Using High-Speed Stereophotogrammetry to Collect Operating Data on a Robinson R44 Helicopter

  • Troy Lundstrom
  • Javad Baqersad
  • Christopher NiezreckiEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


Stereophotogrammetry in conjunction with three-dimensional point tracking (3DPT) algorithms has proven to be a highly robust measurement technique when used to perform dynamic measurements on small, rotating systems. This measurement technique can be scaled up to much larger systems and has several desirable features for helicopter and wind turbine measurement applications that include: (1) it is non-contact and doesn’t require the use of roll rings or slip rings for signal transmission, (2) the applied measurement targets have a negligible effect on the aerodynamics, mass or stiffness of the structure, and (3) position data can be readily collected on many hundreds of points over what is capable using conventional multi-channel data acquisition systems and transducers. A field test was conducted in which operating data was collected on the main rotor of a Robinson R44 helicopter in both grounded and hovering operating conditions. The first part of this work describes the experimental setup and data acquisition process of the test performed and the second part of this work presents some of the results including blade dynamics and extracted operating deflection shape information for a Robinson R44 Helicopter.


Stereophotogrammetry Operational modal analysis Helicopter rotor dynamics Rigid body correction Harmonic content 



The authors gratefully appreciate the financial support for this work provided by the U.S. Army Research Office Nanomanufacturing of Multifunctional Sensors Ref. Award Number: W911NF-07-2-0081 and the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0900534, entitled “Dynamic Stress–Strain Prediction of Vibrating Structures in Operation”. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or Army Research Office. The research team is indebted to Stephen Booth of STB Enterprises for providing access to and piloting the helicopter.


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Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Troy Lundstrom
    • 1
  • Javad Baqersad
    • 1
  • Christopher Niezrecki
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Structural Dynamics and Acoustic Systems Laboratory, Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA

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