A Multi-Body System Approach to the Simulation of Flexible Membrane Airfoils

Jeroen Breukels, Wubbo J. Ockels

Abstract


This paper outlines a simulation of flexible membrane wings using a multi-body system approach. The simulation is geared towards application within the world of kites, parachutes and parasails with an inflated tubular support structure. The simulation divides the chord of the airfoil up into hinged elements. On the nodes between these elements, aerodynamic forces are introduced. The aerodynamic forces on the airfoil are a function of angle of attack, airfoil thickness and airfoil camber. The simulation is set-up as part of a toolbox within MSC ADAMS so that new models can be generated quickly. This simulation is basically a building block to build more complicated configurations. The two dimensional model is compared to existing wind tunnel data of a similar sail wing. A comparison of a three dimensional wing is done using data obtained from a photogrammetry measurement on a full-scale inflatable sail wing in a wind tunnel.


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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19249/ams.v89i3.101

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