A Bio-Inspired Design of Wings to Optimize the Aerodynamic Performance of small UAVs

This research investigates the application of a bio-inspired wing design to enhance the aerodynamic performance of small UAVs. Different bird wing configurations are investigated to identify the effects of wing parameters on the aerodynamic performance. A compromise is used to design an innovative wing configuration with optimized aerodynamic performance.

The biology of the living organs and creatures in nature has been significantly inspiring for the advancement of aeronautical and aerospace sciences. Notable inspirations are taken from nature by mimicking the biological characteristics of flying birds and insects such as eagle, dragonflies etc. to design new wings and optimize the aerodynamic performance of fighter jets, commercial aircrafts, wind turbine blades and UAVs among many. Aerodynamic performance enhancement of small UAVs has taken significant advantage from bio-inspired design of wings due to similar flight condition of birds with MAVs and MUAVs. The recent drastic increase in civil application of small UAVs has motivated researchers and industries to continuously investigate and optimize the aerodynamic performance of such aircrafts and enhance their practical capacity by increasing the flight endurance as well as stability. This research, investigates the application of a bio-inspired wing design with serrations to enhance the aerodynamic performance of small UAVs. Different bird wing and feather configurations are studied to identify the effects of wing parameters such as aspect ratio (AR), airfoil, Tapper Ratio (TR), sweep angle as well as different serration configurations on the aerodynamic performance. A compromise of the investigated parameters is used to design an innovative wing configuration with optimized aerodynamic performance which enhances the endurance and stability of small UAVs. Investigations are conducted through numerical simulations and results are validated by wind tunnel experiments.

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