CFD investigation into propeller spacing and pitch angle for a ducted twin counter rotating propeller system

Xu, Chao 2015, CFD investigation into propeller spacing and pitch angle for a ducted twin counter rotating propeller system, Masters by Research, Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title CFD investigation into propeller spacing and pitch angle for a ducted twin counter rotating propeller system
Author(s) Xu, Chao
Year 2015
Abstract In recent years Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) have been extensively used for both military operation and academic research. UAV designs are classified by the size, weight, endurance and mission. In addition UAV has the benefit of low cost, portable, autonomous. UAV with rotary wing has the advantage of controllability in low speed and at hovering. Rotary propeller with duct was applied in vertical take-off and landing. The duct has the benefit in protecting the propeller, reducing the noise and improving the thrust performance in hover condition. Counter-rotating propeller application began with commercial aircraft engine in 1980s. The benefit of counter-rotating rotors is the fuel economy. With the development of UAV design counter-rotating technology has been used in UAV applications.

The aim of this research is to employ a sensitivity study for the total thrust of a ducted twin counter-rotating propeller system design for UAV applications using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Two factors were investigated: propeller spacing and difference between blades pitch angle. Using discrete values for both factors, 32 designs were analysed and evaluated. The same approach was also used for an equivalent unducted propeller system to access the influence of the duct.

A ducted twin counter-rotating propeller system was modelled in ANSYS CFX. Shear Stress Transport (SST) turbulence model was used for steady state simulations. An unstructured mesh with prism boundary layers was generated for the computational domains. It was found that the total thrust of both ducted and open counter-rotating propeller is highly dependent on the propeller spacing and difference between blades pitch angle. In terms of total thrust, the presence of a duct did not always improve system performance of counter-rotating propellers.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Keyword(s) CFD
UAV
Design
Counter Rotating Propeller
Propeller Spacing
Pitch Angle
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Created: Fri, 18 Mar 2016, 11:06:12 EST by Denise Paciocco
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