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How Focused Flexibility Maximizes the Thrust Production of Flapping Wings

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CATW02 - Complex analysis in mathematical physics and applications

Birds, insects, and fish all exploit the fact that flexible wings or fins generally perform better. It is not clear, though, how to best distribute flexibility: Should a wing be uniformly flexible, or should certain sections be more rigid than others? I will discuss this question by using a small-amplitude model combined with an efficient Chebyshev PDE solver that exploits the 2D nature of the problem through conformal mapping techniques. Numerical optimization shows that concentrating flexibility near the leading edge of the wing maximizes thrust production.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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