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How to Mesh a Frozen Drone
Posted Tue April 14, 2020 @05:30PM
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Application Icing is a severe hazard that significantly limits the usage of autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles. Simulating the effects of icing is difficult with one of the most challenging tasks being creation of high-quality meshes of multiple complex ice shapes in a timely manner.

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Pointwiseís T-Rex functionality, reliably and with little manual adjustments, meshes the complex ice structures, thus allowing us to accurately capture the aerodynamic penalties. The macro-function of Pointwise automated our workflow for the large number of ice shapes.

leading edge icing
Mach Number over a wing leading edge with and without icing.

The CFD results quickly attained using Pointwise meshes show that the degree of performance degradation is strongly related to the temperature. At low temperatures droplets freeze on impact forming streamlined shapes, while at warmer temperatures not all freeze immediately and can form complex ice horns that disrupt the flow.

Read the full case study.

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