Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Isaac Choutapalli

Second Advisor

Robert Freeman

Third Advisor

Horacio Vasquez


This research investigates the aerodynamic and flow field characteristics of a NACA 0010 airfoil equipped with rotating cylinders near the leading edge, subjected to a flow with a freestream turbulence intensity of 4.3%. The airfoil was modified to integrate five micro-DC motors positioned at 14.5% of the chord length from the leading edge. The cylinders, with dimensions of 0.75 inches in diameter and 0.5 inches in width, exposed 3mm of their length to the incoming flow. A modified leading edge with eight sinusoidal protrusions (tubercles) was employed to compare the performance of the micro-rotating cylinder airfoil with an unmodified baseline airfoil. Experimental investigations were conducted on the NACA 0010 airfoil with and without the rotating cylinders, driven by a 12-volt power supply with a counter-clockwise rotation at 3000 RPM. The experiments encompassed a Reynolds number range of 138,400 to 412,200 and variations in the angle of attack from 0 to 24 degrees. Force and torque measurements were obtained using two 6-axis force/torque transducers. The experimental findings revealed a significant increase in the maximum lift coefficient for the airfoil equipped with rotating cylinders, demonstrating a 45% enhancement compared to the unmodified baseline airfoil.


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