Grauer Wins 1st place in Laurence J. Bement Young Professional Award CompetitionOn May 15, Dr. Jared Grauer received a tie for first place in the 2012 Laurence J. Bement Young Professional Award Competition for his paper entitled "Testing and System Identification of an Ornithopter in Longitudinal Flight" (Journal of Aircraft, vol. 48, no. 2, p. 660-667), co-authored with Evan Ulrich, Ph.D. advisor Dr. James Hubbard, Jr., Dr. Darryll Pines, and Dr. Sean Humbert. The award is presented annually by the Hampton Roads AIAA section to recognize outstanding on-the-job technical accomplishments of young members. To be eligible, the first-authored paper must have been either published or accepted for publication in an archival and refereed publication in the past six years and originally submitted while the first author was an AIAA member under the age of 35.
Jared's paper presents flight data for a 1.2 m, 0.45 kg ornithopter research platform, flown in straight and level mean flight. A visual tracking system was employed to follow retro-reflective markers on the ornithopter and reconstruct state measurements. A multibody model of the flight dynamics was used to investigate the spatial distribution of kinematic variables over the duration of a wing stroke, and system identification techniques were employed to extract models for the lift, thrust, and pitching moment coefficients. Two methods of parameter estimation showed good results for relatively simple aerodynamic models that enables simulation, feedback control, and state estimation techniques commonly used with traditional aircraft. Congratulations Jared!
Published August 9, 2012