Moble Benedict is currently a research scientist at the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center, University of Maryland (UMD), College Park. He obtained his Ph.D. from UMD in December 2010 and M.S. and B.S. degrees from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay in 2003 and 2004, respectively. He is interested in the broad areas of Micro Air Vehicle (MAV)/Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) design and testing, UAV flight control and dynamics, experimental aerodynamics/aeromechanics, and computational aeroelasticity.
At UMD, he conducted pioneering research on next-generation Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) concepts, Cyclocopter and Flapping-wing aircraft, MAV/UAV applications. Cyclocopter is a radical alternate concept to conventional helicopters that can revolutionize vertical flight. Cyclocopter research included the most comprehensive experimental/computational study ever performed on this concept since its inception in the early 20th century. The experimental study included both performance and flow-field (Particle Image Velocimetry) studies. This study uncovered the key aerodynamic/aeroelastic phenomena involved and hence dramatically improved the understanding of this concept. This helped in formulating a set of design principles for an efficient cyclorotor which eventually led to the development of the first flying cyclocopter in the history. This research has been recognized with a Best Paper Award in Advanced Vertical Flight from the American Helicopter Society (AHS) in 2011.He conducts foundational research on the development of a bio-inspired hover and forward-flight capable flapping-wing MAV weighing less than 100 grams. For this purpose, he has developed a state-of-the art biomimetic flapping-wing test rig equipped with a miniature 6-DOF force transducer in a vacuum chamber to measure the wing loads in air and vacuum (at hover). This was followed by extensive wind-tunnel studies to understand the forward-flight performance of flapping wings. This was one of the pioneering studies to experimentally investigate the complex aeromechanics of flexible biomimetic flapping wings at MAV scale Reynolds numbers and was instrumental in optimizing the wing design/kinematics for the flapping MAV. His research also focused on understanding the flight dynamics and developing novel control strategies for these unconventional flying vehicles.
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