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A Computational Investigation of Unsteady Aerodynamics of Insect-Inspired Fixed Wing Micro Aerial Vehicle’s 2D Airfoil

DOI: 10.1155/2014/504049

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A Micro air vehicle (MAV) is defined as class of unmanned air vehicle (UAV) having a linear dimension of less than 15 centimeters and a mass of less than 100 grams with flight speeds of 6 to 12 meters per second. MAVs fall within a Reynolds number (Re) range of 50,000 and 120,000, in which many causes of unsteady aerodynamic effects are not fully understood. The research field of low Reynolds number aerodynamics is currently an active one, with many defence organizations, universities, and corporations working towards a better understanding of the physical processes of this aerodynamic regime. In the present work, it is proposed to study the unsteady aerodynamic analysis of 2D airfoil using CFD software and Xfoil panel code method. The various steps involved in this work are geometric modelling using CATIA V5R17, meshing using ICEM CFD, and solution and postprocessing through FLUENT. The finite control volume analysis and Xfoil panel code method has been carried out to predict aerodynamic characteristics such as lift coefficients, drag coefficients, moment coefficients, pressure coefficients, and flow visualization. The lift and drag coefficients were compared for all the simulations with experimental results. It was observed that for the 2D airfoil, lift and drag both compared well for the midrange angle of attack from ?10 to 15 degree AOA. 1. Introduction Micro air vehicles (MAVs) have attracted significant attention since mid-1990 for both civilian and military applications. Micro air vehicle (MAV) is defined here as a small, portable flying vehicle which is designed for performing useful work. The desire for portable, low altitude aerial surveillance has driven the development of aircraft on the scale of small birds. Vehicles in this class of small-scale aircraft are known as micro air vehicles or MAVs and have great potential for applications in surveillance and monitoring tasks in areas either too remote or too dangerous to send human agents. Equipped with small video cameras and transmitters, MAVs can image targets that would otherwise remain inaccessible. MAVs are also capable of carrying an array of sensors to obtain additional information including, for example, airborne chemical or radiation levels. MAVs are by definition small aircrafts which fly at relatively low speeds. Such flight characteristics will result in flow regimes with Reynolds numbers. Another aerodynamic signature of MAV is wings with small aspect ratio; in most cases the chord is roughly equal to the wingspan. This combination of low Reynolds number flight and low aspect


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