Generalized Quantitative Stability Analysis of Time-Dependent Comprehensive Rotorcraft Systems

Aykut Tamer, Pierangelo Masarati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


Rotorcraft stability is an inherently multidisciplinary area, including aerodynamics of rotor and fuselage, structural dynamics of flexible structures, actuator dynamics, control, and stability augmentation systems. The related engineering models can be formulated with increasing complexity due to the asymmetric nature of rotorcraft and the airflow on the rotors in forward flight conditions. As a result, linear time-invariant (LTI) models are drastic simplifications of the real problem, which can significantly affect the evaluation of the stability. This usually reveals itself in form of periodic governing equations and is solved using Floquet’s method. However, in more general cases, the resulting models could be non-periodic, as well, which requires a more versatile approach. Lyapunov Characteristic Exponents (LCEs), as a quantitative method, can represent a solution to this problem. LCEs generalize the stability solutions of the linear models, i.e., eigenvalues of LTI systems and Floquet multipliers of linear time-periodic (LTP) systems, to the case of non-linear, time-dependent systems. Motivated by the need for a generic tool for rotorcraft stability analysis, this work investigates the use of LCEs and their sensitivity in the stability analysis of time-dependent, comprehensive rotorcraft models. The stability of a rotorcraft modeled using mid-fidelity tools is considered to illustrate the equivalence of LCEs and Floquet’s characteristic coefficients for linear time-periodic problems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2021

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