the membrane of a dragonfly wing. Finally, the wings were subjected to a bending test and comparisons were made with previous research for verification. The results had a margin of difference of about 3% and thus the structure was validated.

Keywords: chitosan, chitin, canny edge detection, tannic acid, dragonfly wings, simplified, balsa wood, red prepreg

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1 Experimental Studies of Dragonfly Flight Aerodynamics

Authors: Mohd Izmir Bin Yamin, Thomas Arthur Ward


Past aerodynamic studies of flapping wing flight have shown that it has increased aerodynamic performances compared to fixed wing steady flight. One of the dominant mechanisms that is responsible for causing this phenomenon is a leading edge vortex, generated by the flapping motion of a flexible wing. Wind tunnel experiments were conducted to observe the aerodynamic profile of a flapping wing, by measuring the lift, drag and thrust. Analysis was done to explain how unsteady aerodynamics leads towards better power performances than a fixed wing flight. The information from this study can be used as a base line for designing future Bio-mimetic Micro Air Vehicles that are based on flying insect aerodynamic mechanisms.

Keywords: flapping wing flight, leading edge vortex, aerodynamics performances, wind tunnel test

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