Biomimetics of a Passively Morphing Wing

Because they seek to maximise their surface and height in order to capture the most sunlight, plants must rely on their flexibility to change form and reduce their drag when subjected to wind. We say that they reconfigure. This behavior is highly interesting for biomimetics because plants rely on passive reconfiguration and lack complex control systems. From what we have learned from studying plant reconfiguration, we seek to apply this bioinspiration to design a passively morphing wing.
The goal of the project will be to design, fabricate and test a wing that will reconfigure passively when subjected to flow. This will allow the wing to maximize its lift at low flow velocity and minimize its drag at high flow velocity. This morphing wing could have applications in miniature unmanned aerial vehicles, wind turbines or even Formula 1 racing.
To do this the student will design the wing structure, perform calculations to evaluate its reconfiguration when subjected to flow, fabricate the wing with soft polymers and test the wing in a closed loop wind tunnel we have at Polytechnique.

Faculty Supervisor:

Frederick Gosselin


Elsa Ramirez Santiago



Engineering - mechanical





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