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Optimization of Critical Trajectories for Rotorcraft Vehicles

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This paper focuses on the development of computational procedures for the trajectory optimization of maneuvering rotorcraft vehicles. The flight mechanics models are based on classic blade element theory, and are applicable to both helicopters and tilt‐rotors. Maneuvers are formulated here as optimal control problems, whose solution minimizes an appropriate cost function subjected to constraints that translate the flight envelope limitations of the aircraft and all the necessary safety and operational requirements. A finite element based transcription process is used for discretizing the problem, leading to a finite dimensional parameter optimization. Procedures are proposed for ensuring flyable solutions and realistic control time histories that are compatible with the hidden (unmodelled) actuator dynamics. The methodology is used for studying the take‐off of helicopters and tilt‐rotors in the one‐engine failure case under Category‐A certification requirements.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Publication date: 2005-04-01

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  • The Journal of the American Helicopter Society is the world's only scientific journal dedicated to vertical flight technology. It is a peer-reviewed technical journal published quarterly by AHS International and presents innovative papers covering the state-of-the-art in all disciplines of rotorcraft design, research and development. (Please note that AHS members receive significant discounts on articles and subscriptions.)

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    Authors can find submission guidelines and related information on the AHS website.

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