HELISIM Gauss Centre for Supercomputing e.V.



Principal Investigator:
Dr. Manuel Keßler

Institute of Aerodynamics and Gas Dynamics, University of Stuttgart

Local Project ID:

HPC Platform used:
Hazel Hen and Hawk of HLRS

Date published:

The simulation of rotorcraft, with their complex aerodynamics, aeromechanics and aeroacoustics, is the primary research focus of the helicopter and aeroacoustics group at the Institute of Aerodynamics and Gas Dynamics (IAG). Over the last two decades, many PhD students have continuously enhanced the framework, adding new functionalities and considering increasingly more physics in order to represent real engineering problems and to answer difficult research questions accurately and reliably at the same time.

The complexity of the aircraft necessitates a multi-physics approach, including fluid-structure coupling, flight mechanics, a plethora of flow phenomena, and, above all, access to high performance computing capability. Advanced numerics implemented in massively parallel algorithms are routinely run on the Hawk System at HLRS in Stuttgart.

Recent investigations have focused on the fundamental phenomenon of dynamic stall as well as the application to multicopters, a promising configuration for the upcoming urban air mobility sector. Moving forward, the team plans to enhance its models to concentrate on the vibration prediction for helicopters, building upon the technology developed to study tail shake simulations within the last funding period. Another effort is dedicated to manoeuvre flight situations. Previously, only stationary flight cases were simulated, usually in combination with a flight mechanical trim, which means an adaptation of control parameters (like the pilot’s stick position and the helicopter’s attitude) to reach and keep a specified flight condition. In the future, transient manoeuvres will be simulated, such as a take-off procedure with transition to forward flight and climb, as shown in the Figure, or the flare during a landing manoeuvre.

Computational performance is obviously of paramount importance, especially for the very demanding manoeuvre simulations. The Hawk supercomputer newly installed at HLRS nominally provides a huge computational capacity, but requires substantial code adaptations and customizations to be utilized optimally. By default, this is an ongoing effort in the course of the lifetime of any HPC platform.

HELISIM – in the meantime promoted to a GCS large-scale project – is the computational vehicle sustainably embraces IAG’s efforts on high fidelity numerical simulation of rotorcraft. The framework thus provides the capability to continuously improve helicopters and similar configurations in terms of safety, efficiency, noise and performance.

Scientific Contact:

Dr. Manuel Keßler, Dipl.-Phys.
Institut für Aerodynamik und Gasdynamik
Universität Stuttgart
Pfaffenwaldring 21, D-70550 Stuttgart (Germany)
e-mail: kessler [@] iag.uni-stuttgart.de

Website: Helicopter and Aero Acoustics Group, IAG, University of Stuttgart

Local project ID: GCSHELISIM

November 2020

Tags: Universität Stuttgart HLRS Computational and Scientific Engineering Computational Fluid Dynamics Large-Scale Project