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Animal and biological science highlights: San Antonio Fluid Dynamics Conference, Nov. 23-25
Date:11/19/2008

wingspan; Bocanegra Evans's model has an 18.5-inch wingspan, with two 4.9-inch-long wings that are each controlled with two servo motors. One motor produces back and forth motions and the second changes the angle of attack of the wing. The robo-bird was "flown" in a large water channel seeded with tiny glass particles. A laser and camera tracked the particles as they flowed through the water as a result of the wing movements. From these particle trajectories, the scientists could determine the forces produced by the wings, "which will give us insight into how hovering is accomplished," Bocanegra Evans says. "By knowing the value of the forces at different wing positions, the production of lift and drag can be associated with specific kinematics."

Bocanegra Evans will discuss the preliminary results of the simulation in his talk, "Flight of a Rufous Hummingbird Robotic Model-PIV Measurements," at 9:31 am on Monday, November 24, 2008, in Room 103B of the San Antonio Convention Center. Abstract: http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DFD08/Event/90210.


3) DOLPHIN SWIMMING MYSTERY SOLVED WITH DIGITAL IMAGING TECHNIQUE

Since the 1930s, scientists have puzzled over the high speeds at which dolphins swim. Dolphins were not thought to be capable of generating enough thrust to overcome the drag they would experience at high speeds from the turbulent flow of water around their bodies--a conundrum known as Gray's paradox (after biologist Sir James Gray, who first noted it). That led biologists to speculate that dolphin skin must have unusual turbulence-reducing properties which let them swim fast.

Now, with the aid of a digital flow-tracking technology, fluid dynamicist Timothy Wei and his colleagues have, for the first time, directly addressed Gray's paradox--and proven it wrong.

Wei, a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic University in New York, and his colleagues us
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Contact: Jason Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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