How to Mesh a Frozen Drone
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How to Mesh a Frozen Drone


Icing is a severe hazard that significantly limits the usage of autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles. One of the most challenging tasks is creating high-quality meshes of multiple complex ice shapes in a timely manner.


Pointwise’s 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.


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.


The Department of Engineering Cybernetics at Norwegian University of Science and Technology