An Aero-Acoustic Tool for Terminal Area Operations

Period of Performance: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012

$125K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sukra Helitek, Inc.
IA
Ames, IA 50014
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

In this highly interconnected world, transportation systems must feature increased flexibility and shorter door-to-door trip times to be successful. Shorter door-to-door trip times require an increased usage of rotary wing and runway independent V/STOL technology. One of the limiting factors to the increased adoption of this technology for providing feeder service to major hubs is the limited understanding of high-volume terminal area operations.Several important issues are associated with rotary wing and runway independent V/STOL aircraft, including severe aerodynamic interactions during take-off, transition and landing. There is also the possibility that the aero-acoustic environment generated in the terminal area may cause damage to buildings, unsafe working conditions for ground personnel, or unacceptable noise levels to surrounding communities.The success of commercial V/STOL transportation is predicated on being able to establish technical feasibility, societal acceptance and economic viability. The proposed aero-acoustic tool for terminal area operations offers a simulation capability to design engineers to make informed decisions based on technical (operations and handling near a terminal), societal (acoustic footprint) and economic considerations (performance) that includes the interactional aerodynamics between the aircraft and its surroundings. The designers and operators of rotary wing and V/STOL aircrafts will use the tool to evaluate, enhance and implement more efficient and safe terminal area operation guidelines.Phase I will develop the proof-of-concept of the simulation tool and use a tilt-rotor and a candidate terminal under different wind conditions to demonstrate its usefulness. In Phase II, the tool will be extended to maneuvering rotary wing and V/STOL aircrafts. In addition, it will be integrated with a graphical user interface (GUI) for ease of use.