Prediction of operational envelope maneuverability effects on rotorcraft design
Johnson, Kevin Lee
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Military helicopter operations require precise maneuverability characteristics for performance to be determined for the entire helicopter flight envelope. Historically, these maneuverability analyses are combinatorial in nature and involve human-interaction, which hinders their integration into conceptual design. A model formulation that includes the necessary quantitative measures and captures the impact of changing requirements real-time is presented. The formulation is shown to offer a more conservative estimate of maneuverability than traditional energy-based formulations through quantitative analysis of a typical pop-up maneuver. Although the control system design is not directly integrated, two control constraint measures are deemed essential in this work: control deflection rate and trajectory divergence rate. Both of these measures are general enough to be applied to any control architecture, while at the same time enable quantitative trades that relate overall vehicle maneuverability to control system requirements. The dimensionality issues stemming from the immense maneuver space are mitigated through systematic development of a maneuver taxonomy that enables the operational envelope to be decomposed into a minimal set of fundamental maneuvers. The taxonomy approach is applied to a helicopter canonical example that requires maneuverability and design to be assessed simultaneously. The end result is a methodology that enables the impact of design choices on maneuverability to be assessed for the entire helicopter operational envelope, while enabling constraints from control system design to be assessed real-time.