IIT Jodhpur
Seminar on "Development and Aerostructural Analysis of Biomimetic Flapping Wings" - 14 September 2018

Date and Venue Information:
14 September 2018, Seminar Hall, 2:00 PM, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Title of Seminar:
"Development and Aerostructural Analysis of Biomimetic Flapping Wings" by David Kumar

Membranous structures are used in various scientific and engineering domains including insect-inspired flapping wings. Most of the research work related to flapping wings primarily focuses on aspects of aerodynamics and flight controls. The material, manufacturing, and structural dynamic aspects are equally important to develop structurally strong and aerodynamically efficient biomimetic wings. Static and dynamic structural tests of such membranous structures possessing material and structural complexities are difficult to perform. Traditional deformation measurement techniques are not applicable to such cases. Installing a physical sensor such as a strain gauge will disrupt the properties of the host. Also, it is limited to small and local deformations. Hence, a non-contact 3D full-field deformation measurement technique is required.
The research work included the development of novel materials and methods for fabrication, testing and aerostructural analysis of biomimetic flapping wings. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs)/polypropylene (PP) nanocomposite, carbon fiber/epoxy composite and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) were developed, characterized and used as the wing materials. Advanced manufacturing techniques such as photolithography, laser micromachining, and 3D printing, were used to fabricate the wings. An in-house high-speed 3D-DIC setup was developed and coupled with FPGA-based real-time data acquisition system (RT-FPGA) for motion measurement and structural dynamic testing of the wings. Fundamental natural frequencies and the corresponding mode shapes of fabricated flapping wings were obtained and compared with their respective natural counterparts. Further, the fabricated wings were idealized and evaluated for aerostructural performance by performing fluid-structure interaction simulations. Finally, two biomimetic UAV models inspired by the dragonfly and the seagull were fabricated using the developed materials and manufacturing methods.
The inflatable space structures are also made of membranes and other ultralow mass components. An inflatable space antenna uses a thin polymeric membrane as the reflector. Selection of materials, understanding of material and structural behavior is key to design such systems.
This talk will also briefly touch upon further research plans which are based on (i) development of advanced experimental techniques for characterization of soft materials and structures, (ii) flapping wing robotics, and (iii) inflatable space structures.
For more details cleck here.
Brief Profile:
Dr. David Kumar is a Sr. Project Engineer at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Kanpur. He did his B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from Uttar Pradesh Technical University, Lucknow in 2009. He received his M.Tech. and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from IIT Kanpur in 2011 and 2018, respectively. The title of his doctoral dissertation was “Development and Aerostructural Analysis of Biomimetic Flapping Wings.” Dr. David has published more than 10 research papers in refereed journals and conferences and filed an Indian patent titled “Independently Controlled Gull Inspired Bionic Flapping Wing Mechanism for UAVs”. His research interests include Experimental Mechanics, Advanced Composites, Material Characterization and Modeling, Flapping Wing Robotics, Inflatable Space Structures, and Fluid-Structure Interaction Analysis. Currently, he is working on an ISRO sponsored project which involves characterization and modeling of materials and membranes for inflatable space structures.