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In case of an drone aerodynamics CFD the air forces acting on the fuselage and propeller blade surfaces can be analysed. This will deliver valuable information to the design engineer to properly size parts under influence of strong turbulence, high velocities and thus 3D forces. Better performing propeller and fuselage contributes to higher flight time and longer range through improved aerodynamic efficiency. Aerodynamically efficient blade and fuselage design contributes to low drone noise levels as well.

Drone aerodynamics CFD analysis outcomes

  • Lift and drag forces on components
    • Different angle of attack, yaw and turbulent cases
    • Analysis of airframe components
    • Airframe and part load analysis
    • Effect of wind on flight characteristics
    • Wind effect on installed camera and structures
  • Transient simulation of time-dependent flow structures
    • Effect of turbulent structures
    • Changing wind conditions
    • High angle of attack or rotating propeller: transient CFD is necessary
  • Preliminary design
    • Analysis of concept from the design workbench
    • Steady and time varying air force development on parts for further static and dynamic structural analysis
    • Identification of extreme conditions and loads
    • Comparison of different designs for wind loads
  • Flow-thermal analysis
    • Steady and time dependent thermal analysis of parts
    • Heating/cooling of electric components such as motor and radio electronics

drone aerodynamics

Drone noise analysis using CFD

Quieter drones (quadrocopter or fixed wing) could be used to observe wildlife without frightening them off. Since some birds are sensitive to the buzz sound, and elephants flee from drones it is crucial to design low noise drones for these applications.

Companies like Amazon and Google are employing quieter drones that carry products. They are effective, quieter and safe being used as delivery vehicles. As this delivery method can be a future way for people to get their orders within several hours, expert noise reduction analysis will be needed in order to reduce the current high noise level of drones.

What makes a drone produce noise?

The airflow from the propellers. The noise from a drone’s propellers can be reduced by improving the aerodynamics the blades. Analyzing noise generating structures such as vortices and separations are easy to simulate nowadays by high-fidelity drone CFD techniques. Drone noise propagation can be also calculated for drones investigating how disturbing they are for people on the ground. Commercial drones and farming drones are subjects of this issue.

Drone noise analysis outcomes

  • aeroacoustic (noise) performance of the drone blades
  • rotor – body interaction effects and contribution to tonal noise components
  • drone far field noise levels (at any desired distance)
  • drone noise level reduction

For more information about drone aerodynamics and drone noise simulations please contact me!