Rotorcraft blade lag damping using highly distributed tuned vibration absorbers

Chad A. Hebert, George A. Lesieutre

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Damping of the rotor blade lag mode is especially critical in soft in-plane rotors. Lag damping is typically provided by hydraulic or elastomeric dampers. An alternative approach to providing damping over a broadband frequency range is presented. This is accomplished with multiple individual vibration absorbers which are highly distributed, both in space and in frequency. The mass for the absorbers could perhaps come from a portion of the mass of the leading edge weight structure already incorporated into the blade. The absorber system is modeled as frequency dependent mass which is distributed continuously along an elastic blade. The amount of damping can be controlled by varying the number of discrete tuning frequencies, the mass per unit length of the absorber system, the loss factor of the spring material and the frequency range of the absorbers. Through careful selection of these design parameters, substantial damping over a broad frequency range may be obtained. In an initial concept, these absorbers are embedded inside the blade leading edge weight structure, which reduces total rotor weight, complexity and drag. In addition, future research issues critical to the effective implementation of this concept are addressed.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • General Materials Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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