Simulation and Modeling of Rigid Aircraft Aerodynamic Responses to Arbitrary Gust Distributions
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The stresses resulting from wind gusts can exceed the limit value and may cause large-scale structural deformation or even failure. All certified airplanes should therefore withstand the increased loads from gusts of considerable intensity. A large factor of safety will make the structure
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The stresses resulting from wind gusts can exceed the limit value and may cause large-scale structural deformation or even failure. All certified airplanes should therefore withstand the increased loads from gusts of considerable intensity. A large factor of safety will make the structure heavy and less economical. Thus, the need for accurate prediction of aerodynamic gust responses is motivated by both safety and economic concerns. This article presents the efforts to simulate and model air vehicle aerodynamic responses to various gust profiles. The computational methods developed and the research outcome will play an important role in the airplane’s structural design and certification. Cobalt
is used as the flow solver to simulate aerodynamic responses to wind gusts. The code has a user-defined boundary condition capability that was tested for the first time in the present study to model any gust profile (intensity, direction, and duration) on any arbitrary configuration. Gust profiles considered include sharp edge, one minus cosine, a ramp, and a 1-cosine using tabulated data consisting of gust intensity values at discrete time instants. Test cases considered are a flat plate, a two-dimensional NACA0012 airfoil, and the high Reynolds number aero-structural dynamics (HIRENASD) configuration, which resembles a typical large passenger transport aircraft. Test cases are assumed to be rigid, and only longitudinal gust profiles are considered, though the developed codes can model any gust angle. Time-accurate simulation results show the aerodynamic responses to different gust profiles including transient solutions. Simulation results show that sharp edge responses of the flat plate agree well with the Küssner approximate function, but trends of other test cases do not match because of the thin airfoil assumptions made to derive the analytical function. Reduced order aerodynamic models are then created from the convolution integral of gust amplitude and the time-accurate responses to sharp-edge gusts. Convolution models are next used to predict aerodynamic responses to arbitrary gust profiles without the need of running time-accurate simulations for every gust shape. The results show very good agreement between developed models and simulation data.