A computational model for flexible wing based micro air vehicles
Ferguson, Lauren A.
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Due to the complexities of the wing structure of a micro air vehicle, MAV, a computational model of the aircraft wing requires a combination of many structural elements. The wing typically consists of a flexible membrane material braced with a leading edge spar and chordwise battens. The structural model must combine the model of the membrane material together with the model of the rigid battens. Most current models treat the battens as large-density membrane elements. Ideally, the battens must be modeled as beam elements. However, using beam elements creates the need for the structural model to use coupling to combine the membrane and beam models. Therefore, we will introduce a new coupled membrane-beam solution, in which the battens are modeled using beam elements. Moreover, we plan to incorporate this structural model in a much larger fluid-structure interaction framework that may be used to model MAVs.