A computational co‐simulation framework for flying robots with flexible wings is presented. The authors combine a nonlinear aerodynamic model based on an extended version of the unsteady vortex‐lattice method with a nonlinear structural model based on a segregated formulation of Lagrange’s equations obtained with the Floating Frame of Reference formalism. The structural model construction allows for hybrid combinations of different models typically used with multibody systems such as models based on rigid‐body dynamics, assumed‐modes techniques, and finite‐element methods. The aerodynamic model includes a simulation of leading‐edge separation for large angles of attack. The governing differential‐algebraic equations are solved simultaneously and interactively to obtain the structural response and the flow in the time domain. The integration is based on the fourth‐order predictor‐corrector method of Hamming with a procedure to stabilize the iteration. The findings are found to capture known nonlinear behavior of flapping-wing systems. The developed framework should be relevant for conducting aeroelastic studies on a wide variety of air vehicle systems.
Part of the book: Aerial Robots