Rotorcraft Brownout Mitigation Through Flight path Optimization Using a High Fidelity Rotorcraft Simulation Model
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Brownout conditions often occur during approach, landing, and take off in a desert environment and involve the entrainment and mobilization of loose sediment and dust into the rotor flow field. For this research, a high fidelity flight dynamics model is used to perform a study on brownout mitigation through operational means of flight path. In order for the high fidelity simulation to model an approach profile, a method for following specific profiles was developed. An optimization study was then performed using this flight dynamics model in a comprehensive brownout simulation. The optimization found a local shallow optimum approach and a global steep optimum approach minimized the intensity of the resulting brownout clouds. These results were consistent previous mitigation studies and operational methods. The results also demonstrated that the addition of a full rotorcraft model into the brownout simulation changed the characteristics of the velocity flow field, and hence changing the character of the brownout cloud that was produced.