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UAS Airborne Collision Severity Evaluation – Engine Ingestion

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UAS Airborne Collision Severity Evaluation – Engine Ingestion Photo


As the number of UAS sold continues to increase, the integration of UAS into the airspace is a major safety concern due to the potential for a UAS-airplane collision. Recreational UAS tend to be relatively small and have the potential to be ingested into an engine. Although the effects of a bird ingest into an engine have been readily studied, the current tests and regulations cannot be transferred from birds to UASs. UAS key components: motor, battery, and camera, contain materials that are much denser and stiffer than ice and birds, which are typically modeled as a fluid since they are over 70% water. Preliminary work on this topic showed that UAS can cause significantly more damage than birds.

The goals of this study are to:

  • Understand what the interaction of a UAS with a representative high-bypass ratio fan (typically used in large commercial transport) will look like.
  • Define best practices and fan models for use in further studies.

Project Lead
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Kiran D'Souza
Director | Nonlinear Dynamics & Vibration Lab
Associate Director | Gas Turbine Lab
Associate Professor | Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering