Towards a Wind Tunnel Testing Environment for Rotorcraft Operations Close to Obstacles

Taymourtash, N., Zagaglia, D. , Zanotti, A., Gibertini, G. and Quaranta, G. (2019) Towards a Wind Tunnel Testing Environment for Rotorcraft Operations Close to Obstacles. In: 75th International Annual Forum American Helicopter Society (AHS), Philadelphia, PA, USA, 13-16 May 2019, pp. 2523-2531. ISBN 9781510887916

200803.pdf - Accepted Version



The correct identification of the aerodynamic loads due to interaction between rotorcraft and obstacles requires to run computationally intensive numerical models characterized by a high level of uncertainty. Wind tunnel data can be used as a source of information to improve those models. The present paper investigates the aerodynamic interaction of a helicopter and ship airwake exploiting wind tunnel data. A series of wind tunnel experiment, using a scaled helicopter model and Simple Frigate Shape 1, has been performed to measure forces and moments acting on the rotor, while the helicopter is approaching the flight deck. In addition, the velocity components along the longitudinal symmetry plane of the rotor have been visualized using PIV technique. With the rotor positioned at the starting point of the landing trajectory, the load measurements are used to modify the distribution of the inflow over the rotor in multibody simulation environment, in order to generate same loads, including thrust, torque and in-plane moments. Then, an identification algorithm is developed to capture the effect of ship airwake on the rotor loads during the maneuvers, modeling it as an external gust to the rotor inflow. The gust velocity is obtained through an optimization algorithm with the objective of generating same load coefficients as the experiment. The simulation results show that the same load coefficients as the experiment can be generated by implementing a linear gust over the rotor with a magnitude that changes as the rotor moves through the wake of ship. The experiment showed that this test setup could be used for identification of aerodynamic interaction to be used for maneuver analysis.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Additional Information:The project NITROS (Network for Innovative Training on ROtorcraft Safety) has received funding from the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 721920.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Taymourtash, Neda and Zagaglia, Dr Daniele
Authors: Taymourtash, N., Zagaglia, D., Zanotti, A., Gibertini, G., and Quaranta, G.
Subjects:T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 AHS - The Vertical Flight Society
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the 75th International Annual Forum American Helicopter Society (AHS): 2523-2531
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173315NITROSGeorge BarakosEuropean Commission (EC)Barakos, Professor GeorgeENG - Aerospace Sciences