Navigation Links
Secrets of insect flight revealed
Date:9/19/2009

Researchers are one step closer to creating a micro-aircraft that flies with the manoeuvrability and energy efficiency of an insect after decoding the aerodynamic secrets of insect flight.

Dr John Young, from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia, and a team of animal flight researchers from Oxford University's Department of Zoology, used high-speed digital video cameras to film locusts in action in a wind tunnel, capturing how the shape of a locust's wing changes in flight. They used that information to create a computer model which recreates the airflow and thrust generated by the complex flapping movement.

The breakthrough result, published in the journal Science this week, means engineers understand for the first time the aerodynamic secrets of one of Nature's most efficient flyers information vital to the creation of miniature robot flyers for use in situations such as search and rescue, military applications and inspecting hazardous environments.

"The so-called `bumblebee paradox' claiming that insects defy the laws of aerodynamics, is dead. Modern aerodynamics really can accurately model insect flight," said Dr Young, a lecturer in the School of Aerospace, Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the Australian Defence Force Academy (UNSW@ADFA).

"Biological systems have been optimised through evolutionary pressures over millions of years, and offer many examples of performance that far outstrips what we can achieve artificially.

"An insect's delicately structured wings, with their twists and curves, and ridged and wrinkled surfaces, are about as far away as you can get from the streamlined wing of an aircraft," Dr Young said.

"Until very recently it hasn't been possible to measure the actual shape of an insect's wings in flight partly because their wings flap so fast, and partly because their shape is so complicated.

"Locusts are an interesting insect for engineers to study because of their ability to fly extremely long distances on very limited energy reserves."

Once the computer model of the locust wing movement was perfected, the researchers ran modified simulations to find out why the wing structure was so complex.

In one test they removed the wrinkles and curves but left the twist, while in the second test they replaced the wings with rigid flat plates. The results showed that the simplified models produced lift but were much less efficient, requiring much more power for flight.

"The message for engineers working to build insect-like micro-air vehicles is that the high lift of insect wings may be relatively easy to achieve, but that if the aim is to achieve efficiency of the sort that enables inter-continental flight in locusts, then the details of deforming wing design are critical," Dr Young said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Peter Trute
p.trute@unsw.edu.au
61-293-851-933
University of New South Wales
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. DNA2.0 Unlocks The Secrets Of Optimized Gene Design: Company Identifies Codon Choice Design Principles for Optimal Protein Expression
2. Charging ahead: University of Houston team revealing secrets of electricity-producing materials
3. Graphene yields secrets to its extraordinary properties
4. Pizza tossing art unlocks secrets of tiny motors
5. Cracking the Code: Exclusive Conference to Reveal Secrets of Chinese Pharmaceutical Industry
6. DuPont and Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences Collaborate to Advance Crop Insect Control, Increase Yield
7. Mosquito genes linked to insecticide resistance may be new target in fight against malaria
8. DuPont and Athenix Collaborate to Advance Insect Control in Corn, Soybeans
9. Like an arrow: Jumping insects use archery techniques
10. New Insect Protection Technology From Monsanto Company Deregulated by USDA
11. Monsanto and Devgen Describe New Approach to Insect-Protection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017  Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTCQB: ... personalized immune therapies for solid tumor cancers, today ... million financing it announced last Friday, March 17, ... several institutional investors securities totaling 28,843,692 shares, comprised ... and 10,000,000 shares of Class C Warrants pre-funded ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017 Kineta, Inc., a biotechnology company ... in immuno-oncology, today announced the discovery and characterization ... that activate interferon response factor 3 (IRF3) via ... tumor regression in a murine colon carcinoma mouse ... complete tumor regression to initial drug treatment were ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... New Orleans, La. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, ... ... of real-time, industrial monitoring solutions, today announced the hire of Dr. Sigmund “Sig” ... for APMT customer applications, strategic partnerships and joint development activities. , “Dr. Floyd’s ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Good Start Genetics, a leading family genomics ... million covered lives mark through its most recent payor ... . With newly signed contracts nationally and others ... payor acceptance based on the quality of its science, ... its industry-leading customer care and support and its published ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Vehicle Anti-Theft System Market is ... next decade to reach approximately $14.21 billion by 2025. ... all the given segments on global as well as regional levels ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. Angela ... The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese Prime ... partner country. At the largest German biometrics company the two government leaders ... iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... , Australia , March 9, ... study data at the prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop ... Andreas Fouras , was invited to deliver the ... pulmonary medicine. This globally recognised event brings together leaders ... share the latest developments in lung imaging. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):