Analysis of a Hovering Rotor in Icing Conditions ? Â· Analysis of a Hovering Rotor in Icing...

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  • Robert NarducciThe Boeing Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Richard E. KreegerGlenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio

    Analysis of a Hovering Rotor in Icing Conditions


    January 2012 2018-04-21T14:51:22+00:00Z

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  • Robert NarducciThe Boeing Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Richard E. KreegerGlenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio

    Analysis of a Hovering Rotor in Icing Conditions


    January 2012

    National Aeronautics andSpace Administration

    Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio 44135

    Prepared for the66th Annual Forum and Technology Display (AHS Forum 66)sponsored by the American Helicopter Society (AHS)Phoenix, Arizona, May 1113, 2010

  • Acknowledgments

    This work represents a team effort at The Boeing Company and the authors wish to thank Stanley Orr, Peter Hartman, and Andy Peterson for their contributions. The authors would also like to thank Paul Tsao and Colin Bidwell for their support and many fruitful discussions. This projected was funded by NASA Contract NNC08CA88C through the NASA Glenn Research Center.

    Available from

    NASA Center for Aerospace Information7115 Standard DriveHanover, MD 210761320

    National Technical Information Service5301 Shawnee Road

    Alexandria, VA 22312

    Available electronically at

    Level of Review: This material has been technically reviewed by technical management.

  • NASA/TM2012-217126 1

    Analysis of a Hovering Rotor in Icing Conditions

    Robert Narducci The Boeing Company

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19078

    Richard E. Kreeger National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio 44135


    A high fidelity analysis method is proposed to evaluate the ice accumulation and the ensuing rotor performance degradation for a helicopter flying through an icing cloud. The process uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) coupled to a rotorcraft comprehensive code to establish the aerodynamic environment of a trimmed rotor prior to icing. Based on local aerodynamic conditions along the rotor span and accounting for the azimuthal variation, an ice accumulation analysis using NASAs Lewice3D code is made to establish the ice geometry. Degraded rotor performance is quantified by repeating the high fidelity rotor analysis with updates which account for ice shape and mass. The process is applied on a full-scale UH-1H helicopter in hover using data recorded during the Helicopter Icing Flight Test Program.

    Introduction Whether a helicopter is used for emergency rescue, military

    missions, or commercial business there are strong desires to operate them safely in all climate conditions. Operating helicopters in icing conditions is particularly dangerous because rotor blades are especially susceptible to ice growth due to their small chord. Quick accumulating ice on rotor systems leads to increased vibration, rapid loss of lift, and a large power increase to sustain flight. Shed ice from spinning rotors is common and creates hazardous projectiles.

    Ice protection systems can guard against adverse effects of ice accumulation. These systems require certification for commercial use and qualification for military applications. Both involve extensive flight tests which are expensive and time consuming. Several icing seasons are usually required to cover the boundaries of the flight envelope. Model-scale and full-scale laboratory tests assist in the certification or qualification, but scaling effects can complicate the interpretation of results.

    A highly accurate ice accumulation and rotor performance degradation prediction system can help in understanding rotorcraft behavior and limitations in adverse weather. Analytic results can guide flight test planning and add a layer of safety during icing trials. Furthermore the system can assist in reliably extrapolating model scale testing results to full-

    scale flight conditions. This could result in less flight tests for certification or qualification.

    The approach taken to develop an icing analysis system for rotors leverages methods developed for fixed-wing aircraft. Bidwell (Ref. 1) coupled ice accretion analysis with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to evaluate ice on a high-lift wing configuration. He used Lewice3D (Ref. 2) to evaluate droplet trajectories, heat transfer, and ice growth while relying on OVERFLOW (Ref. 3) or CFD++ (Ref. 4) for aerodynamic analysis. OVERFLOW is well suited for aerodynamic assessments of rotorcraft and therefore Bidwells approach is a natural point of departure for an icing analysis system for rotors.

    A high-fidelity ice analysis system for helicopters is the subject of this paper. The paper begins with an overview of the analysis approach and then offers a description of the process to generate an aerodynamic solution for a trimmed rotor in forward flight. The process to predict ice on the rotor blades utilizes information from the rotor flow field and is described next. Analysis of the iced rotor concludes the rotor icing analysis process. The process is described for a helicopter in forward flight but is applied to a hover situation which represents the first step in validating the method. Following the results of the hover analysis are conclusions.

    Analysis Approach The high fidelity icing analysis approach developed for

    rotor systems follows four basic steps. These are: Establish rotor trim and clean rotor performance and the

    initial flow field environment using CFD or coupled CFD/CSD as appropriate;

    Extract representative 2D airfoil conditions for blade sections at radial and azimuthal locations;

    Predict ice buildup on the rotor accounting for the diverse operating environment of the rotor;

    Reestablish rotor performance for the iced blades. The approach is appropriate to address ice accumulation on rotors for all flight regimes from hover to high-speed forward flight. The process is shown pictorially in Figure 1.

  • NASA/TM2012-217126 2

    Figure 1.High-fidelity ice accretion and performance

    degradation methodology.

    Figure 2.CFD/CSD coupling process.

    The process begins with a CFD or coupled CFD/CSD

    (computational structural dynamics) analysis of the rotor in flight. In this scenario, atmospheric conditions of the icing event are modeled with the exception of water drops. Rotor performance for clean blades is obtained and serves as the baseline with which to compare iced rotor performance. The numerical solution provides flow details including pressure distributions and air loads that are useful for the ice accretion analysis. Coupling CFD with CSD means that the blade response to air loads (flapping, lead-lag motion, and aeroelastic bending) is represented in the solution and that control settings are trimmed to provide a balanced rotor. It is not always necessary to couple CFD with CSD for stiff rotors and prescribed