Experimental investigation of the effect of rotor geometry and blade kinematics on the performance of a MAV-scale cycloidal rotor Conference Paper uri icon


  • This paper describes the systematic performance measurements conducted to understand the role of rotor geometry and blade pitching kinematics on the performance of a micro-scale cycloidal rotor. Key geometric parameters that were investigated include rotor radius, blade span, chord and blade planform. Because of the flow curvature effects, the cycloidal rotor performance was a strong function of the chord/radius ratio. The optimum chord/radius ratios were extremely high, around 0.5-0.8, depending on the blade pitching amplitude. Cycloidal rotors with shorter blade span had higher power loading especially at lower pitching amplitudes. Increasing the solidity of the rotor by increasing the blade chord, while keeping the number of blades constant, produced large improvements in power loading. Blade planform shape did not have a significant impact, even though trapezoidal blades with a moderate taper ratio were slightly better than rectangular blades. On the blade kinematics side, higher blade pitching amplitudes were found to improve the power loading of the cycloidal rotor. Asymmetric pitching with higher pitch angle at the top than at the bottom produced better power loading. The chordwise optimum pitching axis location was observed to be around 25-35% of the blade chord. The power loading (thrust/power) of the optimized cycloidal rotor was higher than that of a conventional micro-rotor. Copyright 2011 by the American Helicopter Society International, Inc. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • American Helicopter Society International - AHS Specialists' Meeting on Unmanned Rotorcraft and Network Centric Operations 2011

author list (cited authors)

  • Benedict, M., Jarugumilli, T., & Chopra, I.

complete list of authors

  • Benedict, M||Jarugumilli, T||Chopra, I

publication date

  • December 2011