NASA KY RIDG: Numerical and Experimental Study of a Low Aspect Ratio Pitching Wing for MAV Applications

Grants and Contracts Details


We propose to investigate the aerodynamics and three-dimensional flow physics of the perching flight maneuver for a low aspect ratio wing at low Reynolds numbers. The perching maneuver is a simplification of the more complex landing maneuver used by birds and can potentially be applied towards zero-length micro air vehicle landings. For the proposed study we will employ both numerical simulations and experimental measurements, offering complementary results for each other. Numerically, the flow will be solved using a Navier-Stokes equation solver. Experimentally, the perching motion will be replicated in a towing tank through a combination of model pitch and deceleration. A survey of pitch and deceleration rates will be performed and the effect on the aerodynamic forces and moments will be used as a metric to compare the effects. We will also investigate the downstream evolution of the three-dimensional vortex wake and the interactions between the tip vortices and leading edge vortex. This study will provide information on the suitability of the numerical method employed, the importance of the streamwise deceleration on the aerodynamic forces of low aspect ratio perching motion and information about the downstream wake evolution from the wing.
Effective start/end date5/1/114/30/12


  • University of Louisville: $15,000.00


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