Virtual Technical Seminar – Jetpack Concept for Mid-Air Helicopter Delivery at Mars, by Jeff Delaune, JPL (12/14)

Mars Science Helicopter (MSH) is a second-generation 31.2-kg Mars helicopter designed to carry a 5-kg science payload up to 13.3 km in range in single flight, or maintain 6.5 minutes hover time. Mid-Air Helicopter Delivery (MAHD) is a new Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) architecture to enable in situ mobility for Mars science at lower cost than previous missions. It uses a jetpack to slow down a MSH after separation from the backshell, and reach aerodynamic conditions suitable for helicopter take-off in mid air, removing the need for a dedicated landing system. For given aeroshell dimensions, only MAHD’s lander-free approach leaves enough room in the aeroshell to accommodate the largest rotor option for MSH. This drastically improves flight performance and allows +150% increased science payload mass. Compared to heritage EDL approaches, the simpler MAHD architecture is also likely to reduce cost, and enables access to more hazardous and higher-elevation terrains on Mars.

Jeff Delaune is a robotics technologist in the Aerial Mobility Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His interests include analysis, design, implementation, and testing of new technology for planetary exploration, with a particular focus on autonomous aerial systems and vision-based navigation so far. Jeff is part of the Guidance, Navigation and Control team for NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. He received his Ph.D. in Robotics from Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE, France) in 2013, after a M.S. in Astronautics and Space Engineering from Cranfield University (United Kingdom), and a B.S./M.S. in Engineering from École Centrale de Nantes (France).

Wednesday, December 14, 3:00pm PST

Location: Online. Microsoft Teams invite will be sent out to those who RSVP

All Attendees: Please RSVP to Stephen Wright (stephen.j.wright@nasa.gov) by Tue, Dec 13

Technical Seminar – Oct 26th at 3:00pm: Ken Mort of NASA presents “The World’s Largest Wind Tunnels: Their History, Contributions to Aeronautics, and Importance to Flight – A History of the NASA Ames 40- by 80-Foot and 80- by 120-Foot Wind Tunnels”

by Kenneth Mort
Former NACA and NASA Research Engineer

This will be a second presentation of Ken’s excellent talk that he gave at the SFBAC Awards Banquet on Aug 18. If you missed it or weren’t able to get a signed copy of Ken’s book, here’s your second chance!

This is the first comprehensive reporting of the history of the world’s largest wind tunnels. The publication covers 80 years of design, construction, use, and modifications to what is today referred to as the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex and currently operated by the U.S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Complex at NASA Ames Research Center. The 409-page NASA Special Publication is the definitive manuscript describing the circumstances and justifications for the requirements, test objectives, and usages of the world’s largest wind tunnels. It documents every test program conducted in the facilities since their inception in July 1944 for the 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel and since 1987 for the 80- by 120- Foot Wind Tunnel, respectively, through the year 2020.

Mr. Kenneth Mort was an NACA test engineer assigned to the 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel in the 1950s and has remained involved with test operations and NASA and Air Force wind tunnel staff to today. His often first-hand recollection of testing activities over this period is unmatched for any wind tunnel facility in the world. His collection of archival photographic documentation contained in the book was compiled over years of work with NASA archivists.

Wednesday, October 26, 3:00pm
Location: NASA Ames Research Center, Bldg. N258 Conference Room
Reception and book-signing after the talk!

Visitors to Ames will require a visitor badge – non-Ames personnel must RSVP by Mon, Oct 24 to receive a badge.
All Attendees: Please RSVP to Stephen Wright (stephen.j.wright@nasa.gov) by Tue, Oct 25.
Due to security restrictions, onsite attendance at Ames will be limited to U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents.

2020-2022 Chapter Awards

The Board of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Vertical Flight Society is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Chapter Awards, covering the award periods of 2020, 2021, and 2022. Recipients of the awards are selected annually, from nominations submitted by SFBAC VFS members, by a special advisory board. These awards are an opportunity for the local VFS Chapter to recognize the outstanding work and significant accomplishments achieved by the VTOL technical community. Winners will be honored at an Awards Banquet to be held on August 18, 2022 in Mountain View, CA. The winners are as follows (team award leads in parentheses):

Velkoff Award for Outstanding Technical Paper

2020 – Beatrice Roget, Jay Sitaraman, Ryan Blumenstein, Hossein Saberi, and Mina Taheri – for their paper titled “Advanced Rotorcraft Aeromechanics Simulations Using HPCMP CREATE (TM)-AV Helios” presented at the VFS 75th Annual Forum

2021 – Tom Berger, Mark Tischler, and Joe Horn – for their paper titled “Outer-Loop Control Design and Simulation Handling Qualities Assessment for a Coaxial Compound Helicopter and Tiltrotor” presented at the VFS 76th Annual Forum

2022 – Mani Ramasamy, Rohit Jain, and Tom Norman – for their paper titled “Does Scatter Matter? Improved Understanding of UH-60A Wind Tunnel Rotor measurements Using Data-Driven Clustering and CREATETM-AV Helios” presented at the VFS 77th Annual Forum

Schroers Award for Outstanding Rotorcraft Research

2020 – Mars Helicopter Development Team (Larry Young) – for the significant contributions of the NASA Ames Aeromechanics team to the Mars 2020 Mission Mars Helicopter

2021 – Alex Stoll – for his many contributions to the successful development of the Joby eVTOL air taxi

2022 – ARTIC VMS Simulation Test Team (Tom Berger and Emily Lewis) – for successful planning and execution of two full-motion rotorcraft air vehicle simulations in the NASA Vertical Motion Simulator to evaluate the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) and Future Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) for reduced pilot workload

Franklin Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Powered-Lift Field:

2020 – NASA/Army Multirotor Testbed Wind Tunnel Test Team (Carl Russell) – for the successful 2019 MTB test program in the 7- by 10-Foot Wind Tunnel

2021 – NFAC Aerodynamic & Acoustic Rotoprop Test Team (Joe Sacco and Natasha Schatzman) – for the successful completion of the AART test in the 40- by 80-ft Wind Tunnel in Fall 2020

2022 – UAM Quadcopter Handling Qualities VMS Test Team (Carlos Malpica) – for the successful completion of the UAM Quadcopter Handling Qualities Test in the Vertical Motion Simulator in 2021

Award for Outstanding Technical Support:

2020 – Catherine Dow – for technical editing of numerous NASA Special Publications, Technical Memoranda, and Contractor Reports published over the past 10 years by NASA and Army rotorcraft researchers

2021 – TDD-A/DSE Automation Team (Sukhdev Sandhu), and Meridith Segall – for their outstanding IT support enabling continued productivity during mandatory telework for Army and NASA employees

2022 – Farid Haddad – for his significant contributions to the Rotor Optimization for the Advancement of Mars eXploration (ROAMX) team and decades of support of Air Force, Army, and NASA rotorcraft research at NASA Ames.

Award for Outstanding Contribution to the VFS Local Chapter

2020 – Natasha Schatzman – for her service to the SF Bay Area Chapter in every possible role, including the president. She has exemplified exceptional service to the Chapter and to the community it serves.

2021 – Kenneth Mort – for his NASA SP titled “The World’s Largest Wind Tunnels: Their History, Contributions to Aeronautics, and Importance to Flight – A History of the NASA Ames 40- by 80-Foot and 80- by 120-Foot Wind Tunnels,” which documented the research milestones of many past and current VFS SFBAC members

2022 –SFBAC Transformative Vertical Flight 2022 Leadership Team (Colin Theodore, Buvana Jayaraman, Carl Russell, Meredith Segall) – for the successful execution of the Transformative Vertical Flight 2022 Conference in January 2022

Lifetime Achievement Award

2020 – Chris Blanken – Mr. Blanken served the nation as an Army rotorcraft researcher leading the Army to be at the forefront of rotary wing control system development.

2021 – Mark Potsdam – Mr. Potsdam served the nation as an Army rotorcraft researcher with a long history of applying high-fidelity computational aeromechanics modeling and simulation tools to complex, moving body, aeroelastic rotorcraft configurations.

2022 – Mark Tischler – Dr. Tischler served the nation as an Army rotorcraft researcher for over 40 years. He is the world recognized expert in aircraft and rotorcraft handling qualities and flight control research.

2022 Chapter Awards Banquet, August 18, and Call for Award Nominations

Save the Date!!

After a 2-year hiatus, we are bringing back the SF Bay Area Chapter Awards Banquet! The awards banquet will be held in-person at Michael’s at Shoreline in Mountain View, CA on August 18, 2022, beginning at 5:30pm. More detailed agenda and invite will be sent out closer to the event. We are also happy to announce that our guest speaker for the awards banquet will be Mr. Ken Mort, author of the recently published NASA SP “The World’s Largest Wind Tunnels: Their History, Contributions to Aeronautics, and Importance to Flight – A History of the NASA Ames 40- by 80-Foot and 80- by 120-Foot Wind tunnels.” It will be a very special evening.

Call for Nominations

As in past years, the SFBAC Board of Directors is asking for award nominations. Do you know a colleague or group who deserves recognition? The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the VFS presents awards, which provide important recognition to those who advance the interests of vertical flight, but we can’t recognize outstanding contributions without a nomination!

Whether it’s for a single outstanding contribution or achievement, a major technical innovation, or long and valued service that has pushed the frontiers of vertical flight technology and its applications, we need your nomination. Nominations are being sought for six different awards, which will be presented at the annual Awards Banquet on August 18, 2022. See attached Word doc for the award descriptions (also copied below) and nomination form, and see the links here for lists of previous winners. Please submit your nominations using the attached template no later than July 18, 2022 to Geoff Chen (geoffrey.h.chen.civ@army.mil).

Because we have missed our last two awards cycles, we will be accepting nominations for both 2021 and 2022, as well as re-visiting the nominations received in 2020, as we seek to provide recognition for the continuous accomplishments of our SFBAC members!

Award Descriptions

Velkoff Award for Outstanding Technical Paper 

Given to an individual(s) for the best technical paper, written or published within the last 12 months, documenting a significant contribution to the field of vertical flight. 

Schroers Award for Outstanding Rotorcraft Research 

Given to an individual or group for significant contribution to rotorcraft technology. 

Franklin Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Powered-Lift Field 

Given to an individual or group for significant contribution to powered-lift technology (other than helicopters). 

Outstanding Technical Support 

Given to an individual or group for exceptional technical support of vertical flight operation, research, or experimentation (such as technicians, operators, crew chiefs, pilots, inspectors, etc.). 

Outstanding Contribution to the VFS Local Chapter 

Given to an individual who has shown dedication and enthusiasm toward furthering the goals and interests of the local VFS chapter. 

Lifetime Achievement Award 

Given to an individual recognizing sustained, outstanding contributions to the advancement of rotorcraft through a life-long dedication and outstanding technical and management leadership. 

Technical Seminar – June 2nd at 3:30pm: Susan Polsky of ONR presents “The US Navy Dynamic Interface Virtual Environment (DIVE) Program”

The US Navy Dynamic Interface Virtual Environment (DIVE) Program

By Ms. Susan Polsky
Office of Naval Research (ONR)

A unique aspect of Naval operations is the launch and recovery of aircraft from ships at sea. The complex aerodynamic environment presents significant piloting and aircraft performance challenges. The goal of the DIVE program is to develop modeling and simulation tools, including computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools, to enable the use of M&S to enhance or even replace live flight testing for rotary wing aircraft. The brief will address the CFD modeling and experimental “truth data” aspects of the DIVE program.

Speaker Bio:

Susan received an M.S. and B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland. From 1990-1996, she performed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research for the Aerothermodynamics Branch at NASA Ames Research Center working projects from Mars reentry vehicles to scramjet design. In 1997, Ms. Polsky joined the NAVAIR Applied Aerodynamics Branch where she became a subject matter expert in ship airwake and air/ship integration CFD modeling. Products from Susan’s research are used by many Navy ship and aircraft programs. Susan is currently the Computational Aerodynamics Team Lead for the Office of Naval Research Dynamic Interface Virtual Environment (DIVE) program.

Thursday, June 2, 3:30pm
In-Person: NASA Ames Research Center, Bldg. N219 Conference Room (Spillover via Teams in N215 if needed)
Happy hour at 4:30pm after the talk outside at the Megabites Café tables
Virtual: MS Teams invite will be sent out to those who RSVP prior to the talk

All Attendees: Please RSVP to Carl Russell (carl.r.russell@nasa.gov) by Wed, June 1, especially if you would like to attend in-person.
Visitors to Ames will require a visitor badge.

Non-Ames personnel: Please RSVP to Carl Russell and submit the attached visitor pre-approval form directly to the Visitor Office by Tue, May 31 to receive a badge. If you have already submitted this pre-approval form within the last year, you do not need to submit it again – just RSVP to Carl.
Due to security restrictions, onsite attendance at Ames will be limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

ARC OPS Pre-Approval Visitor Access Form

Technical Seminar – May 16th at 3pm: Marc Hoefinger of DLR presents “The German Aerospace Center’s Simulation and Flight Test Activities Supporting Handling Qualities Certification of eVTOL Aircraft”

The German Aerospace Center’s Simulation and Flight Test Activities Supporting Handling Qualities Certification of eVTOL Aircraft

By Mr. Marc Hoefinger
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

New methods are currently being investigated to perform certification of future electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency EASA has published a Special Condition for VTOL aircraft, applicable to person-carrying VTOL aircraft in the small category, with lift/thrust units that are used to generate powered lift and control. One aspect that is investigated is a new approach to evaluate handling qualities (HQs) as means of compliance demonstration. Flight Test Maneuvers (FTM) that could be used for this purpose have been proposed. These FTMs are scaled based on vehicle geometry. DLR has performed a simulation campaign with a quadcopter simulation model and flight tests with an ultralight coaxial helicopter to review this approach. The presentation will cover these simulation and flight test activities.

Speaker Bio:

Marc holds a diploma in aeronautical engineering from the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany.

He started his career at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in 2001 and was responsible for a variety of theoretical and experimental rotorcraft research projects, including active trailing edge flaps and transport category helicopter handling qualities.

He participated in wind tunnel experiments and conducted flight tests on different helicopters, ranging from BO 105 to the German Army Sikorsky CH-53.

He was involved in several European and transatlantic cooperative activities, was co-chair of a NATO STO Research Task Group on “Future Rotorcraft Requirements,“ and spent several months at the NASA Ames Research Center in 2006 in the frame of a still active cooperation with the U.S. Army.

In 2011 he was promoted head of the rotorcraft branch at the DLR Institute of Flight Systems. Since then, he has managed the rotorcraft branch in the institute with currently 49 employees. The branch performs applied research on rotorcraft technologies ranging from real-time piloted simulation, system identification, handling qualities and flight control law design, to aeromechanics simulation, rotor control, and wind tunnel and flight testing.

Marc is member of the Handling Qualities Technical Committee of the Vertical Flight Society and of the German Society for Aeronautics and Astronautics (DGLR).

Monday, May 16, 3:00pm
In-Person: NASA Ames Research Center, Bldg. N219 Conference Room (Spillover via Teams in N215 if needed)
Happy hour at 4:00pm after the talk outside at the Megabites Café tables
Virtual: MS Teams invite will be sent out to those who RSVP prior to the talk.

Visitors to Ames will require a visitor badge – non-Ames personnel must RSVP by Wed, May 11 to receive a badge.
All Attendees: Please RSVP to Carl Russell (carl.r.russell@nasa.gov) by Fri, May 13, especially if you would like to attend in-person.
Due to security restrictions, onsite attendance at Ames will be limited to U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents.

Non-Ames personnel who wish to attend in-person will need to fill out the following visitor pre-approval form and return it directly to the NASA security office no later than Wed, May 11 in addition to RSVPing to Carl:

ARC OPS Pre-Approval Visitor Access Form

Board of Directors 2022-2023

President: Mahendra Bhagwat
Vice President: Sarah Conley
Secretary/Treasurer: Gary Fayaud
Technical Chair: Buvana Jayaraman
Arrangements Chairs: Stephen Wright
Publicity Chair: Carl Russell
Membership Chair: Haley Cummings
Community Outreach Chair: Mickey Radotich
Awards Chair: Geoff Chen
Webmaster: Alex Stoll
Members-at-Large: Luke Battey, Michelle Dominguez, Witold Koning, Shannah Withrow-Maser

Board of Directors 2020-2021

President: Robert Scott
Vice President: Mahendra Bhagwat
Secretary/Treasurer: Gary Fayaud
Membership Chair: Haley Cummings
Publicity Chair: Carl Russell
Technical Chair: Mark Potsdam
Arrangements Chairs: Michael Graham, Shannah Withrow
Community Outreach Chair: Sarah Conley
Awards Chair: Geoff Chen
Webmaster: Alex Stoll
Members-at-Large: Chris Byron, Witold Koning, Chris Northrup

Virtual Webinar: Rotorcraft as Robots by Larry Young, NASA Rotorcraft Aeromechanics Office (8/20)

This is not a presentation about autonomous helicopters. This is, instead, a talk about rotorcraft that are robots—i.e., VTOL aerial platforms that have some level of capability to transform their nature and/or manipulate their environments. Autonomous system technologies, coupled with the development and maturation of novel aerial vehicle concepts (both fixed- and rotary-wing), leads inevitably to new design paradigms for aerial robots. In that spirit, a number of mission and design concepts for “rotorcraft as robots” are discussed and their merits and limitations are noted, as well as future opportunities for development. The objective of this work is to inspire future generations of aerospace engineers, intelligent systems technologists, and roboticists to develop systems that can address critical societal needs and application domains such as planetary exploration, field science campaigns on Earth, environmental monitoring, disaster relief and emergency response, wildlife conservation, and new aerospace transportation and distribution systems.

Larry Young works in the Aeromechanics Office, NASA Ames Research Center. Larry performs research in the area of advanced aerial vehicle and aerospace system conceptual design. Among his current and past projects are studies into fundamental vortical flow physics, tiltrotor aeroperformance and aeroacoustics, planetary aerial vehicles, vertical lift autonomous aerial vehicles, rotary-wing vehicles for disaster relief and emergency missions, metropolitan aerial transportation systems, advanced tiltrotor aircraft design, and “rotorcraft as robots.” He was an early researcher into Mars rotorcraft and other vertical takeoff and landing vehicles for planetary exploration. He is a member of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter team and mentored Phase A student intern work performed on the Titan Dragonfly project that helped lead to its New Frontiers mission award. He was the principal investigator for the NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI) Phase II study into metropolitan aerial transportation systems, a.k.a. Hopper networks, one of early studies into what has become known as eVTOL and Urban Air Mobility (UAM).

Thursday, August 20, 11:00 a.m. PDT

If planning to attend, please register for the virtual webinar here:
https://ahs.portal.membersuite.com/events/ViewEvent.aspx?contextID=87f8e057-0078-c533-d848-86c11b8ee82c