This paper studies the aerodynamic stability of a tensioned, geometrically nonlinear orthotropic membrane structure with hyperbolic paraboloid in sag direction. Considering flow separation, the wind field around membrane structure is simulated as the superposition of a uniform flow and a continuous vortex layer. By the potential flow theory in fluid mechanics and the thin airfoil theory in aerodynamics, aerodynamic pressure acting on membrane surface can be determined. And based on the large amplitude theory of membrane and D'Alembert's principle, interaction governing equations of wind-structure are established. Then, under the circumstance of single-mode response, the Bubnov-Galerkin approximate method is applied to transform the complicated interaction governing equations into a system of second-order nonlinear differential equation with constant coefficients. Through judging the frequency characteristic of the system characteristic equation, the critical velocity of divergence instability is determined. Different parameter analysis shows that the orthotropy, geometrical nonlinearity and scantling of structure is significant for preventing destructive aerodynamic instability in membrane structures. Compared to the model without considering flow separation, it's basically consistent about the divergence instability regularities in the flow separation model.
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