The goal of the proposed work was to analyze the aerodynamic performance of a Skydio 6 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as a supplementary tool for bridge girder inspections. The use of UAVs has become more attractive due to their ability to gather critical information in less time and at a lower cost when compared to traditional bridge girder inspection techniques. In pursuit of this goal, the present work presents aerodynamic performance evaluation results via computational fluid dynamics (CFD) of a Skydio 2 UAV for bridge girder inspection. The study is implemented using the commercially available CFD solver, ANSYS FLUENT (v. 19). The evaluation study utilized an unstructured tetrahedron meshing technique throughout the numerical analysis, with a standard k-epsilon turbulence model. The Multiple Reference Frame (MRF) model was also used to model the rotation of the propellers toward their local reference frame at 6000 revolutions per minute (RPM). This paper presents the numerical modeling methodology as well as a discussion of parametric results. The parametric results presented show reliable moment coefficient and thrust making the Skydio 2 UAV suitable for bridge inspection.

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