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Technical Paper

Towards Electric Aircraft: Progress under the NASA URETI for Aeropropulsion and Power Technology

The environmental impact of aircraft, specifically in the areas of noise and NOx emissions, has been a growing community concern. Coupled with the increasing cost and diminishing supply of traditional fossil fuels, these concerns have fueled substantial interest in the research and development of alternative power sources for aircraft. In 2003, NASA and the Department of Defense awarded a five year research cooperative agreement to a team of researchers from three different universities to address the design and analysis of revolutionary aeropropulsion technologies.
Technical Paper

A Technique for Testing and Evaluation of Aircraft Flight Performance During Early Design Phases

A technique is proposed for examining complex behaviors in the “pilot - vehicle - operational conditions” system using an autonomous situational model of flight. The goal is to identify potentially critical flight situations in the system behavior early in the design process. An exhaustive set of flight scenarios can be constructed and modeled on a computer by the designer in accordance with test certification requirements or other inputs. Distinguishing features of the technique include the autonomy of experimentation (the pilot and a flight simulator are not involved) and easy planning and quick modeling of complex multi-factor flight cases. An example of mapping airworthiness requirements into formal scenarios is presented. Simulation results for various flight situations and aircraft types are also demonstrated.
Technical Paper

Slung Load Divergence Speed Predictions for Vehicle Shapes

Loads slung under aircraft can go into divergent oscillations coupling multiple degrees of freedom. Predicting the highest safe flight speed for a vehicle-load combination is a critical challenge, both for military missions over hostile areas, and for evacuation/rescue operations. The primary difficulty was that of obtaining well-resolved airload maps covering the arbitrary attitudes that a slung load may take. High speed rotorcraft using tilting rotors and co-axial rotors can fly at speeds that imply high dynamic pressure, making aerodynamic loads significant even on very dense loads such as armored vehicles, artillery weapons, and ammunition. The Continuous Rotation method demonstrated in our prior work enables routine prediction of divergence speeds. We build on prior work to explore the prediction of divergence speed for practical configurations such as military vehicles, which often have complex bluff body shapes.
Technical Paper

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.
Technical Paper

A Methodology for the Prediction of Rotor Blade Ice Formation and Shedding

An integrated approach for modeling the ice accretion and shedding of ice on helicopter rotors is presented. A modular framework is used that includes state of the art computational fluid dynamics, computational structural dynamics, rotor trim, ice accretion, and shedding tools. Results are presented for performance degradation due to icing, collection efficiency, surface temperature and water film properties associated with runback-refreeze phenomena, and shedding. Comparisons with other published simulations and test data are given.