A dynamic spar numerical model for passive shape change is validated for a single degree of freedom contact-aided compliant mechanism (CCM) in a flapping spar. CCMs are modeled as compliant joints: spherical joints with distributed mass and three axis nonlinear torsional spring-dampers. Several assumptions were made in the original formulation of the model, such as assuming the spars were rigid and a simple damping model for the compliant joints. An experiment was performed to validate the assumptions and tune the model. Four configurations of the leading edge spar were tested: a solid spar, a previously designed CCM at two spatial locations, and a modified version of the CCM. Reflective markers were placed on each configuration, then the spars were inserted into the wing roots of a clamped ornithopter. An array of computer vision cameras was used to track the spar and CCM kinematics as they were flapped. First, a flapping angle function was extracted using a moving average of the flapping cycles. Then, a genetic algorithm was implemented to tune the stiffness and damping parameters for each of the configuration, minimizing the root mean square error between the model and experimental marker kinematics. The model was able to capture the deflection amplitude and harmonics of the CCMs with very good agreement and minimal to no phase shift.

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