Development of an aeroelastic methodology for surface morphing rotors
Cook, James Richard
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A Computational Fluid Dynamics/Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD/CSD) coupling interface was developed to obtain aeroelastic solutions of a morphing rotor. The methodology was implemented in Fully Unstructured Navier-Stokes (FUN3D) solver, which communicates aerodynamic forces on the blade surface to University of Michigan’s Nonlinear Active Beam Solver (UM/NLABS) and then imports structural deflections of the blade surface during each time step. Development of this methodology adds the capability to model elastic rotors with flexible airfoils. The method was validated through an aerodynamic work analysis, comparison of sectional blade loads and deflections with experimental data, and two-dimensional stability analyses for pitch/plunge flutter and camber flutter. Computational simulations were performed for a rotor in forward flight with the CFD/CSD solver and with a comprehensive CSD solver using finite-state (F-S) aerodynamics, and results were compared. Prescribed three-per-revolution camber deflections were then applied, and solutions of the CFD/CSD and comprehensive CSD computations indicated that three-per-revolution camber actuation has the potential to minimize hub forces and moments with deflections as small as 0.25%c. In anticipation of active rotor experiments inside enclosed facilities, the capability of CFD for accurately simulating flow inside enclosed volumes was examined. It was determined that URANS models are not suitable for rotor simulations in an enclosed facility, and components that are a distance of two to three rotor radii from the hub were also observed to have a large influence on recirculation and performance.