On January 28th, 2017, during the weSTEM Illinois Conference, hosted by GradSWE at the University of Illinois, Professor Aimy Wissa led a breakout session where she was able to engage with graduate students and share her experiences in a STEM field. The weSTEM Illinois Conference is designed for graduate students, by graduate students with goals of helping current students to be inspired to excel in their field, stay motivated to complete their degree, and grow passionate about the positive impact they can have on the world with a graduate degree in STEM.
Earlier this month, graduate student Josiah Waite traveled to Lake George, NY to present at ICAST, the International Conference on Adaptive Structures and Technologies. Josiah presented an aeroelastic model that showed passive deployment of covert-inspired devices was possible and likely to improve lift on UAVs. He had a great time and is looking forward to presenting more in the future.
On September 28, graduate students Boris Mandadzhiev and Michael Lynch traveled to Stowe, VT to present their research papers to the ASME SMASIS 2016 Conference. Boris presented a paper titled, ALULA-INSPIRED LEADING EDGE DEVICE FOR LOW REYNOLDS NUMBER FLIGHT, and Michael presented a technical presentation on Bio-Inspired Wingtip Devices for Low Reynolds Number Flight. Both students had a great time and are looking forward to their next conference!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prof. Wissa, center in orange, and grad student Boris Mandadzhiev, first row in blue, pose together with the GBAM students and the ornithopter.
This summer, the BAM lab participated in the Girls Building Awesome Machines, GBAM, summer camp hosted by the Women in Engineering. The high school students were able to experiment with glider designs so as to better understand the mechanics of unpowered flight, exploring the relationship between wing area, lifting center, and mass. Check out the full article about the event.
Prof. Wissa and the BAM Lab were recently featured in an article published by Inside Unmanned Systems discussing the future of unmanned aerial systems and how bio-inspired bird drones fit into the picture. Check out the full article here.
This summer, Prof. Wissa and graduate student Josiah Waite will be working with the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as part of the Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship. Check out the full article discussing the research projects and goals they plan to accomplish.
The BAM Lab was recently featured in an article written by the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Check out the full article detailing Prof. Wissa’s past experience, current work, and vision for the future.
Since the start of the semester, we have been working hard to order equipment to get our lab in MEB 64 up and running. In just a few short weeks, our lab has gone from an empty room to one where most of our furniture is setup. We are very excited to begin working in the lab and getting experiments underway in the near future.