Rotor Noise in Maneuvering Flight

Open Access
Chen, Hsuan-nien
Graduate Program:
Aerospace Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
August 25, 2006
Committee Members:
  • Kenneth Steven Brentner, Committee Chair
  • Farhan S Gandhi, Committee Member
  • Joseph Francis Horn, Committee Member
  • Timothy A Brungart, Committee Member
  • Maneuvering
  • Rotor noise
  • Helicopter
The objective of this research is to understand the physics of rotor noise in the maneuvering flight. To achieve this objective, an integrated noise prediction system is constructed, namely GenHel--MFW--PSU-WOPWOP. This noise prediction system includes a flight simulation code, a high fidelity free vortex-wake code, and a rotor acoustic prediction code. By using this noise prediction system, rotor maneuver noise characteristics are identified. Unlike periodic rotor noise, a longer duration is required to describe rotor maneuver noise. The variation of helicopter motion, blade motion and blade airloads are all influencing the noise prediction results in both noise level and directivity in the maneuvering flight. In this research, two types of rotor maneuver noise are identified, steady maneuver noise and transient maneuver noise. In the steady maneuver, rotor noise corresponds to a steady maneuver condition, which has nearly steady properties in flight dynamics and aerodynamics. Transient maneuver noise is the result of the transition between two steady maneuvers. In a transient maneuver, the helicopter experiences fluctuations in airload and helicopter angular rates, which lead to excess rotor noise. Even though the transient maneuver only exists for a fairly short period of time, the corresponding transient maneuver noise could be significant when compared to steady maneuver noise. The blade tip vortices also present complex behaviors in the transient maneuver condition. With stronger vortex circulation strength and the potential for vortex bundling, blade vortex-interaction (BVI) noise may increase significantly during a transient maneuver. In this research, it is shown that even with small pilot controls, significant BVI noise can be generated during a transient flight condition. Finally, through this research, the importance of transient maneuver noise is demonstrated and recognized.