13 June 2024
Corrugated Wing Vortex Motions: Unveiled Relationship

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Corrugated wing vortex motions have been a subject of great interest to scientists, particularly in the field of aerodynamics. Researchers from Hiroshima University embarked on a study to explore this relationship by examining dragonfly wings. Their findings revealed that corrugated wings generate significantly larger lift compared to flat wings, shedding light on the intricate interplay between wing structure and vortex dynamics.

Corrugated Wing Vortex Motions: Unveiling the Secrets of Dragonfly Wings



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Introduction:

Dragonflies, with their intricately structured wings and agile flight, have long captivated scientists and engineers seeking to unravel the secrets of their aerodynamic prowess. A recent study conducted by researchers at Hiroshima University delved into the relationship between the corrugated structure of dragonfly wings and the vortex motions they generate, shedding light on the mechanisms that enable these insects to achieve remarkable lift.

Corrugated Wings: A Key Ingredient for Enhanced Lift

Unlike the smooth wings of passenger planes, the wings of insects like dragonflies, cicadas, and bees exhibit a corrugated structure, featuring vertices (nerves) and line segments (membranes). This unique wing design has been the subject of much research, with earlier studies demonstrating the superior aerodynamic performance of corrugated wings compared to flat wings at low Reynolds numbers.

Vortex Motions and Aerodynamic Advantages

The corrugation of dragonfly wings creates an uneven surface, which in turn generates complex flow structures and vortex motions. These vortices interact with the airflow, leading to unsteady lift generation. The researchers discovered that this unsteady lift mechanism is particularly effective at angles of attack greater than 30 degrees, where the wind meets the wing at a steep angle.

Unveiling the Lift-Boosting Mechanism of Corrugated Wings

To better understand the lift-boosting mechanism, the researchers constructed a two-dimensional model of a dragonfly wing, replicating the deeper corrugated structures on the leading edge and flatter structures on the trailing edge. They analyzed the flow around the wing using direct numerical calculations, comparing the performance of the corrugated wing to that of a flat wing.

Translational Motion and Lift Generation of Corrugated Wings

The researchers focused on translational motion, or sliding motion, as a principal component of wing motion, in addition to pitching and rotation. Their analysis revealed that the corrugated wing’s uneven structure generates an unsteady lift due to complex flow structures and vortex motions. This unique airflow dance, triggered by the distinct corrugated structure, provides a significant lift advantage.

Expanding the Understanding of Dragonfly Flight through Corrugated Wings

The study’s findings expand our understanding of the non-stationary mechanisms employed by dragonflies during flight. While the research team initially focused on two-dimensional models, they acknowledge the importance of exploring three-dimensional systems to gain a more comprehensive understanding of insect flight and its potential applications in the industry.

Future Directions: Exploring Broader Wing Shapes and Motions

The researchers aim to extend their investigations to three-dimensional models, exploring a broader range of wing shapes and motions. Their ultimate goal is to create a new bio-inspired wing with enhanced performance by harnessing the lift-enhancing mechanism observed in dragonfly wings.

Wrapping Up:

The study conducted by Hiroshima University researchers has provided valuable insights into the relationship between the corrugated structure of dragonfly wings and the vortex motions they generate. By unraveling the mechanisms behind the lift-boosting effect of corrugated wings, this research opens up avenues for developing new bio-inspired wing designs with improved aerodynamic performance, potentially impacting fields such as small flying robots, drones, and windmills.

FAQ’s

What is the significance of the corrugated structure of dragonfly wings?

The corrugation of dragonfly wings creates an uneven surface, leading to complex flow structures and vortex motions. These vortices interact with the airflow, resulting in unsteady lift generation, particularly at high angles of attack.

How does the corrugated structure enhance lift generation?

The uneven surface of the corrugated wing generates an unsteady lift due to complex flow structures and vortex motions. This unique airflow dance, triggered by the distinct corrugated structure, provides a significant lift advantage compared to flat wings.

What is the role of translational motion in lift generation?

Translational motion, or sliding motion, is a principal component of wing motion, along with pitching and rotation. The corrugated wing’s uneven structure generates an unsteady lift due to complex flow structures and vortex motions during translational motion. This unique airflow pattern provides a significant lift advantage.

What are the potential applications of this research?

The findings of this study can potentially impact fields such as small flying robots, drones, and windmills. By harnessing the lift-enhancing mechanism observed in dragonfly wings, researchers can develop new bio-inspired wing designs with improved aerodynamic performance.

What are the future directions of this research?

The researchers aim to extend their investigations to three-dimensional models, exploring a broader range of wing shapes and motions. Their ultimate goal is to create a new bio-inspired wing with enhanced performance by harnessing the lift-enhancing mechanism observed in dragonfly wings.

Links to additional Resources:

https://www.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/en https://www.nature.com https://www.sciencedirect.com

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Dragonfly wings, Vortex motions, Aerodynamics

Dragonfly
A dragonfly is a flying insect belonging to the infraorder Anisoptera below the order Odonata. About 3,000 extant species of dragonflies are known. Most are tropical, with fewer species in temperate regions. Loss of wetland habitat threatens dragonfly populations around the world. Adult dragonflies are characterised by a pair of...
Read more: Dragonfly

Vortex-induced vibration
In fluid dynamics, vortex-induced vibrations (VIV) are motions induced on bodies interacting with an external fluid flow, produced by, or the motion producing, periodic irregularities on this flow. A classic example is the VIV of an underwater cylinder. How this happens can be seen by putting a cylinder into the...
Read more: Vortex-induced vibration

Aerodynamics
Aerodynamics (Ancient Greek: ἀήρ aero (air) + Ancient Greek: δυναμική (dynamics)) is the study of the motion of air, particularly when affected by a solid object, such as an airplane wing. It involves topics covered in the field of fluid dynamics and its subfield of gas dynamics, and is an...
Read more: Aerodynamics

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