Near-Boundary Flow Phenomena in Unmanned Aerial/Underwater Vehicles


Near-Boundary Flow Phenomena in Unmanned Aerial/Underwater Vehicles

Darius Carter, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology

3:30 p.m., December 7, 2021   |   Andrews Auditorium - B001 Geddes Hall and Livestream

The growth of the Unmanned Aerial and Underwater Vehicle (UAUV) industry is outpacing our understanding of how UAUVs behave in near boundary environments. Search and rescue UAUV applications occur in tight, confined spaces filled with complex obstacles and boundaries. Water sampling UAUV applications occur over wide-open water bodies that involve amphibious operations such as breaching the water’s surface. Near-boundary flight provides aerodynamic benefits, such as the “ground effect,” seen in animals and helicopters.

Darius Carter
Dr. Darius Carter

However, near-boundary flight advantages are hard to harness because boundary effects can also be destabilizing. They perturb lift (near ground-air or water-air boundaries) and introduce a chaotic amphibious transition region (near water-air boundaries).

Dr. Darius Carter’s group has studied the aerodynamics and performance of rotor blades spinning near boundaries to explore these near-boundary effects. They are now exploring how UAUVs might account for chaotic dynamics as they transition between water and air. The flow structures they discovered shed light on the benefits of near-boundary flight and offer design strategies for UAUVs that can fly stably through air-water transition regions.

Darius Carter hails from Richmond, Virginia, and is a president’s postdoctoral fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology. He has a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia (UVA). Carter graduated from Highland Springs High school in Henrico County, Virginia in 2013. He then enrolled at UVA, where he graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Material Science in 2017. As a Ph.D. student, his research focused on unmanned aerial vehicles and their safety when flying near boundaries. Within this fellowship, he will be focusing on aerodynamic coupling between propellers and airfoils.

He was co-president of the Black Graduate and Professional Student Organization, recruitment chair for the Mechanical and Aerospace Graduate Student Board, co-chair for UVA’s Graduate Recruitment Initiative Team, member of the search committee for the dean of Engineering, and academic mentor with UVA Athletics.

Outside of school and research, he is a dedicated member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the National Society of Black Engineers. He enjoys hanging out with friends, adventuring, traveling, and watching and playing sports, especially basketball. He desires to inspire the next generation of black engineering students.