An integrated three-dimensional aeromechanical analysis for the prediction of stresses on modern coaxial rotors

Mrinalgouda Patil, Ravi Lumba, Buvana Jayaraman, Anubhav Datta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the first application of an Integrated Three-Dimensional aeromechanical analysis—defined as the coupled solution of three-dimensional finite element-based structural dynamics with a three-dimensional Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes-based fluid dynamics—to predict the stresses on a modern coaxial rotor. The coupling was carried out with the University of Maryland’s structural dynamic solver X3D and the U.S. Army’s CREATETM–AV Helios suite of fluid dynamic solvers. A modern four-bladed hingeless coaxial rotor model—inspired by the gross dimensions of the Sikorsky S-97 Raider but generic and open source otherwise—is developed as a demonstration test case. The new structural solver is driven by parallel and scalable solvers and advanced high performance computing. It is enabled by high-order three-dimensional brick finite elements unified with multibody dynamics, integrated aerodynamics, and a special 3D-to-1D fluid-structure interfaces refines the power of delta-coupling procedure while retaining the advantages of existing CFD mesh motion schemes. The analysis predicts the three-dimensional stresses on the rotor blades and hub, together with the deformations, airloads, and wake, in an integrated manner. Two flight conditions are studied: a low-speed flight at 37 knots and a high-speed flight at 150 knots. Interesting three-dimensional unsteady stress patterns are revealed all across the blade but particularly inboard of 50% rotor radius—patterns that change from flight to flight and have remained invisible until now—since they could neither be predicted nor measured in flight. The maximum axial stresses exhibited 3/rev variation at low speed, and 2/rev variation at high speed flight. The lower rotor carried higher oscillatory stress burden at low speed, whereas both the rotors shared the same stress burden at high speed flight. The key conclusion is that such analysis is now indeed possible, and the stress patterns they reveal provide deeper insights into the dynamics of advanced rotors, and these might provide a path toward mitigating them in the future.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of High Performance Computing Applications
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-D finite element analysis
  • 3-D RANS
  • Coaxial rotors
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • computational structural dynamics
  • helios
  • high performance computing
  • lift offset
  • X3D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Hardware and Architecture


Dive into the research topics of 'An integrated three-dimensional aeromechanical analysis for the prediction of stresses on modern coaxial rotors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this