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Computational aerodynamic analysis of a Micro-CT based bio-realistic fruit fly wing
PLoS ONE
  • Joshua Brandt, University of New South Wales
  • Graham Doig, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Naomi Tsafnat, University of New South Wales
Publication Date
5-8-2015
Abstract

The aerodynamic features of a bio-realistic 3D fruit fly wing in steady state (snapshot) flight conditions were analyzed numerically. The wing geometry was created from high resolution micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) of the fruit fly Drosophila virilis. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses of the wing were conducted at ultra-low Reynolds numbers ranging from 71 to 200, and at angles of attack ranging from -10° to +30°. It was found that in the 3D bio-realistc model, the corrugations of the wing created localized circulation regions in the flow field, most notably at higher angles of attack near the wing tip. Analyses of a simplified flat wing geometry showed higher lift to drag performance values for any given angle of attack at these Reynolds numbers, though very similar performance is noted at -10°. Results have indicated that the simplified flat wing can successfully be used to approximate high-level properties such as aerodynamic coefficients and overall performance trends as well as large flow-field structures. However, local pressure peaks and near-wing flow features induced by the corrugations are unable to be replicated by the simple wing. We therefore recommend that accurate 3D bio-realistic geometries be used when modelling insect wings where such information is useful.

Disciplines
Number of Pages
16
Citation Information
Joshua Brandt, Graham Doig and Naomi Tsafnat. "Computational aerodynamic analysis of a Micro-CT based bio-realistic fruit fly wing" PLoS ONE (2015)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gcdoig/22/