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Computational Fluid Dynamics in Drone Design
Keywords: Drone, CFD, Modeling
In designing a radio controlled quadcopter drone, Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling played a significant role both in improving the aerodynamics and the cooling of the on-board electronics. Using CFD modeling, a rotating mesh region was placed around each rotor to predict the airflow from the rotors and air velocities around the arms and fuselage of the drone. By running the numerical model of the rotor at different rotational speeds, both the lift from the rotors and the drag imposed by the airflow around the arms of the drone could be predicted. Using the velocity model of the down- wash from the rotors, the cross- sectional shape of the arms was optimized to reduce drag, increase lift and improve flight time. Air moved by the rotors blades also imparts air movement around the fuselage. The air velocity adjacent to the fuselage surfaces created areas of high and low pressure. By placing the intake vents at the high pressure locations and the exhaust vents at the low pressure locations, maximize airflow through the fuselage was obtained to cool the electronics and battery during flight.
Guy R. Wagner, Director
Electronic Cooling Solutions Inc.
Santa Clara, CA
United States

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