Active Flow Control on the Stingray UAV: Transient Behavior


A new class of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is investigated, based on the flying ducted fan concept. The vehicle uses a mechanically simplified control approach employing synthetic jet active flow control in lieu moving control surfaces or articulated rotor blades. As a result, the UAV's propulsion and control systems are simplified to a single moving part, a fixed pitch propeller. This mechanical simplicity makes the application of active flow control particularly attractive for development of mini and micro UAVs. The active control of flow separation over a lifting surface as a means of discrete state aerodynamic control briefly approached from the theoretical standpoint, then explored from an experimental standpoint. Effectiveness of a synthetic jet active flow control technique for generating the intended aerodynamic force changes on a ducted stator vane is explored and validated by experiments on a 3-D duct model. Positive results of these experiments lead to development of a full-scale (2-3 Kg. G.W.) proof of concept dynamic model on which the application of flow control was successfully demonstrated.


Amitay, M., Washburn, A.E., Anders, S.G. and Parekh, D.E., "Active Flow Control on the Stingray UAV: Transient Behavior."

AIAA Journal, Volume 42, Issue 11, 2004.