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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J001465/1
Title: TOWARDS BIOLOGICALLY-INSPIRED ACTIVE-COMPLIANT-WING MICRO-AIR-VEHICLES
Principal Investigator: Ganapathisubramani, Professor B
Other Investigators:
Sandberg, Professor RD
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Faculty of Engineering & the Environment
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 June 2012 Ends: 30 November 2015 Value (£): 248,656
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Aerodynamics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
EP/J002070/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
01 Sep 2011 Materials,Mechanical and Medical Engineering Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Natural fliers achieve exceptional aerodynamics by continuous adjustments on their geometry through a mix of dynamic wing compliance and distributed sensing and actuation. This enables them to routinely perform a wide range of manoeuvres including rapid turns, rolls, dives, and climbs with seeming ease. Despite a good knowledge of the physiology of bats and birds, engineering applications with active dynamic wing compliance capability are so far few and far-between. Recent advances in development of electroactive materials together with high-fidelity numerical/experimental methods provide a foundation to develop biologically-inspired dynamically-active wings that can achieve "on-demand" aerodynamic performance. However, this requires first to develop a thorough understanding of the dynamic coupling between the electro-mechanical structure of the membrane wing and its unsteady aerodynamics. In this collaborative initiative between the University of Southampton and Imperial College London, we will develop an integrated research programme that carries out high-fidelity experiments and computations to achieve a fundamental understanding of the dynamics of aero-electro-mechanical coupling in dynamically-actuated compliant wings. The goal is to utilise our understanding and devise control strategies that use integral actuation schemes to improve aerodynamic performance of membrane wings. The long-term goal of this project is to enable the use of soft robotics technology to build integrally-actuated wings for Micro Air Vehicles (MAV) that mimic the dynamic shape control capabilities of natural flyers.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk