Abstract

Bat is the only mammal in the nature that can fly. Compared with birds and insects, bats are quite special in that their wings are formed by an elastic membrane, which renders that the airfoil deforms greatly during downstroke and upstroke. Due to the compliant skin of a bat, the movements of its wings are three-dimensionally complex during diverse flight behaviors. To understand the maneuverability and flight performance, three-dimensional reconstruction of the flight kinematics is essential. This study focuses on the reconstruction of the wing kinematics of the bat and identifies the primary relationship of parameters of aerodynamics in straight flight. With markers pasted on the wings and body of a bat, the motions of these points are recorded by a computerized optical motion capture system. The kinematic analysis shows that the motion of wings is very intricate. The digits of the wing display the sign of coupled motion. A novel approach was developed to measure the angle of attack and flapping angle of the wing. The angle of attack of leading edge differs with the overall angle of attack of the wing. The kinematics of the bat's wing is helpful to interpret the secret of the bat's flight.

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