An alternate length scale for the Reynolds- and Rossby numbers in the context of insect wings – Shantanu Bhat

Shantanu Bhat
University of Adelaide, Australia

Date(s) : 03/02/2021   iCal
10 h 00 min - 11 h 00 min

A stable leading-edge vortex formed over a rotating or flapping insect-like wing is known to be a primary reason behind an extra lift acting on the wing. Inspired from earlier studies at high Reynolds-number on the high aspect-ratio aircraft wings, the wing chord has been used as the reference length-scale, even for the insect-scaled wings. However, the flow structure on a typical low aspect-ratio insect wing is highly three-dimensional. As per the conventional scaling, this flow structure has been observed to be influenced by aspect ratio, Reynolds number, and Rossby number. Our work shows that the flow structure scales better with the wingspan, which we propose as the new reference scale in the context of insect wings. Use of this modified scaling for the Reynolds number and Rossby number decouples the effects of the aspect ratio. Interestingly, this also helps reconcile the apparently conflicting trends in the previous aspect-ratio studies on insect wings.

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