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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 6, Number 7, September 2010 , pages 867-887

A dragonfly inspired flapping wing actuated by electro active polymers
Sujoy Mukherjee and Ranjan Ganguli

    An energy-based variational approach is used for structural dynamic modeling of the IPMC (Ionic Polymer Metal Composites) flapping wing. Dynamic characteristics of the wing are analyzed using numerical simulations. Starting with the initial design, critical parameters which have influence on the performance of the wing are identified through parametric studies. An optimization study is performed to obtain improved flapping actuation of the IPMC wing. It is shown that the optimization algorithm leads to a flapping wing with dimensions similar to the dragonfly Aeshna Multicolor wing. An unsteady aerodynamic model based on modified strip theory is used to obtain the aerodynamic forces. It is found that the IPMC wing generates sufficient lift to support its own weight and carry a small payload. It is therefore a potential candidate for flapping wing of micro air vehicles.
Key Words
    ionic polymer metal composites; dynamics; flapping wing; optimization; unsteady aerodynamics; micro air vehicles.
Sujoy Mukherjee and Ranjan Ganguli: Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore-560012, India

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