A Real-Time Airwake Model for Dynamic Interface Simulation Support

Period of Performance: 05/04/2001 - 11/04/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Continuum Dynamics, Inc.
34 Lexington Avenue Array
Ewing, NJ 08618
Principal Investigator


A novel physics-based real-time computational method of representing the airwake of Navy ships to support rotorcraft shipboard landing simulation studies is proposed for research and development. In this method, the unsteady ship airwake is modeled using vortex doublet elements shed from sharp edges of the ship superstructure, and the approaching rotorcraft is described by a panel-based fuselage model and freely distorting wake analysis. Use of fast panel methods and octree sorting structures may allow this highly complex wake representation to be calculated in real-time, using networked computers in a parallel computation environment. The airwake model representation provides an appropriately detailed level of fidelity to capture handling qualities features of importance to shipboard rotary-wing aircraft operations, while maintaining real-time computation throughput. This approach promises to revolutionize "dynamic interface" simulation by combining physics-based models of helicopter flight dynamics, rotorcraft free wake representations, unsteady ship airwake generation, and, optionally, ship motion dynamics. The resulting simulation environment may be used to quantify operational shipboard approach envelopes without the considerable time and expense of at-sea testing.Software developed under the proposed program would drastically reduce Navy costs associated with at-sea qualification testing of various ship/rotorcraft combinations, by replacing a significant number of tests with computer simulation. The airwake software would also enhance the safety of commericial helicopter pilots operating from offshore oil platforms or in urban environments when used with flight simulator systems.