Schatzman, N., Komerath, N., and Romander, E., "Time-Varying Loads of Co-Axial Rotor Blade Crossings," SAE Int. J. Aerosp. 10(2):68-76, 2017.
The blade crossing event of a coaxial counter-rotating rotor is a potential source of noise and impulsive blade loads. Blade crossings occur many times during each rotor revolution. In previous research by the authors, this phenomenon was analyzed by simulating two airfoils passing each other at specified speeds and vertical separation distances, using the compressible Navier-Stokes solver OVERFLOW. The simulations explored mutual aerodynamic interactions associated with thickness, circulation, and compressibility effects. Results revealed the complex nature of the aerodynamic impulses generated by upper/lower airfoil interactions. In this paper, the coaxial rotor system is simulated using two trains of airfoils, vertically offset, and traveling in opposite directions. The simulation represents multiple blade crossings in a rotor revolution by specifying horizontal distances between each airfoil in the train based on the circumferential distance between blade tips. The shed vorticity from prior crossing events will affect each pair of upper/lower airfoils. The aerodynamic loads on the airfoil and flow field characteristics are computed before, at, and after each airfoil crossing. Results from the multiple-airfoil simulation show noticeable changes in the airfoil aerodynamics by introducing additional fluctuation in the aerodynamic time history.