Titanium alloy MEMS Wing

In this paper, we present the first MEMS-based wing technology that we developed using titanium-alloy metal (Ti-6Al-4V) as wingframe and poly-monochloro-para-xylylene (parylene-C) as wing membrane. With this new MEMS wing technology, we are able to produce light but robust 3-D wings, optimized to utilize the flow separation to achieve a high lift coefficient as large as 5 times that of the fixed-wing aircraft. The use of MEMS technology enables systematic research in terms of repeatability, size control, and weight minimization of the wings. We also constructed a high quality low-speed wind tunnel with velocity uniformity of 0.5% and speeds from 1 m/s to 10 m/s. We have tested and have studied the unsteady-state aerodynamics of various types of MEMS-based and non MEMS-based wings. Finally, we built lightweight, palm-sized flapping-wing micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) with super capacitor-powered and battery-powered transmission systems and have demonstrated successful free flights with flight duration ranges from 5 to 18 seconds.