Friday, January 29, 2016

Less Choppy Chopper Rides: Professor Gets Grant to Study Helicopter Vibration Control

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A University of New Orleans mechanical engineering professor has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents to develop a system that will reduce the vibration of a helicopter’s blade. Uttam Chakravarty, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, said less vibration will improve passenger comfort, decrease maintenance costs and extend the life of the helicopter.

Chakravarty, working with a collaborator from NASA, will determine the maximum level of vibration and analyze the behavior of the rotor blade while the helicopter is hovering and traveling forward. The researchers will develop an analytical model, estimate the vibration and consider how an active or passive vibration control system will minimize the vibration level of the rotor blade. A passive control system would not require an additional power source while an active control system would need an external power source to reduce the vibration.

Chakravarty, who holds a doctorate in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech, researches solid mechanics, composite structures, fluid-structure interaction and small-scale unmanned aerial systems.