University of Twente Student Theses


Qualitative flow sensing with 3D-printed sensors for application in a robotic bird

Berg, Rutger van den (2021) Qualitative flow sensing with 3D-printed sensors for application in a robotic bird.

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Abstract:Robotic birds are a promising technology for a variety of purposes regarding bird control and to increase knowledge about bird flight. Currently robotic birds are not very autonomous yet. That is why more insight is required in flapping flight. This report is about the design, fabrication, characterisation and testing of a 3D-printed sensor for qualitative measurement of stall over an airfoil. For this, the concept of the tuft is combined with that of a piezoresistive strain gauge to make a flexible sensor of which the resistance changes as a result of the deflection. On a aeroelastical level the tuft shows clear flapping behaviour when the airfoil on which it is mounted is under stall. At laminar flow the sensor does not move. High speed video analysis is used to investigate this behaviour. The resistance of the strain gauge shows fluctuations when the sensor is deflected by an initial force and then released. These fluctuations are in agreement with the flapping of the tuft. A decrease in average resistance is measured as a result of this flapping. However, when tested in the wind tunnel no fluctuations are measured in the resistance due to unknown effects that occur because of the presence of the wind.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:33 physics, 52 mechanical engineering, 53 electrotechnology
Programme:Advanced Technology BSc (50002)
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