Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Designing Child-Safe Quadcopter Rotors: A Study in Low-Reynold's Number Propeller Design
Authors: McDonnell, Emily
Advisors: Martinelli, Luigi
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: This senior thesis focuses on designing safer quadcopter rotors, so that drones may be integrated into classrooms for STEM education. Operating at low speeds, these new rotors are made for low-Reynolds number applications with two key safety design improvements. The first is an attached outer ring on the propeller that provides protection from sharp blade edges as the rotor is spinning. The second is increased flexibility of the rotor material, made possible by the structural stability added by the outer ring. This increased flexibility would make the rotor more likely to bend around obstacles (such as fingers or limbs) rather than to cut into them.The design component of this project consists of fluid and structural analysis done using Xfoil, Xrotor, Crotor and Nastran-NX. The fluids analysis shows that the Onera 07 and Onera 12 airfoils are the best performing in this low-Reynold's number environment. Through Xrotor and Crotor, data from these airfoils, combined with important quadcopter characteristics ultimately resulted in points that could be imported into CAD software and used to make a model of the rotor. This model was used to complete a structural analysis of the propeller and to compare the different mechanical properties of several thermoplastics. Polypropylene composite was chosen for its increased flexibility, and injection molding was favored for its better manufacturing quality. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 virus, physical manufacturing and retro fitting of the selected drone with the newly designed rotors proved impossible, but the theoretical analysis was able to be documented.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1924-2020

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
MCDONNELL-EMILY-THESIS.pdf11.17 MBAdobe PDF    Request a copy

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.