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Michaels, Simone ColetteDevelopment and Assessment of Artificial Manduca sexta Forewings: How Wing Structure Affects Performance
Master of Sciences (Engineering), Case Western Reserve University, 2016, EMC - Aerospace Engineering
This research presents novel fabrication and testing techniques for artificial insect wings. A series of static and dynamic assessments are designed which allow consistent comparison of small, flexible wings in terms of structure and performance. Locally harvested hawk moths are tested and compared to engineered wings. Data from these experiments shows that the implemented replication method results in artificial wings with comparable properties to that of M. sexta. Flexural stiffness (EI) data shows a considerable difference between the left and right M. sexta wings. Furthermore, EI values on the ventral wing side are found to be consistently higher than the dorsal side. Based on dynamic results, variations in venation structure have the largest impact on lift generation. Lift tests on individual wings and wing sets indicate detrimental effects as a result of wing-wake interaction.

Committee:

Roger Quinn (Advisor); Mark Willis (Committee Member); Richard Bachmann (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Aerospace Engineering; Aerospace Materials; Biology; Engineering; Entomology; Mechanical Engineering

Keywords:

Manduca sexta; artificial wings; wing fabrication; biomimicry