Computational aeroacoustics of quadcopter drones

T. Dbouk, D. Drikakis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Multicopter drones have a complex geometry involving several rotors. Therefore, computational resources could hinder their aeroacoustics modelling and simulation. Furthermore, such simulations require solving the aerodynamics at different scales (propellers and fuselage) and the sound spectrum for observers away from the drone. This paper presents a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study of quadcopter aeroacoustics. The computational method combines CFD in the framework of Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes with the Ffowcs Williams-Hawkings (FW-H) model for a multi propeller drone. Moreover, we have used the rotor's virtual blade model (VBM) to obtain the momentum sources as a first-order approximation. We apply the above approach to a quadcopter drone for hovering and forward flight conditions and analyse the aeroacoustics footprints. The predicted Octave Band Sound Levels are in good agreement with experimental data. We demonstrate that the above approach can model multi-propeller drones accurately at a moderate computational cost.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number108738
    JournalApplied Acoustics
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


    • Aeroacoustics
    • Computational fluid dynamics
    • Drones
    • Ffowcs Williams-Hawkings
    • Propeller noise
    • UAV


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