Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Kimon P. Valavanis, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Matthew J. Rutherford, Ph.D.


Circulation control, Fixed wing aircraft, Unmanned aerial vehicles, Upper slot blowing


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have become increasingly prevalent and important for a wide spectrum of civilian and military operations. When focusing on small-scale fixed-wing UAVs, payload, power and energy requirements limit considerably their utilization and flexibility allowing them to complete only those specific missions they are designed for. Circulation Control (CC) is an active flow control method used to produce increased lift over the traditional systems (flaps, slats, etc...) currently in use. This dissertation focuses on the foundations of a comprehensive methodology from design to implementation and experimental testing of Coanda-based Circulation Control Wings (CCW) for unmanned aircraft. The research goes beyond the current state of the art by demonstrating the feasibility of CC as applied to small-scale UAVs. 2-D and 3-D wind tunnel tests at Mach numbers of 0.03, with momentum coefficients of blowing (Cmu)ranging from 0.0 to 0.3 are conducted. It is found that CC blowing is effective at all cases enabling the wing to achieve high lift-to-drag ratios and high lift augmentation during takeoff. The wind tunnel results indicate that upper slot blowing using CC can be effective for lift enhancement even at low blowing rates. Through flight testing it is confirmed that CC can be applied to small-scale UAVs resulting in significant runway reduction up to 53%. The technology described herein can be made suitable for use on commercial airliners, cargo planes and personal aerial vehicles because equipping these aircraft with cruise-efficient high-lift devices can give the user more valid runway choices at existing airports and help alleviate environmental noise problems near airports by allowing steeper climb-outs.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Konstantinos Kanistras

File size

171 p.

File format





Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering