Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Structural Design of Biomimetic Wings
by Mengesha, Tewodros Endalew, Ph.D., The George Washington University, 2011, 198; 3464743
Abstract (Summary)

A comprehensive understanding of insect flight is vital for achieving successful designs of flapping micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs). This dissertation introduces a method for constructing structural models of insect wings that can provide significant aid for computational studies of insect flight. The method accurately captures the geometry of an insect wing from digital images, and constructs finite element models and reduced-order structural models. Structural models were constructed for butterfly forewings, and their accuracy was evaluated using a new experimental method that measures reduced-order structural compliance for insect wings. During experimental measurements, desiccation can cause considerable changes in the structural attributes of wing specimens. This effect of desiccation was thoroughly investigated, and an extensive study is provided on the rate of the changes in the mass and stiffness of insect wings. The dissertation also demonstrates a systematic approach for the design of biomimetic wings with the structural attributes of real insect wings. Three structural optimization methods were implemented for designing manufacturable biomimetic wings with the resonant frequencies and mode shapes of a cicada forewing.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Vallance, Robert Ryan
Commitee: Kaufman, Roger E., Mittal, Rajat, Plesniak, Michael W., Wickenheiser, Adam
School: The George Washington University
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-B 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mechanical engineering
Keywords: Biomimetics, Desiccation, Finite element analysis, Insect wings, Stiffness, Structural optimization
Publication Number: 3464743
ISBN: 978-1-124-81417-9
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