Abstract

With technological development and the wide application range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the regulation of UAV altitude limits in many countries is further alleviated, and the problem of UAV noise pollution has emerged with the recent advent of urban air mobility (UAM) and personal air vehicle (PAV) markets. In this study, one typical propeller, the T-motor 15 × 5 propeller, was analyzed by use of the commercial CFD software, ANSYS FLUENT V19.3. The effects of gravity and convection were analyzed to determine the noise characteristics at altitude using the FW-H equation. A high-altitude drone, which operates at heights from 0 to 10 km with 1,000 to 5,000 revolutions per minute, was analyzed using the steady-state k-ω SST turbulence model. And using the steady-state data to initialize values, an unsteady analysis was performed with the LES turbulence model. The time step was divided based on the 1-degree rotational time, and the velocity residual on each axis was calculated until a value of 10−7 or less was achieved and there was no fluctuation of thrust, at which point it was considered converged. The CFD results were validated with the experimental results for thrust and their results show that the maximum error was 8.64%. The overall sound pressure level was calculated, and noise characteristics in the audible frequency range according to receiver points were also compared. Through this study, thrust and noise data according to altitude were provided. The aerodynamic and aeroacoustic characteristics at high-altitudes, which are generally difficult to measure by experiment, are also presented. Therefore, the appropriate operating altitudes and rotational speeds will be presented through the aeroacoustics analysis corresponding to operational altitude, and the basic research data can then be applied to upcoming unmanned aircraft system (UAS) market.

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