Ames Research Center- Advanced Rotorcraft Aeromechanics Research
May 9, 2022 – July 15, 2022
Final goals of your project/s:
The main goal of my project was to continue work on the Reduced Air Pressure Testing Of Rotorcraft (RAPTOR) open circuit wind tunnel from my previous internship in the spring.
Another goal was to begin learning the Rotorcraft Computation Fluid Dynamics (RotCFD) which is a mid-fidelity program mainly used to analyze rotors and rotorcraft. Using RotCFD is was to learn how to use the newly added special boundary feature for modeling the RAPTOR wind tunnel.
Describe what you did during the internship:
During my internship, my main project was the continuation of construction of the RAPTOR wind tunnel. The RAPTOR wind tunnel is an 80in x 80in open circuit transportable wind tunnel which is to be used to analyze the aerodynamic performance of rotorcraft in Martian atmosphere. The RAPTOR tunnel is broken up into five sections, the inlet, test, diffuser, transition, and drive section. Working on RAPTOR I added paneling to the transition section, built the test section floor, moved the tunnel to another facility, and painted the majority of the tunnel.
I started learning RotCFD about halfway through my internship a week after the rest of the interns had arrived onsite. After going through all the tutorials I began learning how to use the special boundary feature to create flow within the program. From here, I began updated the RAPTOR model used within the RotCFD program so that I could better utilize this program feature.
Lastly, A previous intern modeled microphone holders designed to fit into a specific diameter aluminum tubes and hold microphones for testing. It was discovered that the interior diameter of these aluminum tubes were not all the same size so the microphone holder was redesigned to allow it to flex and fit into each of the three sized tubes. Thirty of these microphone holders were then printed out on on 3D printers to be used for testing. Later, these holders were redesigned to be able to hold a smaller type of microphone and is currently going through the design iteration process.
Did you achieve your goals? What were the results?
I did achieve my goals for this summer internship. I continued to move the RAPTOR wind tunnel forward in its construction stage. Currently, RAPTOR still needs the screen frames built, sensors and lighting need to be added to the test section, the drive system needs built after its design changes, and gaskets need to be added back onto the tunnel after painting.
For RotCFD, I learned how to run the program and then updated the RAPTOR model to be able to use the special boundary feature to hopefully get more accurate flow results.
Describe positive lessons learned:
The biggest thing that I have learned from both internships is that I enjoy being given a problem that requires me to learn a new skill or learn new information in order to solve a problem. Coming to NASA I had little to no experience with Solidworks, Arduino coding, and RotCFD and now leaving this second internship I can confidently say I have at least a moderate skill level in all three.
Describe negative lessons learned:
I think the main lesson I learned was how to better manage my work life balance as I have a tendency to really dive too much into my work and not take the necessary breaks.