A new study has demonstrated that laser light can impair the flight of birds. Scientists have tested this theory by implementing some goggles on a bird which was later released to fly through a sheet of a laser. Now, researchers have reached a step further in science due to this brave bird. Experts have argued that when birds lift off and spread their wings, the wings produce currents of air known as wingtip vortices.
- Scientists revealed more data about wingtip vortices.
- Due to the help of a parrotlet, researchers have established the effects of laser on the flight.
The movement of the vortices has helped specialists determine more information about how birds fly and how they move their wings. Only recently had scientists managed to establish measurements of these currents. The new study was recently published in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics magazine.
A group of researchers from Stanford University has tested a bird by using four different cameras to capture a parrotlet flying across a room through the laser light. After obtaining the video footage, researchers were able to establish more data regarding the vortices. They managed to visualize the wingtip vortices, and they revealed that the air moves in an entirely different way compared what we all knew based on previous theoretical calculations.
Some specialists argued that the results of this study may help other develop a better plan for the manufacturing of planes. One of the methods used by experts to visualize airflow was to use a sheet of the laser in a wind tunnel. Firstly, they had to release some particles in the wind tunnel. The particles were predicted to have the same rhythm with the natural airflow, moving exactly in the same way.
Secondly, they have added the sheet of laser that managed to illuminate those particles. Thus, they have demonstrated that when a bird goes right through the wind tunnel, the movements produced when flying disrupt the particles. The laser helped researchers unveil the flow of the particles after the bird flew through the tunnel.
The laser light could harm the vision of the bird if it does not protection goggles. This is the reason why experts have 3D-printed some goggles for the little bird. Next, they have struggled and trained the parrotlet to fly in the wind tunnel between perches while wearing the protection glasses. While all this flying process was developing, researchers captured every detail on high-speed video. The result was that the vortices broke down after approximately three wingbeats.
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