DOI: 10.3390/aerospace10120996 ISSN: 2226-4310

A Comprehensive Study on the Aerodynamic Characteristics of Electrically Controlled Rotor Using Lattice Boltzmann Method

Lingzhi Wang, Taoyong Su
  • Aerospace Engineering

An electrically controlled rotor (ECR) is a kind of swashplateless rotor that implements the primary control via the trailing-edge flap system instead of a swashplate and demonstrates great potential in vibration reduction and noise alleviation. In this paper, the mesoscopic numerical simulation method known as the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) is employed to investigate the aerodynamic characteristics of an ECR. In the LBM, the discretized Boltzmann transport equation is solved to simulate the macroscopic motion of the fluid, and the D3Q27 model is applied for this study. The effects of the flap deflection on the ECR aerodynamic characteristics can be accurately included with the appropriate refined wall lattice resolution. On this basis, the adaptive wake-refinement strategy is applied to track the evolution of the wake and adequately capture details of the wake structure in the wake flow field. Based on this method, an aerodynamic analysis model for the ECR can be established on the XFlow simulation platform. The aerodynamic analysis model is validated, and the results indicate that the LBM can accurately capture the details of the rotor flow field and calculate blade aerodynamic load, as well as predict the downwash of the rotor. Therefore, based on this model, the ECR aerodynamic characteristics under hovering and forward flight conditions are analyzed, and the effects of the flap deflection on the wake structure, induced inflow, and disc load can be captured. The results indicate that a relatively large flap deflection required to trim the rotor will cause the additional intense flap wake vortex in the ECR wake flow field, apart from the concentrated vorticity at the blade tip and root demonstrated in the conventional rotor wake flow field, and thus significantly change the distributions of the disc-induced inflow and aerodynamic load.

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