Project Description

Glen Wright
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Mentor: Dr. Andreas Wesemann
Developing Silent Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Unmanned Aerial Systems, commonly known as drones, represent a unique development in the technology industry. Adapting from their initial recreational status, they are employed for many applications on a professional level. Their rise in popularity and commercial production exponentially grew during the early 2000s, limiting the time dedicated to controlling the noise production of their propellers.
This experimental study aims to conduct research to understand and improve the noise production of drones. With the use of Schlieren Photography, a thrust stand, and a sound level meter, six generic drone propellers are tested for thrust, efficiency, and noise production. Using the collected data, custom propellers are designed in Solidworks and 3D-printed to undergo similar testing.
It is proposed that, when printed correctly, results will favor propellers that incorporate small serrates on the leading edge of the propeller (similar to how owls achieve silent flight) as well as the best characteristics of each commercial propeller.