Prediction of Brownout Inception Beneath a Full-Scale Helicopter Downwash

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Abstract:

Dust entrained by low flying helicopters leads to the degraded visual environment, brownout. Particle inception is a critical stage in the development of the dust cloud. Here, near-wall Lagrangian particle forces are considered through analyzing an approximate time-averaged full-scale rotor flow. This simplified flow does not attempt to predict brownout, instead it provides scales and velocity data in the near-wall region, compares the role of particle-fluid forces, and provides a foundation for Lagrangian entrainment models. The analysis shows that three characteristic particle sizes are exposed to different physics in different boundary layer zones, a function of the distance from the helicopter. Drag is the dominant aerodynamic force, cohesion is large for small particles, but wall-bounded lift is sufficient to entrain medium-sized particles. A complementary analytical prediction of tip vortices found that both large-scale inviscid features and small-scale viscous features of the boundary layer are significant.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4050/JAHS.57.042006

Publication date: October 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • 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.)

    Journal subscribers who are AHS members log in here if you are not already logged in.

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

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