Computational Wind Tunnel: A Design Tool for Rotorcraft

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX09CA03C
Agency Tracking Number: 075127
Amount: $598,888.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: A2.10
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Sukra Helitek, Inc.
3146 Greenwood Road, Ames, IA, 50014-4504
DUNS: 877929125
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Angela Lestari
 Principal Investigator
 (515) 292-9646
 nappi@sukra-helitek.com
Business Contact
 R. Nappinnai
Title: Business Official
Phone: (515) 292-9646
Email: nappi@sukra-helitek.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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