Numerical modelling of the aerodynamic interference between helicopter and ground obstacles

Chirico, G., Szubert, D., Vigevano, L. and Barakos, G. N. (2017) Numerical modelling of the aerodynamic interference between helicopter and ground obstacles. CEAS Aeronautical Journal, 8(4), pp. 589-611. (doi: 10.1007/s13272-017-0259-y)

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Helicopters are frequently operating in confined areas where the complex flow fields that develop in windy conditions may result in dangerous situations. Tools to analyse the interaction between rotorcraft wakes and ground obstacles are therefore essential. This work, carried out within the activity of the GARTEUR Action Group 22 on “Forces on Obstacles in Rotor Wake”, attempts to assess numerical models for this problem. In particular, a helicopter operating in hover above a building as well as in its wake, one main rotor diameter above the ground, has been analysed. Recent tests conducted at Politecnico di Milano provide a basis for comparison with unsteady simulations performed, with and without wind. The helicopter rotor has been modelled using steady and unsteady actuator disk methods, as well as with fully resolved blade simulations. The results identify the most efficient aerodynamic model that captures the wakes interaction, so that real-time coupled simulations can be made possible. Previous studies have already proved that the wake superposition technique cannot guarantee accurate results if the helicopter is close to the obstacle. The validity of that conclusion has been further investigated in this work to determine the minimum distance between helicopter and building at which minimal wake interference occurs.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barakos, Professor George and Chirico, Giulia and Szubert, Mr Damien
Authors: Chirico, G., Szubert, D., Vigevano, L., and Barakos, G. N.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Journal Name:CEAS Aeronautical Journal
ISSN (Online):1869-5590
Published Online:05 September 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in CEAS Aeronautical Journal 8(4):589-611
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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