18 April 2008 Development of adaptive helicopter seat systems for aircrew vibration mitigation
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Abstract
Helicopter aircrews are exposed to high levels of whole body vibration during flight. This paper presents the results of an investigation of adaptive seat mount approaches to reduce helicopter aircrew whole body vibration levels. A flight test was conducted on a four-blade helicopter and showed that the currently used passive seat systems were not able to provide satisfactory protection to the helicopter aircrew in both front-back and vertical directions. Long-term exposure to the measured whole body vibration environment may cause occupational health issues such as spine and neck strain injuries for aircrew. In order to address this issue, a novel adaptive seat mount concept was developed to mitigate the vibration levels transmitted to the aircrew body. For proof-of-concept demonstration, a miniature modal shaker was properly aligned between the cabin floor and the seat frame to provide adaptive actuation authority. Adaptive control laws were developed to reduce the vibration transmitted to the aircrew body, especially the helmet location in order to minimize neck and spine injuries. Closed-loop control test have been conducted on a full-scale helicopter seat with a mannequin configuration and a large mechanical shaker was used to provide representative helicopter vibration profiles to the seat frame. Significant vibration reductions to the vertical and front-back vibration modes have been achieved simultaneously, which verified the technical readiness of the adaptive mount approach for full-scale flight test on the vehicle.
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Yong Chen, Yong Chen, Viresh Wickramasinghe, Viresh Wickramasinghe, David G. Zimcik, David G. Zimcik, } "Development of adaptive helicopter seat systems for aircrew vibration mitigation", Proc. SPIE 6928, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2008, 69280N (18 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.773336; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.773336
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