Development of Adaptive Seat Mounts for Helicopter Aircrew Body Vibration Reduction

Helicopter aircrew are exposed to high levels of vibration and noise during flight. This paper presents the investigation of adaptive seat mount approaches to reducing vibration on the helicopter seat. A flight test on a helicopter with typical pilot configurations showed that the vibration spectra on the pilot’s helmet not only included the dominant N/rev harmonic peaks of the rotor speed, but also consisted of a low-frequency resonant peak in the frequency range of human abdominal and spine resonant frequencies. Long-term exposure to this vibration may lead to occupational health issues such as damage to the pilot’s spine and neck. In order to address this issue, a novel adaptive seat mount concept was developed to mitigate the vibration levels transmitted to the aircrew. As a proof-of-concept demonstration, a miniature modal shaker was installed between the cabin floor and the seat bottom as an adaptive mount that provided the actuation authority. The aim was to reduce the vertical vibration transmitted to the aircrew helmet in order to decrease aircrew neck and spine injuries that are caused by the transmitted vibration. Extensive closed-loop control tests have been conducted on a full-scale helicopter seat and a mannequin with varying physical properties. A 10,000 lb(f) mechanical shaker was used to provide representative helicopter vibration profiles to the seat. Significant vibration reductions on the N/rev vibration peaks were achieved: the low-frequency resonant peak was also suppressed simultaneously.

  • Authors:
    • Chen, Yong
    • Wickramasinghe, Viresh
    • Zimcik, David
  • Publication Date: 2009-12


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 1809-1825
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01148018
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 12 2010 5:30PM