Progress in Rotorcraft Icing Computational Tool Development
The formation of ice over lifting surfaces can affect aerodynamic performance. In the case of helicopters, this loss in lift and the increase in sectional drag forces will have a dramatic effect on vehicle performance. The ability to predict ice accumulation and the resulting degradation in rotor performance is essential to determine the limitations of rotorcraft in icing encounters. The consequences of underestimating performance degradation can be serious and so it is important to produce accurate predictions, particularly for severe icing conditions. The simulation of rotorcraft ice accretion is a challenging multidisciplinary problem that until recently has lagged in development over its counterparts in the fixed wing community. But now, several approaches for the robust coupling of a computational fluid dynamics code, a rotorcraft structural dynamics code and an ice accretion code have been demonstrated.