The overall objective of this effort is to enhance design, development, and operation of UAM air vehicles from a passenger perspective by developing experiment-based data, metrics, and guidelines reflecting the effects of vehicle motion on ride quality, and hence passenger acceptance, of UAM air vehicles. The technical focus is to (1) develop metrics and models that identify how passenger perceptions are affected by vehicle motion, noise, and vibration and (2) develop a Phase II simulation and analysis plan to measure the effects of vehicle motion on ride quality.
This project will fill a gap in the knowledge necessary to achieve passenger acceptance of UAM. NASA’s work has related passenger comfort to noise and vibration, but no metric has been developed relating passenger acceptance to the combination of noise, vibration, and vehicle motion. Moreover, novel electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) configurations can be expected to have different motion dynamics from helicopters, the basis of NASA’s past studies. Experiment-based data with human subjects is needed to establish levels of acceptability for vehicle motion and for combinations of vehicle motion, noise, and vibration.
Successful UAM air vehicles will have to be designed with ride quality in mind, and design choices will require resolution of tradeoffs involving ride quality, performance, cost, and other factors. Ride quality will thus become one of the primary axes of the UAM design trade space, rendering design strategies, guidelines, and metrics for ride quality imperative for the design process and for NASA research leading to passenger acceptance of UAM.
The major results of Phase I will be to define a framework and measurable attributes relating measurable attributes of vehicle motion, vibration, and noise to UAM passenger acceptance, and to establish the scope of the simulation activity that will generate experiment-based metrics relating ride quality to passenger acceptance.
The proposed work will develop critical information for two NASA projects. The results will:
1. Provide the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) project’s National Campaign with objectives, rationale, and performance measures related to ride quality – a critical element for successful implementation of UAM.
2. Provide the Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology (RVLT) project with a framework, performance targets, and experiment-based data to integrate ride quality considerations into design tools and research plans.
The standards, design tools, technologies, and operational procedures that will flow from this project may be embedded in design tools, operational procedures, and test plans. The knowledge gained in this effort may be commercialized in the form of contracted studies or consulting services, or in developing models in support of industry design and business decisions.