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  • Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 534
  • July 2005, pp. 403-409

Uncovering the physics of flapping flat plates with artificial evolution

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 June 2005

We consider an experiment in which a rectangular flat plate is flapped with two degrees of freedom, and a genetic algorithm tunes its trajectory parameters so as to achieve maximum average lift force, thus evolving a population of trajectories all yielding optimal lift forces. We cluster the converged population by defining a dynamical formation number for a flapping flat plate, thus showing that optimal unsteady force generation is linked to the formation of a leading-edge vortex with maximum circulation. Force and digital particle image velocimetry measurements confirm this result.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
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