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).
By Durand Begault, Ph.D. Advanced Controls and Displays Group – NASA Ames Research Center
The noise component of future aircraft and operations from Urban Air Mobility (UAM) vehicles is widely recognized as a challenge to community acceptance. NASA’s RVLT (Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology) program is currently supporting research in the area of human response and psychoacoustics in an effort to augment current metrics for traditional aircraft. This talk will review current work at NASA Ames’ Human Systems Integration Division to evaluate detection, annoyance, and acceptability of UAM sound, in the context of expected ambient sound conditions.
Durand R Begault has worked as a research scientist at NASA Ames since 1988 in the areas of human factors, aerospace communication and warning systems, virtual reality, psychoacoustics, and multimodal research. He is a fellow of the Audio Engineering Society and has over 100 publications and 4 patents assigned to NASA. Dr. Begault recently implemented a multi-channel spatial auditory laboratory for psychoacoustic investigations of UAM sound within the Human Systems Integration Division (Code TH) and works collaboratively with psychoacoustic researchers at NASA Langley Research Center.
Come join the VFS local chapter at The SpaceBar for a drink and appetizers and maybe some networking on the side!
All are welcome. VFS members will receive one free drink ticket, and appetizers will be provided!
NASA Ames Research Park Building 3, The SpaceBar (Corner of South Akron Rd and Severyns Ave) Wednesday, February 26, 4:30 – 6:30pm
Visitor passes are not required; however, a government-issued ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.) is required for all visitors to the Research Park, including vehicle passengers.
Non-US (Citizen or Permanent Resident) visitors: you will need an international driver’s license if you will be driving yourself into the Research Park. If you do not have an international driver’s license, you may ride with a US Citizen or Permanent Resident, but you will still need to show a government issued ID (e.g., passport) to the guards at the gate.
2019 VFS Nikolsky Lecture Design Advantages of an Integrated Cyber-Physical Aircraft The Path to the Next Generation of Rotorcraft
By Nick Lappos Senior Fellow – Advanced Technology, Lockheed Martin
Nick Lappos is Lockheed Martin Senior Fellow, for Rotary and Mission Systems, where he is responsible for the Sikorsky Technical Fellow community and the introduction of advanced technologies into new and existing products. Lappos began his Aerospace career in the US Army, where he served a combat tour as an attack helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He joined at Sikorsky Aircraft in 1973. Through 2005 and then again from 2011 to present, he has served in a variety of roles at Sikorsky, including as program director for the S-92® helicopter during its development and certification. Under his leadership, the program earned the Robert J. Collier Trophy. Lappos also served as director of Test Engineering and as assistant chief and chief Research and Development test pilot, logging more than 7,500 hours of flight time in over 70 different types of helicopters.
Wednesday, November 6, 1:00pm NASA Ames Research Center, Bldg N258, Room 127
Visitors to Ames will require a visitor badge. Please contact Natasha Shatzman to obtain a visitor badge. Non-US persons – please contact Natasha ASAP, and we will do our best to get you a visitor badge.
Evolving Priorities for Vertical Lift: A University View
By Prof. Narayanan Komerath Georgia Institute of Technology
The presenter considers his experience of planning and guiding university research since 1982. From the effect of the Attack Helicopter on the Cold War MAD equation, to disaster response, mountain operations and planetary exploration, vertical lift systems have posed unique opportunities and capabilities. He will reflect on how these historical and current news items translated to university research.
Four application opportunities are in present view:
Options to skip over traffic congestion.
UAV swarms as combat aircraft.
Rural delivery, facilitating a reversal of urban migration.
Ultralight rotorcraft and their potential in exploration, communications and in countering sea level rise and climate change.
(If you have any doubts that we have been saving and will continue to save the world, this should end those!)
Narayanan Komerath holds a B.Tech in aeronautical engineering (IIT Madras), MSAE in aerospace propulsion and PhD in AE (turbulent combustion), both from Georgia Tech. He has worked for 37 years at the School of AE at Georgia Tech. He has been a part of what is now the Army/NASA/Navy/FAA Vertical Lift Rotorcraft Center of Excellence, among other projects, since 1982. Since 1990 he has directed operations at the John J. Harper wind tunnel.
Tuesday, September 17, 10:00 a.m. NASA Ames Research Center, Bldg N258, Room 127
Visitors to Ames will require a visitor badge. Please contact Carl Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org) to obtain a visitor badge. Unfortunately, due to the short notice for this talk, we are only able to accommodate US Citizens and Permanent Residents.
The discussions around urban air mobility (UAM) often suggest that a new aircraft type will be necessary to fulfill the UAM mission. These aircraft are supposed to take-off/land vertically and be fully electric, hence the name e-VTOL. Despite recent and upcoming technological developments in propulsion technology and flight controls, there exist physical limits that apply to the design the constrain the design space depending on of the mission, in particular in terms of rotor-disc area and wing area. This work develops a novel approach to sizing electric aircraft based on a quadratic polynomial, allowing fast sweeps of the design space and ultimately drawing feasible regions in the design space.
Olivier Cornes is a Swiss citizen who graduated with one master’s degree from EPFL (Switzerland) in Mechanical engineering as well as a masters degree from Sup’Aéro (France) in aerospace engineering. He conducted his master thesis research at MIT on developing network-based MDO techniques for Mars mission architecture. After graduating, he founded a chemical process design software start-up based in Switzerland. However, within less than a year, he missed aircraft too much and joined Aurora Flight Sciences as an aircraft designer and has been there for the past couple of years.
Tuesday, September 10, 2:00 p.m. NASA Ames Research Center, Bldg N258, Room 127
Visitors to Ames will require a visitor badge. Please contact Carl Russell (email@example.com) to obtain a visitor badge. Non-US person visitors: please contact Carl Russell ASAP, and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Come and cool off with some ice cream provided by the VFS SFBAC and catch up with colleagues or meet new ones! We’ll soon be saying good bye to this year’s group of NASA/Army summer interns, and we’re encouraging them to come out to this event and chat with folks in the SFBAC to get perspectives on what professional life is like working in the area of vertical lift.
Thursday, August 1 at 3:30pm Chase Park, Ames Research Center
Note that this event is in the NASA Research Park, so visitor passes are not required; however, a government-issued ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.) is required for all visitors to the Research Park, including vehicle passengers. Non-US (Citizen or Permanent Resident) visitors: you will need an international driver’s license if you will be driving yourself into the Research Park. If you do not have an international driver’s license, you may ride with a US Citizen or Permanent Resident, but will still need to show a gov’t issued ID (e.g., passport) to the guards at the gate.
This seminar will provide a review of the key propeller and rotor noise source mechanisms, their fluid mechanics origins, and an assessment of the state-of-the-art of current noise prediction approaches. Rotor noise is comprised of several components that originate from distinct physical mechanisms, which must generally be treated separately. Furthermore, these distinct noise mechanisms each have unique acoustic radiation patterns that are important to understand the resulting noise of the vehicle. The challenge in using prediction tools for reducing rotor noise through both design and abatement is twofold: 1) choosing the level of fidelity that captures the important physics with enough accuracy; and 2) reducing both the learning curve to use the tools and the computational power required by the noise prediction system to make the prediction tools accessible to both aircraft designers, operators, and land use planners. This presentation will address rotor noise sources relevant to electric vertical lift and takeoff (eVTOL) vehicles and show recent validation results for a range of helicopters.
Professor Brentner has been a faculty member for the past 19 years in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. His research interests focus on rotorcraft and aircraft aeroacoustics, computational aeroacoustics, fluid mechanics, computational fluid dynamics, and high-performance computing. Professor Brentner and his research team have developed the rotorcraft noise prediction code PSU-WOPWOP which is able to predict noise from a rotorcraft with multiple rotors in both steady and maneuvering flight. In recent work, Professor Brentner has assembled a team to develop a noise prediction system for the FAA and validated that system with acoustic flight test data for more than six helicopters. These tools are also applicable to proposed eVTOL, Urban Air Mobility (UAM), and drone vehicles. Prior to joining Penn State, Professor Brentner was a Senior Research Engineer at the NASA Langley Research Center for 17 years.
Professor Brentner has a B. S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University, a M.S. degree in Aeronautics from The George Washington University, JIAFS, and a Ph.D. degree in Acoustics from the University in Cambridge, England. He has authored or co-authored over 156 technical publications and is the recipient of numerous awards. Professor Brentner is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and a past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Helicopter Society.
Monday, April 29, 1pm NASA Ames Research Center, N258 Conference Room
Visitors to Ames will require a visitor badge. Please contact Carl Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org) to obtain a visitor badge. Non-US person visitors: please contact Carl Russell ASAP, and we will do our best to get you a visitor badge