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Investigation of numerical approaches to modeling large-scale turbulent vortex flows in the mode of vertical take-off and landing of an aircraft

Journal: Scientific and Technical Journal of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (Vol.21, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 410-417

Keywords : unmanned aerial vehicle; impeller; numerical modeling; eddy-resolving approaches; large eddy simulation;

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The study considers the operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle in hovering mode over a flat landing platform. As a propulsion system, impellers are used, which are a system of a propeller rotating inside an air ring. The air ring is a body of revolution with an aerodynamic profile in cross section. The paper investigates the effect of unsteady interaction of vortex flows with the design of an aircraft by two alternative numerical methods, one of which is vortex-resolving. Numerical calculations are performed using the traditional turbulence modeling approach based on the averaged Navier–Stokes equations (RANS, Reynolds Averaged Navier–Stokes), where the turbulence is assumed to be isotropic, and the eddy-resolving Large Eddy Simulation method. The main feature of the latter is as follows: a turbulent flow is represented as the superposition of the motion of large-scale and small-scale turbulences. After discretizing the flow using a filtering operation, large-scale turbulence, which depends directly on the boundary conditions, is solved from the full Navier–Stokes equations. Small-scale turbulence has isotropic properties and is modeled similarly to semi-empirical RANS methods. The technique allows one to accurately calculate the vortex structure of any flow directly from the equations of motion using relatively low computing power, in contrast to the RANS models, which simulate the flow using a simplified mathematical model and can provide satisfactory accuracy only for a limited range of problems. The results indicate that eddy-resolving methods for modeling turbulence, in contrast to the methods based on averaged Navier–Stokes equations, make it possible to estimate the effect of aperiodic perturbations on the design of aircraft arising from the interaction of large eddies with each other and with the underlying surface. Such phenomena are accompanied by side impacts of a shock nature on the impeller rings, which can lead to loss of aircraft stability. Under conditions of a small propeller step, the use of an air ring results in a significant increase in the air flow passing through the rotor rotation loop, an increase in thrust due to the creation of flow circulation around the airfoil of the ring, and a decrease in the power on the propeller. Even though the effect of using an air ring disappears with a large incoming flow, this design is considered very promising for use on aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing. This mode of operation is the most energy-consuming and determines the greatest requirements for the lifting force of the power plant. The results of this work have demonstrated that numerical methods based on averaging the Navier–Stokes equations and the use of classical turbulence models of the k–ω or k–ε type, which are widely used in numerical modeling of propellers, in takeoff and landing modes fail to detect aperiodic unsteady phenomena associated with the interaction of large eddies, in contrast to eddy-resolving methods for modeling turbulence.

Last modified: 2021-07-06 18:12:58