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Propeller's Thrust

  1. Apr 10, 2015 #1
    I would like to know how does the general equation about propellers thrust look like. How should I calculate the force to be big enough for a lift off? The object (a drone) is located in a spacecraft, which means the gravitational force is 0. Are there more variables that I should concern about? This is about custom made drone, created to lift objects and transport them to some location. Eg. from point A to point B with 1 main, big propeller and two smaller ones on the sides, for turning around, left and right.
    PS: I require the logic behind all the equations, how they are derived.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2015 #2


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    I don't know the answers to your main question. However part of you statement is confusing. The object is located in a spacecraft. (?) For propellers to work you need a fluid medium. What do you have?
  4. Apr 10, 2015 #3


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    There is no general one, as propellers can be arbitrarily shaped. You can use numerical methods like blade element theory or computational fluid dynamics or empirical data for a specific propeller.
  5. Apr 10, 2015 #4
    Spacecraft or space station. It isn't really specified. That's the main problem of this challenge. A team had worked on this in the last NASA Space Apps Challenge and they had problem with calculating the force for lift of, moving around the space and carrying some kind of a package. Should it really have a lift off force or there is some other crucial element? This challenge got my attention. It was supposed to be a specified drone used by scientists that work in the ISS.
  6. Apr 11, 2015 #5


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    Inside the space station, unless there is artificial gravity, it would take only a tiny push to get something moving in any direction.
  7. Apr 11, 2015 #6


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    Any force greater than zero will cause it to "lift off".

    The force you use will depend on the mass and acceleration you want.
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