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Computational aerodynamics of microinsect flight

The meeting of the seminar

«Supercomputer technologies

in science, education and industry»

Chairman of the organizing committee
Sadovnichy V.A. Sadovnichy V.A.
academician, rector of Lomonosov Moscow State University

Co-Chairs of the organizing committee
Voevodin Vl.V. Voevodin Vl.V.
Corr. RAS, Director of Research Computing Center of Moscow State University
Sokolov I.A. Sokolov I.A.
academician, dean of the faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics of Lomonosov Moscow State University
Tikhonravov A.V. Tikhonravov A.V.
D. in Physics and Mathematics, Professor, Research Computing Center of Moscow State University

Scientific Secretary of the seminar
  Hudoleeva A.A.
Research Computing Center of Moscow State University


The seminar was organized on the basis of the Scientific and Educational Center «Supercomputer Technologies». The reports cover all aspects of the use of supercomputers, parallel computing systems and distributed data processing methods for solving large computational problems. The seminar has a pronounced interdisciplinary nature, however, the various nuances of using supercomputer technologies are of interest to researchers from various fields.

The seminar is supported by the Moscow Center of Fundamental and Applied Mathematics.

Researchers, teachers, graduate and undergraduate students are invited.


16:20 (GMT +3)
Kolomenskiy D.S.
D. in Biology, Senior Lecturer, Materials Technology Center, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology
Farisenkov S. E. Farisenkov S.E.
D. in Biology, Junior Researcher of the Entomology Department, Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University
Polilov A. A. Polilov A.A.
Head of Entomology Department of the Faculty of Biology, MSU, D. in Biology, Professor, Corr. RAS

Вычислительная аэродинамика полета микронасекомых

The flight of the smallest insects is of special interest for general biology, biomechanics and aerodynamics, but until recently it was practically not studied. The wing structure of many microinsects differs from that of large insects: the narrow wing plate carries a fan of long bristles, which occupy most of the wing area. Previously, we showed that miniature wing beetles (Ptilidiae) are capable of active flight, and their speeds and accelerations are higher than those of related beetles with conventional membranous wings. To elucidate which adaptations determine the high flight characteristics of Ptiliidae, we performed speed video imaging and three-dimensional reconstruction of the morphology and kinematics of featherfly beetles. Based on the data obtained, we performed three-dimensional numerical simulations of flight aerodynamics, with verification of the results by tensometry on a scale model of the wing.

Interdisciplinary research in animal locomotion opens up new applications of computational mechanics methods. Since the bristles on the wings of the smallest insects are several hundred times shorter in thickness than the length, the simulation of air motion relative to the wing is a computationally complex multiscale problem. It has been solved using high-performance computing, dynamic grid adaptation, and specialized numerical time integration schemes, which will be described in the paper.

References on the topic of the paper:

Farisenkov, S. E., Lapina, N. A., Petrov, P. N. & Polilov, A. A. Extraordinary flight performance of the smallest beetles. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 117, 24643–24645 (2020).


Engels, T., Schneider, K., Reiss, J. & Farge, M. A wavelet-adaptive method for multiscale simulation of turbulent flows in flying insects. Commun. Comput. Phys. 30, 1118-1149 (2021). 

DOI: 10.4208/cicp.OA-2020-0246


Kolomenskiy, D., Farisenkov, S., Engels, T. et al. Aerodynamic performance of a bristled wing of a very small insect. Exp Fluids 61, 194 (2020).


Farisenkov, S.E., Kolomenskiy, D., Petrov, P.N. et al. Novel flight style and light wings boost flight performance of tiny beetles. Nature 602, 96–100 (2022).


The workshop session will take the form of a webinar on the Zoom platform.

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You will subsequently receive a link to the Zoom conference at the e-mail address you provide.