Scientists have uncovered the mystery of folding wings ladybugs

Scientists have uncovered the mystery of folding wings ladybugs

Abdomen participates directly in the process of folding the aircraft wings.

Scientists from Tokyo University have managed to discover the secret folding of the hind wings of ladybirds, seeing that in this process directly involves not only the already well-studied “hydraulic drive” with a mesh of blood vessels, but the elytra with a paunch. The work of researchers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and a brief statement of the results

Ladybugs are capable of movement on the legs compactly to fold the wings under the hard elytra, to protect them from damage. If you need to take off the rear membranous wings straightened in an average 0.1 seconds. This mechanism is well understood, because before the straightening of the wings of the ladybugs raise the elytra.

The membranous hind wings of beetles are folded under the elytra on the type of origami, and is a network of veins filling with fluid. Before takeoff ladybug raises the elytra and strains the muscles of the third thoracic segment, increasing the pressure of the fluid in the blood vessels of the flying wings. As a result, the elasticity of the vessels increases and the wing straightened.

To see in detail the process of folding wing scientists has ever managed.

The fact that after landing ladybug elytra folds and then begins to pull the rear fenders, actively helping himself with abdomen. On average, the folded flying wings in beetles takes about two seconds.

To study the process of folding the wings, the researchers used a seven-spotted ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata). She removed part of the right hard wing covers. The remote site then used as a snap-in to create copies of transparent acrylic resin, curable by ultraviolet light. Acrylic copy of the elytra were then glued on the rest of elytra ladybugs.

The researchers were rapidne shoot beetle, and examined under a microscope remote area of the elytra. It turned out that the inner side of the elytra has a relief corresponding to the pattern of the veins of the aircraft wing. In addition, on the inner side of the elytra there is a kind of “Velcro” — areas covered with fine setae that holds a folded wing.

Japanese scientists believe that the study of mechanisms for straightening and folding of the wings of ladybirds and some other bugs will allow you to find the best technical solutions for mechanisms of folding for different techniques, ranging solar panels and antennas of satellites and finishing with the wings of carrier-based aircraft.

Currently, the mechanisms of folding and unfolding of the wing, similar to those of the beetles does not exist. Used on carrier-based aircraft mechanisms represent a set of hydraulic actuators and locks. The wing deck of the aircraft some distance from the root has a hinged loop place bend.

Special pumps, pumping pressure in the hydraulic system, cause the actuator to expand or to fold the wing. In the extreme positions of the wing fixed. A folding wing is used on carrier-based aircraft to save space, so they can be more compact to place in the hangar or deck Parking.

In early February this year, researchers from NASA and Brigham young University presented the design of the collapsible heat sink for cooling of small satellites. This cooler folds and unfolds according to the principle of origami. The device will monitor the level of heat by adjusting the depth of the folds: the higher it is, the more heat will absorb the device.

Vasily Sychev