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SBIR/STTR

A Computational Tool for High Advance Ratio Configurations, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Newer vertical lift configurations consider speed as an important design parameter with forward speeds upwards of 230 Knots, which is well above the acceptable incompressible flow regime. In such high speed vertical lift configurations, even though the aircraft may be cruising at compressible Mach numbers, incompressible flow pockets can occur in the wake of the fuselage. Hence, in contrast to most helicopters currently in use, these configurations need to be analyzed across a wide range of speed regimes including incompressible, compressible and mixed regimes. The present proposal offers to extend the design tool ``RotCFD'' to viscous all-speeds with mixed incompressible and compressible regions. In general, the algorithms used in CFD are designed for incompressible flow or compressible flow, depending upon the primary usage. RotCFD, being an Integrated Design Environment (IDE) for rotors, can be developed to seamlessly work in both regimes without additional input besides the operating speed from the design community. Additionally, this proposal offers to extend RotCFD to include grid generation with bodies in relative motion, such as tilting nacelles and wing tips, which happens in transitioning flight. The proposed extension of RotCFD for all-speed regimes and flows with mixed regimes, if proven successful, will offer the vertical flight scientific community a moderate fidelity, robust and efficient design tool. With the added potential to simulate relative motion of components, the tool will provide an analysis capability for all operational regimes: hover, conversion and cruise. More »

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