about us

We are an innovative technology “spin-off” company from Rotorcraft Research Group at Carleton University located in Ottawa, Canada. We have invented state of the art technology, created a vibrant team and incorporated in April of 2009 with the ultimate goal to change the way we control vibration and noise on helicopters.

 

Vibration and Noise reduction has become one of the most vivid research areas in recent years in the helicopter industry. Great efforts have been invested into the development of solutions over the last several decades, but Smart Rotor Systems has remained the only company in the world with one of a kind vibration and noise reduction technology for helicopters.

 

learn more about our innovations

 

 


 

our corporate values

 


 


 

our history

 

1993

  • In 1993, Dr. Fred Nitzsche (co-founder and Vice-President of SRS) was first to conceive an innovative concept of “stiffness control” of the root of a helicopter blade by means of periodic excitation.

 

(to continue, please follow the year tabs on the left)

1999

  • In 1999 the “stiffness control” concept was independently confirmed by Anusonti-Inthra and Dr. Farhan Gandhi at Penn State University, USA. Both Dr. Nitzsche and Anusonti-Inthra et. al. proved, via theoretical and numerical analyses, that cyclic variation of the stiffness of a root of a helicopter blade leads to a large reduction of vibration.


  • The question was: can anyone design and build a technology enabling stiffness control?

 

  • The answer came in the same year, when Dr. Fred Nitzsche proposed and patented the concept of a generic stiffness control device called “Smart Spring”. A smart spring involves a set of springs, friction surfaces and piezoelectric actuators (Fig.1). It can change the resultant stiffness of the system between two stiffness values, depending on the control voltage applied to the actuators.

2004

  • In 2004, Dr. Nitzsche in collaboration with National Research Council of Canada (NRC), developed the first practical implementation of a generic “stiffness control” device, the so-called Smart Spring, as well as an initial, maximum energy extraction, state-switch, closed-loop control algorithm for this system.

  • The system was applicable to many practical engineering applications that are exposed to vibratory loads (i.e. cargo door in an airplane, fixed wing, driver/pilot/passenger seat, etc.), and has demonstrated capability to reduce vibration by 95%.


  • Based on the initial work of Dr. Nitzsche, a flagship project of Rotorcraft Research Group called Smart Hybrid Active Rotor Control Systems (SHARCS) has been launched at Carleton University by Dr. Daniel Feszty and Dr. Fred Nitzsche. The overall goal of the project was to develop an actively controlled rotor for the simultaneous reduction of vibration and noise on helicopters.

  • The SHARCS project has turned into an international collaboration lead by Rotorcraft Research Group. All design integration, construction and testing of the vibration and noise reduction technology were conducted by Carleton University, whereas the main collaborators over the history of the project included:

  • AgustaWestland (Italy), DLR Braunschweig (Germany), University of Rome La Sapienza (Italy), University of Rome 3 (Italy), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), National Technical University of Athens (Greece), Technical University of Munich (Germany), National Research Council (Canada)

2009

  • In 2009, Greg Oxley at Rotorcraft Research Group, has performed a computational feasibility study (computer simulation) of a four-bladed system with the Smart Spring replacing the conventional pitch link on a helicopter.  The results were astonishing, the Smart Spring reduced higher harmonic loads that passed through the Smart Spring to the fuselage by 44% and 62% at 4/rev and 8/rev frequencies, respectively, without affecting the rotor trim, collective and cyclic control commands.

  • The Smart Spring device was renamed to Active Pitch Link (APL) and in the same year, as first in the world, the founders of the Rotorcraft Research Group at Carleton University has patented the concept that suggested to use 3 independent control systems in one single helicopter blade: the Active Pitch Link (APL), the Actively Controlled Flap (ACF) and the Actively Controlled Tip (ACT).


  • More tests and analyses were performed and as the achievement of successful results of the aforementioned technology development led to creation of Smart Rotor Systems Inc., which began to drive the commercialization and engineering development of the systems.

2010

  • In 2010, a third generation prototype of the Active Pitch Link (APL) has been designed, developed and tested by the Chief Design Officer Steven Vamosi .

  • In the same year, SRS’ intern, Melissa Richardson, performed an experimental test of the APL in a non-rotating test set-up with a modified state-switch closed-loop control algorithm and showed 55% reduction of vibration transmitted through the APL.

2012

  • The latest experimental testing of the APL was performed in 2012 in a rotating frame with an implemented open-loop control algorithm with the purpose to demonstrate impedance change of the system and, as a result, to show a redistribution of the vibration spectrum. The APL was tested in a Whirl Tower as a replacement of a conventional pitch link in a one-bladed rotor hub test set-up.

  • Measurement of the vibration load passed through the Smart Spring showed the best result of nearly 90% reduction of vibration of 2/rev frequency at 750 RPM, while keeping the fundamental frequency of the rotor of 1/rev nearly unchanged.

  • Furthermore, vibration loads were successfully redistributed along the higher harmonic frequencies.

1993

1999

2004

2009

2010

2012

 

 

 

 

 

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