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Proceedings Paper

Micro-electro-mechanical flapping wing technology for micro air vehicles
Author(s): Asha J. Hall; Jaret C. Riddick
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Paper Abstract

Army combat operations have placed a high premium on reconnaissance missions for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) (less than 15 cm in dimension and less than 20 g in mass). One approach for accomplishing this mission is to develop a biologically inspired flapping wing insect that can maneuver into confined areas and possess hovering capabilities. Analysis of insect flight indicates that in addition to the bending excitation (flapping), simultaneous excitation of the twisting degree-of-freedom (pitching) is required to manipulate the control surface adequately. Traditionally, bimorph piezoelectric PZT (Pb(Zr0.55Ti0.45)O3) actuators have been used in many applications to excite the bending degree-of-freedom. In laminated or layered structures, bend-twist coupling is governed by the existence of at least one anisotropic layer not aligned with the primary plate axes. By adding a layer of off-axis PZT segments to a PZT bimorph actuator, thereby producing a layered structure to be referred to as a functionally- modified bimorph, bend-twist coupling may be introduced to the flexural response of the layered PZT. Furthermore, by selectively charging off-axis layers in specific combinations with the bimorph, the response of the functionally-modified bimorph may be tailored yielding a biaxial actuator to actively control the flapping wing response. The present study presents an experimental investigation of both traditional bimorph and functionally-modified PZT bimorph designs intended for active bend-twist actuation of cm-scale flapping wing devices.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 April 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8339, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2012, 83390L (4 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.917645
Show Author Affiliations
Asha J. Hall, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Jaret C. Riddick, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8339:
Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2012
Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Editor(s)

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