BAM Lab Summer Progress

Posted on August 15, 2016 by

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This summer, members of the BAM Lab have been hard at work on their respective projects. The lab is excited to share the tremendous progress made across many projects.

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Michael Lynch, a graduate student researcher in the BAM Lab, has been designing an experiment to examine the effect of wingtip slots seen on many species of birds. He has created a physical model wing for wind tunnel testing to examine various parameters such as wingtip spacing and wingtip angle of attack at various wind speeds. Michael hopes to better understand the reason why birds have these wingtip structures and eventually wishes to implement adaptive wingtip structures on unmanned aerial vehicles.

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Graduate Student Boris Mandadzhiev has been hard at work trying to understand the effects of an alula feather on bird wings. He has spent this summer conducting experiments on a 2D wing setup as well as designing a fully 3D setup. Boris hopes to conduct hotwire and PIV measurements on his model so as to better understand the effect of the alula feather on the flow over a bird’s wing, and eventually, wishes to create a deployable alula device for the ornithopter.

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Graduate students Josiah Waite and Chengfang Duan have spent their summer creating a low fidelity, aeroelastic model to better understand the effect of covert feathers seen on bird species. They have worked in conjunction with the Wright Patterson Airforce Base in developing this model. The pair hopes to eventually validate their model with wind tunnel experiments, and then implement the devices on an unmanned aerial vehicle.

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Luis Urrutia, an undergraduate student in the BAM Lab, has spent this summer working on many different projects for the BAM Lab. He has worked on setting up and calibrating an open source 3D printer, implementing a wing rotation device (as shown in the picture) for wind tunnel testing, and helped conducted experiments in the wind tunnel.

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Undergraduate student Brian Chien has spent the summer working design improvements for a crawling robot, a project in conjunction with the Kinetic Materials Research Group. He has implemented many design improvements that have increased the crawling efficiency of the robot significantly. Brian hopes to eventually create a multi-gait robot capable of operating in unique and adverse conditions.

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Undergraduate student Ben Smet has spent the summer implementing a sensor and data logging package for the ornithopter. His goal is to create baseline measurements of the power requirements and operational forces associated with the ornithopter at various conditions. In the future, the goal will be to see how improvements such as adaptive wingtips, flexible wing spars, deployable coverts, and other devices affect the ornithopter.