Scientists have long used the unsteady vortex lattice method (UVLM) to simulate flapping wing flight. However, until recently, there has not been an available open-source UVLM solver designed explicitly for this field. Ptera Software is the only open-source UVLM solver that can simulate flapping wing aerodynamics without the modifications required by other open-source solvers. This report documents the next step in the software’s development: validation of its results. Comparing Ptera Software’s output to high-fidelity experimental data of the pressures on a flapping wing robot shows that the simulated results predict the trends and magnitudes of the net lift over time with good accuracy. The present results demonstrate that Ptera Software correctly implements the UVLM and can simulate flapping wing flight with reasonable accuracy under this method’s assumptions.

Document Type

Final Report

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study

Date of Submission