Prof. Farhan Gandhi
“Reconfigurable Vertical Lift”
Shape adaptation, morphing, reconfiguration -- allow an aircraft to perform more optimally in diverse operating conditions. Over the last decade there has been tremendous interest in application of reconfiguration to rotary-wing aircraft. Some of the key morphing technologies such as extension of rotor blade span or rotor blade chord, large change in rotor blade twist or airfoil cross-section, concepts for high-speed, and the impact of these technologies on performance improvement, expansion of operating envelope, and the operational flexibility of the helicopter, will be discussed. Implementing rotor blade morphing is a significant challenge due to space constraints on the rotor blade, transfer of power to the rotating system, as well as operation under large centrifugal loads. A number of implementation methods will be presented, and future directions and applications will be discussed.
About the speaker:
Farhan Gandhi obtained his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland’s Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center in 1995. Immediately thereafter, he joined on the Aerospace faculty at Pennsylvania State University, serving as Deputy Director of the Penn State Rotorcraft Center. In 2012 he moved to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as the Rosalind and John J. Redfern Endowed Chair in Aerospace Engineering. In 2014, Dr. Gandhi assumed the position of Aerospace Program Director at RPI. His research interest and activities cover the areas of rotorcraft dynamics and aeroelasticity and advanced rotary-wing configurations, multi-rotor UAVs, as well as smart/adaptive structures. Over the last several years, Dr. Gandhi has focused heavily on reconfiguration in vertical lift and high-speed rotorcraft, with funding from the US Army, US Navy, NY State, and Sikorsky Aircraft. Dr. Gandhi is a Technical Fellow of the American Helicopter Society, winner of the 1998 AHS Francios Xavier Bagnoud Award and the 2007 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award (for morphing rotors). He is a past Chair of the AHS Dynamics and Aircraft Design TCs and currently heads the AHS Education Committee. His research group at RPI comprises of nine PhD students, a post-doctoral research scholar, and a number of undergrad students. Dr. Gandhi is author of over 235 articles appearing in archival journals and technical conference proceedings.