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The Use of Manned Flight Simulation and an Active Quiescent Ship Motion Monitor to Better Define NATOPS/SHOL All

Weather Shipboard Helicopter Deck Safety Limits

Dr. Bernard Ferrier Technical Director Dynamic Interface Program Anteon Corporation Arlington, Virginia G.A. Ouellette, LCDR, USN COMNAVAIRLANT H-3/H-60 Class Desk Officer Naval Station Norfolk Norfolk, Virginia Dr. John Duncan Ministry of Defence Defence Procurement Agency Abbey Wood Bristol, United Kingdom

ABSTRACT This report assesses aircraft and flight deck availability calculations and improvements by using Dynamic Interface (DI) flight simulators ahead of sea trials. The study, conducted in real-time, uses simulation techniques to represent several manned and unmanned VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) air vehicles combinations, both in the U.S. and the U.K., landing on ships. A brief synopsis of the theory and calculation of the ship motion simulation and Energy Index programs are discussed. Undercarriage deflection to encountered deck forces and aircraft stability were calculated with impacts on the proposed deck limits discussed and percentage of improvement for operational availability demonstrated. The objective of the related Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsored UAV project is to demonstrate the feasibility of applying the Energy Index Algorithm, which is the operative element in the Landing Period Designator (LPD) Helicopter Recovery Aid, to automatically signal the initiation of UAV descent. The purpose is to recover the UAV on-board a moving vessel within reasonable safety margins regardless of the seaway or sea state. One of the components of the DI flight simulator involves ship quiescent indication. The Energy Index identifies quiescent periods to initiate aircraft descent based on aircraft deck limit definitions. Dynamic Interface simulation provides the physical information from which initial deck limits might be derived. Using Launch and Recovery rondelles, the deck limits at specific ships speeds may be identified. The results of this study are being applied to the realm of Simulation Based Design and Virtual Prototyping, potentially leading to NATO wide standards.

within reasonable safety margins regardless of the seaway or sea state. The EI identifies quiescent periods to initiate aircraft descent based on aircraft deck limit definitions. The initial phase of the project focuses on helicopter deck limit prediction where operations may involve recovery in high levels of turbulence to naval vessels. The Landing Period Designator (LPD) project is part of ONRs Autonomous Operations Future Naval Capabilities (AOFNC) UAV Technology effort. AOFNC is the capability to perform militarily useful missions using unmanned vehicles in dynamic and unstructured environments with greatly reduced need for human intervention. Autonomous Ops supports three major communities: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs) and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs). This project is part of the UAV Autonomy program which includes intelligent reasoning for autonomy, as well as technologies to enhance see and avoid capabilities, object identification, vehicle awareness, vehicle and mission management, and increase shipboard landing capability. Its primary transition target is the Vertical TakeOff and Landing Tactical UAV (VTUAV) and the Tactical Control System (TCS), with an eye to the envisioned future programs on the Naval UAV Long Range Plan. The AOFNCs were developed as a way to bridge the gap between technology development and technology insertion. Technology development is largely the responsibility of ONR. Technology Insertion is largely the purview of Program Management Offices (PMAs) which fulfill technical requirements with existing acquisition programs. Successful technology transition relies on the co-operation and communication between the two communities. Naval Aviation Systems Command (NAVAIR) PMA 263 is the Acquisition Office for Naval UAVs. Technologies were targeted which would address the Enabling Capabilities that were specific to Naval Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles Mission Needs. LPD was selected because this product directly addressed an Objective Operational Requirement and is anticipated to be useful across many air vehicle types and interface with all ship categories. A key objective of this project is to provide for a range of air vehicles capable of conducting Ship/Helicopter Operating Limits (SHOL) or Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) assessments during ship development and prior to sea trials. It is envisaged that a costeffective combination of Dynamic Interface (DI) simulation and

The purpose of this US Office of Naval Research (ONR) project is to demonstrate the feasibility of applying the Energy Index (EI) Algorithm, which is the operative element in the Landing Period Designator Helicopter Recovery Aid, to automatically signal the initiation of a UAV descent. The objective is to recover a UAV on-board a moving vessel
Ferrier received his Ph.D from cole Polytechnique de Montral (Canada). Ouellette received his MS from Naval Post Graduate School (Monterey) Duncan received his Ph.D from Durham University, England U. K. 2005 American Helicopter Society

2 at-sea flight trials will maximize the operating envelope from the various new ship platforms from which a helicopter or UAV is intended to operate. This approach is enabling the rapid integration of new ships, new systems, associated air wake and ship motion characteristics thus offering additional functionality such as early evaluation by experienced pilots of LPD and landing aid designs.

(CNAF) request to expand the current wind envelope on a specific class of ship Wind envelopes are developed over several days. Initial deck surveys provide the squadron with needed flight deck dimension and an adequate understanding of the provisions onboard the ship. Wind data is obtained during an underway period with out the aircraft, and is used to provide initial estimates of the wind envelope and simulator data points. Numerous flight and deck evolutions (moving a static helicopter about the flight deck) are carried out to determine the safe operating limits. All flights are conducted under day and night, Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) with and without Night Vision Goggles (NVGs). The ship maneuvers as required to achieve desired wind over the deck (WOD) conditions for flight test. These initial WOD conditions will be chosen so as to minimize ship motion for the given set of sea-state and weather conditions. Average WOD conditions will be changed in approximately 5 knot or 15 degree increments to the maximum attainable value, or until an unacceptable rating is assigned. For each relative WOD speed and direction combination, the test aircraft will attempt at least one approach and landing sequence, and one takeoff and departure sequence. Handling qualities, pilot workload, flight control positions and aircraft limitations are used to define the progress of shipboard launch and recovery envelope development (control margins, torque, rotor speed, power margins, excessive pilot workload, inadequate visual cues, inadequate clearance between aircraft and ship structure). Pilots assign ratings to both the approach and landing, and the takeoff and departure sequences for a specific WOD condition, in accordance with guidelines set forth in the Deck Interface Pilot Effort Scale (DIPES) as defined in Annex A. Additional rating scales are used as necessary to convey pertinent information: the Turbulence Rating Scale, the Handling Qualities Rating Scale, and the Vibration Rating. During launch/recovery envelope expansion, the aircraft may be loaded in multiple configurations to test the largest possible gross weight and center of gravity range. This may include zero ballast with maximum fuel (for aft CG tests), 1 pallet, and 2 pallets (for maximum gross weight). Fuel weight will be varied as necessary. Aircraft gross weight will not exceed NATOPS limits. Data is evaluated after each flight and plotted on a polar plot. Data points are interpolated to fill in the missing data. The missing data is primarily due to weather conditions which prevents the ship from obtaining the various wind speeds. When there are high winds, ships cannot obtain a low relative wind speed without resorting to using a true tailwind which is dangerous to a tail rotor aircraft. Contrarily, with low wind speeds the ship must create its own relative wind and thus cannot create enough wind from the various angles. If comments and ratings are favorable (DIPES-1, 2, or 3) for both the approach and landing sequence and the takeoff and departure sequence, under a specific WOD speed and direction, the ship will be maneuvered to produce new relative WOD conditions for the next sequence. A sample wind envelope is displayed, below.


LPD is a real-time application of Dynamic Interface (DI) Study. Helicopters operating from small ships are limited in the maritime environment by high winds and rough seas, as well as, man-made obstacles, such as, hangar wall generated turbulence, ship stack hot gas motor ingestion, inappropriate deck lighting and markings. DI is defined as the study of the relationship between an air vehicle and a moving platform. It is performed to reduce risks and maximize operational flexibility [Healey, J. Val 1986]. Globally, DI is concerned with the effects that one free body has in respect to another. Historically, this means the effects that a ship may have on a recovering or launching air vehicles. However, recent studies have concluded that the same principles apply to other motion related activities, such as, the boarding of LCACs into the wells of Amphibious Warfare Ships, the docking of submarines or the launching of unsophisticated missiles. The American Navy matrix alone accounts for over a dozen VTOL/VSTOL manned and unmanned vehicles and more than 20 classes of aviation capable ships [Carico, D. 1988].


Dynamic Interface (DI) is divided into two broad categories: experimental or at-sea measurement and analysis, and computational or analytic which is concerned with mathematical analysis and solution [Ferrier, B. & Semenza, J., 1990]. The methods are not mutually exclusive. Neither method alone can produce a comprehensive and timely solution of the DI problem. Experimentation investigates operational launch and recovery of vehicles, engaging and disengaging of rotors, vertical replenishment and helicopter in-flight refueling envelopes. Shipboard suitability testing assesses the adequacy, effectiveness, and safety of shipboard aviation. Testing methodologies and procedures have been standardized by laboratories, such as, NAVAIRTESTCEN (Patuxent River) for the US Navy and Qinetiq (Boscombe Down) for the Royal Navy. The pilot assess workload resulting from aircraft control margins, aircraft flying qualities, and performance in the shipboard environment [Ferrier, B., Applebee, T., James, CDR D., & Manning, A., 2000]. Other experimental analyses are (but not limited to): aviation facility evaluation and deck handling. The US Navys helicopter flight test squadron, HX-21, conducts dynamic wind envelope development/expansion flight tests for the US Navy. HX-21 conducts its flight test in accordance with the Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP) for new aircraft or ship platforms or upon Naval Air Forces

3 the helicopter relative to the ship as function of time, for various ship motions [Blackwell, J. and Feik, R., 1988]. In essence, the aircraft is displaced as the sum of all forces to which it is exposed. In the Ship Motion Simulation, a unidirectional continuous wind model (simplistic model), whose vector is in the same direction as the seaway, is applied. Deck conditions, e.g. dry or with substances, such as, water or oil, is a variable in the program. This parameter affects aircraft stability by changing the coefficient of friction between the aircraft landing gear and the deck. Aircraft handling systems are handled much in the same way. A maximum value of the encountered force load or geometric ship position is preprogrammed. When either force loading or ship angular position is greater than the manufacturer's design limits, an aircraft incident is registered. The aircraft operational limit is produced owing to the breakdown of the aircraft handling system. Figure 1. 1 Typical Wind Envelope Launch and recovery envelopes, typically developed empirically by experimentation, devote little attention to the dynamic factors imposed on recovery by the moving deck. The fundamental effort is expended in describing the dynamic area over the deck. Once defined, a static related value is imposed relative to the ships motion. LPD landing aid was derived to fill the missing ship oriented parameters from the launch and recovery equation. The fundamental tools used early in the LPD development were the Ship Motion Program (SMP) series (Applebee, T., Baitis, E., Meyers, W. 1981) coupled with the Ship Motion Simulation (SMS) program (OReilly, PJF., 1987). The program methodology uses essentially spectral probabilities in order to produce deterministic synthetic time histories. The SMP series is a world standard and well documented. Scenarios are programmed for the "worst case" condition. For the greatest landing gear deflection, nose gears are modeled unlocked and free to castor for turnover. The model is lined up with the ship centerline and is rotated on the deck to find the least stable, but realistic, orientation. Turnover incidents are static or dynamic in character. in a static turnover he resolved weight vector migrates beyond either the friction forces causing the aircraft to displace or the reaction forces causing the aircraft to turnover. The aircraft center of gravity is in motion. In the sum of forces, the weight vector is continually modified in response to inertial forces applied by either the rotor disk or ship motion or both. At the point where the virtual center of gravity becomes negative (over the aircraft stability line), the system is unstable and will seek to find a more stable, but usually undesirable geometric solution. In similar fashion, when the landing gear friction values are exceeded by the combination of aircraft apparent weight and induced inertial forces, slippage will occur. Aircraft slide will continue until the aircraft frictional forces are greater than the disturbing inertial forces. Finally, when the vertical inertial force equals and opposes the aircraft weight, the deck friction goes to zero and an unintentional liftoff is indicated. The sum of these incidents traces aircraft-ship operational envelopes.


DI simulation is a mathematical description of the stability of an air vehicle confronted by a defined environmental condition. Factors affecting an air vehicle on a moving platform are primarily ship motion; WOD; Ship Airwake Turbulence; and deck conditions (e.g.: wet, dry, oily, obstructed). In DI, deck-handling limitations can be defined as the point at which an aircraft/ship incident occurs. Incident means an occurrence of aircraft turnover, pitchback or on-deck slide at any point from touchdown to hangar stowage and back to launch. Deck handling studies determine turnover limits, sliding freedom, tiedown forces, traversing factors, and pitch back limitations. Motion of an aircraft on the flight deck is calculated in terms of ship motion as a function of the aircraft model. The aircraft model is considered an extension of the ship. The model is defined by its landing gear footprint, deck location and orientation, aircraft weight and inertias, center of gravity, lateral drag area and center of pressure. The aircraft experiences ship transferred forces and moments that create rectilinear and angular accelerations on the air vehicle. The accelerations can be numerically integrated to determine the position and attitude of


The seaway is virtually universally accepted as being unpredictable. Ships motion is attributed to the energies transferred by surface waves with a contribution generated by atmospheric processes at the ocean surface (boundary layer). Describing the ships motion, therefore, provides insight into the boundary layer processes. The LPD supplies real-time information about the motion of any vessel as a function of airframe operational limits. The system algorithms compute this information using data for all manufactured aircraft operating in all sea conditions with any seagoing vessel.

4 Opportunities to recover aircraft safely may be increased by using the LPD to identify the onset of a quiescent period of ship motion earlier than would be possible by the visual examination alone. This capability is based on the measurement of ship motion and the mechanical and dynamic limits of the aircraft. These limits are expressed as the ship's Energy Index (EI), which is an empirical derivation representing ship motion as a function of aircraft limits. The index identifies ship quiescence using displacement, velocity and acceleration terms. In short, the index furnishes information describing the motion a ship must travel in the near-term future. This does not suggest that the index is predictive (using historical information to extrapolate into the future). Rather, it capitalizes on the rate at which a vessel can displace due to natural hydrodynamic forces as a function of the structural and dynamic characteristics of the approaching air vehicle. The ship can only be displaced from a very low energy state to an aircraft out-of-limit condition by the introduction of a certain quantity of energy from the sea. When the index is low the ship is stable and the ship motion is small. When the index value is below the high-risk threshold, the landing deck motion is acceptable for aircraft recovery. The deck availability is directly based on the ship characteristics (measured), aircraft limitations (defined), and man-in-the-loop factors (see Figure 1.3). Deck motion safety limits must be established for each combination of aircraft and ship and may be measured experimentally or calculated analytically. A limit is defined in terms of the impact that a certain ship motion condition may have on the structural integrity or dynamic response of a given aircraft. An Unsafe Deck condition occurs when one or more degreesof-freedom (DOF)s have exceeded acceptable aircraft limits. During a Caution Deck condition, the deck is available for aircraft activity. However, in order to capitalize on ship physical motion constraints, the prudent operator would await a Safe Deck signal. The energy defined for a Safe Deck condition infers that the potential energy being transferred from the sea into the ship's structure is not sufficient to displace the ship into an Unsafe Deck condition for some specified minimal period of time. This specified minimal period of time required to raise the deck from minimal motion to unacceptable motion is called the risetime. The minimal risetime may be analytically or experimentally determined. The risetime is a thumbprint characteristic of the ships response and rarely changes. In terms of the Energy Index scale, risetime is defined as the period of time that is measured from the end of a Very Safe Deck condition (AL in Figure 1.2) to the beginning of an Unsafe Deck condition (AU in Figure 1.2). The risetime is mirrored by a drop-time, which is the time period measured from the end of a Caution Deck condition to the beginning of a Very Safe Deck condition. Figure 1.3 shows that the risetime of a EH101 Merlin helicopter operating with the Type 45 Daring Class destroyer, is 20 seconds (181 sec. 161 sec.). That is the time it takes the ship to accelerate from quiescence (or near rest) to a physical position out of limits.

Figure 1.3- Typical Risetime Event and Trace


Simulated Dynamic Interface is composed of a series of program modules assembled using High Level Architecture (HLA) representing different environmental and operational aspects of the launch and recovery action. The objective of the exercise is to identify envelopes of activity for deck handling and general flight readiness or availability. Computations of air vehicle and ship interface performance criteria require welldefined input parameters for the ship, air vehicle and handling system. Based on the input parameters, the model defines boundary layer conditions above and around the landing zone.


The Royal Navys Type 45 Destroyer is among the largest and most powerful air defense destroyers ever commissioned by the Royal Navy. The monohull vessel is slightly larger than 152 meters in length, greater than 21 meters in width and a draft of just over 6 meters. It cruises at 18 knots with a maximum dash speed of 27+ knots. It is fitted with a sophisticated stabilization

Figure 1.2- Deck Availability and Risetime

5 system which promises to produce heavily dampened motion. Figure 1.4 displays a forward view of the vessel.

Figure 1.4- Type 45 Destroyer The flight deck movement is defined by time history (deterministic) motion derived stochastically from a probabilistic spectrum. Ship speed, relative wave heading, significant wave height and modal period are the primary ship motion parameters. The relative motions are calculated at the point of interest (bullseye or landing point).

Figure 1.6- Deck Dimensions Compared between Type 23 Frigate and Type 45 Destroyer The Merlin data used by the DI Simulation was defined by its landing gear footprint; aircraft weight and inertias; its centers of gravity and pressures and lateral drag areas along with its deck location and orientation. The aircraft is modeled using its high center of gravity definition and corresponding minimum mission weight (worst case scenario). The aircraft is modeled unattached even though the actual time the air vehicle unsecured on the deck is brief. The HARPOON probe (handling system) is located close enough to the grid to permit probe penetration. The loads data and ground resonance information came from Westlands Ltd., and HARPOON data from MacTaggart-Scott (Gray, T. 2002). Motion of the aircraft on the flight deck is calculated using ship motion as a function of the aircraft model. The aircraft model is considered an extension of the ship. The aircraft experiences ship transferred forces and moments, which create rectilinear and angular accelerations on the air vehicle. The accelerations can be numerically integrated to determine the position and attitude of the helicopter relative to the ship as function of time, for various ship motions. In essence, the aircraft is displaced as the sum of all forces to which it is exposed


The EH-101 Merlin (Figure 1.5) is a medium lift helicopter developed by Agusta/Westland (EH Industries).

Figure 1.5- EH-101 MERLIN Helicopter Its primary missions are anti-submarine and anti-surface ship warfare, tracking and surveillance, littoral combat support and search and rescue operations. It has been operating from larger ships but also from decks as small as the Type 23 Frigate (see Figure 1.6).


One of the key factors related to increased operational capability in landing helicopters onboard ship, is the ability to repeatedly launch and recover safely from a ship moving in response to the seaway. Currently, the procedure for landing manned aircraft requires the aircraft to be piloted to a position of hovering over the moving deck, then when the Landing Safety Officer, who is standing on the ships flight deck, perceives that the ship is suitably quiescent, he will instruct the aircraft to begin its final decent. The operational benefits of a helicopter are increased if it can be landed autonomously, i.e. without the aid of

6 an experienced LSO. The aircraft will still need to be positioned over the landing spot, but the difficult assessment of the quiescent point is resolved by computer.


The aim of the Ship/Air Interface Framework (SAIF) programme is to use the HLA standards to integrate air vehicle simulations, ship simulations and environment models to aid assessment of the dynamic interface for a range of helicopter / ship and UAV/ ship combinations. The initial phase of the programme is focusing upon SHOL prediction where operations may involve recovery in high levels of turbulence to new naval vessels. In this phase the existing flight simulator used for fleet training at RNAS Culdrose is being modified and external federate models introduced to provide ship and environment functionality such as real time representation of ship motion, landing aid systems and the air wake flow field. Each external federate function can then be introduced and run on a remotecomputer, separate from the core flight simulator. The project developed a system architecture based upon the High Level Architecture (HLA), whereby the existing flight simulator was split into several federate models, providing different areas of functionality. Each federate model could be run on a remote computer, separate from the core flight simulator. The design process resulted in 7 separate federates being identified as listed below, interconnected via the HLA Run-Time Infrastructure (RTI) software. Air Vehicle Federate (A networked version of the CAE Merlin CDS); Environment Federate (To supply the environmental test conditions, sea state, wind speed, etc); Ship Motion Federate (To supply a real-time simulation of the ship motion); Air Wake Federate (To simulate the steady and unsteady airflow variations around the ship); LPD Federate (To calculate the Energy Index based upon the received ship motion); Landing Aids Federate (To control the deck lighting and additional visual landing aids); Visualisation Federate (To provide a dynamic stealth view of the simulation).

start up, are expressed as the ship's energy index, which is a scalar empirical formulation. A detailed description of the SAIF system architecture is provided in the project report composed by SEA, Ltd (Cox, I. 2004. Project SAIF Trials Report (Simulation Assessment).


The stated aims and objectives to of Project SAIF to date have been: To assess the capabilities of the CDS at the Merlin Training Facility at RNAS Culdrose for the purposes of determining Ship/Helicopter Operating Limits (SHOL); To demonstrate the federation of the CDS models to include third-party ship air wake models; To examine the air wake related issues concerned with the launch and recovery of the Merlin to the Type 45 Destroyer, due to enter service in 2009; To identify those conditions where the Landing Period Designator (LPD) landing aid system may provide some benefit to helicopter operations to the Type 45; To demonstrate the feasibility of running the simulation over a Wide Area Network (WAN). The purpose of the simulation is to assess the feasibility of determining the acceptability of the ship design in given environmental conditions to minimize operational restrictions. To contribute to the development of easy-to-use safe limits for helicopter operations to ships, in particular the Type 45. The purpose of the participation of the LPD in this the Miinistry of Defence (MOD) Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) sponsored Project SAIF is to demonstrate the feasibility of applying the EI Algorithm, which is the operative element in the LPD Helicopter Recovery Aid, to signal the initiation of helicopter launch or descent. The objective is to launch or recover the MERLIN onboard a moving vessel within reasonable safety margins regardless of the seaway. The Energy Index identifies quiescent periods to initiate aircraft descent based on aircraft deck limit definitions. By the end of the project, MOD DPA would have all the technical data required to assert the feasibility to incorporate the LPD, its competence and reliability. The doctrinal philosophy in applying LPD is to improve deck safety and increase operational limits. The point is not to recover to roll 20 degrees, pitch 5 degrees, rather, with rates and accelerations within limits, recover to 0 degrees roll and 0 degrees pitch or within tolerant displacements near zero (quiescence).

The methodology of using distributed simulations, re-use and interoperability follow closely that which was used by the NIREUS (NATO Interoperability and RE-Use Study) project in 2000 (Ferrier, B., Crossland, P., Manning, A., McCallum, A. 2002). The standard LPD unit was implemented into the SAIF Federation by utilizing a wrapper previously used on the NIREUS project. This wrapper enable the LPD unit to exchange data with the other federates. In LPDs implementation in the federation, its function is based on using ship motion data output from the ship federate and the use of data representing the mechanical and dynamic limits of the helicopter. These limits, which form part of the initialization data used during federation


The test bed at RNAS Culdrose is essentially a simulator composed of modular programs which represent the various parts of the air vehicle, modules representing the various emerging technologies selected for development by MOD DPA and the

7 corresponding monitors, hard-drives and support network. The Merlin Simulator Facility is incorporated in a purpose built 28,000 m3 building at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose. The facility comprises a Cockpit Dynamic Simulator (CDS), 3 Rear Crew Trainers (RCT), 6 Part Task Trainers (PTT), Computer Based Training (CBT) classrooms, a Mechanical Systems Trainer (MST) and a Weapon Systems Trainer (WST). The CDS offers a full motion simulator, which is an exact copy of the cockpit of the aircraft. Its state of the art graphics allow a very realistic training environment for aircrew. Figure 2.1 displays the external view of the simulator.

Figure 2.3 Operators Station Figure 2.4 displays the CAE FLIGHT SIMULATOR graphical users interface (GUI), which displays the Energy Index visual information. The GUI is based on the Empire Test Pilot

Figure 2.1 Culdrose MERLIN Simulator The Pilots view from within the simulator is shown in Figure 2.2.

Figure 2.4 Current LPD Deck Monitor GUI Configuration School symbology developed in the late 1990s. That original symbology is redisplayed in Figure 2.5. The hypothesis in the development of the deck energy symbols is that one builds towards red deck or Unsafe Deck condition. The same symbology is used for both day and night with or without NVGs. NVG version is replaces the colored lights with blue NVG compatible lights. The same symbology was programmed for the simulation test. Figure 2.2 - Pilots View The Simulator Control Station is presented in Figure 2.3. All functions are within easy reach of the Simulator Operator.

8 heading, parallel to the flight deck at a hover altitude of deck plus 10 feet. From this position, he judges the quiescent period in ship motion and moves across the deck to land vertically when conditions are their most stable. The landing descent rate is set at 2.5 feet/sec. Type 45 rise time assessed at +6 seconds, thus inferring 3.5 second descent strategy allowing 3 seconds for probe-grid secure. The justification for proposing the landing flight profile is attributed to the benefits of the risetime phenomena calculated by the EI. LPD uses the calculated ship motion time histories to calculate the EI in real-time indicating the appropriate moment to begin the recovery descent. The thresholds of the various energy levels are directly based on the combination of ship characteristics (measured), and aircraft limitations (defined). Several parameters key to determining the initial hover height are: descent rate, hold utility, update rate, latency within the system, and point of no return (commit to land). Further, probe grid attachment latencies and recovery dispersions should be studied. Results of these studies, conducted presumably in the course of First of Class Flight trials at sea, may ultimately affect the operational hover height of T0 for the MERLIN.


Launch and recovery activities of the EH-101 from a Type 45 Destroyer were conducted according to the trials program. Figure 3.4 is composed of the launch and recovery events, EI, ships roll, pitch and yaw traces along with the deck energy levels. From the time history, with LPD off, a normal evolution had taken place with both the launch and recovery events occurring on a green-amber or safe deck, but not quiescent or green deck. The other channels analysed, corresponding translational traces, engine torque and landing gear compression all appeared to have shown normal operation.

Figure 2.5 Current LPD Symbology Configuration


In order to meet the test objectives, the performance of the simulation was assessed by flying standard approach, recovery and take-off maneuvers to a variety of ship types. The first priority of the experimental trials was to carry out an assessment of both the current monolithic and federated Type 23 simulations against a set of known SHOL test points as used during Merlin flight trials. These tests used a number of experienced Merlin helicopter pilots to complete simulated recovery and take-off for a particular relative wind speed and direction. Following a discussion with the flight test engineer, the pilot then provided a Deck Interface Pilot Effort Scale (DIPES) rating for the test point, based upon the workload required to complete the task. The DIPES system provides a pilot workload rating between 1-5 (1 = slight to moderate effort, 5 = dangerous), together with one or more lettered suffixes indicating the cause of the increased workload (e.g. P = Pitch control, T = Turbulence). The simulated DIPES rating was then compared with the rating obtained from the at-sea flight trials, providing an indication of the validity of the simulator for SHOL assessments. Following the completion of the Type 23 SHOL comparison, the Type 45 SHOL and LPD test points could be investigated.


Utilizing the standard Royal Navy approach profile to the deck, the pilot flies the approach and aligns the aircraft with the ships

Figure 3.4 Evolution 19-1(Day) with Launch and Recovery Points From the time history in Figure 3.5, with LPD on, a normal evolution had taken place with both the launch and recovery events occurring on a green or quiescent deck.

Figure 3.5 - Evolution 19-2(Day) with Launch and Recovery Points The other channels analyzed, corresponding translational traces, and engine torque appeared to have shown normal operation. Oleo compression trace appeared to show a peak compression on the nose gear (Figure 3.6).

Figure 3.7 - Evolution 19-3(Day) with Launch and Recovery Points Oleo compression appeared normal, but the, engine torque was measured greater than 100% at launch (Figure 3.8).

Nose wheel

Figure 3.8 Sortie 19-3 Engine Torque Figure 3.6 Sortie 19-2 Oleo Compression Trace Figure 3.7 time history, with LPD off, the recovery event occurred on a quiescent deck, but the launch happened from a high amber or caution deck. Indeed, the deck was very nearly out-of-limit. The corresponding translational traces showed similar large displacements at launch. Figure 3.9 time history, with LPD on, a normal evolution had taken place with both the launch and recovery events occurring on a green or quiescent deck. The other channels analyzed, corresponding translational traces, and oleo compression appeared to have shown normal operation. An apparent tendency formulated showing quiescent deck being selected for launch and recovery when LPD was available. Without LPD, the deck energy was distributed amongst all deck energy levels.


Figure 3.9 - Evolution 19-4(Day) with Launch and Recovery Points Turning to night flight, Figure 3.10 is a time history, with LPD off. The evolution had occurred in 12 foot seas and 30 knot winds.

Figure 3.11 - Evolution 19-14(Night) Engine Torque Figure 3.12 time history, with LPD on. The evolution took place in 15 foot seas and 50 knot winds. The pilot launched and recovered to a quiescent deck. All other channels showed normal operation.

Figure 3.10 - Evolution 19-14(Night) with Launch and Recovery Points The pilot launched from an amber or caution deck and recovered to a green-amber or safe deck. Engine torque showed greater than 100% operation at the end of the launch event (Figure 3.11).

Figure 3.12 - Evolution 19-17(night) with Launch and Recovery Points Figure 3.13 time history, with LPD off. The evolution took place in 15 foot seas and 30 knot winds. The aircraft launched from nearly red deck and recovered to a green-amber deck.

11 A little over 30% of the deck evolutions occurred while the deck was green-amber (or safe). There were no Sortie 19 Day LPD off launch and recoveries to and from an amber (caution deck). Almost 10% of the launch and recoveries occurred while the deck was out-of-limit or red. With LPD on, all launch and recovery events in Sortie 19 Day occurred to and from a quiescent deck. Night launch and recovery attempts without LPD indicated about 40% rate of choosing a quiescent (or green) deck. A little over 20% of the deck evolutions occurred whilst the deck was green-amber (or safe). There were an equal percentage of launch and recovery events from an amber (caution deck). Greater than 10% of the launch and recoveries occurred whilst the deck was out-of-limit or red. With LPD on, all launch and recovery events in Sortie 19 Night occurred to and from a quiescent deck.

Figure 3.13 - Evolution 19-24(night) with Launch and Recovery Points


The simulator testing program was designed to investigate SHOL for the Type 45 Destroyer using the Royal Navy Merlin helicopter under a variety of conditions and to assess emerging landing aid technologies for effectiveness and application. LPD was applied as a visual landing aide and operated as a federate. RNAS Culdrose flight simulator was modified to implement a federated operation based on high-level architecture (HLA) allowing individual simulation components to be replaced with a minimum of change to the other components. Amongst the issues analyzed by the SAIF evaluation, was the fundamental question whether the LPD had leant itself to improve launch and recovery activities. Ostensibly, the answer to that question would manifest itself in the recorded data and supported by pilot commentary and observations.


As mentioned earlier, one of the key factors related to increased operational capability in landing helicopters onboard ship, is the ability to repeatedly launch and recover safely from a ship moving in response to the seaway. The successful repetition of the same event raises the overall confidence in conducting the launch and recovery evolution. One of the objectives in using the LPD is to recover on a quiescent or near quiescent deck, regardless of the condition of the seaway. Test one assess the condition of the deck at launch and recovery, with and without LPD. The metric of success is the choice of recovery with LPD on quiescent or near quiescent deck. Evaluating a randomly chosen Sortie, Figure 4.1 displays the deck condition at launch and recovery during Sortie 19. The chart is divided into day and night evolutions . The evolutions are divided into with and without LPD. Referring to the day, launch and recovery attempts without LPD indicated a 58% rate of choosing a quiescent (or green) deck.

Figure 4.1- Deck Condition at Launch and Recovery during Sortie 19 Figure 4.2 displays the overall effect of all launch and recovery events during all of the Sorties and evolutions. Test one is successful, as LPD had achieved guiding the pilots to choose quiescent deck for launch and recovery.

Figure 4.2- Deck Condition at Launch and Recovery overall Sorties and Evolutions

12 Another key factor related to increased operational capability in landing helicopters onboard ship, is the ability to repeatedly launch and recover safely and quickly from a ship moving in response to the seaway. One of the objectives in using the LPD is to rapidly but safely recover to a quiescent or near quiescent deck, regardless of the condition of the seaway. Test two assesses the impact the LPD has on recovery times from the portwait to the deck (Figure 4.3).

application of simulation based design and virtual prototyping in ship design. The VTOL-UAV application was chosen because of the NATO/PfP interest in MUAV operations. The milestone for NIREUS was to create a working demonstration of a UAV landing on a ship. HLA was chosen as the standard for building this simulation or Federation, which consisted of component parts called Federates. In general, the NIREUS federation operated well which was a significant accomplishment in itself none of the eleven federates had been implemented in an HLA Federation design before. The working Federation was successfully used to demonstrate various simulations to illustrate interoperability and re-use. For each simulation the ship had a steady speed and course (taken from the initialization data) during the final phase of aircraft recovery. This paper illustrates one example simulation. All data presented came from the diagnostic log files created by the relevant federates. The criterion for a safe landing in this example is given in Table 1. The data were taken from [8] which quotes criteria for VTOL aircraft. However, these data are quoted as rms values in the reference which are usually more useful in standard frequency domain ship design tools. However, in a real time simulation such as the NIREUS Federation is concerned actual limits are of more value. Therefore a simple conversion was used to obtained maxima from their respective rms values. The EI is determined from the limits shown in Table 5.1. Table 5.1. Touchdown limits Limits Units Value Roll Degs 12 Pitch Degs 5 Vertical velocity of touchdown position m/s 2 Lateral velocity of touchdown position m/s 1 Figure 5.1 shows an example of a simulation including occasions where the deck becomes suitably quiescent to register as a green deck (EI<1.74) and then becomes a unsafe deck (EI>=10) in a period of time called the risetime.
12 10 8 6 4 2 0 0

Figure 4.3- Overall Boarding Times from the Port-Wait to the Deck Figure 4.3 is divided into Day and Night operations, with and without LPD. Referring to the Day portion of the graphic, with LPD off, it took on average about 18 seconds to maneuver the aircraft from the port-wait to the deck. With LPD on, the boarding time average decreased to 15 seconds. Referring to the night portion of the graphic, with LPD off, it took about 23 seconds to recover from the port-wait station to the deck. With LPD on, the same evolution took about 14 seconds, shaving off nearly 10 seconds. The improved recovery times is attributed to improved confidence on the part of the pilots making the landing decision.


To this point in the discussion, the primary application involved manned aircraft. Removing the human element, as is the case with Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs), solves a number of issues while presenting a host of new ones. A computer can assimilate cueing information rapidly rendering the air vehicle and system autonomous. This short discussion develops how, using the same theories and federation structure, an autoland system was created. The main aim of NIREUS (NATO/PfP Interoperability and RE-Use Study) was to undertake a practical application of distributed simulations using the HLA methodology. With a view to demonstrate multi-national cooperation, simulation reuse and interoperability and to support the guidelines supplied by an Allied Naval Engineering Publication (ANEP) on the









Figure 5.1- Example simulation with Risetime Events The UAV status trace on Figure 5.2 represents the position of the UAV; showing the UAV approaching, in hover in the transition to the final descent and touchdown.

time seconds

13 .
12 10 8 6 4 2 0 0

red deck


landing hold


There are four possible outcomes from a prediction made by LPD: where LPD predicts the deck to be safe for the duration of the landing phase and the deck is actually safe; LPD predicts the deck to be unsafe and is actually unsafe; LPD predicts unsafe and is actually safe (missed opportunities) and LPD predicts safe and is actually unsafe (potential crashes). As a deck monitor, the UAV could commence its descent at any time when LPD designates the deck as being safe even with no guarantee that the safe period will persist for the duration of landing. This method could dramatically increase recovery opportunities, but at the sacrifice of a certain level of deck security or safety. As a deck monitor, the trade-off might be to accept a certain amount of risk in permitting recoveries in green, green-amber and lower amber. Using a simulator such as NIREUS makes assessment of such a system and its permutations relatively easy and safe.






time seconds

Figure 5.2 Sample UAV Recovery In the NIREUS implementation of LPD, the autoland simulation ignores the LPD deck status until the UAV arrives at hold position M0. LPD is then interrogated looking for the first LPD green deck. The decision to wait for LPD green deck ensures that the UAV descent can be safely achieved. Once the LPD green deck is acquired, the UAV descends to the deck. During decent, LPD continues to monitor the ship motion and would signal to the UAV to abort should an unusual ship displacement occur that takes the deck out of limits. The corresponding angular displacements and translational rates are given in Figures 5.3 and 5.4 respectively.

The primary goal for conducting dynamic interface analysis is to expand existing operating envelopes and increase air vehicle availability thereby improving overall naval effectiveness. The objective of dynamic interface study is to determine the maximum safe air vehicle/ship platform operational limitations. Given an air/ship system and inherent operational limitations, DI strives to increase tactical flexibility for any set of environmental conditions. Analytic study is used to rapidly delineate system limitations. The calculated system limitations provide experimental DI with the necessary data to more effectively set testing strategy to probe the limiting conditions. The overall objective of the SAIF program was to measure the feasibility of conducting some percentage of dynamic interface experimentation within confines of a piloted simulator. This report focused on aircraft and deck availability improvements by using the Energy Index to signal the top of recovery. Energy Index quiescent recovery opportunities are presented outside of current operating limits. A brief synopsis of the theory and calculation of the ship motion simulation and Energy Index programs, were discussed. The study conducted in real-time space, analyzed the interface of the Merlin and Type 45. Permitting a certain level of aircraft incident risk, it may be generally stated that deck clearance for the briefly unsecured Merlin, while lightly restricted ahead and unusually unrestricted in beam sea, should not limit Merlin availability or impact directly on the performance of the air vehicle under normal operating conditions. Air vehicle and deck availability are enhanced well beyond the indicated envelope when the operator uses the energy index to signal the top of recovery. As developed in the report, green deck points are identified even in the worst of sea conditions. The periods may be rapid, but owing to the rise time, the deck is constrained to pass from green to red by a latency period. This approach to deck limits is based on dynamic factors rather than static. It should be apparent that the envelopes

Pitch max


-10 0


20 time seconds




Figure 5.3- Ship roll and pitch time histories

3 2 1 0 -1 -2 -3 0


Yvel max






Figure 5.4- Ship vertical and lateral velocity time histories

14 calculated above are combination specific and dependent on the mathematical definitions programmed. If any dynamic or static parameters are modified, the envelope limitations may be modified, as well. Dynamic issues continue to be present throughout this period. The deck needs to be sufficiently stable for some time after recovery. Once their rotor is stopped, the deck crew would use the LPD as a deck monitor. The limits would be those at which a person would stumble owing to boundary layer conditions. This is particularly important if the crew is refueling, rearming or traversing the aircraft. While the report focus of the report was on air vehicle final approach and recovery, deck issues significant to air vehicles after recovery include chock and chain, aircraft on deck manipulation, handling and service. In the development of the report topic, an overview of the ship motion and dynamic interface simulations and modeling has been described with the emphasis on undercarriage encountered forces and air vehicle response stability. Validation of the results is a priority because of the potential problems affecting shiphelicopter operating deck limit to be programmed for air vehicle automatic recovery. Beyond the basic problem of data verification and validation, the analytic procedure demonstrated above is sound and could be used to cross-correlate between proposed aircraft-ship deck limits and the vehicle expected physical responses. On completing the aircraft-ship interface envelope study, the sum of the probability of incident produces deck limits by degree of freedom. These limits could be used in the first instance of MERLIN at-sea flight tests using the Energy Index to signal the onset of recovery. While angular and translational rate limits are used, the purpose of the energy index is to recover the vehicle in quiescence or flat deck. This is particularly important given the air vehicle configuration and the need to reduce to a minimum the grid recovery dispersions. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The authors wishes to thank the invaluable assistance rendered by Senior Consultant Ian Cox of SEA, Ltd. In addition, the authors desire to express their appreciation for the support by the US Office of Naval Researchs Ms. Malinda Pagett and Mr. David Ludwig along with COMNAVAIRLANT. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the following organisations: 824 Squadron Royal Navy (RANS Culdrose), Rotary Wing Test Squadron (Boscombe Down), MERLIN IPT, Type 45 IPT, Lockheed Martin Corporation, CAE, Ltd., QinetiQ, and Systems Engineering and Assessment, Ltd. REFERENCES Bielawa, R (2001). Supplemental Ground Resonance Analysis for the VTUAV. RLBA Engineering Report no. 02-01. Sequim (WA).

Blackwell, J and Feik, R. A (1988). "A Mathematical Model of the On-Deck Helicopter/Ship Dynamic Interface (U)". Aerodynamics Technical Memorandum 405. Aeronautical Research Laboratory. Melbourne. Bretschneider, C. L (1959). "Wave Variability and Wave Spectra for Wind-Generated Gravity Waves". Beach Erosion Board. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Technical Memo No: 118. Washington. Fabrie, M. (2000). Structural Design Criteria; Design Requirements Bulletin for the Fire Scout Vertical Take-Off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV). Report Number 379-1100-017. Northrop-Grumman, Ryan Aeronautical Centre. Los Angeles. Ferrier, B., (1997). tude Analytique dInterface Dynamique Aronef-Navire. Thse de doctorat. cole Polytechnique de Montral. Bibliothque nationale du Canada. Ottawa. Ferrier, Dr. B. ; Applebee, T.; Manning, A.; James, CDR D.[2000], Landing Period Designator Visual Helicopter Recovery Aide; Theory and Real-Time Application. Proceedings of the American Helicopter Society. Washington. Ferrier, B., Baitis, A., Manning, A., (2000). Evolution of the Landing Period Designator (LPD) for Shipboard Air Operations. American Society of Naval Engineers. Naval Engineers Journal. Vol. 112, Number 4. July. Arlington. Ferrier, B. & Le Bihan, O. (1996). The Use of Simulation Tools in the Calculation of Aircraft-Ship Interface Operational Limits. Proceedings of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciaences. AAAF. Sorrento. Ferrier, B & Semenza, J (1990). NATC Manned Flight Simulator VTOL Ship Motion Simulation and Application. Proceedings of the AHS. Washington. Ferrier, B. and Watkins III, H. (2002). Dynamic Interface (DI) Limits Report. Aircraft Stability and Encountered Force Evaluation. Technical Report 102115-A005. Office of Naval Research. N00014-02-C-0249. Arlington. Ferrier, B. and Watkins III, H. (2002). Dynamic Interface (DI) Limits Report. Deck Clearance (EI) Report. Technical Report 102115-A006. Office of Naval Research. N00014-02-C-0249. Arlington. Gray, T. (2002). On the Load Indices of the HARPOON Probe. MacTaggart-Scott Comm. Edinburgh. Meyers, W.G. ,T.R. Applebee, and A.E. Baitis, (1981) Users Manual for the Standard Ship Motion Program, SMP David W. Taylor Naval Ship R&D Centre Report DTNSRDC/SPD-093601.

15 Healey, J. Val (1986). Simulating the Helicopter-Ship Interface As An Alternative to Current Methods. NPS67-86-003. Naval Postgraduate School. Monterey. OReilly, PJF. (1978). Ship Motion Analysis. (BHTI 699-099087). Bell Helicopter Textron. Ft. Worth. OReilly, PJF. (1987). Aircraft/Deck Interface Dynamics for Destroyers. Marine Technology. Volume 24, Number 1. Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. New York. St. Denis & Pierson, W (1953). On the Motions of Ships in Confused Seas. Transactions of SNAME. Vol 61. New York.

Annex A Deck Interface Pilot Effort Scale

EFFORT Slight to Moderate GUIDANCE Reasonable compensation required. Tracking and positioning accuracy is consistently maintained throughout the operation. Fleet pilots will have enough spare capacity to conduct ancillary tasks. Significant compensation required. Tracking and positioning accuracy occasionally degrades during peaks in ship motion, sea spray or turbulence. Fleet Pilots will have difficulty conducting ancillary tasks. Highest tolerable compensation required. Tracking and positioning accuracy degrades regularly during peaks in ship motion, sea spray or turbulence. Fleet pilots will be able to keep up with task requirements but no more. Degraded operations (ship or aircraft) will probably require an abort. Repeated safe operations are achievable. This point defines the recommended limit. Excessive compensation required. Accuracy is poor in one or more axes. Fleet Pilots will be purely reacting to external influences rather than anticipating them. A safe abort may not be possible if an aircraft or ship system is lost during a critical phase of the evolution. Fleet pilots under operational conditions could not consistently repeat these evolutions safely. Extreme compensation required. Repeated safe evolutions are not possible even under controlled test conditions with fully proficient crews. DIPES 1

A c c e Considerable p t a b l Highest e Tolerable

U n a c c Excessive e p t a b l Dangerous e

Note: Each DIPES rating may be given one or more suffixes to describe the cause(s) of the increased workload. Pitch Control P Height Control H Turbulence T Spray S Roll Control R F/Aft Positioning F Deck Motion D Torque Control Q Yaw Control Y Lateral L Visual Cues V Funnel Exhaust E Positioning A/C Attitude A