CFD Analysis of Micro Air Vehicle Propellers

Prathapanayaka, R and Vinodkumar, N and Payal , Agarwal and Hari Krishna, N (2010) CFD Analysis of Micro Air Vehicle Propellers. Technical Report. National Aerospace Laboratories,CSIR, National Aerospace Laboratories,CSIR.

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National Aerospace Laboratories is involved in a major program on development of Micro Air Vehicles (MAV) for defence applications. MAVs find extensive use in surveillance, traffic monitoring, forest sensing, survey of biologically hazardous environments, natural disasters etc. Propulsion system of NAL MAVs includes a battery driven miniature motor and a mini propeller. NAL MAV was configured for smooth hand launch; it is configured for a maximum weight of 300 gms, take off thrust of 1.177 Newton and cruise thrust of 0.392 Newton . The thrust to weight ratio would be 0.40. Indigenous design and development of miniature propeller for the NAL MAV was carried out. Wind tunnel tests and flight tests have been carried out for performance evaluation. Considering future requirements and, to save time and cost, 3 dimensional CFD analysis was carried out to validate the aerodynamic parameters of mini propellers with various grids, turbulence models and boundary conditions. FLUENT 6.3 (commercially available CFD tool) was used to compute and compare the aerodynamic parameters of the mini propeller. Boundary layer grids were not used in view of complexity of the problem and time required. This report gives CFD results in 3D environment of the mini propeller version NAL-MAV-PR01. Thrust, torque and power were calculated from computed values of viscous forces, pressure forces and moments. The computed values were compared with that of experimental and the aerodynamic parameters evaluated using Blade Element Momentum Theory (BEMT). The trends of computed values of thrust were in good agreement with the wind tunnel measurements. Measured thrust was slightly higher than the computed values at lower advance ratios and the differences get decreased with the increase in advance ratios.

Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: MAV, micro air vehicle, low Reynolds number propeller blade, BEMT, propulsive efficiency, advance ratio, RPT process, FLUENT, turbulence models, grids, skew ness, convergence, kinematic viscosity, wall y+
Subjects: AERONAUTICS > Aircraft Propulsion and Power
Depositing User: Mr R Prathapanayaka
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2011 05:54
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2011 05:54

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