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Technical Brief

Full-Scale Measurement on the Aerodynamics of Nonplanar Rotor Pairs in a Hexacopter

[+] Author and Article Information
Yao Lei

School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation,
Fuzhou University,
No. 2 Xueyuan Road,
University Town,
Fuzhou, Fujian 350116, China
e-mail: yaolei@fzu.edu.cn

Yuxia Ji

School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation,
Fuzhou University,
No. 2 Xueyuan Road,
University Town,
Fuzhou, Fujian 350116, China
e-mail: fzu_yuxiaji@163.com

Changwei Wang

School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation,
Fuzhou University,
No. 2 Xueyuan Road,
University Town,
Fuzhou, Fujian 350116, China
e-mail: wangchangwei789@163.com

Yue Bai

Changchun Institute of Optics,
Fine Mechanics and Physics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
No. 88 Yingkou Road,
Jingkai Area,
Changchun, Jilin 130033, China
e-mail: baiy@ciomp.ac.cn

Zhijun Xu

Changchun Institute of Optics,
Fine Mechanics and Physics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
No. 88 Yingkou Road,
Jingkai Area,
Changchun, Jilin 130033, China
e-mail: xuzj538@ciomp.ac.cn

1Corresponding author.

2Present address: Yao Lei received her Ph.D. degree in Mechanical and Electronic Engineering from Chang Chun Institute of Optics Fine Mechanics and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China in 2013. Currently, she is a researcher in the School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Fuzhou University. Her main research interest covers automatic control and aerodynamics for multirotor system of MAV.

Manuscript received March 7, 2017; final manuscript received September 25, 2017; published online xx xx, xxxx. Assoc. Editor: Robert J. Wood.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 9(6), 064502 (Oct 19, 2017) (6 pages) Paper No: JMR-17-1054; doi: 10.1115/1.4038067 History: Received March 07, 2017; Revised September 25, 2017

This paper presents an original Hexacopter with three nonplanar rotor pairs where the variable thrust is provided by fixed-pitch rotors with variable speed. The corresponding face-to-face rotor pair (F–F) and back-to-back rotor pair (B–B) are proposed as the research components to maximize the overall aerodynamic performance with different transverse spacings and disk plane angles. Together with the rotor interactions involved in low Reynolds number (Re) environments, experiments in the presence of the uncertainty analysis are performed to validate the aerodynamic interference and test the effectiveness of the proposed rotor pairs. Experimental results show that the performance of the rotor pair can be improved significantly by having an optimal combination with a larger angle and a moderate spacing. Indeed, the aerodynamic interactions between the two rotors decrease with a larger disk plane angle, and the aerodynamic interference of the rotor pairs is mainly involved in the face to face type. Furthermore, parametric studies were also performed to study the effects of low Re and to attempt to maximize the thrust and minimize the total power required in hover flight. Useful conclusions are provided for the further aerodynamic analysis and control strategy to meet design requirements.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Sketch of rotor pairs in a Hexacopter

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Fig. 2

Streamlines of the nonplanar rotor pairs (l/D = 1.2): (a) F–F-10 deg, (b) F–F-20 deg, (c) F–F-30 deg, (d) F–F-40 deg, (e) F–F-50 deg, (f) B–B-10 deg, (g) B–B-20 deg, (h) B–B-30 deg, (i) B–B-40 deg, and (j) B-B–50 deg

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Fig. 3

Experimental setup

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Fig. 4

Variation of average thrust with rotor spacing ratio at Re = 1.08 × 105

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Fig. 5

Variation of power with rotor spacing ratio at Re = 1.08 × 105

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Fig. 6

Variation of average thrust with disk plane angle at Re = 1.08 × 105

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Fig. 7

Variation of total power of the rotor pair with the disk plane angle: (a) power variation of F–F and (b) power variation of B–B

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