Research Areas of the Institute

We study various topics related to rotor aerodynamics and helicopter aeromechanics at our institute. Different well established modeling strategies are applied, such as URANS Computational Fluid Dynamics methods and free wake based helicopter comprehensive analysis codes. Moreover, in-house flight physics codes and Lattice-Boltzmann methods are developed. Main objectives of our investigations are rotor performance and flow phenomena, flight in challenging flow environments, aeroacoustics and noise emissions as well as aeroelastic stability of the rotor-fuselage-system.

We test and investigate in-house designed and instrumented rotor blades on the Munich Experimental Rotor Investigation Testbed (MERIT), a Mach-scaled, dynamic stall capable, wind tunnel compatible rotor test rig. Optical measurement systems, such as digital image correlation (DIC), photogrammetry, and Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensor systems are used for static and dynamic deformation analyses in rotating and non-rotating applications. Flax fiber integration and live cycle assessment studies of structural rotorcraft components expedite sustainable developments in helicopter manufacturing processes. Testing hybridization and automization of flying rotorcrafts, such as the AREA drone, completes our experimental expertise and contributes to relevant UAM topics. We also facilitate flight tests with real world helicopters - instrumented with various sensors by us.

Since the first simulated flight in 2012 of the Rotorcraft Simulation Environment (ROSIE) at the Institute of Helicopter Technology, the Pilot-in-the-Loop and Hardware-in-the-Loop rotorcraft simulator has been sucessfully completed more than 1.000 simulated flights in several internal and external projects with more than 50 fleet and test pilots from industry, public authorities, and miliatry services from all over the world. The original Bo 105 cockpit with the future oriented modular glas cockpit, embedded to a state-of-the-art high resolution full dome projection, pioineering Augmented Reality (AR) applications like Helmet-MountedDisplays (HMDs), and the original flight proven flight models from helicopters like the Bo 105 and H135, enable highly realistic Human-in-the-Loop investigations for onshore and offshore scenarions, as well as for a wide spectrum of high-complex rotorcraft missions. These pilots are continoulsy working together with the experts from the institute on designing, integrating, enhancing, and in-flight testing newly developed systems for making those missions safe and highly reliable

We use our multi-disciplinary experience in the VTOL field to model and design exciting new aircraft concepts ranging from classical helicopters to (hydrogen) electric VTOLs and Mars UAVs. By investigating Safety and Certification aspects we can ensure that these concepts can be realized and meet the relevant regulations.