Advanced parallel aerodynamic code
for rotor aeroelastic analyses

The engineering of optimally designed civil helicopters holds significant importance for advancing efficient and safe transport, particularly in operations such as rescue missions and rapid patient and organ transport. The technological challenge lies in accurately estimating dynamic loads on deformable structures, such as rotors, which involves the disciplines of aerodynamics, elasticity, and structural dynamics. Achieving dynamic equilibrium computationally involves iterative steps using high-fidelity structural dynamics and aerodynamic software. The bottleneck, however, is the computational time required by high-fidelity aerodynamic software like Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Current industrial aeroelastic simulation combines structural dynamics with mid-fidelity aerodynamic software, but limitations arise in conditions involving stall, dynamic stall, and complex aerodynamic interactions. Emerging methods include mesh handling improvements in URANS CFD Finite Volume tools and the Lattice-Boltzmann Method (LBM), known for its ability to represent complex physical phenomena and high parallel scalability. The project’s main goal is to enhance aeroelastic simulation capabilities for faster and reliable rotorcraft design and certification. This involves fine-tuning Finite Volume (FV) based CFD analysis on rotor blades, developing a high-scalable LBM-based aerodynamic software, benchmarking against experimental data, creating a flexible interface for URANS (FV) and LBM codes, and demonstrating effectiveness through simulations of practical configurations. The coupling strategy between the VLES-LB fluid solver and the fluid-structure finite volume code involves a subdomain approach and weak coupling, with nontrivial interpolations and considerations for different timescales in the “strong coupling” regime.

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