ARL researcher shares team win with AMRDEC for Joint Multi-Role Technology Demo

January 16, 2015

By T'Jae Ellis, ARL Public Affairs Office

(ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md.) – Dr. Rajneesh Singh, ARL's Vehicle Analysis Team Lead, who supports ARL's Sciences for Maneuver Campaign, shares a recently awarded 2014 Army Modeling and Simulation Acquisition Team Award with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center's Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration Team.

Singh, with some assistance in evaluations of the industry configurations from Dr. Hao Kang, was the only U.S. Army Research Laboratory member of the Aeromechanics Integrated Product Team responsible for technical assessment of the four concepts. The team was led by AMRDEC's Aviation Development Directorate.

The JMR-TD is a $350 million program to demonstrate transformational vertical lift capabilities to prepare the Department of Defense for decisions regarding the replacement of the current vertical lift fleet of aircrafts.

The JMR-TD is a Science and Technology Advance Technology Demonstrator intended to inform the Army on the "Art-of-the Possible" for Future Vertical Lift. The intent of FVL is to replace the aging existing fleet with new aircraft that fill technology gaps.

Modeling and simulation, commonly referred to as M&S, tools developed by the Army, NASA, and small business (Helios-Army, NDARC-NASA/Army, CAMRAD-Johnson Aeronautics) and applied by this Army team were used to assess capabilities of the designs proposed for the JMT-TD program. Their M&S work identified numerous key technology challenges ranging from configuration issues to interactional aerodynamics penalties.

The detailed analyses completed by this team provided the technical basis on aircraft performance for acquisition decisions on this S&T program, which is anticipated to have profound impact on the FVL program of record and future Army aviation. There is, also, a workforce development aspect to the JMT-TD and FVL that address the lack of experience in the current Government workforce in the development of new aircraft. Both of these aspects are directly addressed by the work of this team. They are participating in the development of advanced aviation technology for the Army and getting real-world experience in the engineering of new built rotorcraft designs. It is further anticipated that the advanced modeling and simulation tools they are using will lead to better performing air vehicles for the DoD and the Nation.

Singh was responsible for aeromechanic evaluation of an aircraft configuration. This included identifying key technological challenges for the AVX's JMR-TD concept configuration and potential aerodynamic interactional penalties on the aircraft performance through modeling and simulations. Singh developed models from contractor-supplied information. The models were executed on ARL's high-performance computing resources.

"A greater speed, larger payload and endurance are some of the desired performance attributes of the JMR-TD aircraft configurations. The traditional single main rotor helicopter configurations like Blackhawk or Apache are not likely to meet the performance requirements. Therefore, the JMR-TD program will involve development of new configurations that will require addressing of several technological challenges," said Singh. "Government developed Model Performance Specifications for use by the potential JMR-TD contractors."

He said the main products of the program are a demonstrated and refined set of technologically feasible and affordable capabilities, technology maturation plans, cost analysis for future capabilities, two demonstrator aircraft, and a mission systems demonstration.

"Dr. Singh's contributions were helpful in identifying data processing error in early wind tunnel results. The detailed analyses provided the technical basis on aircraft performance for acquisition decisions on this science and technology program, which is anticipated to have profound impact on the future vertical lift program of record and future Army aviation," as stated in the award nomination.

The Aviation Development Directorate of AMRDEC has been a key participant in the JMR-TD program. The integrated product team consisted of a team of aerospace engineers from AMRDEC, ARL, NASA and the Navy who were organized to assess the feasibility of the claims included in the proposals and to serve as subject matter experts in the negotiations with the proposers. The assessment was performed using the state-of-art modeling and simulations tools of rotorcraft aeromechanics simulations.


Last Update / Reviewed: January 16, 2015