Cycloidal rotors have the inherent ability to provide vectorized thrust with fast reaction times. However, their present efficiency levels restricts their routinely use as propulsion elements for air-vehicles. Efforts have been made to improve the performance of cycloidal rotors through the optimal combination of its geometric parameters. In the present work the performance improvement of cycloidal rotors is demonstrated using a different approach, namely by imposing an unsteady change on the dynamics and structure of the vortices developed around the blades. This required change on the flow field, around the blades, was applied by adding an harmonic vibration to the traditional cycloidal movement of the blades, thus causing the blades to vibrate as they describe their oscillating pitch movement. This research on the effect of harmonic vibration, on lift and drag coefficients, was done first for a single blade profile, and later for a full cycloidal rotor, and is based on the Takens reconstruction theorem and Poincaré map. Therefore, diverse test cases and conditions were considered: a single static airfoil, an oscillating blade profile, and a complete cycloidal rotor. We concluded that the optimal combination of harmonic vibration parameters, specifically; amplitude, phase angle and vibration frequency, under adequately tuned design conditions, can have a beneficial effect on cycloidal rotor performance.

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