Investigation of helicopter seat structural dynamics for aircrew vibration mitigation

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Journal titleJournal of the American Helicopter Society
Subjecthelicopter seat vibration; seat cushion, stack piezoelectric actuator, active vibration control
AbstractThis paper presents the investigation of helicopter seat structural dynamics to identify solutions to mitigate vibration levels transmitted to aircrew. Flight test was conducted on a Bell-412 helicopter to measure aircrew vibration levels to characterize the vibration transmission through seat structures. Modal analysis was conducted to characterize the seat/aircrew dynamics. The critical vibration modes that contributed to the aircrew vibrations have been identified. To mitigate aircrew vibrations, several cushion materials have been evaluated through flight tests. The combination of original Bell-412 seat cushion with an urethane pad demonstrated promising results, indicating the vibration isolation performance can be improved through optimization of cushion impedance properties. Active seat structural modification was also investigated. Two stacked piezoelectric actuators were retrofitted on a Bell-412 seat frame to function as active struts to reduce critical vibration modes experienced by a mannequin. Closed-loop experimental results demonstrated simultaneous suppression of critical mannequin vibration modes to achieve significant global reduction of the mannequin vibration levels. The experiment verified the effectiveness of adaptive helicopter seat mount concept for aircrew vibration mitigation applications.
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AffiliationNRC Institute for Aerospace Research; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number19726593
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Record identifierb54ae2d6-3204-4626-895e-7f98e46aaa83
Record created2012-03-26
Record modified2016-05-09
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