A CFD based procedure for airspace integration of small unmanned aircraft within congested areas

Murray, C. W.A. and Anderson, D. (2017) A CFD based procedure for airspace integration of small unmanned aircraft within congested areas. International Journal of Micro Air Vehicles, 9(4), pp. 235-252. (doi:10.1177/1756829316669957)

Murray, C. W.A. and Anderson, D. (2017) A CFD based procedure for airspace integration of small unmanned aircraft within congested areas. International Journal of Micro Air Vehicles, 9(4), pp. 235-252. (doi:10.1177/1756829316669957)

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Abstract

Future integration of small unmanned aircraft within an urban airspace requires an a posteriori understanding of the building-induced aerodynamics which could negatively impact on vehicle performance. Moving away from generalised building formations, we model the centre of the city of Glasgow using Star-CCMþ, a commercial CFD package. After establishing a critical turbulent kinetic energy for our vehicle, we analyse the CFD results to determine how best to operate a small unmanned aircraft within this environment. As discovered in a previous study, the spatial distribution of turbulence increases with altitude. It was recommended then that UAVs operate at the minimal allowable altitude within a congested area. As the flow characteristics in an environment are similar, regardless of inlet velocity, we can determine areas within a city which will have consistently low or high values of turbulent kinetic energy. As the distribution of turbulence is dependent on prevailing wind directions, some directions are more favourable than others, even if the wind speed is unchanging. Moving forward we should aim to gather more information about integrated aircraft and how they respond to turbulence in a congested area.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Anderson, Dr David and Murray, Mr Craig
Authors: Murray, C. W.A., and Anderson, D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Aerospace Sciences
Journal Name:International Journal of Micro Air Vehicles
Publisher:Sage
ISSN:1756-8293
ISSN (Online):1756-8307
Published Online:05 April 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Journal of Micro Air Vehicles 9(4): 235-252
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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