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MediaService Digital Industries Newsroom

Optimum rotor profile – Simulation solution from Siemens PLM Software supports rotor development

Researchers with the Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology investigate, amongst other things, the flow field in rotors and rely on the Star-CCM + software from Siemens PLM Software for their visualizations.

Just the shape of the tips on a rotor can be enough to have a significant impact on its performance and flight characteristics. When developing rotors, flow field visualization and quantification of the various influences from forces are therefore vital elements in understanding the overall flow physics. Researchers at the Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology investigate this phenomenon and rely on Star-CCM + software from Siemens PLM Software to visualize the flow field. The results help engineers to optimize hovering and forward flight whilst minimizing rotor noise.

The research results help engineers to optimize the hovering and forward flight of helicopters whilst minimizing rotor noise at the same time.

Clear visualization

Star-CCM + allows the researchers to precisely visualize the force distribution on a rotor blade and to break down the forces into shear, wingspan and normal forces. Vortex structures can also be illustrated through the software including the isosurface function. The resultant data is transferred to other visualization tools if required.

One of the results of the simulations from Star-CCM + shows that rotors with anhedral tips produce optimum hover performance.

Generating optimum hovering behavior

As far as the rotor tips were concerned, the researchers used Simcenter Star-CCM + simulations to investigate the effect of the tip shape on the hovering performance of a Sikorsky S-76 baseline rotor. The result shows that rotors with an anhedral tip produce the best performance. Other studies on anhedral tip shapes are in progress.
Anhedral = negative V-position in the aircraft. This reduces the inherent stability of the aircraft, but increases maneuverability and the achievable roll rate.
MediaService application reports may be based on previously published Siemens technical articles.

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