Computational study of a small rotor at hover using CFD and UVLM

Pérez G. Andrés, Omar Lopez, Svetlana V. Poroseva, Jaime A. Escobar

Research output: Chapter in Book/ReportConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Performance of small rotors is a subject of interest due to increased use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). In the present paper, numerical simulations of a small rotor commonly used in quadcopters were performed in hover flight. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Unsteady Vortex Lattice Method (UVLM) were used and compared. CFD simulations were conducted with the commercial software Fluent ANSYS v17 using the Multiple Reference Frame (MRF) model. In UVLM, a model based on a viscosity dependent growth of the core of the tip vortex was used to account for viscous effects. The wake structure, pressure coefficient distribution on the rotor surface, thrust and torque coefficients obtained by different methods are compared in the paper. Results from flight tests are used to validate thrust and torque predictions. The difference in the prediction of the thrust coefficient between the computational methods is less than 9%. Both methods overestimate the thrust by 3% and 12% for CFD and UVLM respectively with respect to the flight test results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2019 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105784
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventAIAA Scitech Forum, 2019 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 7 2019Jan 11 2019

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2019 Forum


ConferenceAIAA Scitech Forum, 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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