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Computational Wind Tunnel: A Design Tool for Rotorcraft

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Sukra Helitek, Inc.
3146 Greenwood Road Ames, IA 50014-4504
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Computational Wind Tunnel: A Design Tool for Rotorcraft
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX09CA03C
Award Amount: $598,888.00


During initial design studies, parametric variation of vehicle geometry is routine. In addition, rotorcraft engineers traditionally use the wind tunnel to evaluate and finalize designs. Estimation of rotor tunnel blockage is significantly more complex than bluff body corrections as the correction depends on operational characteristics such as rotor RPM and thrust produced. This proposal offers to develop an Integrated Design Environment (IDE) which can simulate a complete rotorcraft with or without wind tunnel walls including all the facility effects. At the heart of the innovation are: 1. An automated hybrid grid generator (viscous grids near the bodies and unstructured Cartesian grid everywhere else). 2. A robust and economical incompressible flow solver for the entire system of grids. 3. Momentum source based rotor model that is suitable and economical for simulating configurations with multiple rotors. In Phase I, the proof-of-concept developed used unstructured Cartesian grid for the model and wind tunnel. In phase II, the tool will be extended to hybrid grid with viscous grid near solid surfaces and will include several tools including a simple CAD like geometry manipulation tool and pre- and post-processing tools all integrated in one environment to facilitate ease of use.

Principal Investigator:

Angela Lestari
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

R. Nappinnai
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Sukra Helitek, Inc.
3146 Greenwood Road Ames, IA 50014

EIN/Tax ID: 421371077
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No