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Computations of flow past the corrugated Airfoil of Drosophila Melanogaster at Ultra Low Reynolds Number
Author(s): Benjamin Rohit, Swathi Reddy, Siddharth Ghosh, Mohammed Shakil
Keywords: Bio-inspiration, Fruitfly, Dragonfly, CFD
The study of corrugated wings has become acquainted in the field of insect flight in recent times. Recent studies on the aerodynamic effects of a corrugated wing are based on insects like the Dragonfly; whereas the likes of Fruitfly (Drosophila Melanogaster) usually go unobserved due to their smaller size. Consequently, the behaviour of these corrugations is found to be anomalous especially in the low and ultra-low Reynolds number region. Therefore, the main aim of this study is to understand the aerodynamic effects of the corrugated airfoil present in the wing of a Fruitfly; by conducting a geometric parametric study during a static non-flapping flight at 1000 Re. In this computational study, a 2-D section of the corrugated wing along the chord is considered. The parametric study helps in understanding the effects of varying number of corrugations, angle of corrugations, filleting and the presence of a hump at the trailing edge. The dimensions were scaled to a suitable reference value to additionally compare the corrugated airfoil of Fruitfly to that of a Dragonfly. The present study shows that the aerodynamic performance of the corrugated wing in terms of cl and cd are predominantly governed by the subtle geometric variations that can largely impact the formation of bubbles, vortex zones, and their mutual interaction. The reduction in the number of leading edge corrugations improved the cl /cd ratio and reduction in the corrugation angle helped produce higher lift. Filleting the corrugations ensured a smoother flow around the corrugations helping in better flow reattachment hence increasing the stall angle. The presence of a trailing edge hump also improved the stall angle with a better flow re-attachment. The presence of corrugation at the trailing edge proved to be more beneficial compared to the model with corrugations at the leading edge. This also helped in understanding, the aerodynamic superiority of the trailing edge corrugations present in the Dragonfly’s wing when compared to the Fruitfly’s.