The wake of a flapping foil is the basic model representing the propulsive mechanism of swimming and flying animals that use wings, fins, and body oscillations to drive their locomotion. The reverse Bénard-von Kármán vortex street is one of the landmark features of such wakes, since it is associated to the onset of thrust generation. The vortex shedding frequency is clocked by the flapping motion but, in a realistic model the force production dynamics is intimately linked to the elastic response of the flapping structure and the resonance between the different frequencies involved has been invoked in the literature to explain efficient flapping regimes. Here we show, using a wind tunnel experiment and hydrodynamic stability analysis, that thrust peaks occur when the wake resonant frequency is tuned with the foil elastic dynamics.
Wake and aeroelasticity of a ﬂexible pitching foil J. D’Adamo, M. Collaud, R. Sosa & R. Godoy-Diana Bioinspiration & Biomimetics17, 045002 (2022) doi: 10.1088/1748-3190/ac6d96 [pdf file]
Image credit: T. Engels (see also Engels et al. Physical Review Fluids 4, 013103, 2019)
Insect and insect-inspired aerodynamics: unsteadiness, structural mechanics and flight control
R. Bomphrey & R. Godoy-Diana Current Opinion in Insect Science30, 26–32 (2018) [doi:10.1016/j.cois.2018.08.003]
Flying insects impress by their versatility and have been a recurrent source of inspiration for engineering devices. A large body of literature has focused on various aspects of insect flight, with an essential part dedicated to the dynamics of flapping wings and their intrinsically unsteady aerodynamic mechanisms. Insect wings flex during flight and a better understanding of structural mechanics and aeroelasticity is emerging. Most recently, insights from solid and fluid mechanics have been integrated with physiological measurements from visual and mechanosensors in the context of flight control in steady airs and through turbulent conditions. We review the key recent advances concerning flight in unsteady environments and how the multi-body mechanics of the insect structure — wings and body — are at the core of the flight control question. The issues herein should be considered when applying bio-informed design principles to robotic flapping wings.
Modelling of an actuated elastic swimmer
M. Piñeirua, B. Thiria & R. Godoy-Diana Journal of Fluid Mechanics829 731-750 (2017)
We studied the force production dynamics of undulating elastic plates as a model for fish-like inertial swimmers. Using a beam model coupled with Lighthill’s large-amplitude elongated-body theory, we explore different localised actuations at one extremity of the plate (heaving, pitching and a combination of both) in order to quantify the reactive and resistive contributions to the thrust. The latter has the Continue reading “Flapping elastic plates as a model of fish-like swimmers”
Four-winged flapping flyer in forward flight
R. Godoy-Diana, P. Jain, M. Centeno, A. Weinreb & B. Thiria
In Klapp et al. (eds.), Selected Topics of Computational and Experimental Fluid Mechanics, Environmental Science and Engineering, pp. 147-158. Springer (2015).
We study experimentally a four-winged flapping flyer with chord-wise flexible wings in a self-propelled setup. For a given physical configuration of the flyer (i.e. fixed distance between the forewing and hindwing pairs and fixed wing flexibility), we explore the kinematic parameter space constituted by the flapping frequency and the forewing-hindwing phase lag. Continue reading “Four-winged flapping flyer in forward flight”
We study experimentally the propulsive dynamics of flexible undulating foils in a self-propelled swimming configuration near a wall. Measurements of swimming speed and propulsive force are performed, together with full recordings of the elastic wave kinematics and particle image velocimetry. Continue reading “Undulatory swimming near a wall”
The present document, prepared in view of obtaining the Habilitation à diriger des recherches, reviews my main research subject at PMMH since 2006, which concerns the study of swimming and flying inspired by nature. Canonical examples of flapping flight and undulatory swimming are explored using simplified experimental models as a starting point. This allows for the discussion of some fundamental questions related to the physics of bio-inspired locomotion at “intermediate” Reynolds numbers. In particular, we address the strong fluid-structure interactions that arise in these problems, where we have focused on: simplified models of flapping foils in hydrodynamic tunnel experiments, especially in the dynamics of vorticity in the wake of an oscillating foil ; mechanical models of flapping flyers with flexible wings in a self-propelled configuration (in the spirit of the pioneer experiments of Etienne-Jules Marey), as well as novel experimental models of undulatory swimming. Continue reading “Habilitation à diriger des recherches (HDR)”
Vortex-induced drag and the role of aspect ratio in undulatory swimmers
V. Raspa, S. Ramananarivo, B. Thiria & R. Godoy-Diana. Physics of Fluids, 26 : 041701 (2014).
During cruising, the thrust produced by a self-propelled swimmer is balanced by a global drag force. For a given object shape, this drag can involve skin friction or form drag, both being well-documented mechanisms. However, for swimmers whose shape is changing in time, the question of drag is not yet clearly established. Continue reading “Drag in undulatory swimmers”
Topology-induced effect in biomimetic propulsive wakes
V. Raspa; R. Godoy-Diana & B. Thiria. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 729: 377-387 (2013).
Abstract: It is known that the wake pattern observed in a cross-section behind swimming or flying animals is typically characterized by the presence of periodical vortex shedding. However, depending on species, propulsive wakes can differ according to the spatial ordering of the main vortex structures. We conducted a very precise experiment to analyse the role of the topology of the wake in the generation of propulsion by comparing two prototypical cases in a quasi-two-dimensional view. Continue reading “Topology-induced effect in biomimetic propulsive wakes”
Force balance in the take-off of a pierid butterfly: relative importance and timing of leg impulsion and aerodynamic forces
G. Bimbard, D. Kolomenskiy, O. Bouteleux, J. Casas & R. Godoy-Diana. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216 : 3551-3563 (2013).
Abstract: Up to now, the take-off stage remains an elusive phase of insect flight relatively poorly explored compared to other maneuvers. An overall assessment of the different mechanisms involved in the force production during take-off has never been explored. Focusing on the first downstroke, we have addressed this problem from a force balance perspective in butterflies taking-off from the ground. Continue reading “Force balance in the take-off of a pierid butterfly”
Rather than resonance, flapping wing flyers may play on aerodynamics to improve performance
S. Ramananarivo; R. Godoy-Diana & B. Thiria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), 108 (15): 5964-5969 (2011).
Abstract: Saving energy and enhancing performance are secular preoccupations shared by both nature and human beings. In animal locomotion, flapping flyers or swimmers rely on the flexibility of their wings or body to passively increase their efficiency using an appropriate cycle of storing and releasing elastic energy. Despite the convergence of many observations pointing out this feature, the underlying mechanisms explaining how the elastic nature of the wings is related to propulsive efficiency remain unclear. Here we use an experiment with a self-propelled simplified insect model allowing to show how wing compliance governs the performance of flapping flyers. Continue reading “Behind the performance of flapping wing flyers”
Abstract: Wing flexibility governs the flying performance of flapping-wing flyers. Here, we use a self-propelled flapping-wing model mounted on a ”merry go roun” to investigate the effect of wing compliance on the propulsive efficiency of the system. Continue reading “Bending to fly”
A model for the symmetry breaking of the reverse Bénard-von Kármán vortex street produced by a flapping foil
R. Godoy-Diana; C. Marais; J. L. Aider & J. E. Wesfreid. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 622 : 23-32 (2009).
Abstract: The vortex streets produced by a flapping foil of span-to-chord aspect ratio of 4:1 are studied in a hydrodynamic tunnel experiment. In particular, the mechanisms giving rise to the symmetry breaking of the reverse Bénard-von Kármán vortex street that characterizes fish-like swimming and forward flapping flight are examined. Two-dimensional particle image velocimetry measurements in the mid-plane perpendicular to the span axis of the foil are used to characterize the different flow regimes. Continue reading “Symmetry breaking of the reverse Bénard-von Kármán vortex street”
Transitions in the wake of a flapping foil
R. Godoy-Diana; J. L. Aider & J. E. Wesfreid. Physical Review E, 77 : 016308 (2008).
Abstract: We study experimentally the vortex streets produced by a flapping foil in a hydrodynamic tunnel, using two-dimensional particle image velocimetry. An analysis in terms of a flapping frequency-amplitude phase space allows the identification of (i) the transition from the well-known Bénard-von Kármán (BvK) wake to the reverse BvK vortex street that characterizes propulsive wakes, and (ii) the symmetry breaking of this reverse BvK pattern giving rise to an asymmetric wake. Continue reading “Transitions in the wake of a flapping foil”