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Reviewing and investigating the use of co-axial rotor systems in small UAVs

Reviewing and investigating the use of co-axial rotor systems in small UAVs
Reviewing and investigating the use of co-axial rotor systems in small UAVs
Co-axial propeller systems have been used successfully in fixed-wing aircraft for many years due to their inherently good performance. Likewise, several pioneering rotary-winged aircraft projects used co-axial rotors, such as the Westland WG-25 Mote, Gyrodyne DASH, and a range of rotorcraft from Kamov in Russia. There has been much debate over the years about whether the co-axial rotor arrangement is more efficient than traditional layouts. Our findings point to the fact that although the co-axial arrangement has a reduced power output of up to 15% when compared to an equivalent single rotor system, this can be offset by the elimination of the need for a tail rotor, which could save up to 20% of the required power. It is only recently that this type of technology has reached the small UAV market in the form of a series of semi-autonomous and autonomous rotorcraft which are starting to make their mark in the military, homeland security and civilian fields. This paper investigates the use of such systems and discusses their advantages, disadvantages and performance metrics.
1756-8293
1-16
Prior, Stephen D.
9c753e49-092a-4dc5-b4cd-6d5ff77e9ced
Prior, Stephen D.
9c753e49-092a-4dc5-b4cd-6d5ff77e9ced

Prior, Stephen D. (2010) Reviewing and investigating the use of co-axial rotor systems in small UAVs. International Journal of Micro Air Vehicles, 2 (1), 1-16. (doi:10.1260/1756-8293.2.1.1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Co-axial propeller systems have been used successfully in fixed-wing aircraft for many years due to their inherently good performance. Likewise, several pioneering rotary-winged aircraft projects used co-axial rotors, such as the Westland WG-25 Mote, Gyrodyne DASH, and a range of rotorcraft from Kamov in Russia. There has been much debate over the years about whether the co-axial rotor arrangement is more efficient than traditional layouts. Our findings point to the fact that although the co-axial arrangement has a reduced power output of up to 15% when compared to an equivalent single rotor system, this can be offset by the elimination of the need for a tail rotor, which could save up to 20% of the required power. It is only recently that this type of technology has reached the small UAV market in the form of a series of semi-autonomous and autonomous rotorcraft which are starting to make their mark in the military, homeland security and civilian fields. This paper investigates the use of such systems and discusses their advantages, disadvantages and performance metrics.

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More information

Published date: 2010
Additional Information: The fundamental research into co-axial propulsion units outlined in this paper led to the grant of a UK Patent (GB 2455374 B) in December 2009. Based on this work the researcher developed a small Unmanned Aerial System (SUAS) as an entry to the DARPA UAVForge competition 2011-12. The HALO team was announced the winner of this competition in the summer of 2012 after a successful fly-off conducted at a military camp in Georgia, USA. The system is now being developed into a commercial offering with the backing of the University of Southampton.
Organisations: Aeronautics, Astronautics & Comp. Eng

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 342845
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/342845
ISSN: 1756-8293
PURE UUID: 54f90b2a-e62e-4221-8535-3d1ce712fbb2
ORCID for Stephen D. Prior: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4993-4942

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Sep 2012 14:27
Last modified: 03 Dec 2019 01:37

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