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Xuan YangA paper “Aeroelastic Analysis for Highly Flexible Flapping Wing in Hover,” authored by Xuan Yang (first author), Aswathi Sudhir, Atanu Halder and Dr. Moble Benedict, won the best paper award in the “Modeling and Simulation” session at the 2017 American Helicopter Society Annual Forum.

Yang, a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, presented his paper among 23 other presenters in the session, which focused on advancements in modeling methodologies in vertical flight.

A hover-capable flapping-wing Micro Aerial Vehicle, such as the “Robotic Hummingbird” in the Advanced Vertical Flight Lab, utilizes highly flexible wings operating at high frequencies/amplitudes, which cause extreme wing deflections and highly unsteady, vortical flows. The strong fluid-structure coupling and the complicated flow physics make the performance of such a system extremely difficult to predict.

Their paper presented a stand-alone coupled aeroelastic framework developed by coupling an unsteady aerodynamic model with a geometrically exact structural model and validated with in-house experiments on highly flexible hummingbird inspired flapping wings in hover. The paper was recognized for being the most important technical contribution to the field.