- Aerodynamic Ground Effect in Fruitfly Sized Insect Takeoff doi link

Auteur(s): Kolomenskiy Dmitry, Maeda Masateru, ENGELS Thomas, Liu Hao, Schneider Kai, Nave Jean-Christophe, Gurka Roi

(Article) Publié: Plos One, vol. 11 p.e0152072 (2016)

Ref HAL: hal-01299261_v1
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152072
Exporter : BibTex | endNote

Aerodynamic ground effect in flapping-wing insect flight is of importance to comparative morphologies and of interest to the micro-air-vehicle (MAV) community. Recent studies, however, show apparently contradictory results of either some significant extra lift or power savings, or zero ground effect. Here we present a numerical study of fruitfly sized insect takeoff with a specific focus on the significance of leg thrust and wing kinematics. Flapping-wing takeoff is studied using numerical modelling and high performance computing. The aerodynamic forces are calculated using a three-dimensional Navier--Stokes solver based on a pseudo-spectral method with volume penalization. It is coupled with a flight dynamics solver that accounts for the body weight, inertia and the leg thrust, while only having two degrees of freedom: the vertical and the longitudinal horizontal displacement. The natural voluntary takeoff of a fruitfly is considered as reference. The parameters of the model are then varied to explore possible effects of interaction between the flapping-wing model and the ground plane. These modified takeoffs include cases with decreased leg thrust parameter, and/or with periodic wing kinematics, constant body pitch angle. The results show that the ground effect during natural voluntary takeoff is negligible. In the modified takeoffs, when the rate of climb is slow, the difference in the aerodynamic forces due to the interaction with the ground is up to 6%. Surprisingly, depending on the kinematics, the difference is either positive or negative, in contrast to the intuition based on the helicopter theory, which suggests positive excess lift. This effect is attributed to unsteady wing-wake interactions. A similar effect is found during hovering.