A Computational Study on the Aerodynamic Influence of a Propeller on an MAV by Unstructured Overset Grid Technique and Low Mach Number Preconditioning

S. Deng*, 1, B. W. van Oudheusden1, T. Xiao2, H. Bijl1
1 Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
2 College of Aerospace Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, PR China

© 2012 Deng et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Kluyverweg 2, 2629 HT Delft, P.O. Box 5058, 2600GA Delft, The Netherlands; Fax: 31 (0) 152787077; E-mail:


The influence of a propeller on the aerodynamic performance of an MAV is investigated using an unstructured overset grid technique. The flow regime of a fixed-wing MAV powered by a propeller contains both incompressible regions due to the low flight speed, as well as compressible flow areas near the propeller-tip region. In order to simulate all speed flow efficiently, a dual-time preconditioning method is employed in the present study. The methodology in this paper is verified as providing a reliable numerical simulation tool for all flow regimes, in the additional presence of moving boundaries, which is treated with an overset grid approach.

Keywords: All speed flow, preconditioning, micro air vehicle, moving boundary, Overset grid, propeller-wing interaction.