Validation and Optimization of Ptera Software: An Open-Source Unsteady Simulator for Flapping Wings

Cameron Urban, Ramesh K. Agarwal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Scientists have long used the unsteady vortex lattice method (UVLM) to simulate flappingwing flight. However, there are few open-source UVLM solvers designed for research in this field. Therefore, the authors wrote and released Ptera Software, an open-source UVLM solver for flapping wings. This report documents the next steps in Ptera Software’s development: the validation of its results and the optimization of its performance. 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 reasonable accuracy. Also, by using several computational methods, the researchers optimized the source code such that the solver’s latest iteration is over three times faster than previous versions. 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. Additionally, it is now fast enough for use as an iterative tool in the design of novel flapping-wing micro aerial vehicles (FWMAVs).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA SciTech Forum 2022
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624106316
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
EventAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 3 2022Jan 7 2022

Publication series

NameAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022

Conference

ConferenceAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period01/3/2201/7/22

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