Insects rely on their olfactory system to forage, prey, and mate. They can sense odorant plumes emitted from sources of their interests with their bilateral odorant antennae, and track down odor sources using their highly efficient flapping-wing mechanism. The odor-tracking process typically consists of two distinct behaviors: surging upwind at higher velocity and zigzagging crosswind at lower velocity. Despite extensive numerical and experimental studies on odor guided flight in insects, we have limited understandings on the effects of flight velocity on odor plume structure and its associated odor perception. In this study, a fully coupled three-way numerical solver is developed, which solves the 3D Navier-Stokes equations coupled with equations of motion for the passive flapping wings, and the odorant convection-diffusion equation. This numerical solver is applied to resolve the unsteady flow field and the odor plume transport for a fruit fly model at different flight velocities in terms of reduced frequency. Our results show that the odor plume structure and intensity are strong related to reduced frequency. At smaller reduced frequency (larger forward velocity), odor plume is pushed up during downstroke and draw back during upstroke. At larger reduced frequency (smaller forward velocity), the flapping wings induce a shield-like air flow around the antennae which may greatly increase the odor sampling range. Our finding may explain why flight velocity is important in odor guided flight.

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