Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Mark F. Reeder, PhD.


Considerable prior research has been conducted on many aspects of Hawkmoth-sized, piezo-driven FWMAVs, but the majority utilized a common structural wing to conform with a biomimetic design. In this research, six alternate wing designs with the same planform and size, but different structures were built and explored. FEA code was used to determine the location of maximum stress, and then mass was removed from minimally stressed areas, under the premise that equal force production with a lighter wing would improve the MAV design. The main metric for this research was vertical force generation per mass; high speed video provided complementary insight. The angle stop setting was fixed at 60 deg based on prior studies, and tests were executed by mounting the mechanism on an ATI Nano-17 Titanium force transducer. As part of this effort, several manufacturing processes enhancing repeatability and efficiency during testing and assembly were developed. The new method for wing and PZT attachment allow for constant drive linkage geometry, and nondestructive wing replacement. The alternate designs created a 3.8 mg to 19.4 mg (6% to 31% of original wing and 0.5% to 2.5% of a typical Hawkmoth) mass reduction, and generated vertical forces approaching the original design. Combining the mass and natural frequency into a RDS, an effective wing design can be predicted. The best design produced 14% less vertical force than the original design, however, it resulted in a 15% mass reduction from the original wing. High speed video suggested small additional changes to the wing motion could improve performance.

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DTIC Accession Number