Aerospace & Defense

Test System Could Enable Reduced Helicopter Vibration

Researchers may be a step closer to the goal of vibration-free helicopters. Commercial and military researchers are turning to the U.S. Army Research Laboratory  and its Multi-Degree of Freedom (MDOF) system to conduct basic research that allows them to look at subcomponent technologies under real-world vibration conditions in order to understand how they fatigue and fail. Army researchers are confident that together with academic and industrial collaborators, they can significantly reduce on-board vibration for helicopter pilots and other occupants. The MDOF system is comprised of a testbed and a mainframe computer that controls the vibration conditions, and allows operation up to six degrees-of-freedom. The testbed can also rotate objects, such as components from air or ground vehicles like rotor blades or parts of a seat, and subject them to the same frequencies, amplitudes, and intensities as previously recorded schemes from real-world operations.