A dynamic mesh strategy applied to the simulation of flapping wings

Shuanghou Deng, Tianhang Xiao*, Bas van Oudheusden, Hester Bijl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A robust and efficient dynamic grid strategy based on an overset grid coupled with mesh deformation technique is proposed for simulating unsteady flow of flapping wings undergoing large geometrical displacement. The dynamic grid method was implemented using a hierarchical unstructured overset grid locally coupled with a fast radial basis function (RBF)-based mapping approach. The hierarchically organized overset grid allows transferring the grid resolution for multiple blocks and overlapping/embedding the meshes. The RBF-based mapping approach is particularly highlighted in this paper in view of its considerable computational efficiency compared with conventional RBF evaluation. The performance of the proposed dynamic mesh strategy is demonstrated by three typical unsteady cases, including a rotating rectangular block in a fixed domain, a relative movement between self-propelled fishes and the X-wing type flapping-wing micro air vehicle DelFly, which displays the clap-and-fling wing-interaction phenomenon on both sides of the fuselage. Results show that the proposed method can be applied to the simulation of flapping wings with satisfactory efficiency and robustness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-680
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2016


  • Dynamic mesh
  • Efficiency
  • Flapping wings
  • Overset grid
  • RBF-based mapping
  • Robustness


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