Simulating the three-dimensional flow features generated by heaving wings constitutes a great challenge due to the computational effort required to compute the complex three-dimensional flow produced as a function of the kinematics parameters, wing geometry, and Reynolds number. Hereafter, we study the wake topology generated by oscillating rigid wings and the validity of the Strouhal number as the fundamental parameters used to assess the aerodynamic performance of heaving wings. The unsteady laminar incompressible Navier-Stokes equations are solved on moving overlapping structured grids using a second-order accurate in space and time finite-difference numerical method. The numerical simulations are performed at a Reynolds number of Re = 250 and at different values of Strouhal number and heaving frequency.
Part of the book: Flight Physics