Thomas SEBASTIAN / Christopher STREM
Toroidal Propeller

Toroidal Propeller

The toroidal propeller allows a small multirotor unpiloted aircraft, or drone, to operate more quietly than current drones that use propeller forms unchanged since the beginning of aviation. By enabling a drone that is less of an acoustic annoyance, this propeller may accelerate the acceptance of such aircraft for a wide range of uses — for example, aerial deliveries, cinematography, industrial or infrastructure inspections, and agricultural monitoring.

• Decreases signals in the frequency range to which humans are most sensitive
• Reduces noise without requiring supplementary components that add weight and increase power draw
• Lessens the likelihood that the spinning propeller will cut, catch, or clip objects or surfaces in the drone’s path
• Achieves thrust comparable to that of a multirotor drone propeller
• Allows reliable fabrication with additive manufacturing techniques that make it possible to customize the propeller for various multirotor models and types Toroidal propellers were installed on a commercial drone for testing.
Toroidal Propeller
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The propeller includes a hub supporting a plurality of elongate propeller elements in which a tip of a leading propeller element curves into contact with a trailing propeller element to form a closed structure with increased stiffness and reduced acoustic signature.

Toroidal Propeller
The toroidal propeller, one of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory's 2022 R&D 100 Awards winners, has a unique, closed-form propeller design that makes it a significantly quieter alternative to common multirotor propellers on commercial uncrewed aerial vehicles.
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