Robust flight control of rotorcraft maneuvers immersed in obstacle’s turbulence
Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
University of Glasgow (UK)
Strictly before end of May 2017
39.820,00 € per year
Mainly Milano (Italy) and Glasgow (UK)
The operation of rotorcraft close to the obstacles in windy conditions is often a complex task that increases significantly the pilot workload. This is due to the air turbulence created as wind flows over complex obstacles and the interaction of the rotorcraft wake with this highly turbulent flow. Flight testing is required to expand the envelopes, however, it is frequently difficult to schedule, expensive, and potentially hazardous. The time required and risk of flight testing could be significantly mitigated through the complementary use of virtual simulation. However, the flow field that is met by the rotorcraft depends from the relative position and velocity between the aircraft and the obstacle. Computational tools can be effectively used to predict the flow field around an obstacle and subsequently this information can be used to feed flight simulators numerical models, but in this way the interaction with the rotorcraft and its trajectory will be missed. In this research it is proposed to pursue a different path, that will start from measures taken from experimental test of helicopters flight close to obstacles conducted in the POLIMI large wind tunnel environmental test section. These tests will be used for the realization of a model for the flow field to be employed in flight simulator tests with the pilot in the loop. Then, the optimal flight paths obtained in the flight simulator tests will be reproduced in the wind tunnel to verify and improve the predictions of the simulation models. The developed model will be used for the test of possible robust automatic control strategies that may help the pilot to reduce the additional workload caused by the turbulent flow field.
This researcher will be working at the Politecnico di Milano together with University of Glasgow to obtain a double doctorate award. The ESR will develop skills in aeromechanics modelling and simulation, and the development of real-time models to be used as flight-simulator mathematical engines. At the same time, the researcher will work on wind tunnel tests of the interaction between the obstacle and a helicopter.
During the research, secondments are planned to NLR, to learn from the experience developed byt this research institute on the flight simulation of helicopter ship approaches and dynamic interface definition. The ESR will also engage and share knowledge with other ESRs as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network – NITROS.
• Flight mechanics
• Flight simulation
• Wind tunnel tests
• Robust control theory
• Degree in aerospace or mechanical engineering
• Experience wind tunnel test
• Experience with multibody dynamics and CFD
• Strong background in control theory
• Ability to program in C/C++/Matlab
Type of contract
The successful ESR applicant will be offered a 3-year full-time funded contract by Politecnico di Milano.
Additional Eligibility criteria
English language (IELTS overall score 6.5; no sub-test less than 6.0)