A Fully-Coupled CFD/CSD Computational Approach for Aeroelastic Studies of Helicopter Blade-Vortex Interaction

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Applied Mathematics and Computation






Blade-vortex interaction (BVI) is one of the main sources of noise and vibrations in helicopters. The aeroelastic response of the blade, to BVI phenomenon, is one of the main factors affecting the helicopter's aerodynamic performance and stability. In the present research we developed and implemented a novel CFD-based, strong (two-way) time-domain coupling, mathematical model, for the numerical prediction of the aeroelastic response of the helicopter blade to BVI. Another novelty, of the fully coupled CFD/CSD approach, is that the fluid flow is solved using the large-eddy simulation (LES) approach. In the present research, the aeroelastic response of a symmetric NACA0012 airfoil to BVI is computed using a two-degree of freedom (2-DOF) mass/spring model. The numerical studies show that the blade-vortex offset distance, (h), plays a key role in the mechanism of BVI and therefore, it influences the aerodynamic coefficients. The computational studies show that the BVI phenomenon diminishes with the increase of the offset distance (h). Also, it was observed that the elastic nature of the airfoil acts as a damper and it diminishes the effect of BVI on the aerodynamic coefficients. Therefore, for a flexible airfoil, the lift coefficient exhibits a decay, at the instant of blade-vortex interaction, when compared with rigid airfoil.