Aerodynamic analysis of multirotor vehicles using a higher-order potential flow method
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 14:00 authored by Devin F. Barcelos
A higher-order potential flow method is adapted for the aerodynamic performance prediction of small rotors used in multirotor unmanned aerial vehicles. The method uses elements of distributed vorticity which results in numerical robustness with both a prescribed and relaxed wake representation. The radial loading and wake shapes of a rotor in hover were compared to experiment to show strong agreement for three disk loadings. The advancing flight performance prediction of a single rotor was compared to a single rotor was compared to a blade element momentum theory based approach and to experiment. Comparison showed good thrust and power agreement with experiment across a range of advance ratios and angles of attack. Prediction in descending flights showed improvements in comparison to the blade element momentum theory approach. The model was extended to a quadrotorm configuration showing the differences associated to vehicle orientation and rotor rotational direction.