Doctoral Dissertations


"Micro air vehicles, or MAVs, are of current interest for a multitude of uses to which they, being small, unmanned vehicles, are uniquely suited. Among the proposed uses are exploration, reconnaissance, and communications. They can be deployed inside buildings, where their small size, hovering capability, and maneuverability, are important factors. Due to their small size, they operate at low Reynolds numbers where conventional flying mechanisms are not advantageous. Thus, attempts have been made to learn from natural flyers like insects and birds. Natural flight is accomplished by flapping wings, and this idea has been proposed for certain types of MAVs termed ornithopters and entomopters. This dissertation investigates the aerodynamics applicable to low Reynolds number unsteady flow, and consists of four stages. The first stage is CFD for fixed wings at low Reynolds number. In the second and third stage, experiments are conducted on flapping and plunging wings. The final stage consists of dynamic mesh CFD for a plunging airfoil"--Abstract, page iii.


Isaac, Kakkattukuzhy M.

Committee Member(s)

Riggins, David W.
Neogi, P. (Partho), 1951-
Finaish, Fathi
Alofs, Darryl J.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Aerospace Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2009


x, 127 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 115-126).


© 2009 Taylor Alexander Swanson, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Insects -- Flight
Micro air vehicles -- Design and construction
Micro air vehicles
Reynolds number
Wings (Anatomy)

Thesis Number

T 9531

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #