Development of adaptive helicopter seat for aircrew vibration reduction

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Journal titleJournal of Intelligent Materials and Structural Systems
Pages489502; # of pages: 14
SubjectStack Piezoelectric Actuator; Helicopter Seat Vibration; Adaptive Vibration Control
AbstractThe high level vibration of helicopter flight can cause physiological harm to the aircrew and may lead to occupational health issues. This article presents the development of an adaptive helicopter seat mount to reduce the vibration levels transmitted to the aircrew body. Flight test on a Bell-412 helicopter was conducted to measure the aircrew body vibration levels and vibration transmission through the seat structures. Experimental modal analysis on a Bell-412 co-pilot seat equipped with a mannequin was carried out to investigate the seat/aircrew dynamics and identify critical vibration modes. Based on observations from the configuration, an adaptive helicopter seat mount has been developed. Two stacked piezoelectric actuators were installed on the seat frame as active struts to provide effective control authority to the critical mannequin vibration modes. A proof-of-concept adaptive helicopter seat has been retrofitted on a full-scale Bell-412 co-pilot seat and the performance has been evaluated through extensive closed-loop control experiments. Test results demonstrated simultaneous suppression of the critical mannequin vibration modes and achieved significant global reduction of the body vibration levels, which verified the effectiveness of the adaptive helicopter seat mount concept for helicopter aircrew vibration reduction applications.
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AffiliationNRC Institute for Aerospace Research; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number19726599
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Record identifiere52a5893-9ecb-4659-a3a8-b15e6246c53a
Record created2012-03-26
Record modified2016-05-09
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