Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Aerospace Engineering

Committee Director

Drew Landman

Committee Member

Colin Britcher

Committee Member

Thomas Alberts

Abstract

Interest in small unmanned aerial vehicles has increased dramatically in recent years. Hybrid vehicles which allow forward flight as a fixed wing aircraft and a true vertical landing capability have always had applications. Management of the available energy and noise associated with electric propeller propulsion systems presents many challenges. NASA Langley has developed the Greased Lightning 10 (GL-10) vertical takeoff, unmanned aerial vehicle with ten individual motors and propellers. All are used for propulsion during takeoff and contribute to acoustic noise pollution which is an identified nuisance to the surrounding users. A propeller test capability was developed to gain an understanding of how the noise can be reduced while meeting minimum thrust requirements. The designed propeller test stand allowed for various commercially available propellers to be tested for potential direct replacement of the current GL-10 propellers and also supported testing of a newly designed propeller provided by the Georgia Institute of Technology. Results from the test program provided insight as to which factors affect the noise as well as performance characteristics. The outcome of the research effort showed that the current GL-10 propeller still represents the best choice of all the candidate propellers tested.

ISBN

9781369183771

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