LaBouR - A "Hollistic Air Mobility Initiative (HAMI)" funded project

Lattice-Boltzmann assisted controller design (LaBouR) will develop a framework of an aerodynamic interaction focused flight physics model for an arbitrary VTOL configuration to support the development of a flight controlloer for automatic take-off and landing in an urban environment.

To respond to future transportation capacity constraints in metropolitan areas, a variety of novel aircraft configurations have been presented. One possible configuration for a future traffic concept are so-called "electrical vertical take-off and landing" (eVTOL) aircraft, which provide an environmentally compatible and energy-efficient technology. Autonomous passenger transport within or between metropolitan areas is planned as a future field of application for these eVTOLs. These new configurations pose new challenges from the point of view of flight mechanics as well as control technology. This is especially true in windy situations with many objects in the vicinity of the aircraft, which is especially the case for takeoffs and landings of novel flight concepts in an urban context. With the goal of autonomous operation of eVTOLs under these conditions, robust flight guidance and control is required. In this context, the flight controller of the eVTOL must be responsive to the disturbing flow environments, as well as prevent collision with structures in the environment. Within the context of the project "Lattice-Boltzmann assisted controller design" (LaBouR), the development of a simulation environment which is able to simulate the complex aerodynamic interactions of multirotor eVTOLs and thereby take them into account in the controller development. By means of a flow simulation based on the Lattice-Boltzmann Method (LBM), the ambient simulate the ambient flow around the aircraft and thus capture the interactions between the aircraft and the flow. This will be done with a focus on flights in the vicinity of buildings as well as landing and takeoff maneuvers. For short computation times, the flow simulation is implemented on GPUs. The project will extend this for arbitrary multirotor configurations and reduce the computational time strongly in order to implement short computational cycles for the controller development.