Improving the Aerodynamic Performance of Micro-Air-Vehicle-Scale Cycloidal Rotor: An Experimental Approach
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Performance and flowfield measurements were conducted on a small-scale cyclorotor for application to a micro air vehicle. Detailed parametric studies were conducted to determine the effects of the number of blades, rotational speed, and blade pitching amplitude. The results showed that power loading and rotor efficiency increased when using more blades; this observation was found over a wide range of blade pitching amplitudes. The results also showed that operating the cyclorotor at higher pitching amplitudes resulted in improved performance, independently of the number of blades.Amomentum balance performed using the flowfield measurements helped to quantify the vertical and sideward forces produced by the cyclorotor; these results correlated well with the force measurements made using load balance. Increasing the number of blades increased the inclination of the resultant thrust vector with respect to the vertical because of the increasing contribution of the sideward force. The profile drag coefficient of the blade sections computed using a momentum deflcit approach correlated well with typical values at these low chord Reynolds numbers. Particle image velocimetry measurements made inside the cage of the cyclorotor showed that there are rotational flows that, when combined with the influence of the upper wake on the lower half of the rotor, explain the relatively low efficiency of the cyclorotor. Copyright © 2010 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
author list (cited authors)
Benedict, M., Ramasamy, M., & Chopra, I.