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Project 1: Innovative Rotorcraft Flight Control Systems Options to Enhance Shipboard Operations

Summary of Services Performed: Develop a flight control design environment to facilitate the design of control systems for shipboard operations.

Rotorcraft shipboard operations have been an essential but demanding aspect of modern maritime activities.  The shipboard rotorcraft are strongly affected by the unsteady ship airwake and the dynamic ship motion. Significant progress has been made in analyzing these effects on the shipboard operating rotorcraft. There is, however, a lack of research for applying these analytical modeling capabilities to the development of advanced flight control systems in order to benefit the rotorcraft shipboard launch and recovery operations by enhancing flight safety and reducing pilot workload. This proposal aims at developing a unified rotorcraft flight control design and evaluation environment to facilitate a systematic development of advanced rotorcraft flight control system algorithms. The proposed research will (1) develop innovative rotorcraft flight control system algorithms to account for the effects of the shipboard operating environment; (2) develop a shipboard rotorcraft simulation environment to facilitate accurate plant and disturbance model generation and control design evaluation in support of advanced flight control model development; (3) prototype a control toolkit that can be used with user customized modeling and simulation environment;(4) integrate the control design toolkit into a comprehensive rotorcraft/ship simulation program to demonstrate the functionality and investigate the effects of the ship airwake and the ship motion on rotorcraft performance and dynamics.

Project 2: Real-Time Modeling of Rotor Induced Flow with Shipboard Interaction

Summary of Services Performed:  Develop a viscous vortex wake model that can properly capture the effects of the rotor/ship interaction.

Rotor induced flow modeling is a central part for almost every aspect of rotorcraft simulation and analysis. There are, however, challenges in accurately predicting the unsteady rotor wake transportation, especially when it interacts with aerodynamic disturbances from nearby aerodynamic bodies such as a fuselage, a ground surface, or a ship landing deck. This proposal aims to develop an adequate real-time rotor induced flow model for shipboard flight simulation. The model to be developed will be a physics-based viscous vortex wake model that can properly capture the effects of the rotor/ship interaction under shipboard operating conditions. It is also proposed to develop a formulation and a set of algorithms to derive an efficient real-time finite state induced flow model from the high fidelity viscous vortex simulation in support of flight simulation.

Advanced Rotorcraft Technology, Inc.

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