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Technical Paper

Nearfield Analysis of Low Speed Flow over a Dielectric Barrier Discharge Device for Enhancement of Small UAV Aerodynamics

2018-10-30
2018-01-1953
As unmanned aerial vehicle applications continue their rise in popularity in the public and private sectors, there is an increasing demand in many cases for smaller, more efficient low speed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Although the primary drivers for the continued performance improvement of smaller UAV platforms tend to be in the areas of electronics miniaturization and improved energy storage, aerodynamics, particularly in the low Reynolds number regime, still have a significant role in the overall performance enhancement of small UAVs. This paper focuses on the study of the nearfield aerodynamic effects of a low-power active flow enhancement technique known as dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) in very low speed/low Reynolds number flows most closely associated with small and micro unmanned aerial vehicles.
Technical Paper

Design, Construction, and Operation of a Pneumatic Test Launch Apparatus for sUAS Prototypes

2015-09-15
2015-01-2454
The design and testing of small unmanned aerial vehicle (sUAV) prototypes can provide numerous difficulties when compared to the same process applied to larger aircraft. In most cases, it is desirable to have a better understanding of the low Reynolds number aerodynamics and stability characteristics prior to completion of the final sUAV design. This paper describes the design, construction, and operational performance of a pneumatic launch apparatus that has been used at West Virginia University (WVU) for the development and early flight testing of transforming sUAV platforms. Although other launch platforms exist that can provide the safe launch of such prototypes, the particular launch apparatus constructed at WVU exhibits unmatched launch efficiency, and is far less expensive to operate per shot than any other launch system available.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Dynamic Roughness Flow Control on NACA 0012 Airfoil at Low Reynolds Number

2013-09-17
2013-01-2096
There is an ever growing need in the aircraft industry to increase the performance of a flight vehicle. To enhance performance of the flight vehicle one active area of research effort has been focused on the control of the boundary layer by both active and passive means. An effective flow control mechanism can improve the performance of a flight vehicle by eliminating boundary layer separation at the leading edge (as long as the energy required to drive the mechanism is not greater than the savings). In this paper the effectiveness of a novel active flow control technique known as dynamic roughness (DR) to eliminate flow separation in a stalled NACA 0012 wing has been explored. As opposed to static roughness, dynamic roughness utilizes small time-dependent deforming elements or humps with amplitudes that are on the order of the local boundary layer height to energize the local boundary layer. DR is primarily characterized by the maximum amplitude and operating frequency.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Faceted Wing Sections for Low Reynolds Number Applications

2013-09-17
2013-01-2097
This paper documents the numerical and experimental investigation of a new type of wing section being developed at West Virginia University that shows good potential for use in wings in low Reynolds number flows. These wing sections have been designed with a minimum number of flat sides, or facets, which are arranged in such a way as to promote flow over the surface similar to traditional smooth airfoil shapes, but without the complexity of the typically highly contoured airfoil form. 2D numerical techniques have been employed to determine appropriate geometric limitations of the wing section facets, and finite span wings comprised of these faceted wing sections have been tested in wind tunnels in wing-only and wing-plus-body configurations to determine their basic aerodynamic performance. The latest results of these efforts, as well as some speculation as to the mechanisms at work are presented.
Technical Paper

Design, Manufacturing, Testing, and Analysis of a Highly-Constrained Single-Use UAV Wing

2018-10-30
2018-01-1958
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design aspects are as broad as the missions they are used to support. In some cases, the UAV mission scope can impose design constraints that can be difficult to achieve. This paper describes recent work performed at West Virginia University (WVU) to support repeated flight testing of a single-use UAV platform with emphasis on the highly specialized wings required to help meet the overall airframe mass properties constrained by the project sponsor. The wings were fabricated using a molded polyurethane (PU) foam as the base material which was supported by several different types of rigid and flexible substructures, skins, and matrix-infused fiber elements. Different ratios of infused fiber mass to PU foam were tested and additional tungsten masses were added to the wings to achieve the correct total mass and mass distribution of the wings.
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