Volume 27, Issue 9, September 2015
Index of content:
27(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4930235View Description Hide Description
While it is understood that flexibility can improve the propulsive performance of flapping wings and fins, the flexibility distribution leading to optimal performance has not been explored. Using 2D small-amplitude theory and a fast Chebyshev method, we examine how thrust depends on the chord-wise distribution of wing stiffness. Through numerical optimization, we find that focusing flexibility at the wing’s front, e.g., through a torsional spring, maximizes thrust. A wing with an optimally chosen spring constant typically generates 36% more thrust than a wing of optimal uniform stiffness. These results may relate to material distributions found in nature, such as insect wings, and may apply to the design of biomimetic swimmers and flyers, such as ornithopters.
- Laminar Flows
27(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4930028View Description Hide Description
The role of induced vortex interaction in a semi-active flapping foil based energy harvester is numerically examined in this work. A NACA0015 airfoil, which acts as an energy harvester, is placed in a two-dimensional laminar flow. It performs an imposed pitching motion that subsequently leads to a plunging motion. Two auxiliary smaller foils, which rotate about their centers, are arranged above and below the flapping foil, respectively. As a consequence, the vortex interaction between the flapping foil and the rotating foil is induced. At a Reynolds number of 1100 and the position of the pitching axis at one-third chord, the effects of the distance between two auxiliary foils, the phase difference between the rotating motion and the pitching motion as well as the frequency of pitching motion on the power extraction performance are systematically investigated. It is found that compared to the single flapping foil, the efficiency improvement of overall power extraction for the flapping foil with two auxiliary foils can be achieved. Based on the numerical analysis, it is indicated that the enhanced power extraction, which is caused by the increased lift force, thanks to the induced vortex interaction, directly benefits the efficiency enhancement.
- Geophysical Flows
Report on the Program “Fluid-mediated particle transport in geophysical flows” at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, UC Santa Barbara, September 23 to December 12, 201327(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4928764View Description Hide Description
The Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics (KITP) program held at UC Santa Barbara in the fall of 2013 addressed the dynamics of dispersed particulate flows in the environment. By focusing on the prototypes of aeolian transport and turbidity currents, it aimed to establish the current state of our understanding of such two-phase flows, to identify key open questions, and to develop collaborative research strategies for addressing these questions. Here, we provide a brief summary of the program outcome.