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Simulation and experimental analysis of hovering and flight of a quadrotor

Weerasinghe, Rohitha; Monasor, M


M Monasor


Quadcopters were the first heavier than air vertical take-off landing vehicles. Quadrotors have become increasingly popular in the recent years finding a great variety of applications in different fields such as surveillance and small goods transport. The flight of quad-rotors are not easily analysed, but computational fluid dynamic simulations are a credible source of reliable modelling. In the present paper, an analysis in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is presented performed on a quadrotor model SYMA X5SC with focus on the fuselage and the rotor blades.
The quadrotor is analysed in three different models; fuselage, rotor and full configuration. The models have been designed using CAD tools and encapsulated in a volume domain. Volume unstructured meshes are used and contain a maximum of 3.5 million of cells. Each blade was assigned to a moving cell zone making it possible to rotate. Steady and unsteady flow simulations have been carried out. Hover, and forward and side wind cases were inspected. The flight was simulated for the hovering mode at three different angles of attack and free stream velocities.
Wind tunnel experimentation of the quadrotor flow field was carried out to obtain experimental data to compare against CFD results. Optimised CFD results are in good agreement with the measurements and are presented in comparison with the simulation results.
This study presents an analysis of the quadrotor flow and highlights the main aerodynamic features. The flow analysis allows accurate prediction of aerodynamic loads on a quadrotor in various flight conditions.


Weerasinghe, R., & Monasor, M. (2017, July). Simulation and experimental analysis of hovering and flight of a quadrotor. Paper presented at HEFAT Conference, Slovenia

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name HEFAT Conference
Conference Location Slovenia
Start Date Jul 17, 2017
End Date Jul 19, 2017
Acceptance Date Apr 17, 2017
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords simulation, experimental analysis, hovering, flight, quadrotor
Public URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : HEFAT 2017