Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Vladimir Golubev

First Committee Member

Reda Mankbadi

Second Committee Member

Anastasios S. Lyrintzis


The current research serves to analyze and study the effects ground forces can have on the thrust performance of a propeller in multiple different configurations. The current research utilizes an open source Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software known as OpenFOAM to generate calculate and visualize these runs. The model used for this experiment is a hybrid model that employs both a Unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) and a detached eddy simulation using a hybrid Large Eddy Simulation (LES) via a KomegaSSTDDES model. This model serves to save computational time as well as allow for accurate results. The three cases run are isolated rotor, full ground effects and partial ground effects. It was discovered that the full ground effects and the partial ground effects caused the thrust to trend slightly up. Even with this discovery it is reasonable to assume that due to the distance in which the rotor was placed that the change in overall thrust will be minimal however the effects caused by the way the wake develops can cause significant challenges in implementing electric vertical takes off and landing devices (EVTOL’s) in modern urban environments. Acoustic data was also observed in this sphere with the main goal being to observe the impact the ground has on the noise. These results showed a trend similar to the performance data with only a slight increase in the noise recorded.