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Jang, Jaesung
Sensors & Aerosols Lab.
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Effects of Rotor-Rotor Interaction on the Wake Structure and Thrust Generation of a Quadrotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Lee, SeungcheolChae, SeokbongWoo, Seong YongJang, JaesungKim, Jooha
Issued Date
IEEE ACCESS, v.9, pp.85995 - 86016
In this paper, the effects of rotor-rotor interaction on the wake structure and thrust generation of a quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) are experimentally investigated in the rotor tip Reynolds number range of 34000 – 54000. The interaction strength is manipulated by varying the number of rotating rotors and the normalized rotor separation distance. A stronger rotor-rotor interaction places the inner tip vortices between rotors closer to each other, forming an upflow region through vortex pairing and intensifying the turbulence intensity between rotors. To comprehensively evaluate the effect of interaction on the wake structure, we propose a modified Landgrebe’s model that accurately describes the wake boundary of UAV, given the number of rotating rotors and the normalized rotor separation distance. The wake analysis based on the model shows that the stronger the rotor-rotor interaction, the less the wake contracts and the closer the vena contracta moves to the rotor-tip path plane. The momentum theory combined with the modified Landgrebe’s model shows that the loss of axial momentum transfer due to the wake inclination is insufficient to account for the thrust loss caused by the rotor-rotor interaction. This paper shows that the shift of the inner tip vortex away from the rotational axis and the corresponding increase of induced axial velocity followed by a decrease in the local effective angle of attack is another important mechanism for the thrust loss.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Keyword (Author)
RotorsBladesUnmanned aerial vehiclesVelocity measurementNumerical modelsLoss measurementGeometryRotor-rotor interactionthrustunmanned aerial vehicleswake


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