Baseline vibration measurements of remotely piloted helicopters for higher harmonic control research.
Ransford, Kevin M.
Wood, E. Roberts
Howard, Richard M.
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The Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) is conducting a research program in methods of higher harmonic control (HHC) for reduction of helicopter vibrations. The program at NPS uses remotely piloted helicopters (RPH) to study HHC effects on vibration and blade load reduction. The scope of this master's thesis was to measure the baseline vibration profile of the RPH test vehicles prior to the installation of a HHC system. This goal was met by the development of a data instrumentation and recording system and by conducting a ground and flight test program for the RPH test vehicles. From the results of these tests it was concluded that: a) the data instrumentation and recording system was of sufficient sensitivity to detect vibrations experienced within the RPH airframe; and b) the RPH exhibited a vibration profile similar to that of a full scale helicopter. It is recommended that a HHC system be designed, fabricated, and installed on the RPH so that the effects of HHC on helicopter performance may be evaluated.
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