Sam Dougherty is a member of the Drones with Tools project and is doing a PhD under the supervision of Professor Dan Zhao, Dr. Nay Lin Oo, and Professor Mathieu Sellier in the field of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury.
His role involves delving into the realm of aerodynamics within the Drones with Tools project. Specifically, he is focused on investigating the aerodynamic performance of multirotor UAV propellers. The objective of these investigations is to develop low-fidelity numerical models that are capable of accurately predicting the aerodynamic behaviour of low Reynolds number multirotor UAV propellers in diverse environmental settings. These low-fidelity numerical models will be validated with experimental wind tunnel testing and high-fidelity Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations.
The ultimate goal of this research is to create a general tool that offers both speed and precision when assessing the aerodynamic performances of multirotor UAV propellers in real-world conditions. This tool is expected to enhance the efficiency of multirotor UAV design.