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Early On-Set Prediction Of Vortex-Ring State Of Quadrotors

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posted on 14.10.2021, 15:07 by Joel McQuaid
The OpenFOAM CFD package was used to initially investigate the aerodynamic effects of vortex-ring state of a quadrotor, then to study various quadrotor flight maneuvers to minimize the thrust loses of vortex-ring state and followed by possible detection methods for a drone entering vortex-ring state. Vortex-ring state is characteristic of a decrease in the effective angle of attack of incoming airflow due to a rotor descending into its downwash. This causes significant loses in the thrust of the rotor, which typically leads to severe flight upsets for rotorcraft. A quadrotor was studied at varying descent velocities to investigate wake roll-up at the rotor tips and the subsequent effects on rotor thrust and power. The quadrotor was then subjected to non-vertical descent angles to investigate thrust loss mitigation approaches due to vortex-ring state. A method of detecting the on-set of vortex-ring state is proposed using various differential pressure measurements on the quadrotor. It has been shown that by monitoring the pressure difference between the top of the quadrotor body and the bottom of one of the quadrotor legs, a pressure drop can be seen just prior to the on-set of vortex-ring state. This pressure drop was shown to occur during descending flight regimes and may prove to be an effective pre-vortex-ring state warning system.





Master of Applied Science


Aerospace Engineering

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Goetz Bramesfeld