Structural Dynamics Verification of Rotorcraft Comprehensive Analysis System (RCAS)

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The Rotorcraft Comprehensive Analysis System (RCAS) was acquired and evaluated as part of an ongoing effort by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to provide state-of-the-art wind turbine modeling and analysis technology for Government and industry. RCAS is an interdisciplinary tool offering aeroelastic modeling and analysis options not supportedby current codes. RCAS was developed during a 4-year joint effort among the U.S. Army's Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, Advanced Rotorcraft Technology Inc., and the helicopter industry. The code draws heavily from its predecessor 2GCHAS (Second Generation Comprehensive Helicopter Analysis System), which required an additional 14 years to develop. Though developed for the rotorcraft industry, itsgeneral-purpose features allow it to model or analyze a general dynamic system. Its key feature is a specialized finite element that can model spinning flexible parts. The code, therefore, appears particularly suited for wind turbines whose dynamics is dominated by massive flexible spinning rotors. In addition to the simulation capability of the existing codes, RCAS [1-3] offers a range ofunique capabilities, including aeroelastic stability analysis, trim, state-space modeling, operating modes, modal reduction, multi-blade coordinate transformation, periodic-system-specific analysis, choice of aerodynamic models, and a controls design/implementation graphical interface.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages113
StatePublished - 2005

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-500-35328


  • design codes
  • modeling
  • RCAS
  • rotorcraft comprehensive analysis system
  • wind energy
  • wind turbine


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