Document Type : Research Article

Author

Associate Professor, Smart Structures and Aero Elasticity Lab., Dept. Of Aeronautical Science and Tech., Aerospace Research Institute, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Toroidal propellers are among the ideas recently introduced by MIT-Lincoln Center for aerial applications. It is claimed that this design significantly reduces the annoying noise level compared to the conventional bladed propellers by eliminating the fluid escape points at the blade ends. Due to the importance of reducing environmental footprint of flying robots, this design paradigm can be particularly advantageous wherever the noise pollution is a concern. This will result in the adoption of drones for various applications. In this study, with the aim of identifying this modern type of design, the process of prototyping and testing a set of the toroidal propellers has been carried out. The main functional parameter of interest in this study is thrust. For the sake of comparison, samples of common bladed propellers have also been produced and tested. As a quick and accessible method for prototyping, the propellers have been made by additive manufacturing using a 3D printer. In the assessment process, simultaneous measurement of the motor speed and thrust have been performed. Finally, performance graphs for all propellers have been extracted and compared. The results showed that the three-ring toroidal propeller with slightly more weight, provides more thrust than the conventional three-bladed propeller.

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