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Exploration of Fluidic Thrust Vectoring Control on a Dynamic Test Rig: Computational and Experimental Analysis
* 1 , 2, 3
1  Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Institute of Avionics and Aeronautics, Air University, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
2  Control & Instrumentation Engineering Department, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
3  Interdisciplinary Research Center for Intelligent Manufacturing and Robotics, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
Academic Editor: Ana Paula Betencourt Martins Amaro


Fluidic thrust vectoring (FTV) control is a cutting-edge method used to manipulate the motion of an unmanned air vehicle when traditional control surfaces like elevators are not available. The primary purpose of employing FTV is to make the aircraft less detectable. This study focuses on investigating the co-flow type of FTV concept, where a high-velocity secondary jet is introduced into the boundary layer of the primary jet, resulting in deflection of the primary jet and enabling the generation of a pitch moment. Numerical simulations were conducted to analyze different ratios of secondary and primary jet velocities, providing valuable insights that informed the design of a functional FTV test rig. The test rig, designed with a pitch-constraint dynamic setup, utilized electric ducted fans to generate primary and secondary flows. At 19 m/s primary velocity, the experimental testing shows a maximum vertical force of 0.4 N, producing a deflection of 30°, which is deemed adequate for thrust vectoring. This research builds upon the authors' previous work on characterizing a static co-flow FTV rig. The comparison between the computational fluid dynamics analyses and the experimental results demonstrates agreement in the behavior of the vectored jet. This validation further strengthens the findings presented in this paper.

Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicle; fluidic thrust vectoring control; co-flow FTV; Coanda effect; computational fluid dynamics