0
Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

An Experimental Investigation of Rotor–Box Aerodynamic Interaction1

[+] Author and Article Information
Dhwanil Shukla

School of Aerospace Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, GA 30318
e-mail: dhwanil.shukla@gatech.edu

Narayanan Komerath

Professor
School of Aerospace Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, GA 30318
e-mail: komerath@gatech.edu

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received January 30, 2019; final manuscript received May 22, 2019; published online June 27, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Hui Hu.

J. Fluids Eng 141(12), 121103 (Jun 27, 2019) (8 pages) Paper No: FE-19-1073; doi: 10.1115/1.4043951 History: Received January 30, 2019; Revised May 22, 2019

Multirotor unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a promising means of package delivery. Such applications generally involve carrying bulky payloads under the vehicle. Understanding the aerodynamic interaction effects of payloads on the vehicle is the key to design such systems, in the low Reynolds number regime of small UAVs. High-speed particle image velocimetry (PIV), force, and torque measurements have been used with a rotor and a cubic box to investigate the rotor–box interactions and configurations typical of multirotor UAVs. The observed rotor and vehicle performance trends are explained by the mean flow field captured through PIV. Conditions similar to ground-effect operation are developed for the rotor at a high level of rotor-box overlap. A slight improvement in the vehicle performance is observed at conditions where the box is just out of the rotor wake. Some basic instantaneous flow phenomena due to rotor–box interaction have been identified. The interactions have been classified into three distinct modes based on observations at a range of box positions relative to the rotor. An empirical tip vortex trajectory model for isolated rotors is found to be instrumental in predicting the interaction mode at a given box position.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2019 by ASME
Topics: Wakes , Rotors
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Strickland, E. , 2018, “ Africa Leads the World on Drone Delivery: Flights to Begin in Tanzania in 2018,” IEEE Spectrum, Rwanda, accessed Jan. 20, 2019, https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-human-os/robotics/drones/africa-leads-the-world-on-drone-delivery
Gilchrist, K. , 2019, “ Worlds First Drone Delivery Service Launches in Iceland,” CNBC, accessed Jan. 20, 2019, www.cnbc.com/2017/08/22/worlds-first-drone-delivery-service-launches-in-iceland.html
Amazon, 2019, “First Prime Air Delivery,” Amazon, accessed Jan. 20, 2019, https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Prime-Air/b?node=8037720011
Lorber, P. F. , and Egolf, T. A. , 1990, “ An Unsteady Helicopter Rotor-Fuselage Aerodynamic Interaction Analysis,” J. Am. Helicopter Soc., 35(3), pp. 32–42. [CrossRef]
Renaud, T. , O'Brien, D. , Smith, M. , and Potsdam, M. , 2004, “ Evaluation of Isolated Fuselage and Rotor-Fuselage Interaction Using CFD,” Office National D'etudes Et De Recherches Aerospatiales, Chatillon, France, Report.
Renaud, T. , O'Brien, D. , Smith, M. , and Potsdam, M. , 2008, “ Evaluation of Isolated Fuselage and Rotor-Fuselage Interaction Using Computational Fluid Dynamics,” J. Am. Helicopter Soc., 53(1), pp. 3–17. [CrossRef]
Nam, H. J. , Park, Y. M. , and Kwon, O. J. , 2006, “ Simulation of Unsteady Rotor-Fuselage Aerodynamic Interaction Using Unstructured Adaptive Meshes,” J. Am. Helicopter Soc., 51(2), pp. 141–149. [CrossRef]
Kenyon, A. R. , and Brown, R. E. , 2009, “ Wake Dynamics and Rotor-Fuselage Aerodynamic Interactions,” J. Am. Helicopter Soc., 54(1), p. 12003. [CrossRef]
Steijl, R. , and Barakos, G. , 2009, “ Computational Study of Helicopter Rotor-Fuselage Aerodynamic Interactions,” AIAA J., 47(9), pp. 2143–2157. [CrossRef]
Lee, J.-K. , and Kwon, O. J. , 2002, “ Predicting Aerodynamic Rotor-Fuselage Interactions by Using Unstructured Meshes,” Trans. Jpn. Soc. Aeronaut. Space Sci., 44(146), pp. 208–216. [CrossRef]
Balch, D. T. , 1985, “ Experimental Study of Main Rotor/Tail Rotor/Airframe Interaction in Hover,” J. Am. Helicopter Soc., 30(2), pp. 49–56. [CrossRef]
Leishman, J. , and Bi, N.-P. , 1990, “ Aerodynamic Interactions Between a Rotor and a Fuselage in Forward Flight,” J. Am. Helicopter Soc., 35(3), pp. 22–31. [CrossRef]
Mineck, R. E. , and Gorton, S. A. , 2000, “ Steady and Periodic Pressure Measurements on a Generic Helicopter Fuselage Model in the Presence of a Rotor,” National Aeronautics and Space Administration Hampton Va Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, Report No. NASA/TM-2000-210286.
Xu, H.-Y. , Xing, S.-L. , Ye, Z.-Y. , and Ma, M.-S. , 2017, “ A Simple and Conservative Unstructured Sliding-Mesh Approach for Rotor–Fuselage Aerodynamic Interaction Simulation,” Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., Part G, 231(1), pp. 163–179. [CrossRef]
Jiao, L. R. , Peng, D. , Wen, X. , Liu, Y. , and Gregory, J. W. , 2018, “ Experimental Study of the Interaction Between Rotor Wake and a Cylinder in Hover,” AIAA Paper No. 2018-4214.
Açikgöz, M. B. , and Aslan, A. R. , 2016, “ Dynamic Mesh Analyses of Helicopter Rotor–Fuselage Flow Interaction in Forward Flight,” J. Aerosp. Eng., 29(6), p. 04016050. [CrossRef]
Quackenbush, T. R. , Whitehouse, G. R. , and Yu, M. K. , 2019, “ Analysis of Rotor/Airframe Interaction in Hover and Near-Hover Flight Conditions,” AIAA Paper No. 2019-0596.
Shukla, D. , and Komerath, N. , 2019, “ Drone Scale Coaxial Rotor Aerodynamic Interactions Investigation,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 141(7), p. 071106. [CrossRef]
Shukla, D. , and Komerath, N. , 2019, “ Rotor–Duct Aerodynamic and Acoustic Interactions at Low Reynolds Number,” Exp. Fluids, 60(1), p. 20. [CrossRef]
Shukla, D. , and Komerath, N. , 2018, “ Multirotor Drone Aerodynamic Interaction Investigation,” Drones, 2(4), p. 43. [CrossRef]
Sciacchitano, A. , Neal, D. R. , Smith, B. L. , Warner, S. O. , Vlachos, P. P. , Wieneke, B. , and Scarano, F. , 2015, “ Collaborative Framework for PIV Uncertainty Quantification: Comparative Assessment of Methods,” Meas. Sci. Technol., 26(7), p. 074004. [CrossRef]
Landgrebe, A. J. , 1971, “ An Analytical and Experimental Investigation of Helicopter Rotor Hover Performance and Wake Geometry Characteristics,” United Aircraft Research Labs, East Hartford, CT, Report No. 71–24.
Kocurek, J. D. , and Tangler, J. L. , 1977, “ A Prescribed Wake Lifting Surface Hover Performance Analysis,” J. Am. Helicopter Soc., 22(1), pp. 24–35. [CrossRef]
Ramasamy, M. , Leishman, J. G. , and Lee, T. E. , 2007, “ Flowfield of a Rotating-Wing Micro Air Vehicle,” J. Aircr., 44(4), pp. 1236–1244. [CrossRef]
Liou, S. , Komerath, N. , and McMahon, H. , 1989, “ Velocity Measurements of Airframe Effects on a Rotor in a Low-Speed Forward Flight,” J. Aircr., 26(4), pp. 340–348. [CrossRef]
Liou, S. , Komerath, N. , and McMahon, H. , 1990, “ Velocity Field of a Cylinder in the Wake of a Rotor in Forward Flight,” J. Aircr., 27(9), pp. 804–809. [CrossRef]

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) A labeled photograph of the setup and (b) PIV measurement location

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Rotor performance and load measurement results

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Streamline plots for selected 80,000 Re cases (V stands for mean velocity magnitude)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Instantaneous vorticity contour plots for selected 80,000 Re cases

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Modes of rotor–box aerodynamic interactions based on box position

Tables

Errata

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In