Wind Tunnel Fixtures for Bat Wing Testing

Team: BWING21

Program: Mechanical Engineering

Researchers in the Johns Hopkins Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences seek to understand the mechanosensory stimulation of the bat wing. These behaviors can be analyzed by measuring and interpreting responses to wind tunnel airflow across the bat’s wing. As for the engineering team, the goal is to design and develop systems to improve and expand current experimental methods. Such systems include an improved restraint method for comfortably securing bats during data collection, a preparation space at the wind tunnel to minimize bat transport distance, and a pitch automation system for motorized wing angle control. Functional prototypes for all three systems have been developed and are under final testing. The potential impact of this research is signficant; it paves the way for bioinspired control systems and novel sensors for aerial and marine vehicles. Our work as engineers can help the researchers progress in their studies and achieve these goals.

Brittney Boublil
Dr. Noah Cowan
Dr. Cynthia Moss
Michael Wilkinson
Dr. Nathan Scott

Team Members

Image showing the combined bat restraint and motorized rotation system mounted to the wind tunnel wall. Arduino electronics are also shown.

This video is a brief overview of the design goals and prototypes fabricated over the past academic year.