Rotorcraft simulations with coupled flight dynamics, free wake, and acoustics

Umberto Saetti, Joseph F. Horn, Kenneth S. Brentner, Willca Villafana, Dan Wachspress

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

18 Scopus citations


This study presents the integration of a flight simulation code (PSUHeloSim), a high fidelity rotor aeromechanics model with free wake (CHARM Rotor Module), and an industry standard noise prediction tool (PSU-WOPWOP) into a comprehensive noise prediction system. The flight simulation uses an autonomous controller to follow a prescribed trajectory for both steady and maneuvering flight conditions. The aeromechanical model calculates blade loads and blade motion that couple to the vehicle flight dynamics with suitable resolution to allow high fidelity acoustics analysis (including prediction of blade-vortex interaction (BVI) noise). The blade loads and motion data is sent to PSU-WOPWOP in a postprocessing step to predict external noise. The coupled analysis is being used to evaluate the influence of flight path on aircraft noise certification metrics like EPNL and SEL for various rotorcraft in work for the FAA. The software was used to analyze the acoustic properties of a blade planform similar to the "Blue Edge" rotor blades developed by DLR and Airbus Helicopters - predicting BVI noise reduction as compared to more conventional blade geometries on the same order as that reported for the "Blue Edge" rotor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication72nd American Helicopter Society International Annual Forum 2016
Subtitle of host publicationLeveraging Emerging Technologies for Future Capabilities
PublisherAmerican Helicopter Society
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781510825062
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameAnnual Forum Proceedings - AHS International
ISSN (Print)1552-2938

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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