Sequentially-coupled space-time FSI analysis of bio-inspired flapping-wing aerodynamics of an MAV

Kenji Takizawa, Tayfun E. Tezduyar*, Nikolay Kostov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


We present a sequentially-coupled space-time (ST) computational fluid-structure interaction (FSI) analysis of flapping-wing aerodynamics of a micro aerial vehicle (MAV). The wing motion and deformation data, whether prescribed fully or partially, is from an actual locust, extracted from high-speed, multi-camera video recordings of the locust in a wind tunnel. The core computational FSI technology is based on the Deforming-Spatial-Domain/ Stabilized ST (DSD/SST) formulation. This is supplemented with using NURBS basis functions in temporal representation of the wing and mesh motion, and in remeshing. Here we use the version of the DSD/SST formulation derived in conjunction with the variational multiscale (VMS) method, and this version is called "DSD/SST-VMST." The structural mechanics computations are based on the Kirchhoff-Love shell model. The sequential-coupling technique is applicable to some classes of FSI problems, especially those with temporally-periodic behavior. We show that it performs well in FSI computations of the flapping-wing aerodynamics we consider here. In addition to the straight-flight case, we analyze cases where the MAV body has rolling, pitching, or rolling and pitching motion. We study how all these influence the lift and thrust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-233
Number of pages21
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Aug


  • Bio-inspired flapping
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Locust
  • Micro aerial vehicle
  • Sequential coupling
  • Space-time techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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