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Activity title

Comparative Assessment of Modeling and Simulation Methods of Shipboard Launch and Recovery of Helicopters

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Applied Vehicle Technology

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aircraft, airwake, modeling and simulation, Ship, ship motion


The report for AVT-217 concluded that ship-helicopter modeling and simulation methods (M&S) are not validated to the extent which allows the methods to be used confidently for the development of ship-helicopter operating limits. An obvious source of validation information would be the actual at-sea data, compiled from helicopter launch and recovery tasks. Although the acquisition of actual at-sea data is already possible during ship-helicopter operating-limit (SHOL) trials, and even though SHOL trial data is validation data of the highest quality, the chances of sharing with member nations are slim due to national security constraints. As an alternative, this work will share the M&S methods each has developed and their experiences with using the methodology on the nation’s ship-helicopter platform of interest. In addition, each member nation will apply their M&S methodology to a common ship-helicopter platform and share the results so that the prediction methods and the various metrics can be compared and correlated across the member nations.


This RTG has two objectives. Each nation will be called upon (1) to document their M&S methodology of the ship-airwake interface, and (2) to exercise the M&S methodology on a common ship-helicopter platform and common test program, and correlate the results across the methods. The RTG will produce a report describing the M&S methods each nation has developed and their experiences with using the methodology on the nation’s ship-helicopter platform of interest. The report will also describe the application of the M&S method by each nation on the common ship-helicopter platform, as well as the results and outcome of the comparative assessment. The RTG will also deliver a database for the common ship-helicopter platform which will allow for comparative assessments of other M&S methods in the future. At the conclusion of this activity, each nation will have developed a level of confidence of their M&S method with respect to those of the other nations via the common ship-helicopter platform; we will be able to recommend the appropriate metrics and criteria; and we will know under what conditions ship motion is an essential feature for modeling and simulation of the air flow at the ship-helicopter interface. This activity is expected to raise the technology readiness level of the various approaches to modeling and simulating the ship-helicopter interface from TRL 5 (component validation in a relevant environment) to TRL 6 (system model in a relevant environment).


(1) Modeling and simulation; (2) metrics and criteria; and (3) comparative assessment data. We expect to advance the S&T from a detailed understanding of the components of the M&S methods to a detailed understanding of the system, such as benchmarking, similarities and differences between M&S approaches, opportunities for improvement, and recognizing the limits of applicability.

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