Multicopter/eVTOL Technologies

Techsburg has over 20 years of experience supporting technology development and providing design, analysis, and test services for major UAS programs. Through these programs, Techsburg has developed familiarity with VTOL aircraft, open rotor and ducted fan installations, low-noise propulsors, aerodynamic and acoustic interactions in multirotor vehicles, simulating and testing atmospheric turbulence ingestion, high performance conformal muffler systems for engine quieting, advanced control effector concepts, and VTOL aircraft air data system technology development.

Techsburg maintains several test rigs well-suited for small to medium-sized VTOL rotorcraft testing, with both high-current stationary DC power supplies and over 25 kW-hours of battery capacity available to support remote testing. Motors from 100 Watts to 15 kW are available for use in static indoor testing, outdoor static/flight testing, or in the Virginia Tech wind tunnel (aero or anechoic tunnel configuration). A variety of instrumentation are available for test support at Techsburg, including three 6-component force/moment balances for varying aircraft sizes/configurations, on-board miniature 3-component anemometers to measure atmospheric wind gusts, and microphones and accelerometers to measure noise and vibration.

Techsburg recently added Dassault Systemes’ PowerFLOW LB-VLES (Lattice-Boltzmann Very Large Eddy Simulation) solver to our aerodynamic/aeroacoustic analysis capabilities. This ultra-high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) suite directly solves large-scale turbulence and acoustic propagation, without the numerical dissipation/dispersion that plague traditional unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) solvers (and at a small fraction of the computational cost of Navier-Stokes LES solvers). Techsburg (with world-class acoustic signal processing expertise provided by AVEC, Inc) uses PowerFLOW as a ‘Virtual Flight Test’ or ‘Virtual Wind Tunnel’ to characterize aircraft community noise and/or detectability, identity acoustic sources/problem areas, resolve complex turbulent flow interactions, and evaluate advanced low-noise technologies at greatly reduced cost versus building and testing physical aircraft models.

To perform rapid design cycle studies of rotorcraft configurations in multiple flight regimes, Techsburg employs the CHARM (Comprehensive Hierarchical Aeromechanics Rotorcraft Model) software developed by Continuum Dynamics, Inc. This powerful industry-standard code enables rapid trade studies on advanced rotor configurations and installation concepts, coupled to state-of-the-art rotorcraft acoustic prediction tools.

In addition to these current focus areas, Techsburg believes that future autonomous aircraft flight control systems must be much more robust and environmentally aware. Techsburg is investigating technologies and sensor systems to accomplish this goal and enable the next generation of highly-reliable, agile, and quiet rotorcraft systems.