Prediction of aerodynamically-triggered condensation: Application to the Dragonfly rotorcraft in Titan's atmosphere

Ralph D. Lorenz, Sven Schmitz, Michael Kinzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Expansion of the airflow over a wing or rotor causes adiabatic cooling, and in terrestrial aviation a localized condensation cloud can form in moist air. The cold methane-nitrogen atmosphere of Titan is, in relative terms, rather close to the condensation point and the possibility of analogous condensation on the NASA Dragonfly rotorcraft mission is examined using simple first-principles models and Computational Fluid Dynamics. It is found that nominal near-ground flight will not trigger condensation, but fog formation may be expected on rotor upper surfaces and in tip vortices in some extremes of the flight envelope, notably during high-altitude meteorological profiling flights. Evaluation of droplet re-evaporation and tip vortex decay timescales suggests, however, that obscuration of navigation sensors is not likely to occur from the vehicle body or rotor wake, even in cross-wind hover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106738
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
Volume114
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Prediction of aerodynamically-triggered condensation: Application to the Dragonfly rotorcraft in Titan's atmosphere'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this