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Numerical simulation of flow around the Colorado micro aerial vehicle
KTH. University of Colorado, United States.
2005 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) are distinguished by their small size, low aspect ratio, and low velocity. As a result, MAVs fly at low Reynolds number flow regimes with significant drag characteristics and strong tip vortices. This investigation is focused on the aerodynamic characteristics of a recently developed MAV at the University of Colorado. The Colorado MAV has a flexible membrane wing with an aspect ratio of 1.2 and a chord of 0.27 m. Numerical simulations of the flow around the Colorado fixed wing MAV are presented using a steady state parallel compressible Navier-Stokes solver. The computational grid has 510,000 nodes and about 3 million tetrahedral elements. The maximum calculated lift coefficient is approximately 1.2. The airplane stall angle is at 30°. The high stall angle is attributed to the enhanced lift from a low pressure region above the wing caused by strong tip vortices. Minimum drag coefficient was calculated to be 0.06 at 2° angle of attack. A laminar separation bubble is formed on the upper surface of the wing at moderate angle of attack. The drag increases rapidly as the angle of attack increases. A maximum aerodynamic efficiency of L/D = 4 is observed when flying at 10 m/s.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
, 35th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference and Exhibit
Keyword [en]
Aerodynamic characteristics, Aerodynamic efficiency, Compressible Navier-Stokes, Laminar separation bubble, Low Reynolds number flow, Micro aerial vehicle, Tetrahedral elements, University of Colorado, Angle of attack, Aspect ratio, Computer simulation, Drag, Fixed wings, Flow control, Laminar flow, Micro air vehicle (MAV), Numerical models, Reynolds number, Wind tunnels, Lift
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-157099ScopusID: 2-s2.0-33748682792ISBN: 9781624100598OAI: diva2:771291
35th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference and Exhibit; Toronto, ON; Canada; 6 June 2005 through 9 June 2005

QC 20141212

Available from: 2014-12-12 Created: 2014-12-05 Last updated: 2014-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Gyllhem, Daniel
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