Identification of frequency domain and time domain aeroelastic parameters for flutter analysis of flexible structures
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Flutter analysis of structures is usually done in frequency domain. Alternately, time-domain methods have been suggested. For frequency-domain flutter analysis, flutter derivatives are used that can be identified from section model testing in the wind tunnel. In time-domain analysis, the frequency-dependent aerodynamic self-excited forces expressed in flutter derivatives acting on the structure can be approximated in the Laplace domain by Rational functions.;The art of efficient extraction of these aeroelastic parameters requires an elastic suspension system to capture coupled displacement and aerodynamic force time histories from wind tunnel testing of section models. A novel three-degree-of-freedom (DOF) suspension system has been developed for the wind-tunnel section model study of wind-excited vibrations of flexible structures.;The extraction of flutter derivatives becomes more challenging when the number of DOF of section model increases from two to three. Since the work in the field of identifying all eighteen flutter derivatives has been limited, it has motivated the development of a new system identification method (Iterative least squares method or ILS method) to efficiently extract the flutter derivatives using a section model suspended by the three-DOF elastic suspension system. All eighteen flutter derivatives for a streamlined bridge deck and an airfoil section model were identified by using ILS approach. Flutter derivatives related to the lateral DOF were emphasized.;For time-domain flutter analysis, Rational function approximation (RFA) approach involves approximation of the experimentally obtained flutter derivatives through 'multilevel linear and nonlinear optimization' procedure. This motivated the formulation of a system identification technique (Experimental extraction of Rational function coefficients or E2RFC) to directly extract the Rational function coefficients from wind tunnel testing. The current formulation requires testing of the model at fewer numbers of velocities than in the flutter-derivative formulation leading to significant reduction in time and resources associated with extraction of flutter derivatives and eventual Rational function approximation. Successful numerical simulation using E2RFC formulation with two lag terms was performed proving the robustness of the technique. Experimental extraction of Rational function coefficients associated with one lag term formulation was made for a streamlined bridge deck section model.