Biewener, Andrew A.
Flapping flight places strenuous requirements on the physiological performance of an animal. Bird flight muscles, particularly at smaller body sizes, generally contract at high frequencies and do substantial work in order to produce the aerodynamic power needed to support the animal's weight in the air and to overcome drag. This is in contrast to terrestrial locomotion, which offers mechanisms for minimizing energy losses associated with body movement combined with elastic energy savings to reduce the skeletal muscles' work requirements. Muscles also produce substantial power during swimming, but this is mainly to overcome body drag rather than to support the animal's weight. Here, I review the function and architecture of key flight muscles related to how these muscles contribute to producing the power required for flapping flight, how the muscles are recruited to control wing motion and how they are used in manoeuvring. An emergent property of the primary flight muscles, consistent with their need to produce considerable work by moving the wings through large excursions during each wing stroke, is that the pectoralis and supracoracoideus muscles shorten over a large fraction of their resting fibre length (33–42%). Both muscles are activated while being lengthened or undergoing nearly isometric force development, enhancing the work they perform during subsequent shortening. Two smaller muscles, the triceps and biceps, operate over a smaller range of contractile strains (12–23%), reflecting their role in controlling wing shape through elbow flexion and extension. Remarkably, pigeons adjust their wing stroke plane mainly via changes in whole-body pitch during take-off and landing, relative to level flight, allowing their wing muscles to operate with little change in activation timing, strain magnitude and pattern. PMID:21502121
Wingett, Paul T. (Inventor); Gaines, Louie T. (Inventor); Evans, Paul S. (Inventor); Kern, James I. (Inventor)
A flight control actuation system comprises a controller, electromechanical actuator and a pneumatic actuator. During normal operation, only the electromechanical actuator is needed to operate a flight control surface. When the electromechanical actuator load level exceeds 40 amps positive, the controller activates the pneumatic actuator to offset electromechanical actuator loads to assist the manipulation of flight control surfaces. The assistance from the pneumatic load assist actuator enables the use of an electromechanical actuator that is smaller in size and mass, requires less power, needs less cooling processes, achieves high output forces and adapts to electrical current variations. The flight control actuation system is adapted for aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, and other flight vehicles, especially flight vehicles that are large in size and travel at high velocities.
Hartmann, G. L.; Wall, J. E., Jr.; Rang, E. R.; Lee, H. P.; Schulte, R. W.; Ng, W. K.
A fly by wire flight control system architecture designed for high reliability includes spare sensor and computer elements to permit safe dispatch with failed elements, thereby reducing unscheduled maintenance. A methodology capable of demonstrating that the architecture does achieve the predicted performance characteristics consists of a hierarchy of activities ranging from analytical calculations of system reliability and formal methods of software verification to iron bird testing followed by flight evaluation. Interfacing this architecture to the Lockheed S-3A aircraft for flight test is discussed. This testbed vehicle can be expanded to support flight experiments in advanced aerodynamics, electromechanical actuators, secondary power systems, flight management, new displays, and air traffic control concepts.
Musgrave, F. S.
A multidisciplinary medical-management team at mission control provided Skylab crew support by monitoring health, retrieving and compiling experimental data, assisting in the development of flight plans, and by contributing to in-flight procedures and checklists. Real time computers assisted the flight crews in performing medical and other experiments.
Stengel, Robert F.
The capabilities of flight control systems can be enhanced by designing them to emulate functions of natural intelligence. Intelligent control functions fall in three categories. Declarative actions involve decision-making, providing models for system monitoring, goal planning, and system/scenario identification. Procedural actions concern skilled behavior and have parallels in guidance, navigation, and adaptation. Reflexive actions are spontaneous, inner-loop responses for control and estimation. Intelligent flight control systems learn knowledge of the aircraft and its mission and adapt to changes in the flight environment. Cognitive models form an efficient basis for integrating 'outer-loop/inner-loop' control functions and for developing robust parallel-processing algorithms.
The feasibility of using an electromechanical actuator (EMA) as the primary flight control equipment in aerospace flight is examined. The EMA motor design is presented utilizing improved permanent magnet materials. The necessary equipment to complete a single channel EMA using the single channel power electronics breadboard is reported. The design and development of an improved rotor position sensor/tachometer is investigated.
Davidson, Ron; Bosworth, John T.; Jacobson, Steven R.; Thomson, Michael Pl; Jorgensen, Charles C.
inputs with the outputs provided to instrumentation only. The IFCS was not used to control the airplane. In another stage of the flight test, the Phase I pre-trained neural network was integrated into a Phase III version of the flight control system. The Phase I pretrained neural network provided realtime stability and control derivatives to a Phase III controller that was based on a stochastic optimal feedforward and feedback technique (SOFFT). This combined Phase I/III system was operated together with the research flight-control system (RFCS) of the F-15 ACTIVE during the flight test. The RFCS enables the pilot to switch quickly from the experimental- research flight mode back to the safe conventional mode. These initial IFCS ACP flight tests were completed in April 1999. The Phase I/III flight test milestone was to demonstrate, across a range of subsonic and supersonic flight conditions, that the pre-trained neural network could be used to supply real-time aerodynamic stability and control derivatives to the closed-loop optimal SOFFT flight controller. Additional objectives attained in the flight test included (1) flight qualification of a neural-network-based control system; (2) the use of a combined neural-network/closed-loop optimal flight-control system to obtain level-one handling qualities; and (3) demonstration, through variation of control gains, that different handling qualities can be achieved by setting new target parameters. In addition, data for the Phase-II (on-line-learning) neural network were collected, during the use of stacked-frequency- sweep excitation, for post-flight analysis. Initial analysis of these data showed the potential for future flight tests that will incorporate the real-time identification and on-line learning aspects of the IFCS.
The Neural Flight Control System (NFCS) was developed to address the need for control systems that can be produced and tested at lower cost, easily adapted to prototype vehicles and for flight systems that can accommodate damaged control surfaces or changes to aircraft stability and control characteristics resulting from failures or accidents. NFCS utilizes on a neural network-based flight control algorithm which automatically compensates for a broad spectrum of unanticipated damage or failures of an aircraft in flight. Pilot stick and rudder pedal inputs are fed into a reference model which produces pitch, roll and yaw rate commands. The reference model frequencies and gains can be set to provide handling quality characteristics suitable for the aircraft of interest. The rate commands are used in conjunction with estimates of the aircraft s stability and control (S&C) derivatives by a simplified Dynamic Inverse controller to produce virtual elevator, aileron and rudder commands. These virtual surface deflection commands are optimally distributed across the aircraft s available control surfaces using linear programming theory. Sensor data is compared with the reference model rate commands to produce an error signal. A Proportional/Integral (PI) error controller "winds up" on the error signal and adds an augmented command to the reference model output with the effect of zeroing the error signal. In order to provide more consistent handling qualities for the pilot, neural networks learn the behavior of the error controller and add in the augmented command before the integrator winds up. In the case of damage sufficient to affect the handling qualities of the aircraft, an Adaptive Critic is utilized to reduce the reference model frequencies and gains to stay within a flyable envelope of the aircraft.
Mowery, D. K.; Winder, S. W.
The prediction of flight loads and their potential reduction, using various control logics for the space shuttle vehicles, is very complex. Some factors, not found on previous launch vehicles, that increase the complexity are large lifting surfaces, unsymmetrical structure, unsymmetrical aerodynamics, trajectory control system coupling, and large aeroelastic effects. Discussed are these load producing factors and load reducing techniques. Identification of potential technology areas is included.
Caglayan, A. K.; Vanlandingham, H. F.
The design of stable feedback control laws for sampled-data systems with variable rate sampling was investigated. These types of sampled-data systems arise naturally in digital flight control systems which use digital actuators where it is desirable to decrease the number of control computer output commands in order to save wear and tear of the associated equipment. The design of aircraft control systems which are optimally tolerant of sensor and actuator failures was also studied. Detection of the failed sensor or actuator must be resolved and if the estimate of the state is used in the control law, then it is also desirable to have an estimator which will give the optimal state estimate even under the failed conditions.
Rediess, H. A.; Buckley, E. C.
The results of a technology survey in flight crucial flight controls conducted as a data base for planning future research and technology programs are provided. Free world countries were surveyed with primary emphasis on the United States and Western Europe because that is where the most advanced technology resides. The survey includes major contemporary systems on operational aircraft, R&D flight programs, advanced aircraft developments, and major research and technology programs. The survey was not intended to be an in-depth treatment of the technology elements, but rather a study of major trends in systems level technology. The information was collected from open literature, personal communications and a tour of several companies, government organizations and research laboratories in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Rysdyk, Rolf Theoduor
Research under supervision of Dr. Calise and Dr. Prasad at the Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Aerospace Engineering. has demonstrated the applicability of an adaptive controller architecture. The architecture successfully combines model inversion control with adaptive neural network (NN) compensation to cancel the inversion error. The tiltrotor aircraft provides a specifically interesting control design challenge. The tiltrotor aircraft is capable of converting from stable responsive fixed wing flight to unstable sluggish hover in helicopter configuration. It is desirable to provide the pilot with consistency in handling qualities through a conversion from fixed wing flight to hover. The linear model inversion architecture was adapted by providing frequency separation in the command filter and the error-dynamics, while not exiting the actuator modes. This design of the architecture provides for a model following setup with guaranteed performance. This in turn allowed for convenient implementation of guaranteed handling qualities. A rigorous proof of boundedness is presented making use of compact sets and the LaSalle-Yoshizawa theorem. The analysis allows for the addition of the e-modification which guarantees boundedness of the NN weights in the absence of persistent excitation. The controller is demonstrated on the Generic Tiltrotor Simulator of Bell-Textron and NASA Ames R.C. The model inversion implementation is robustified with respect to unmodeled input dynamics, by adding dynamic nonlinear damping. A proof of boundedness of signals in the system is included. The effectiveness of the robustification is also demonstrated on the XV-15 tiltrotor. The SHL Perceptron NN provides a more powerful application, based on the universal approximation property of this type of NN. The SHL NN based architecture is also robustified with the dynamic nonlinear damping. A proof of boundedness extends the SHL NN augmentation with robustness to unmodeled actuator
Pechner, Adam Daniel
With recent design improvement in fixed wing aircraft, there has been a considerable interest in the design of robust flight control systems to compensate for the inherent instability necessary to achieve desired performance. Such systems are designed for maximum available retention of stability and performance in the presence of significant vehicle damage or system failure. The rotorcraft industry has shown similar interest in adopting these reconfigurable flight control schemes specifically because of their ability to reject disturbance inputs and provide a significant amount of robustness for all but the most catastrophic of situations. The research summarized herein focuses on the extension of the pseudo-sliding mode control design procedure interpreted in the frequency domain. Application of the technique is employed and simulated on two well known helicopters, a simplified model of a hovering Sikorsky S-61 and the military's Black Hawk UH-60A also produced by Sikorsky. The Sikorsky helicopter model details are readily available and was chosen because it can be limited to pitch and roll motion reducing the number of degrees of freedom and yet contains two degrees of freedom, which is the minimum requirement in proving the validity of the pseudo-sliding control technique. The full order model of a hovering Black Hawk system was included both as a comparison to the S-61 helicopter design system and as a means to demonstrate the scaleability and effectiveness of the control technique on sophisticated systems where design robustness is of critical concern.
Mcgough, J.; Moses, K.; Klafin, J. F.
The architecture, requirements, and system elements of an ultrareliable, advanced flight control system are described. The basic criteria are functional reliability of 10 to the minus 10 power/hour of flight and only 6 month scheduled maintenance. A distributed system architecture is described, including a multiplexed communication system, reliable bus controller, the use of skewed sensor arrays, and actuator interfaces. Test bed and flight evaluation program are proposed.
Biezad, Daniel J.; Chou, Hwei-Lan
Through throttle manipulations, engine thrust can be used for emergency flight control for multi-engine aircraft. Previous study by NASA Dryden has shown the use of throttles for emergency flight control to be very difficult. In general, manual fly-by-throttle is extremely difficult - with landing almost impossible, but control augmentation makes runway landings feasible. Flight path control using throttles-only to achieve safe emergency landing for a large jet transport airplane, Boeing 720, was investigated using Quantitative Feedback Theory (QFT). Results were compared to an augmented control developed in a previous simulation study. The control augmentation corrected the unsatisfactory open-loop characteristics by increasing system bandwidth and damping, but increasing the control bandwidth substantially proved very difficult. The augmented pitch control is robust under no or moderate turbulence. The augmented roll control is sensitive to configuration changes.
Biezad, Daniel J.; Chou, Hwei-Lan
Through throttle manipulations, engine thrust can be used for emergency flight control for multi-engine aircraft. Previous study by NASA Dryden has shown the use of throttles for emergency flight control to be very difficult. In general, manual fly-by-throttle is extremely difficult - with landing almost impossible, but control augmentation makes runway landings feasible. Flight path control using throttles-only to achieve safe emergency landing for a large jet transport airplane, Boeing 720, was investigated using Quantitative Feedback Theory (QFT). Results were compared to an augmented control developed in a previous simulation study. The control augmentation corrected the unsatisfactory open-loop characteristics by increasing system bandwidth and damping, but increasing the control bandwidth substantially proved very difficult. The augmented pitch control is robust under no or moderate turbulence. The augmented roll control is sensitive to configuration changes.
Menon, P. K. A.; Walker, R. A.
Two control law design techniques are compared and the performance of the resulting controllers evaluated. The design requirement is for a flight test trajectory controller (FTTC) capable of closed-loop, outer-loop control of an F-15 aircraft performing high-quality research flight test maneuvers. The maneuver modeling, linearization, and design methodologies utilized in this research, are detailed. The results of applying these FTTCs to a nonlinear F-15 simulation are presented.
Kaneshige, John; Gundy-Burlet, Karen; Norvig, Peter (Technical Monitor)
This paper describes an integrated neural flight and propulsion control system. which uses a neural network based approach for applying alternate sources of control power in the presence of damage or failures. Under normal operating conditions, the system utilizes conventional flight control surfaces. Neural networks are used to provide consistent handling qualities across flight conditions and for different aircraft configurations. Under damage or failure conditions, the system may utilize unconventional flight control surface allocations, along with integrated propulsion control, when additional control power is necessary for achieving desired flight control performance. In this case, neural networks are used to adapt to changes in aircraft dynamics and control allocation schemes. Of significant importance here is the fact that this system can operate without emergency or backup flight control mode operations. An additional advantage is that this system can utilize, but does not require, fault detection and isolation information or explicit parameter identification. Piloted simulation studies were performed on a commercial transport aircraft simulator. Subjects included both NASA test pilots and commercial airline crews. Results demonstrate the potential for improving handing qualities and significantly increasing survivability rates under various simulated failure conditions.
Menon, P. K. A.; Walker, R. A.
Two design techniques for linear flight test trajectory controllers (FTTCs) are described: Eigenstructure assignment and the minimum error excitation technique. The two techniques are used to design FTTCs for an F-15 aircraft model for eight different maneuvers at thirty different flight conditions. An evaluation of the FTTCs is presented.
Jang, Jiann-Woei; Alaniz, Abran; Hall, Robert; Bedrossian, Nazareth; Hall, Charles; Ryan, Stephen; Jackson, Mark
The Ares I launch vehicle represents a challenging flex-body structural environment for flight control system design. This paper presents a design methodology for employing numerical optimization to develop the Ares I flight control system. The design objectives include attitude tracking accuracy and robust stability with respect to rigid body dynamics, propellant slosh, and flex. Under the assumption that the Ares I time-varying dynamics and control system can be frozen over a short period of time, the flight controllers are designed to stabilize all selected frozen-time launch control systems in the presence of parametric uncertainty. Flex filters in the flight control system are designed to minimize the flex components in the error signals before they are sent to the attitude controller. To ensure adequate response to guidance command, step response specifications are introduced as constraints in the optimization problem. Imposing these constraints minimizes performance degradation caused by the addition of the flex filters. The first stage bending filter design achieves stability by adding lag to the first structural frequency to phase stabilize the first flex mode while gain stabilizing the higher modes. The upper stage bending filter design gain stabilizes all the flex bending modes. The flight control system designs provided here have been demonstrated to provide stable first and second stage control systems in both Draper Ares Stability Analysis Tool (ASAT) and the MSFC 6DOF nonlinear time domain simulation.
Kurzhals, P. R.; Deloach, R.
In connection with advances in technology, mainly in the electronic area, aircraft flight control applications have evolved from simple pilot-relief autopilots to flight-critical and redundant fly-by-wire and active control systems. For flight-critical implementations which required accommodation of inflight failures, additional levels of redundancy were incorporated to provide fail-safe and fail-operative performance. The current status of flight control systems reliability is examined and high-reliability approaches are discussed. Attention is given to the design of ring laser gyros and magnetohydrodynamic rate sensors, redundancy configurations for component failure protection, improvements of hydraulic actuators made on the component level, integrated actuators, problems of software reliability, lightning considerations, and failure detection methods for component and system failures.
Carter, John; Stephenson, Mark
The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center has completed the initial flight test of a modified set of F/A-18 flight control computers that gives the aircraft a research control law capability. The production support flight control computers (PSFCC) provide an increased capability for flight research in the control law, handling qualities, and flight systems areas. The PSFCC feature a research flight control processor that is "piggybacked" onto the baseline F/A-18 flight control system. This research processor allows for pilot selection of research control law operation in flight. To validate flight operation, a replication of a standard F/A-18 control law was programmed into the research processor and flight-tested over a limited envelope. This paper provides a brief description of the system, summarizes the initial flight test of the PSFCC, and describes future experiments for the PSFCC.
Szalai, K. J.; Larson, R. R.; Glover, R. D.
Flight experience with both current and advanced redundancy management schemes was gained in recent flight research programs using the F-8 digital fly by wire aircraft. The flight performance of fault detection, isolation, and reconfiguration (FDIR) methods for sensors, computers, and actuators is reviewed. Results of induced failures as well as of actual random failures are discussed. Deficiencies in modeling and implementation techniques are also discussed. The paper also presents comparison off multisensor tracking in smooth air, in turbulence, during large maneuvers, and during maneuvers typical of those of large commercial transport aircraft. The results of flight tests of an advanced analytic redundancy management algorithm are compared with the performance of a contemporary algorithm in terms of time to detection, false alarms, and missed alarms. The performance of computer redundancy management in both iron bird and flight tests is also presented.
Urnes, James M.; Hoy, Stephen E.; Ladage, Robert N.; Stewart, James
A flight control concept that can identify aircraft stability properties and continually optimize the aircraft flying qualities has been developed by McDonnell Aircraft Company under a contract with the NASA-Dryden Flight Research Facility. This flight concept, termed the Intelligent Flight Control System, utilizes Neural Network technology to identify the host aircraft stability and control properties during flight, and use this information to design on-line the control system feedback gains to provide continuous optimum flight response. This self-repairing capability can provide high performance flight maneuvering response throughout large flight envelopes, such as needed for the National Aerospace Plane. Moreover, achieving this response early in the vehicle's development schedule will save cost.
Dade, W. W.; Edwards, R. H.; Katt, G. T.; Mcclellan, K. L.; Shomber, H. A.
Collection and analysis of data are reported that concern the reliability and maintenance experience of flight control system electronics currently in use on passenger carrying jet aircraft. Two airlines B-747 airplane fleets were analyzed to assess the component reliability, system functional reliability, and achieved availability of the CAT II configuration flight control system. Also assessed were the costs generated by this system in the categories of spare equipment, schedule irregularity, and line and shop maintenance. The results indicate that although there is a marked difference in the geographic location and route pattern between the airlines studied, there is a close similarity in the reliability and the maintenance costs associated with the flight control electronics.
Bachelder, Edward N. (Inventor); Lee, Dong-Chan (Inventor); Aponso, Bimal L. (Inventor)
The present invention provides computer implemented methodology that permits the safe landing and recovery of rotorcraft following engine failure. With this invention successful autorotations may be performed from well within the unsafe operating area of the height-velocity profile of a helicopter by employing the fast and robust real-time trajectory optimization algorithm that commands control motion through an intuitive pilot display, or directly in the case of autonomous rotorcraft. The algorithm generates optimal trajectories and control commands via the direct-collocation optimization method, solved using a nonlinear programming problem solver. The control inputs computed are collective pitch and aircraft pitch, which are easily tracked and manipulated by the pilot or converted to control actuator commands for automated operation during autorotation in the case of an autonomous rotorcraft. The formulation of the optimal control problem has been carefully tailored so the solutions resemble those of an expert pilot, accounting for the performance limitations of the rotorcraft and safety concerns.
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Flight controls. 29.151 Section 29.151... STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Flight Flight Characteristics § 29.151 Flight controls. (a) Longitudinal, lateral, directional, and collective controls may not exhibit excessive breakout force,...
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Flight controls. 27.151 Section 27.151... STANDARDS: NORMAL CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Flight Flight Characteristics § 27.151 Flight controls. (a) Longitudinal, lateral, directional, and collective controls may not exhibit excessive breakout force,...
Raney, David L.; Lallman, Frederick J.
This research investigates an approach to provide precise, coordinated maneuver control during excursions from a hypersonic cruise flight path while observing the necessary flight condition constraints. The approach achieves specified guidance commands by resolving altitude and cross-range errors into a load factor and bank angle command through a coordinate transformation which acts as an interface between outer loop guidance controls and inner loop flight controls. This interface, referred to as a 'resolver', applies constraints on angle-of-attack and dynamic pressure perturbations while prioritizing altitude regulation over crossrange. An unpiloted test simulation, in which the resolver was used to drive inner-loop flight controls, produced time histories of responses to guidance commands at Mach numbers of 6, 10, 15, and 20. It is shown that angle-of-attack and throttle perturbation constraints, combined with high-speed flight effects and the desire to maintain constant dynamic pressure, significantly impact the maneuver envelope for a hypersonic vehicle. Turn rate, climb rate, and descent rate limits are expressed in terms of these constraints.
Walker, R.; Gupta, N.
Recent extensions to optimal control theory applied to meaningful linear models with sufficiently flexible software tools provide powerful techniques for designing flight test trajectory controllers (FTTCs). This report describes the principal steps for systematic development of flight trajectory controllers, which can be summarized as planning, modeling, designing, and validating a trajectory controller. The techniques have been kept as general as possible and should apply to a wide range of problems where quantities must be computed and displayed to a pilot to improve pilot effectiveness and to reduce workload and fatigue. To illustrate the approach, a detailed trajectory guidance law is developed and demonstrated for the F-15 aircraft flying the zoom-and-pushover maneuver.
Kempel, Robert W.; Earls, Michael R.
Two highly maneuverable aircraft technology (HiMAT) remotely piloted vehicles were flown a total of 26 flights. These subscale vehicles were of advanced aerodynamic configuration with advanced technology concepts such as composite and metallic structures, digital integrated propulsion control, and ground (primary) and airborne (backup) relaxed static stability, digital fly-by-wire control systems. Extensive systems development, checkout, and flight qualification were required to conduct the flight test program. The design maneuver goal was to achieve a sustained 8-g turn at Mach 0.9 at an altitude of 25,000 feet. This goal was achieved, along with the acquisition of high-quality flight data at subsonic and supersonic Mach numbers. Control systems were modified in a variety of ways using the flight-determined aerodynamic characteristics. The HiMAT program was successfully completed with approximately 11 hours of total flight time.
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight controls. 29.151 Section 29.151 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AIRCRAFT AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Flight Flight Characteristics § 29.151 Flight controls....
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight controls. 27.151 Section 27.151 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AIRCRAFT AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: NORMAL CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Flight Flight Characteristics § 27.151 Flight controls....
Niewoehner, Kevin R.; Carter, John (Technical Monitor)
The research accomplishments for the cooperative agreement 'Online Learning Flight Control for Intelligent Flight Control Systems (IFCS)' include the following: (1) previous IFC program data collection and analysis; (2) IFC program support site (configured IFC systems support network, configured Tornado/VxWorks OS development system, made Configuration and Documentation Management Systems Internet accessible); (3) Airborne Research Test Systems (ARTS) II Hardware (developed hardware requirements specification, developing environmental testing requirements, hardware design, and hardware design development); (4) ARTS II software development laboratory unit (procurement of lab style hardware, configured lab style hardware, and designed interface module equivalent to ARTS II faceplate); (5) program support documentation (developed software development plan, configuration management plan, and software verification and validation plan); (6) LWR algorithm analysis (performed timing and profiling on algorithm); (7) pre-trained neural network analysis; (8) Dynamic Cell Structures (DCS) Neural Network Analysis (performing timing and profiling on algorithm); and (9) conducted technical interchange and quarterly meetings to define IFC research goals.
Lippay, A. L.; Kruk, R.; King, M.; Morgan, M.
A six-axis displacement-stick sidearm controller was developed to enable single-handed control of remote manipulator operations in space. With a working model available, piloted evaluation became possible in a fly-by-computer variable-stability research aircraft, originally a Bell 205 helicopter. The original mechanization was limited to three rotational axes and a linear one, analogous to the collective stick. A newly designed short stickgrip was mounted and the spring force pattern adjusted to suit the helicopter flight control environment. A standard set of test maneuvers was flown by four experimental pilots with conventional helicopter flight controls and with sidearm controllers equipped with two different handgrips. Existing data from flight tests with an isometric-stick controller were added to complete the comparison. The displacement controller consistently achieved a rating of 3.0 to 3.5 on the Cooper-Harper scale, on par with the conventional controls. The same basic controller design was tested in spacecraft and remote manipulator simulations with very promising results. In each application operator/system integration was rapid and positive. The results demonstrate feasibility and support the design philosphy of using deflection as well as force to generate proprioceptive feedback.
Andersen, George J.
Issues important in rotorcraft flight control are discussed. A perceptual description is suggested of what is believed to be the major issues in flight control. When the task is considered of a pilot controlling a helicopter in flight, the task is decomposed in several subtasks. These subtasks include: (1) the control of altitude, (2) the control of speed, (3) the control of heading, (4) the control of orientation, (5) the control of flight over obstacles, and (6) the control of flight to specified positions in the world. The first four subtasks can be considered to be primary control tasks as they are not dependent on any other subtasks. However, the latter two subtasks can be considered hierarchical tasks as they are dependent on other subtasks. For example, the task of flight control over obstacles can be decomposed as a task requiring the control of speed, altitude, and heading. Thus, incorrect control of altitude should result in poor control of flight over an obstacle.
The Cassini Attitude and Articulation Control Subsystem (AACS) Flight Software (FSW) has achieved its intended design goals by successfully guiding and controlling the Cassini-Huygens planetary mission to Saturn and its moons. This paper describes an overview of AACS FSW details from early design, development, implementation, and test to its fruition of operating and maintaining spacecraft control over an eleven year prime mission. Starting from phases of FSW development, topics expand to FSW development methodology, achievements utilizing in-flight autonomy, and summarize lessons learned during flight operations which can be useful to FSW in current and future spacecraft missions.
Berry, D. T.; Schweikhard, W. G.
Typical airframe/propulsion interactions such as Mach/altitude excursions and inlet unstarts are reviewed. The improvements in airplane performance and flight control that can be achieved by improving the interfaces between propulsion and flight control are estimated. A research program to determine the feasibility of integrating propulsion and flight control is described. This program includes analytical studies and YF-12 flight tests.
Flying insects achieve flight stabilization and control in a manner that requires only small, specialized neural structures to perform the essential components of sensing and feedback, achieving unparalleled levels of robust aerobatic flight on limited computational resources. An engineering mechanism to replicate these control strategies could provide a dramatic increase in the mobility of small scale aerial robotics, but a formal investigation has not yet yielded tools that both quantitatively and intuitively explain flapping wing flight as an "input-output" relationship. This work uses experimental and simulated measurements of insect flight to create reduced order flight dynamics models. The framework presented here creates models that are relevant for the study of control properties. The work begins with automated measurement of insect wing motions in free flight, which are then used to calculate flight forces via an empirically-derived aerodynamics model. When paired with rigid body dynamics and experimentally measured state feedback, both the bare airframe and closed loop systems may be analyzed using frequency domain system identification. Flight dynamics models describing maneuvering about hover and cruise conditions are presented for example fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and blowflies (Calliphorids). The results show that biologically measured feedback paths are appropriate for flight stabilization and sexual dimorphism is only a minor factor in flight dynamics. A method of ranking kinematic control inputs to maximize maneuverability is also presented, showing that the volume of reachable configurations in state space can be dramatically increased due to appropriate choice of kinematic inputs.
Southwick, Robert D.; Gallops, George W.; Kerr, Laura J.; Kielb, Robert P.; Welsh, Mark G.; DeLaat, John C.; Orme, John S.
The High Stability Engine Control (HISTEC) Program, managed and funded by the NASA Lewis Research Center, is a cooperative effort between NASA and Pratt & Whitney (P&W). The program objective is to develop and flight demonstrate an advanced high stability integrated engine control system that uses real-time, measurement-based estimation of inlet pressure distortion to enhance engine stability. Flight testing was performed using the NASA Advanced Controls Technologies for Integrated Vehicles (ACTIVE) F-15 aircraft at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. The flight test configuration, details of the research objectives, and the flight test matrix to achieve those objectives are presented. Flight test results are discussed that show the design approach can accurately estimate distortion and perform real-time control actions for engine accommodation.
From NASA's International Space Station Mission Control Center, EVA Systems Flight Controller Sandy Fletcher participates in a Digital Learning Network (DLN) event with students from Northtowne Ele...
Miller, Chris J.
The problem of control command and maneuver induced structural loads is an important aspect of any control system design. Designers must design the aircraft structure and the control architecture to achieve desired piloted control responses while limiting the imparted structural loads. The classical approach is to build the structure with high margins, restrict control surface commands to known good combinations, and train pilots to follow procedural maneuvering limitations. With recent advances in structural sensing and the continued desire to improve safety and vehicle fuel efficiency, it is both possible and desirable to develop control architectures that enable lighter vehicle weights while maintaining and improving protection against structural damage.
Nelson, W. E., Jr.
The evolution of fighter aircraft flight control technology is briefly surveyed. Systems engineering, battle damage considerations for adaptive flutter suppression, in-flight simulation, and artificial intelligence are briefly discussed.
Pavlock, Kate Maureen; Less, James L.; Larson, David Nils
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Dryden Flight Research Center completed flight testing of adaptive controls research on a full-scale F-18 testbed. The testbed served as a full-scale vehicle to test and validate adaptive flight control research addressing technical challenges involved with reducing risk to enable safe flight in the presence of adverse conditions such as structural damage or control surface failures. This paper describes the research interface architecture, risk mitigations, flight test approach and lessons learned of adaptive controls research.
Jorgensen, Charles C.
Neural networks are being developed at NASA Ames Research Center to permit real-time adaptive control of time varying nonlinear systems, enhance the fault-tolerance of mission hardware, and permit online system reconfiguration. In general, the problem of controlling time varying nonlinear systems with unknown structures has not been solved. Adaptive neural control techniques show considerable promise and are being applied to technical challenges including automated docking of spacecraft, dynamic balancing of the space station centrifuge, online reconfiguration of damaged aircraft, and reducing cost of new air and spacecraft designs. Our experiences have shown that neural network algorithms solved certain problems that conventional control methods have been unable to effectively address. These include damage mitigation in nonlinear reconfiguration flight control, early performance estimation of new aircraft designs, compensation for damaged planetary mission hardware by using redundant manipulator capability, and space sensor platform stabilization. This presentation explored these developments in the context of neural network control theory. The discussion began with an overview of why neural control has proven attractive for NASA application domains. The more important issues in control system development were then discussed with references to significant technical advances in the literature. Examples of how these methods have been applied were given, followed by projections of emerging application needs and directions.
Rossing, R.; Hupp, R.
Flight control actuators and feedback sensors suitable for use in a redundant digital flight control system were examined. The most appropriate design approach for an advanced digital flight control actuation system for development and use in a fly-by-wire system was selected. The concept which was selected consisted of a PM torque motor direct drive. The selected system is compatible with concurrent and independent development efforts on the computer system and the control law mechanizations.
Pavlock, Kate Maureen; Less, James L.; Larson, David Nils
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration s Dryden Flight Research Center completed flight testing of adaptive controls research on a full-scale F-18 testbed. The validation of adaptive controls has the potential to enhance safety in the presence of adverse conditions such as structural damage or control surface failures. This paper describes the research interface architecture, risk mitigations, flight test approach and lessons learned of adaptive controls research.
Franklin, James A.; Stortz, Michael W.; Mihaloew, James R.
A technology program to investigate integrated flight/propulsion control-system design for STOVL fighter aircraft is described. Integrated control systems being developed by U.S. industry for specific STOVL concepts are discussed. Attention is given to NASA involvement in the definition of control concepts, design-methods and flying-qualities criteria, and the evaluation of these concepts and criteria in analytical design studies, in ground-based experiments, and in flight on the Harrier V/STOL research aircraft. Initial fixed-base simulation experiments conducted for two STOVL fighter concepts are discussed. These simulations defined acceptable transition flight envelopes, determined control power used during transition and hover, and provided evaluations of the integration of the flight and propulsion controls to achieve good flying qualities throughout the low-speed flight envelope.
Techniques which address the multi-input closely coupled nature of advanced flight control applications and digital implementation issues are described and illustrated through flight control examples. The techniques described seek to exploit the advantages of traditional techniques in treating conventional feedback control design specifications and the simplicity of modern approaches for multivariable control system design.
Rediess, H. A.
A survey of foreign technology in flight crucial flight controls is being conducted to provide a data base for planning future research and technology programs. Only Free World countries were surveyed, and the primary emphasis was on Western Europe because that is where the most advanced technology resides. The survey includes major contemporary systems on operational aircraft, R&D flight programs, advanced aircraft developments, and major research and technology programs. The information was collected from open literature, personal communications, and a tour of several companies, government organizations, and research laboratories in the United Kingdom, France, and the Federal Republic of Germany. A summary of the survey results to date is presented.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Gilyard, Glenn B.; Myers, Lawrence P.
Integration of propulsion and flight control systems and their optimization offers significant performance improvements. Research programs were conducted which have developed new propulsion and flight control integration concepts, implemented designs on high-performance airplanes, demonstrated these designs in flight, and measured the performance improvements. These programs, first on the YF-12 airplane, and later on the F-15, demonstrated increased thrust, reduced fuel consumption, increased engine life, and improved airplane performance; with improvements in the 5 to 10 percent range achieved with integration and with no changes to hardware. The design, software and hardware developments, and testing requirements were shown to be practical.
This research set out to investigate flight control of aircraft which has sustained damage in regular flight control effectors, due to jammed control surfaces or complete loss of hydraulic power. It is recognized that in such an extremely difficult situation unconventional measures may need to be taken to regain control and stability of the aircraft. Propulsion controlled aircraft (PCA) concept, initiated at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. represents a ground-breaking effort in this direction. In this approach, the engine is used as the only flight control effector in the rare event of complete loss of normal flight control system. Studies and flight testing conducted at NASA Dryden have confirmed the feasibility of the PCA concept. During the course of this research (March 98, 1997 to November 30, 1997), a comparative study has been done using the full nonlinear model of an F-18 aircraft. Linear controllers and nonlinear controllers based on a nonlinear predictive control method have been designed for normal flight control system and propulsion controlled aircraft. For the healthy aircraft with normal flight control, the study shows that an appropriately designed linear controller can perform as well as a nonlinear controller. On the other hand. when the normal flight control is lost and the engine is the only available means of flight control, a nonlinear PCA controller can significantly increase the size of the recoverable region in which the stability of the unstable aircraft can be attained by using only thrust modulation. The findings and controller design methods have been summarized in an invited paper entitled.
This viewgraph presentation describes the F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS). The goals of this project include: 1) Demonstrate revolutionary control approaches that can efficiently optimize aircraft performance in both normal and failure conditions; and 2) Demonstrate advance neural network-based flight control technology for new aerospace systems designs.
A design study of adaptive control logic suitable for implementation in modern airborne digital flight computers was conducted. Both explicit controllers which directly utilize parameter identification and implicit controllers which do not require identification were considered. Extensive analytical and simulation efforts resulted in the recommendation of two explicit digital adaptive flight controllers. Interface weighted least squares estimation procedures with control logic were developed using either optimal regulator theory or with control logic based upon single stage performance indices.
Theodore, Colin R.
This presentation will touch topics, including but not limited to, the objectives and challenges of flight dynamics and controls that deal with the pilot and the cockpit's technology, the flight dynamics and controls discipline tasks, and the full envelope of flight dynamics modeling. In addition, the LCTR 7x10-ft wind tunnel test will also be included along with the optimal trajectories for noise abatement and its investigations on handling quality. Furthermore, previous experiments and their complying results will also be discussed.
Schmidt, David K.
Research dealt with the general area of optimal flight control synthesis for manned flight vehicles. The work was generic; no specific vehicle was the focus of study. However, the class of vehicles generally considered were those for which high authority, multivariable control systems might be considered, for the purpose of stabilization and the achievement of optimal handling characteristics. Within this scope, the topics of study included several optimal control synthesis techniques, control-theoretic modeling of the human operator in flight control tasks, and the development of possible handling qualities metrics and/or measures of merit. Basic contributions were made in all these topics, including human operator (pilot) models for multi-loop tasks, optimal output feedback flight control synthesis techniques; experimental validations of the methods developed, and fundamental modeling studies of the air-to-air tracking and flared landing tasks.
Rice, Caleb Michael
Autonomous Formation Flight is a key approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and managing traffic in future high density airspace. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's) have made it possible for the physical demonstration and validation of autonomous formation flight concepts inexpensively and eliminates the flight risk to human pilots. This thesis discusses the design, implementation, and flight testing of three different formation flight control methods, Proportional Integral and Derivative (PID); Fuzzy Logic (FL); and NonLinear Dynamic Inversion (NLDI), and their respective performance behavior. Experimental results show achievable autonomous formation flight and performance quality with a pair of low-cost unmanned research fixed wing aircraft and also with a solo vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) quadrotor.
Johnson, Walter W.; Phatak, Anil V.
The simplest model for a human operator is a gain with a time delay. However, there have been no comprehensive studies evaluating human control strategies in visually controlled flight. The results of preliminary studies on this topic are described. Human visually guided flight control is important both in low level flight, where it predominates, and in higher altitude flights, where instrument failure is always a potential danger. Two general approaches to this problem, one founded on high order perceptual psychophysics and the other on control systems engineering, are described. Initial results show that the use of control engineering modeling techniques, together with a psychophysical analysis of information in the perspective scene, holds promise for capturing the manual control strategies used during visual flight.
Lambregts, Antonius A. (Inventor)
An integrated aircraft longitudinal flight control system uses a generalized thrust and elevator command computation (38), which accepts flight path angle, longitudinal acceleration command signals, along with associated feedback signals, to form energy rate error (20) and energy rate distribution error (18) signals. The engine thrust command is developed (22) as a function of the energy rate distribution error and the elevator position command is developed (26) as a function of the energy distribution error. For any vertical flight path and speed mode the outerloop errors are normalized (30, 34) to produce flight path angle and longitudinal acceleration commands. The system provides decoupled flight path and speed control for all control modes previously provided by the longitudinal autopilot, autothrottle and flight management systems.
Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Layne, Charles S.; McDonald, P. Vernon; Peters, Brian T.; Huebner, William P.; Reschke, Millard F.; Berthoz, Alain; Glasauer, Stefan; Newman, Dava; Jackson, D. Keoki
In the microgravity environment of spaceflight, the relationship between sensory input and motor output is altered. During prolonged missions, neural adaptive processes come into play to recalibrate central nervous system function, thereby permitting new motor control strategies to emerge in the novel sensory environment of microgravity. However, the adaptive state achieved during spaceflight is inappropriate for a unit gravity environment and leads to motor control alterations upon return to Earth that include disturbances in locomotion. Indeed, gait and postural instabilities following the return to Earth have been reported in both U.S. astronauts and Russian cosmonauts even after short duration (5- to 10-day) flights. After spaceflight, astronauts may: (1) experience the sensation of turning while attempting to walk a straight path, (2) encounter sudden loss of postural stability, especially when rounding corners, (3) perceive exaggerated pitch and rolling head movements during walking, (4) experience sudden loss of orientation in unstructured visual environments, or (5) experience significant oscillopsia during locomotion.
Davidson, J.; Lallman, F.; McMinn, J. D.; Martin, J.; Pahle, J.; Stephenson, M.; Selmon, J.; Bose, D.
The goal of the Hyper-X program is to demonstrate and validate technology for design and performance predictions of hypersonic aircraft with an airframe-integrated supersonic-combustion ramjet propulsion system. Accomplishing this goal requires flight demonstration of a hydrogen-fueled scramjet powered hypersonic aircraft. A key enabling technology for this flight demonstration is flight controls. Closed-loop flight control is required to enable a successful stage separation, to achieve and maintain the design condition during the engine test, and to provide a controlled descent. Before the contract award, NASA developed preliminary flight control laws for the Hyper-X to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed scramjet test sequence and descent trajectory. After the contract award, a Boeing/NASA partnership worked to develop the current control laws. This paper presents a description of the Hyper-X Research Vehicle control law architectures with performance and robustness analyses. Assessments of simulated flight trajectories and stability margin analyses demonstrate that these control laws meet the flight test requirements.
Smalls, James R.; Jones, Cheryl L.; Carrier, Alicia S.
There are several engineering disciplines, such as reliability, supportability, quality assurance, human factors, risk management, safety, etc. Safety is an extremely important engineering specialty within NASA, and the consequence involving a loss of crew is considered a catastrophic event. Safety is not difficult to achieve when properly integrated at the beginning of each space systems project/start of mission planning. The key is to ensure proper handling of safety verification throughout each flight/mission phase. Today, Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) operations engineers continue to conduct these flight product reviews across all open flight products. As such, these reviews help ensure that each mission is accomplished with safety requirements along with controls heavily embedded in applicable flight products. Most importantly, the S&MA operations engineers are required to look for important design and operations controls so that safety is strictly adhered to as well as reflected in the final flight product.
Sato, Hirotaka; Berry, Christopher W.; Peeri, Yoav; Baghoomian, Emen; Casey, Brendan E.; Lavella, Gabriel; VandenBrooks, John M.; Harrison, Jon F.; Maharbiz, Michel M.
We demonstrated the remote control of insects in free flight via an implantable radio-equipped miniature neural stimulating system. The pronotum mounted system consisted of neural stimulators, muscular stimulators, a radio transceiver-equipped microcontroller and a microbattery. Flight initiation, cessation and elevation control were accomplished through neural stimulus of the brain which elicited, suppressed or modulated wing oscillation. Turns were triggered through the direct muscular stimulus of either of the basalar muscles. We characterized the response times, success rates, and free-flight trajectories elicited by our neural control systems in remotely controlled beetles. We believe this type of technology will open the door to in-flight perturbation and recording of insect flight responses. PMID:20161808
Welborn, Curtis Ray
The Workstation Prototype Laboratory is currently working on a number of projects which we feel can have a direct impact on ground operations automation. These projects include: The Fuel Cell Monitoring System (FCMS), which will monitor and detect problems with the fuel cells on the Shuttle. FCMS will use a combination of rules (forward/backward) and multi-threaded procedures which run concurrently with the rules, to implement the malfunction algorithms of the EGIL flight controllers. The combination of rule based reasoning and procedural reasoning allows us to more easily map the malfunction algorithms into a real-time system implementation. A graphical computation language (AGCOMPL). AGCOMPL is an experimental prototype to determine the benefits and drawbacks of using a graphical language to design computations (algorithms) to work on Shuttle or Space Station telemetry and trajectory data. The design of a system which will allow a model of an electrical system, including telemetry sensors, to be configured on the screen graphically using previously defined electrical icons. This electrical model would then be used to generate rules and procedures for detecting malfunctions in the electrical components of the model. A generic message management (GMM) system. GMM is being designed as a message management system for real-time applications which send advisory messages to a user. The primary purpose of GMM is to reduce the risk of overloading a user with information when multiple failures occurs and in assisting the developer in devising an explanation facility. The emphasis of our work is to develop practical tools and techniques, while determining the feasibility of a given approach, including identification of appropriate software tools to support research, application and tool building activities.
... Design and Construction Fire Protection § 25.865 Fire protection of flight controls, engine mounts, and other flight structure. Essential flight controls, engine mounts, and other flight structures located in... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Fire protection of flight controls,...
Hartman, Richard M.
DIVERS translator is computer program to convert descriptions of digital flight-control systems (DFCS) into computer program. Language developed to represent design charts of DFCS. Translator converts DIVERS source code into easily transportable language, while minimizing probability that results are affected by interpretation of programmer. Final translated program used as standard of comparison to verify operation of actual flight-control systems. Applicable to simulation of other control systems; for example, electrical circuits and logic processes. Written in C.
Burcham, Frank W. (Inventor); Gilyard, Glenn B (Inventor); Conley, Joseph L. (Inventor); Stewart, James F. (Inventor); Fullerton, Charles G. (Inventor)
A backup flight control system for controlling the flightpath of a multi-engine airplane using the main drive engines is introduced. The backup flight control system comprises an input device for generating a control command indicative of a desired flightpath, a feedback sensor for generating a feedback signal indicative of at least one of pitch rate, pitch attitude, roll rate and roll attitude, and a control device for changing the output power of at least one of the main drive engines on each side of the airplane in response to the control command and the feedback signal.
The idea behind intelligent flight control is to provide more autonomy in an aircraft cockpit. Such systems must allow for all different kinds of situations and for human factors that occur in loss...
Lightweight flexible aircraft may be the future of aviation, but a major problem is their susceptibility to flutter-uncontrollable vibrations that can destroy wings. Armstrong Flight Research Center awarded SBIR funding to Minneapolis, Minnesota-based MUSYN Inc. to develop software that helps program flight controllers to suppress flutter. The technology is now available for aircraft manufacturers and other industries that use equipment with automated controls.
Hartmann, G. L.; Harvey, C. A.; Stein, G.; Carlson, D. N.; Hendrick, R. C.
Three candidate digital adaptive control laws were designed for NASA's F-8C digital flyby wire aircraft. Each design used the same control laws but adjusted the gains with a different adaptative algorithm. The three adaptive concepts were: high-gain limit cycle, Liapunov-stable model tracking, and maximum likelihood estimation. Sensors were restricted to conventional inertial instruments (rate gyros and accelerometers) without use of air-data measurements. Performance, growth potential, and computer requirements were used as criteria for selecting the most promising of these candidates for further refinement. The maximum likelihood concept was selected primarily because it offers the greatest potential for identifying several aircraft parameters and hence for improved control performance in future aircraft application. In terms of identification and gain adjustment accuracy, the MLE design is slightly superior to the other two, but this has no significant effects on the control performance achievable with the F-8C aircraft. The maximum likelihood design is recommended for flight test, and several refinements to that design are proposed.
Bortins, Richard; Sorensen, John A.
The NASA Ames Research Center developed the Aircraft Synthesis (ACSYNT) computer program to synthesize conceptual future aircraft designs and to evaluate critical performance metrics early in the design process before significant resources are committed and cost decisions made. ACSYNT uses steady-state performance metrics, such as aircraft range, payload, and fuel consumption, and static performance metrics, such as the control authority required for the takeoff rotation and for landing with an engine out, to evaluate conceptual aircraft designs. It can also optimize designs with respect to selected criteria and constraints. Many modern aircraft have stability provided by the flight control system rather than by the airframe. This may allow the aircraft designer to increase combat agility, or decrease trim drag, for increased range and payload. This strategy requires concurrent design of the airframe and the flight control system, making trade-offs of performance and dynamics during the earliest stages of design. ACSYNT presently lacks means to implement flight control system designs but research is being done to add methods for predicting rotational degrees of freedom and control effector performance. A software module to compute and analyze the dynamics of the aircraft and to compute feedback gains and analyze closed loop dynamics is required. The data gained from these analyses can then be fed back to the aircraft design process so that the effects of the flight control system and the airframe on aircraft performance can be included as design metrics. This report presents results of a feasibility study and the initial design work to add an inner loop flight control system (ILFCS) design capability to the stability and control module in ACSYNT. The overall objective is to provide a capability for concurrent design of the aircraft and its flight control system, and enable concept designers to improve performance by exploiting the interrelationships between
Ma, Kevin Y; Chirarattananon, Pakpong; Fuller, Sawyer B; Wood, Robert J
Flies are among the most agile flying creatures on Earth. To mimic this aerial prowess in a similarly sized robot requires tiny, high-efficiency mechanical components that pose miniaturization challenges governed by force-scaling laws, suggesting unconventional solutions for propulsion, actuation, and manufacturing. To this end, we developed high-power-density piezoelectric flight muscles and a manufacturing methodology capable of rapidly prototyping articulated, flexure-based sub-millimeter mechanisms. We built an 80-milligram, insect-scale, flapping-wing robot modeled loosely on the morphology of flies. Using a modular approach to flight control that relies on limited information about the robot's dynamics, we demonstrated tethered but unconstrained stable hovering and basic controlled flight maneuvers. The result validates a sufficient suite of innovations for achieving artificial, insect-like flight. PMID:23641114
Carlin, C. M.; Hastings, W. J.
The Propulsion Flight Control Integration Technology (PROFIT) program is designed to develop a flying testbed dedicated to controls research. The control software for PROFIT is defined. Maximum flexibility, needed for long term use of the flight facility, is achieved through a modular design. The Host program, processes inputs from the telemetry uplink, aircraft central computer, cockpit computer control and plant sensors to form an input data base for use by the control algorithms. The control algorithms, programmed as application modules, process the input data to generate an output data base. The Host program formats the data for output to the telemetry downlink, the cockpit computer control, and the control effectors. Two applications modules are defined - the bill of materials F-100 engine control and the bill of materials F-15 inlet control.
Wang, S.-H.; Davison, E. J.
Decoupling theory and robust servomechanism theory are applied to the design of linear multivariable systems with large parameter variations. In addition to being approximately decoupled in the transient period, the over-all system achieves tracking and disturbance rejection robustly in the steady state. An example in flight control system is given.
Song, Yong D.; Gupta, Kajal (Technical Monitor)
The research is concerned with developing a new approach to enhancing fault tolerance of flight control systems. The original motivation for fault-tolerant control comes from the need for safe operation of control elements (e.g. actuators) in the event of hardware failures in high reliability systems. One such example is modem space vehicle subjected to actuator/sensor impairments. A major task in flight control is to revise the control policy to balance impairment detectability and to achieve sufficient robustness. This involves careful selection of types and parameters of the controllers and the impairment detecting filters used. It also involves a decision, upon the identification of some failures, on whether and how a control reconfiguration should take place in order to maintain a certain system performance level. In this project new flight dynamic model under uncertain flight conditions is considered, in which the effects of both ramp and jump faults are reflected. Stabilization algorithms based on neural network and adaptive method are derived. The control algorithms are shown to be effective in dealing with uncertain dynamics due to external disturbances and unpredictable faults. The overall strategy is easy to set up and the computation involved is much less as compared with other strategies. Computer simulation software is developed. A serious of simulation studies have been conducted with varying flight conditions.
Motter, Mark A.
A broad overview of current adaptive flight control research efforts at NASA is presented, as well as some more detailed discussion of selected specific approaches. The stated objective of the Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control Project, one of NASA s Aviation Safety programs, is to advance the state-of-the-art of adaptive controls as a design option to provide enhanced stability and maneuverability margins for safe landing in the presence of adverse conditions such as actuator or sensor failures. Under this project, a number of adaptive control approaches are being pursued, including neural networks and multiple models. Validation of all the adaptive control approaches will use not only traditional methods such as simulation, wind tunnel testing and manned flight tests, but will be augmented with recently developed capabilities in unmanned flight testing.
Hartmann, G. L.; Hauge, J. A.; Hendrick, R. C.
A set of digital flight control laws were designed for the NASA F-8C digital fly-by-wire aircraft. The control laws emphasize Control Configured Vehicle (CCV) benefits. Specific pitch axis objectives were improved handling qualities, angle-of-attack limiting, gust alleviation, drag reduction in steady and maneuvering flight, and a capability to fly with reduced static stability. The lateral-directional design objectives were improved Dutch roll damping and turn coordination over a wide range in angle-of-attack. An overall program objective was to explore the use of modern control design methodilogy to achieve these specific CCV benefits. Tests for verifying system integrity, an experimental design for handling qualities evaluation, and recommended flight test investigations were specified.
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Fire protection of flight controls, engine... COMMUTER CATEGORY AIRPLANES Design and Construction Fire Protection § 23.865 Fire protection of flight controls, engine mounts, and other flight structure. Flight controls, engine mounts, and other...
Andrews, D. M.; Mahmood, A.; Mccluskey, E. J.
Digital Flight Control System (DFCS) software was used as a test case for assertion testing. The assertions were written and embedded in the code, then errors were inserted (seeded) one at a time and the code executed. Results indicate that assertion testing is an effective and efficient method of detecting errors in flight software. Most errors are eliminate at an earlier stage in the development than before.
Frost, Susan A.; Taylor, Brian R.; Bodson, Marc
Advances in sensors and avionics computation power suggest real-time structural load measurements could be used in flight control systems for improved safety and performance. A conventional transport flight control system determines the moments necessary to meet the pilot's command, while rejecting disturbances and maintaining stability of the aircraft. Control allocation is the problem of converting these desired moments into control effector commands. In this paper, a framework is proposed to incorporate real-time structural load feedback and structural load constraints in the control allocator. Constrained optimal control allocation can be used to achieve desired moments without exceeding specified limits on monitored load points. Minimization of structural loads by the control allocator is used to alleviate gust loads. The framework to incorporate structural loads in the flight control system and an optimal control allocation algorithm will be described and then demonstrated on a nonlinear simulation of a generic transport aircraft with flight dynamics and static structural loads.
Taylor, Graham K; Bacic, Marko; Bomphrey, Richard J; Carruthers, Anna C; Gillies, James; Walker, Simon M; Thomas, Adrian L R
Here we consider how new experimental approaches in biomechanics can be used to attain a systems-level understanding of the dynamics of animal flight control. Our aim in this paper is not to provide detailed results and analysis, but rather to tackle several conceptual and methodological issues that have stood in the way of experimentalists in achieving this goal, and to offer tools for overcoming these. We begin by discussing the interplay between analytical and empirical methods, emphasizing that the structure of the models we use to analyse flight control dictates the empirical measurements we must make in order to parameterize them. We then provide a conceptual overview of tethered-flight paradigms, comparing classical ;open-loop' and ;closed-loop' setups, and describe a flight simulator that we have recently developed for making flight dynamics measurements on tethered insects. Next, we provide a conceptual overview of free-flight paradigms, focusing on the need to use system identification techniques in order to analyse the data they provide, and describe two new techniques that we have developed for making flight dynamics measurements on freely flying birds. First, we describe a technique for obtaining inertial measurements of the orientation, angular velocity and acceleration of a steppe eagle Aquila nipalensis in wide-ranging free flight, together with synchronized measurements of wing and tail kinematics using onboard instrumentation and video cameras. Second, we describe a photogrammetric method to measure the 3D wing kinematics of the eagle during take-off and landing. In each case, we provide demonstration data to illustrate the kinds of information available from each method. We conclude by discussing the prospects for systems-level analyses of flight control using these techniques and others like them. PMID:18165253
Davenport, Otha B.; Leggett, David B.
The Aircraft Digital Flight Control Technical Review was initiated by two pilot induced oscillation (PIO) incidents in the spring and summer of 1992. Maj. Gen. Franklin (PEO) wondered why the Air Force development process for digital flight control systems was not preventing PIO problems. Consequently, a technical review team was formed to examine the development process and determine why PIO problems continued to occur. The team was also to identify the 'best practices' used in the various programs. The charter of the team was to focus on the PIO problem, assess the current development process, and document the 'best practices.' The team reviewed all major USAF aircraft programs with digital flight controls, specifically, the F-15E, F-16C/D, F-22, F-111, C-17, and B-2. The team interviewed contractor, System Program Office (SPO), and Combined Test Force (CTF) personnel on these programs. The team also went to NAS Patuxent River to interview USN personnel about the F/A-18 program. The team also reviewed experimental USAF and NASA systems with digital flight control systems: X-29, X-31, F-15 STOL and Maneuver Technology Demonstrator (SMTD), and the Variable In-Flight Stability Test Aircraft (VISTA). The team also discussed the problem with other experts in the field including Ralph Smith and personnel from Calspan. The major conclusions and recommendations from the review are presented.
Arnold, Scott; Barry, Matthew R.; Benton, Isaac; Bishop, Michael M.; Evans, Steven; Harvey, Jason; King, Timothy; Martin, Jacob; Mercier, Al; Miller, Walt; Payne, Dan L.; Phu, Hanh; Thompson, James C.; Aadsen, Ron
The Next Generation Flight Controller Trainer (NGFCT) is a relatively inexpensive system of hardware and software that provides high-fidelity training for spaceshuttle flight controllers. NGFCT provides simulations into which are integrated the behaviors of emulated space-shuttle vehicle onboard general-purpose computers (GPCs), mission-control center (MCC) displays, and space-shuttle systems as represented by high-fidelity shuttle mission simulator (SMS) mathematical models. The emulated GPC computers enable the execution of onboard binary flight-specific software. The SMS models include representations of system malfunctions that can be easily invoked. The NGFCT software has a flexible design that enables independent updating of its GPC, SMS, and MCC components.
Jorgensen, C. C.; Mah, R. W.; Ross, J.; Lu, Henry, Jr. (Technical Monitor)
NASA Ames Research Center has an ongoing program in neural network control technology targeted toward real time flight demonstrations using a modified F-15 which permits direct inner loop control of actuators, rapid switching between alternative control designs, and substitutable processors. An important part of this program is the ACTIVE flight project which is examining the feasibility of using neural networks in the design, control, and system identification of new aircraft prototypes. This paper discusses two research applications initiated with this objective in mind: utilization of neural networks for wind tunnel aircraft model identification and rapid learning algorithms for on line reconfiguration and control. The first application involves the identification of aerodynamic flight characteristics from analysis of wind tunnel test data. This identification is important in the early stages of aircraft design because complete specification of control architecture's may not be possible even though concept models at varying scales are available for aerodynamic wind tunnel testing. Testing of this type is often a long and expensive process involving measurement of aircraft lift, drag, and moment of inertia at varying angles of attack and control surface configurations. This information in turn can be used in the design of the flight control systems by applying the derived lookup tables to generate piece wise linearized controllers. Thus, reduced costs in tunnel test times and the rapid transfer of wind tunnel insights into prototype controllers becomes an important factor in more efficient generation and testing of new flight systems. NASA Ames Research Center is successfully applying modular neural networks as one way of anticipating small scale aircraft model performances prior to testing, thus reducing the number of in tunnel test hours and potentially, the number of intermediate scaled models required for estimation of surface flow effects.
Marshall, Kara L.; Chadha, Mohit; deSouza, Laura A.; Sterbing-D’Angelo, Susanne J.; Moss, Cynthia F.; Lumpkin, Ellen A.
Summary Flight maneuvers require rapid sensory integration to generate adaptive motor output. Bats achieve remarkable agility with modified forelimbs that serve as airfoils while retaining capacity for object manipulation. Wing sensory inputs provide behaviorally relevant information to guide flight; however, components of wing sensory-motor circuits have not been analyzed. Here, we elucidate the organization of wing innervation in an insectivore, the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. We demonstrate that wing sensory innervation differs from other vertebrate forelimbs, revealing a peripheral basis for the atypical topographic organization reported for bat somatosensory nuclei. Furthermore, the wing is innervated by an unusual complement of sensory neurons poised to report airflow and touch. Finally, we report that cortical neurons encode tactile and airflow inputs with sparse activity patterns. Together, our findings identify neural substrates of somatosensation in the bat wing and imply that evolutionary pressures giving rise to mammalian flight led to unusual sensorimotor projections. PMID:25937277
Sterbing-D'Angelo, Susanne; Chadha, Mohit; Chiu, Chen; Falk, Ben; Xian, Wei; Barcelo, Janna; Zook, John M.; Moss, Cynthia F.
Bats are the only mammals capable of powered flight, and they perform impressive aerial maneuvers like tight turns, hovering, and perching upside down. The bat wing contains five digits, and its specialized membrane is covered with stiff, microscopically small, domed hairs. We provide here unique empirical evidence that the tactile receptors associated with these hairs are involved in sensorimotor flight control by providing aerodynamic feedback. We found that neurons in bat primary somatosensory cortex respond with directional sensitivity to stimulation of the wing hairs with low-speed airflow. Wing hairs mostly preferred reversed airflow, which occurs under flight conditions when the airflow separates and vortices form. This finding suggests that the hairs act as an array of sensors to monitor flight speed and/or airflow conditions that indicate stall. Depilation of different functional regions of the bats’ wing membrane altered the flight behavior in obstacle avoidance tasks by reducing aerial maneuverability, as indicated by decreased turning angles and increased flight speed. PMID:21690408
Barth, Andrew; Mamich, Harvey; Hoelscher, Brian
The first test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle presented additional challenges for guidance, navigation and control as compared to a typical re-entry from the International Space Station or other Low Earth Orbit. An elevated re-entry velocity and steeper flight path angle were chosen to achieve aero-thermal flight test objectives. New IMU's, a GPS receiver, and baro altimeters were flight qualified to provide the redundant navigation needed for human space flight. The guidance and control systems must manage the vehicle lift vector in order to deliver the vehicle to a precision, coastal, water landing, while operating within aerodynamic load, reaction control system, and propellant constraints. Extensive pre-flight six degree-of-freedom analysis was performed that showed mission success for the nominal mission as well as in the presence of sensor and effector failures. Post-flight reconstruction analysis of the test flight is presented in this paper to show whether that all performance metrics were met and establish how well the pre-flight analysis predicted the in-flight performance.
Strahan, Alan L.; Loe, Greg R.; Seiler, Pete
The Orion Spacecraft will be required to perform entry and landing functions for both Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Lunar return missions, utilizing only the Command Module (CM) with its unique systems and GN&C design. This paper presents the current CM Flight Control System (FCS) design to support entry and landing, with a focus on analyses that have supported its development to date. The CM FCS will have to provide for spacecraft stability and control while following guidance or manual commands during exo-atmospheric flight, after Service Module separation, translational powered flight required of the CM, atmospheric flight supporting both direct entry and skip trajectories down to drogue chute deploy, and during roll attitude reorientation just prior to touchdown. Various studies and analyses have been performed or are on-going supporting an overall FCS design with reasonably sized Reaction Control System (RCS) jets, that minimizes fuel usage, that provides appropriate command following but with reasonable stability and control margin. Results from these efforts to date are included, with particular attention on design issues that have emerged, such as the struggle to accommodate sub-sonic pitch and yaw control without using excessively large jets that could have a detrimental impact on vehicle weight. Apollo, with a similar shape, struggled with this issue as well. Outstanding CM FCS related design and analysis issues, planned for future effort, are also briefly be discussed.
Naish, J. M.
The purpose of the inquiry is to determine how precisely a pilot can estimate the movements of his vehicle, and thus exercise control, during an unaided visual approach. The method is to relate changes in the forward view, due to movements along and across the approach path, to human visual thresholds and errors. The scope is restricted to effects of inclination, expansion, size, and rotation in runway features during approaches at small angles of elevation. Quantitative relations are given which provide a basis for ranking the several information mechanisms. Alignment by inclination of a ground line is found to be an accurate lateral mechanism, probably superior to the expansion mechanism. Vertical control mechanisms are complex, of questionable accuracy, and difficult to rank. The results throw some doubt on the usefulness of a runway symbol as a source of displayed information.
Hall, Charles; Lee, Chong; Jackson, Mark; Whorton, Mark; West, mark; Brandon, Jay; Hall, Rob A.; Jang, Jimmy; Bedrossian, Naz; Compton, Jimmy; Rutherford, Chad
This paper describes the control challenges posed by the Ares I vehicle, the flight control system design and performance analyses used to test and verify the design. The major challenges in developing the control system are structural dynamics, dynamic effects from the powerful first stage booster, aerodynamics, first stage separation and large uncertainties in the dynamic models for all these. Classical control techniques were employed using innovative methods for structural mode filter design and an anti-drift feature to compensate for translational and rotational disturbances. This design was coded into an integrated vehicle flight simulation and tested by Monte Carlo methods. The product of this effort is a linear, robust controller design that is easy to implement, verify and test.
Myers, T. T.; Johnston, D. E.; Mcruer, D.
The suitability of existing and proposed flying quality and flight control system criteria for application to the space shuttle orbiter during atmospheric flight phases was assessed. An orbiter experiment for flying qualities and flight control system design criteria is discussed. Orbiter longitudinal and lateral-directional flying characteristics, flight control system lag and time delay considerations, and flight control manipulator characteristics are included. Data obtained from conventional aircraft may be inappropriate for application to the shuttle orbiter.
VanZwieten, Tannen S.; Orr, Jeb S.; Wall, John H.; Hall, Charles E.
A robust and flexible autopilot architecture for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) family of launch vehicles is presented. As the SLS configurations represent a potentially significant increase in complexity and performance capability of the integrated flight vehicle, it was recognized early in the program that a new, generalized autopilot design should be formulated to fulfill the needs of this new space launch architecture. The present design concept is intended to leverage existing NASA and industry launch vehicle design experience and maintain the extensibility and modularity necessary to accommodate multiple vehicle configurations while relying on proven and flight-tested control design principles for large boost vehicles. The SLS flight control architecture combines a digital three-axis autopilot with traditional bending filters to support robust active or passive stabilization of the vehicle's bending and sloshing dynamics using optimally blended measurements from multiple rate gyros on the vehicle structure. The algorithm also relies on a pseudo-optimal control allocation scheme to maximize the performance capability of multiple vectored engines while accommodating throttling and engine failure contingencies in real time with negligible impact to stability characteristics. The architecture supports active in-flight load relief through the use of a nonlinear observer driven by acceleration measurements, and envelope expansion and robustness enhancement is obtained through the use of a multiplicative forward gain modulation law based upon a simple model reference adaptive control scheme.
Breakwell, J. V.; Bryson, A. E., Jr.; Franklin, G. F.
Progress reports on guidance and attitude control mechanisms of different flight vehicles are presented. The vehicles considered include orbiting spacecraft, supersonic aircraft, and general aviation aircraft. Data also cover orbital transfer using low thrust, automatic landing logic for aircraft, optimal and three dimensional turns for supersonic aircraft, and orbital rendezvous.
Murphy, James R.
Contents include the following: 1. Commercial flight is a partnership. Airlines. Pilots. Air traffic control. 2. Airline schedules and weather problems can cause delays at the airport. Delays are inevitable in de-regulated industry due to simple economics. 3.Delays can be mitigated. Build more runways/technology. Increase airspace supply. 4. Cost/benefit analysis determine justification.
This news release reports on the development and testing of a new integrated flight and propulsion automated control system that aerospace engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center have been working on. The system is being tested in the V/STOL (Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing) Systems Research Aircraft (VSRA).
Barnes, H. A.
A method to desensitize the entry flight control system to structural vibration feedback which might induce an oscillatory instability is described. Trends in vehicle response and handling characteristics as a function of gain combinations in the FCS forward and rate feedback loops were described as observed in a man-in-the-loop simulation. Among the flight conditions considered are the effects of downmoding with APU failures, off-nominal trajectory conditions, sensed angle of attack errors, the impact on RCS fuel consumption, performance in the presence of aero variations, recovery from large FCS upsets, and default gains.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Maine, Trindel; Wolf, Thomas
Flight tests and simulation studies using the throttles of an F-15 airplane for emergency flight control have been conducted at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility. The airplane and the simulation are capable of extended up-and-away flight, using only throttles for flight path control. Initial simulation results showed that runway landings using manual throttles-only control were difficult, but possible with practice. Manual approaches flown in the airplane were much more difficult, indicating a significant discrepancy between flight and simulation. Analysis of flight data and development of improved simulation models that resolve the discrepancy are discussed. An augmented throttle-only control system that controls bank angle and flight path with appropriate feedback parameters has also been developed, evaluated in simulations, and is planned for flight in the F-15.
Wilkes, Donald R.; Hummer, Leigh L.; Zwiener, James M.
The Thermal Control Surfaces Experiment (TCSE) is the most complex system retrieved after long term space exposure. The TCSE is a microcosm of complex electro-optical payloads being developed and flown. The objective of the TCSE on the LDEF was to determine the effects of the near-Earth orbital environment and the LDEF induced environment on spacecraft thermal control surfaces. The TCSE was a comprehensive experiment that combined in-space measurements with extensive post-flight analyses of thermal control surfaces to determine the effects of exposure to the low Earth orbit space environment. The TCSE was the first space experiment to measure the optical properties of thermal control surfaces the way they are routinely measured in the lab. The performance of the TCSE flight system on the LDEF was excellent.
Biezad, Daniel J.; Chou, Hwei-Lan
During the final reporting period (Jun. - Dec. 1992), analyses of the longitudinal and lateral flying qualities were made for propulsive-only flight control (POFC) of a Boeing 720 aircraft model. Performance resulting from compensators developed using Quantitative Feedback Theory (QFT) is documented and analyzed. This report is a first draft of a thesis to be presented by graduate student Hwei-Lan Chou. The final thesis will be presented to NASA when it is completed later this year. The latest landing metrics related to bandwidth criteria and based on the Neal-Smith approach to flying qualities prediction were used in developing performance criteria for the controllers. The compensator designs were tested on the NASA simulator and exhibited adequate performance for piloted flight. There was no significant impact of QFT on performance of the propulsive-only flight controllers in either the longitudinal or lateral modes of flight. This was attributed to the physical limits of thrust available and the engine rate of response, both of whiih severely limited the available bandwidth of the closed-loop system.
Clinedinst, Winston C.; Debure, Kelly R.; Dickson, Richard W.; Heaphy, William J.; Parks, Mark A.; Slominski, Christopher J.; Wolverton, David A.
The Flight Management/Flight Controls (FM/FC) software for the Norden 2 (PDP-11/70M) computer installed on the NASA 737 aircraft is described. The software computes the navigation position estimates, guidance commands, those commands to be issued to the control surfaces to direct the aircraft in flight based on the modes selected on the Advanced Guidance Control System (AGSC) mode panel, and the flight path selected via the Navigation Control/Display Unit (NCDU).
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight crewmembers at controls. 121.543... REQUIREMENTS: DOMESTIC, FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATIONS Flight Operations § 121.543 Flight crewmembers at controls. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each required flight crewmember...
Mack, A.; Steelant, J.; Adirim, H.; Lentsch, A.; Marini, M.; Pilz, N.
In Europe, the EC co-funded project FAST20XX aims at exploring the borderline between aviation and space by investigating suborbital vehicles. The main focus is the identification and mastering of critical technologies for such vehicles rather than the vehicle development itself. Besides the objectives and overall layout of the project, the paper addresses also the progress made during the first period of the project. Two vehicle concepts are considered. A first one is a space vehicle launched from an airplane providing a low-energy ballistic flight experience using hybrid propulsion. The second is a vertically starting two-stage rocket space vehicle system concept taken as a basis to identify the conditions and constraints experienced during high- energy suborbital ultra-fast transport. The paper mainly discusses the two actual reference vehicles and the technical aspects of prerequisites for commercial operation including safety, human spaceflight, business cases, environmental and legal issues.
This dissertation investigates the feasibility and potential of life extension control logic for reducing fatigue within aerospace vehicle structural components. A key underpinning of this control logic is to exploit nonintuitive, optimal loading conditions which minimize nonlinear crack growth behavior, as predicted by analytical fatigue models with experimentally validated behavior. A major simplification in the development of life extension control logic is the observation and justification that optimal stress loading conditions, as described by overload magnitude ratio and application interval, are primarily independent of crack length and therefore, component age. This weak relationship between optimal stress loading and structural age implies the life extension control logic does not require tight integration with real-time health monitoring systems performing crack state estimation from measurement and model simulation. At a fundamental level, the life extension control logic conducts load alleviation and/or amplification tailoring of external and internal excitations to optimally exploit nonlinear crack retardation phenomenon. The life extension control logic is designed to be a simple, practical modification applied to an existing flight control system. A nonlinear autopilot for the nonlinear F-16 dynamics, coupled with a separate flexible F-16 wing model and a state space crack growth model, are used to demonstrate the life extension control concept. Results indicate that significant structural life savings is obtained by integrating life extending control logic dedicated for critical structural components to the existing flight control system. On the other hand, some components under life extending control showed minor reductions of structural life, particularly when the components are located in a low stress region where fatigue damage is of lower concern. Further, to achieve enhanced long-term structural integrity with life extending control, tradeoffs
Flight control computer (FCC) 0104-I has been designated the prime unit for the SA-210 launch vehicle. The results of the final flight simulation for FCC S/N 0104-I are documented. These results verify satisfactory implementation of the design release and proper interfacing of the FCC with flight-type control sensor elements and simulated thrust vector control system.
Hammond, Walter E.; Vanhook, Michael E. (Technical Monitor)
Good program management practices, cost analysis, cost estimation, and cost control for aerospace flight systems are interrelated and depend upon each other. The best cost control process cannot overcome poor design or poor systems trades that lead to the wrong approach. The project needs robust Technical, Schedule, Cost, Risk, and Cost Risk practices before it can incorporate adequate Cost Control. Cost analysis both precedes and follows cost estimation -- the two are closely coupled with each other and with Risk analysis. Parametric cost estimating relationships and computerized models are most often used. NASA has learned some valuable lessons in controlling cost problems, and recommends use of a summary Project Manager's checklist as shown here.
Eklund, T I
Fatal accidents originating from in-flight cabin fires comprise only about 1% of all fatal accidents in the civil jet transport fleet. Nevertheless, the impossibility of escape during flight accentuates the hazards resulting from low visibility and toxic gases. Control of combustion products in an aircraft cabin is affected by several characteristics that make the aircraft cabin environment unique. The aircraft fuselage is pressurized in flight and has an air distribution system which provides ventilation jets from the ceiling level air inlets running along the cabin length. A fixed quantity of ventilation air is metered into the cabin and air discharge is handled primarily by pressure controlling outflow valves in the rear lower part of the fuselage. Earlier airplane flight tests on cabin smoke control used generators producing minimally buoyant smoke products that moved with and served as a telltales for overall cabin ventilation flows. Analytical studies were done with localized smoke production to predict the percent of cabin length that would remain smoke-free during continuous generation. Development of a buoyant smoke generator allowed simulation of a fire plume with controllable simulated temperature and heat release rates. Tests on a Boeing 757, modified to allow smoke venting out through the top of the cabin, showed that the buoyant smoke front moved at 0.46m/s (1.5ft/sec) with and 0.27m/sec (0.9ft/sec) against, the axial ventilation airflow. Flight tests in a modified Boeing 727 showed that a ceiling level counterflow of about 0.55m/sec (1.8ft/sec) was required to arrest the forward movement of buoyant smoke. A design goal of 0.61m/s (2ft/sec) axial cabin flow would require a flow rate of 99m3/min (3500ft3/min) in a furnished Boeing 757. The current maximum fresh air cabin ventilation flow is 78m3/min (2756 ft3/min). Experimental results indicate that buoyancy effects cause smoke movement behaviour that is not predicted by traditional design analyses and
Orr, Jeb S.; Wall, John H.; VanZwieten, Tannen S.; Hall, Charles E.
A robust and flexible autopilot architecture for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) family of launch vehicles is presented. The SLS configurations represent a potentially significant increase in complexity and performance capability when compared with other manned launch vehicles. It was recognized early in the program that a new, generalized autopilot design should be formulated to fulfill the needs of this new space launch architecture. The present design concept is intended to leverage existing NASA and industry launch vehicle design experience and maintain the extensibility and modularity necessary to accommodate multiple vehicle configurations while relying on proven and flight-tested control design principles for large boost vehicles. The SLS flight control architecture combines a digital three-axis autopilot with traditional bending filters to support robust active or passive stabilization of the vehicle's bending and sloshing dynamics using optimally blended measurements from multiple rate gyros on the vehicle structure. The algorithm also relies on a pseudo-optimal control allocation scheme to maximize the performance capability of multiple vectored engines while accommodating throttling and engine failure contingencies in real time with negligible impact to stability characteristics. The architecture supports active in-flight disturbance compensation through the use of nonlinear observers driven by acceleration measurements. Envelope expansion and robustness enhancement is obtained through the use of a multiplicative forward gain modulation law based upon a simple model reference adaptive control scheme.
Williams-Hayes, Peggy S.
The NASA F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System project team developed a series of flight control concepts designed to demonstrate neural network-based adaptive controller benefits, with the objective to develop and flight-test control systems using neural network technology to optimize aircraft performance under nominal conditions and stabilize the aircraft under failure conditions. This report presents flight-test results for an adaptive controller using stability and control derivative values from an online learning neural network. A dynamic cell structure neural network is used in conjunction with a real-time parameter identification algorithm to estimate aerodynamic stability and control derivative increments to baseline aerodynamic derivatives in flight. This open-loop flight test set was performed in preparation for a future phase in which the learning neural network and parameter identification algorithm output would provide the flight controller with aerodynamic stability and control derivative updates in near real time. Two flight maneuvers are analyzed - pitch frequency sweep and automated flight-test maneuver designed to optimally excite the parameter identification algorithm in all axes. Frequency responses generated from flight data are compared to those obtained from nonlinear simulation runs. Flight data examination shows that addition of flight-identified aerodynamic derivative increments into the simulation improved aircraft pitch handling qualities.
Owen, Dean H.
Three topics which can be applied to rotorcraft flight are examined: (1) the nature of visual information; (2) what visual information is informative about; and (3) the control of visual information. The anchorage of visual perception is defined as the distribution of structure in the surrounding optical array or the distribution of optical structure over the retinal surface. A debate was provoked about whether the referent of visual event perception, and in turn control, is optical motion, kinetics, or dynamics. The interface of control theory and visual perception is also considered. The relationships among these problems is the basis of this article.
Nguyen, Nhan T.; Gregory, Irene M.; Joshi, Suresh M.
This poster presents the current adaptive control research being conducted at NASA ARC and LaRC in support of the Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control (IRAC) project. The technique "Approximate Stability Margin Analysis of Hybrid Direct-Indirect Adaptive Control" has been developed at NASA ARC to address the needs for stability margin metrics for adaptive control that potentially enables future V&V of adaptive systems. The technique "Direct Adaptive Control With Unknown Actuator Failures" is developed at NASA LaRC to deal with unknown actuator failures. The technique "Adaptive Control with Adaptive Pilot Element" is being researched at NASA LaRC to investigate the effects of pilot interactions with adaptive flight control that can have implications of stability and performance.
The notion of partitioning a centralized controller into a decentralized, hierarchical structure suitable for integrated flight/propulsion control (IFPC) implementation is discussed. A systematic procedure is developed for determining partitioned airframe and engine subsystem controllers (subcontrollers), with the desired interconnection structure, that approximate the closed-loop performance and robustness characteristics of a given centralized controller. The procedure is demonstrated by application to IFPC design for a Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft in the landing approach to hover transition flight phase.
Stewart, James F.; Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Gatlin, Donald H.
Over the last two decades, NASA has conducted several experiments in integrated flight-propulsion control. Benefits have included improved maneuverability; increased thrust, range, and survivability; reduced fuel consumption; and reduced maintenance. This paper presents the basic concepts for control integration, examples of implementation, and benefits. The F-111E experiment integrated the engine and inlet control systems. The YF-12C incorporated an integral control system involving the inlet, autopilot, autothrottle, airdata, navigation, and stability augmentation systems. The F-15 research involved integration of the engine, flight, and inlet control systems. Further extension of the integration included real-time, onboard optimization of engine, inlet, and flight control variables; a self-repairing flight control system; and an engines-only control concept for emergency control. The F-18A aircraft incorporated thrust vectoring integrated with the flight control system to provide enhanced maneuvering at high angles of attack. The flight research programs and the resulting benefits of each program are described.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.
There have been many cases in which the crew of a multi-engine airplane had to use engine thrust for emergency flight control. Such a procedure is very difficult, because the propulsive control forces are small, the engine response is slow, and airplane dynamics such as the phugoid and dutch roll are difficult to damp with thrust. In general, thrust increases are used to climb, thrust decreases to descend, and differential thrust is used to turn. Average speed is not significantly affected by changes in throttle setting. Pitch control is achieved because of pitching moments due to speed changes, from thrust offset, and from the vertical component of thrust. Roll control is achieved by using differential thrust to develop yaw, which, through the normal dihedral effect, causes a roll. Control power in pitch and roll tends to increase as speed decreases. Although speed is not controlled by the throttles, configuration changes are often available (lowering gear, flaps, moving center-of-gravity) to change the speed. The airplane basic stability is also a significant factor. Fuel slosh and gyroscopic moments are small influences on throttles-only control. The background and principles of throttles-only flight control are described.
Burcham, F. W., Jr.; Burken, John; Maine, Trindel A.
Flight tests of a propulsion-controlled aircraft (PCA) system on an F-15 airplane have been conducted at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. The airplane was flown with all flight control surfaces locked both in the manual throttles-only mode and in an augmented system mode. In the latter mode, pilot thumbwheel commands and aircraft feedback parameters were used to position the throttles. Flight evaluation results showed that the PCA system can be used to land an airplane that has suffered a major flight control system failure safely. The PCA system was used to recover the F-15 airplane from a severe upset condition, descend, and land. Pilots from NASA, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and McDonnell Douglas Aerospace evaluated the PCA system and were favorably impressed with its capability. Manual throttles-only approaches were unsuccessful. This paper describes the PCA system operation and testing. It also presents flight test results and pilot comments.
Brody, Adam R. (Editor); Ellis, Stephen R. (Editor)
A brief description of several laboratories' current research in the general area of manual control of orbital flight is presented. With an operational-space-station era (and its increased traffic levels) approaching, now is an opportune time to investigate issues such as docking and rendezvous profiles and course-planning aids. The tremendous increase in the capabilities of computers and computer graphics has made extensive study possible and economical. It is time to study these areas, from a human factors and manual control perspective in order to preclude the occurrence of problems analogous to those that occurred in the airline and other related industries.
After completing its first flight with the Digital Flight Control System on December 16, 1997, the F-16XL #1 aircraft began a series of envelope expansion flights. On January 27 and 29, 1998, it successfully completed structural clearance tests, as well as most of the load testing Only flights at Mach 1.05 at 10,000 feet, Mach 1.1 at 15,000 feet, and Mach 1.2 at 20,000 feet remained. During the next flight, on February 4, an instrumentation problem cut short the planned envelope expansion tests. After the problem was corrected, the F-16XL returned to flight status, and on February 18 and 20, flight control and evaluation flights were made. Two more research flights were planned for the following week, but another problem appeared. During the ground start up, project personnel noticed that the leading edge flap moved without being commanded. The Digital Flight Control Computer was sent to the Lockheed-Martin facility at Fort Worth, where the problem was traced to a defective chip in the computer. After it was replaced, the F-16XL #1 flew a highly successful flight controls and handling qualities evaluation flight on March 26, clearing the way for the final tests. The final limited loads expansion flight occurred on March 31, and was fully successful. As a result, the on-site Lockheed-Martin loads engineer cleared the aircraft to Mach 1.8. The remaining two handling qualities and flight control evaluation flights were both made on April 3, 1998. These three flights concluded the flight test portion of the DFCS upgrade.
Lambregts, A. A.
A generalized automatic flight control system was developed which integrates all longitudinal flight path and speed control functions previously provided by a pitch autopilot and autothrottle. In this design, a net thrust command is computed based on total energy demand arising from both flight path and speed targets. The elevator command is computed based on the energy distribution error between flight path and speed. The engine control is configured to produce the commanded net thrust. The design incorporates control strategies and hierarchy to deal systematically and effectively with all aircraft operational requirements, control nonlinearities, and performance limits. Consistent decoupled maneuver control is achieved for all modes and flight conditions without outer loop gain schedules, control law submodes, or control function duplication.
Carlin, C. M.; Hastings, W. J.
The propulsion flight control integration technology (PROFIT) program was designed to develop a flying testbed dedicated to controls research. The preliminary design, analysis, and feasibility studies conducted in support of the PROFIT program are reported. The PROFIT system was built around existing IPCS hardware. In order to achieve the desired system flexibility and capability, additional interfaces between the IPCS hardware and F-15 systems were required. The requirements for additions and modifications to the existing hardware were defined. Those interfaces involving the more significant changes were studied. The DCU memory expansion to 32K with flight qualified hardware was completed on a brassboard basis. The uplink interface breadboard and a brassboard of the central computer interface were also tested. Two preliminary designs and corresponding program plans are presented.
An overall view of the group of Soviet Union flight controllers who served at the Mission Control Center during the joint U.S.-USSR Apollo Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) docking in Earth orbit mission. They are applauding the successful touchdown of the Soyuz spacecraft in Central Asia. The television monitor had just shown the land landing of the Soyuz descent vehicle.
Williams, Peggy S.
The NASA F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System project team has developed a series of flight control concepts designed to demonstrate the benefits of a neural network-based adaptive controller. The objective of the team is to develop and flight-test control systems that use neural network technology to optimize the performance of the aircraft under nominal conditions as well as stabilize the aircraft under failure conditions. Failure conditions include locked or failed control surfaces as well as unforeseen damage that might occur to the aircraft in flight. This report presents flight-test results for an adaptive controller using stability and control derivative values from an online learning neural network. A dynamic cell structure neural network is used in conjunction with a real-time parameter identification algorithm to estimate aerodynamic stability and control derivative increments to the baseline aerodynamic derivatives in flight. This set of open-loop flight tests was performed in preparation for a future phase of flights in which the learning neural network and parameter identification algorithm output would provide the flight controller with aerodynamic stability and control derivative updates in near real time. Two flight maneuvers are analyzed a pitch frequency sweep and an automated flight-test maneuver designed to optimally excite the parameter identification algorithm in all axes. Frequency responses generated from flight data are compared to those obtained from nonlinear simulation runs. An examination of flight data shows that addition of the flight-identified aerodynamic derivative increments into the simulation improved the pitch handling qualities of the aircraft.
Anders, Scott G.; Fischer, Michael C.
The F-16XL-2 Supersonic Laminar Flow Control Flight Test Experiment was part of the NASA High-Speed Research Program. The goal of the experiment was to demonstrate extensive laminar flow, to validate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes and design methodology, and to establish laminar flow control design criteria. Topics include the flight test hardware and design, airplane modification, the pressure and suction distributions achieved, the laminar flow achieved, and the data analysis and code correlation.
Training of ground control teams has been a difficult task in space operations. There are several intangible skills that must be learned to become the steely eyed men and women of mission control who respond to spacecraft failures that can lead to loss of vehicle or crew if handled improperly. And as difficult as training is, it can also be costly. Every day, month or year an operator is in training, is a day that not only they are being trained without direct benefit to the organization, but potentially an instructor or mentor is also being paid for hours spent assisting them. Therefore, optimization of the training flow is highly desired. Recently the Expedition Division (DI) at Johnson Space Flight Center has recreated their training flows for the purpose of both moving to an operator/specialist/instructor hierarchy and to address past inefficiencies in the training flow. This paper will discuss the types of training DI is utilizing in their new flows, and the balance that has been struck between the ideal learning environments and realistic constraints. Specifically, the past training flow for the ISS Attitude Determination and Control Officer will be presented, including drawbacks that were encountered. Then the new training flow will be discussed and how a new approach utilizes more training methods and teaching techniques. We will look at how DI has integrated classes, workshops, checkouts, module reviews, scenarios, OJT, paper sims, Mini Sims, and finally Integrated Sims to balance the cost and timing of training a new flight controller.
A limiting factor in control system design and analysis for spacecraft is the inability to physically test new algorithms quickly and cheaply. Test flights of space vehicles are costly and take much preparation. As such, EV41 recently acquired a small research quadrocopter that has the ability to be a test bed for new control systems. This project focused on learning how to operate, fly, and maintain the quadrocopter, as well as developing and testing protocols for its use. In parallel to this effort, developing a model in Simulink facilitated the design and analysis of simple control systems for the quadrocopter. Software provided by the manufacturer enabled testing of the Simulink control system on the vehicle.
Wilkes, Donald R.; Hummer, Leigh L.; Zwiener, James M.
The Thermal Control Surfaces Experiment (TCSE) is the most complex system, other than the LDEF, retrieved after long term space exposure. The TCSE is a microcosm of complex electro-optical payloads being developed and flow by NASA and the DoD including SDI. The objective of TCSE was to determine the effects of the near-Earth orbital environment and the LDEF induced environment on spacecraft thermal control surfaces. The TCSE was a comprehensive experiment that combined in-space measurements with extensive post flight analyses of thermal control surfaces to determine the effects of exposure to the low earth orbit space environment. The TCSE was the first space experiment to measure the optical properties of thermal control surfaces the way they are routinely measured in a lab. The performance of the TCSE confirms that low cost, complex experiment packages can be developed that perform well in space.
Xargay, Enric; Hovakimyan, Naira; Dobrokhodov, Vladimir; Kaminer, Isaac; Gregory, Irene M.; Cao, Chengyu
Certification of adaptive control technologies for both manned and unmanned aircraft represent a major challenge for current Verification and Validation techniques. A (missing) key step towards flight certification of adaptive flight control systems is the definition and development of analysis tools and methods to support Verification and Validation for nonlinear systems, similar to the procedures currently used for linear systems. In this paper, we describe and demonstrate the advantages of L(sub l) adaptive control architectures for closing some of the gaps in certification of adaptive flight control systems, which may facilitate the transition of adaptive control into military and commercial aerospace applications. As illustrative examples, we present the results of a piloted simulation evaluation on the NASA AirSTAR flight test vehicle, and results of an extensive flight test program conducted by the Naval Postgraduate School to demonstrate the advantages of L(sub l) adaptive control as a verifiable robust adaptive flight control system.
Chenoweth, C. C.; Ryder, D. R.
The constraint of requiring airplanes to have inherent aerodynamic stability can be removed by using active control systems. The resulting airplane requires control system reliability approaching that of the basic airframe. Redundant control actuators can be used to achieve the required reliability, but create mechanization and operational problems. Of numerous candidate systems, two different approaches to solving the problems associated with redundant actuators which appear the most likely to be used in advanced airplane control systems are described.
VanZwieten, Tannen S.; Gilligan, Eric T.; Wall, John H.; Orr, Jeb S.; Miller, Christopher J.; Hanson, Curtis E.
The NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Flight Mechanics and Analysis Division developed an Adaptive Augmenting Control (AAC) algorithm for launch vehicles that improves robustness and performance by adapting an otherwise welltuned classical control algorithm to unexpected environments or variations in vehicle dynamics. This AAC algorithm is currently part of the baseline design for the SLS Flight Control System (FCS), but prior to this series of research flights it was the only component of the autopilot design that had not been flight tested. The Space Launch System (SLS) flight software prototype, including the adaptive component, was recently tested on a piloted aircraft at Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) which has the capability to achieve a high level of dynamic similarity to a launch vehicle. Scenarios for the flight test campaign were designed specifically to evaluate the AAC algorithm to ensure that it is able to achieve the expected performance improvements with no adverse impacts in nominal or nearnominal scenarios. Having completed the recent series of flight characterization experiments on DFRC's F/A-18, the AAC algorithm's capability, robustness, and reproducibility, have been successfully demonstrated. Thus, the entire SLS control architecture has been successfully flight tested in a relevant environment. This has increased NASA's confidence that the autopilot design is ready to fly on the SLS Block I vehicle and will exceed the performance of previous architectures.
Numerous aviation accidents have been caused by stuck control surfaces. In most cases the impaired aircraft has sufficient redundancy to reconfigure the flight. However, the actions that the pilot needs to make could be counter intuitive, demanding and complicated. This is due to the drastic changes in the system's dynamics that are caused by the nonlinearities, the loss of control authority and the disturbance imposed by the stuck surface. The reconfiguration of the flight laws will alleviate the work load on the crew and give them a better leeway to safely land the aircraft. The fault tolerant scheme that is adopted here is a multiple model one with a finite number of reconfigured controllers. Each reconfigured controller consists of a nonlinear output regulator and a constant gain nonlinear observer. The guidelines available for designing the nominal stabilizer are not appropriate for the reconfigured systems. The ability of the control law to reconfigure the aircraft is limited by saturation of the control surfaces, bifurcation points and stability limits. Identifying and characterizing these limitations is the first step in systematically improving the fault tolerant design. The computational results were obtained using a continuation method based on the Newton-Raphson and Newton-Raphson-Seydel methods. The numerous subtleties in employing these tools, when bifurcation points are clustered together, when many eigenvalues are near the origin or when the eigenvalues nearest the origin are complex, are addressed in this work. The reconfigured controller design for all possible single surface failures and the bifurcation analysis of the nominal and reconfigured systems was carried out on a real aircraft, namely the F-16. This was facilitated by the development of a unique, high fidelity, six degree of freedom, F-16 model.
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight crewmembers at controls. 125.311... CAPACITY OF 6,000 POUNDS OR MORE; AND RULES GOVERNING PERSONS ON BOARD SUCH AIRCRAFT Flight Operations § 125.311 Flight crewmembers at controls. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section,...
Mulcare, D. B.; Downing, L. E.; Smith, M. K.
Described are the development and validation of a double fail-operational digital flight control system architecture for critical pitch axis functions. Architectural tradeoffs are assessed, system simulator modifications are described, and demonstration testing results are critiqued. Assessment tools and their application are also illustrated. Ultimately, the vital role of system simulation, tailored to digital mechanization attributes, is shown to be essential to validating the airworthiness of full-time critical functions such as augmented fly-by-wire systems for relaxed static stability airplanes.
Powell, Ferolyn T.; Sudar, Martin; Timm, Marc; Yost, Bruce
An atmosphere exchange system (AES) has been designed to provide a conditioned atmosphere supply to plant specimens in flight without incurring the large weight and volume associated with bottled gases. The paper examines the atmosphere filter cartridge (AFC) designed to remove trace organic atmosphere contaminants from the Space Shuttle cabin and to condition the cabin atmosphere prior to exposure to plant specimens. The AES and AFC are described and illustrated. The AFC design requirements are discussed and results are presented from tests on the performance of the AFC. Also, consideration is given to the potential applications of the AFC and future design concepts for atmosphere control.
This is the closeout report for the Research Cooperative Agreement NCC4-00130 of accomplishments for the Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) Project. It has been a pleasure working with NASA and NASA partners as we strive to meet the goals of this research initiative. ISR was engaged in this Research Cooperative Agreement beginning 01 January 2003 and ending 31 January 2004. During this time ISR conducted efforts towards development of the ARTS II Computer Software Configuration Item (CSCI) version 4.0 by performing or developing the following: 1) Requirements Definition; 2) Software Design and Development; 3) Hardware In the Loop Simulation; 4) Unit Level testing; 5) Documentation.
Mackall, Dale A.
Engineers and scientists in the advanced fighter technology integration (AFTI) F-16 program investigated the integration of emerging technologies into an advanced fighter aircraft. AFTI's three major technologies included: flight-crucial digital control, decoupled aircraft flight control, and integration of avionics, flight control, and pilot displays. In addition to investigating improvements in fighter performance, researchers studied the generic problems confronting the designers of highly integrated flight-crucial digital control. An overview is provided of both the advantages and problems of integration digital control systems. Also, an examination of the specification, design, qualification, and flight test life-cycle phase is provided. An overview is given of the fault-tolerant design, multimoded decoupled flight control laws, and integrated avionics design. The approach to qualifying the software and system designs is discussed, and the effects of design choices on system qualification are highlighted.
Mackall, D. A.
The Advanced Flighter Technology Integration (AFTI) F-16 program is investigating the integration of emerging technologies into an advanced fighter aircraft. The three major technologies involved are the triplex digital flight control system; decoupled aircraft flight control; and integration of avionics, pilot displays, and flight control. In addition to investigating improvements in fighter performance, the AFTI/F-16 program provides a look at generic problems facing highly integrated, flight-crucial digital controls. An overview of the AFTI/F-16 systems is followed by a summary of flight test experience and recommendations.
Smolka, James W.
NASA-Ames' Highly Integrated Digital Electronic Control (HIDEC) flight test program aims to develop fully integrated airframe, propulsion, and flight control systems. The HIDEC F-15 adaptive engine control system flight test program has demonstrated that significant performance improvements are obtainable through the retention of stall-free engine operation throughout the aircraft flight and maneuver envelopes. The greatest thrust increase was projected for the medium-to-high altitude flight regime at subsonic speed which is of such importance to air combat. Adaptive engine control systems such as the HIDEC F-15's can be used to upgrade the performance of existing aircraft without resort to expensive reengining programs.
Wolverton, David A.; Dickson, Richard W.; Clinedinst, Winston C.; Slominski, Christopher J.
The flight software developed for the Flight Management/Flight Controls (FM/FC) MicroVAX computer used on the Transport Systems Research Vehicle for Advanced Transport Operating Systems (ATOPS) research is described. The FM/FC software computes navigation position estimates, guidance commands, and those commands issued to the control surfaces to direct the aircraft in flight. Various modes of flight are provided for, ranging from computer assisted manual modes to fully automatic modes including automatic landing. A high-level system overview as well as a description of each software module comprising the system is provided. Digital systems diagrams are included for each major flight control component and selected flight management functions.
Boskovic, Jovan D.; Knoebel, Nathan; Mehra, Raman K.; Gregory, Irene
In this paper we present an integrated approach to in-flight damage accommodation in flight control. The approach is based on Multiple Models, Switching and Tuning (MMST), and consists of three steps: In the first step the main objective is to acquire a realistic aircraft damage model. Modeling of in-flight damage is a highly complex problem since there is a large number of issues that need to be addressed. One of the most important one is that there is strong coupling between structural dynamics, aerodynamics, and flight control. These effects cannot be studied separately due to this coupling. Once a realistic damage model is available, in the second step a large number of models corresponding to different damage cases are generated. One possibility is to generate many linear models and interpolate between them to cover a large portion of the flight envelope. Once these models have been generated, we will implement a recently developed-Model Set Reduction (MSR) technique. The technique is based on parameterizing damage in terms of uncertain parameters, and uses concepts from robust control theory to arrive at a small number of "centered" models such that the controllers corresponding to these models assure desired stability and robustness properties over a subset in the parametric space. By devising a suitable model placement strategy, the entire parametric set is covered with a relatively small number of models and controllers. The third step consists of designing a Multiple Models, Switching and Tuning (MMST) strategy for estimating the current operating regime (damage case) of the aircraft, and switching to the corresponding controller to achieve effective damage accommodation and the desired performance. In the paper present a comprehensive approach to damage accommodation using Model Set Design,MMST, and Variable Structure compensation for coupling nonlinearities. The approach was evaluated on a model of F/A-18 aircraft dynamics under control effector damage
Stengel, Robert F.; Sircar, Subrata
A computer program is presented for facilitating the development and assessment of flight control systems, and application to a control design is discussed. The program is a computer-aided control-system design program based on direct digital synthesis of a proportional-integral-filter controller with scheduled linear-quadratic-Gaussian gains and command generator tracking of pilot inputs. The FlightCAD system concentrates on aircraft dynamics, flight-control systems, stability and performance, and has practical engineering applications.
Xu, Yunjun; Fitz-Coy, Norman; Mason, Paul
Physical constraints of any real system can have a drastic effect on its performance. Some of the more recognized constraints are actuator and sensor saturation and bandwidth, power consumption, sampling rate (sensor and control-loop) and computation limits. These constraints can degrade system s performance, such as settling time, overshoot, rising time, and stability margins. In order to address these issues, researchers have investigated the use of robust and nonlinear controllers that can incorporate uncertainty and constraints into a controller design. For instance, uncertainties can be addressed in the synthesis model used in such algorithms as H(sub infinity), or mu. There is a significant amount of literature addressing this type of problem. However, there is one constraint that has not often been considered; that is, actuator authority resolution. In this work, thruster resolution and controller schemes to compensate for this effect are investigated for position and attitude control of a Low Earth Orbit formation flight system In many academic problems, actuators are assumed to have infinite resolution. In real system applications, such as formation flight systems, the system actuators will not have infinite resolution. High-precision formation flying requires the relative position and the relative attitude to be controlled on the order of millimeters and arc-seconds, respectively. Therefore, the minimum force resolution is a significant concern in this application. Without the sufficient actuator resolution, the system may be unable to attain the required pointing and position precision control. Furthermore, fuel may be wasted due to high-frequency chattering phenomena when attempting to provide a fine control with inadequate actuators. To address this issue, a Sliding Mode Controller is developed along with the boundary Layer Control to provide the best control resolution constraints. A Genetic algorithm is used to optimize the controller parameters
Barrett, Ronald M.; Gross, R. Steven; Brozoski, Fred
A new type of subsonic missile flight control surface using piezoelectric flexspar actuators is presented. The flexspar design uses an aerodynamic shell which is pivoted at the quarter-chord about a graphite main spar. The shell is pitched up and down by a piezoelectric bender element which is rigidly attached to a base mount and allowed to rotate freely at the tip. The element curvature, shell pitch deflection and torsional stiffness are modeled using laminated plate theory. A one-third scale TOW 2B missile model was used as a demonstration platform. A static wing of the missile was replaced with an active flexspar wing. The 1' X 2.7' active flight control surface was powered by a bi-morph bender with 5-mil PZT-5H sheets. Bench and wind tunnel testing showed good correlation between theory and experiment and static pitch deflections in excess of +/- 14 degree(s). A natural frequency of 78.5 rad/s with a break frequency of 157 rad/s was measured. Wind tunnel tests revealed no flutter or divergence tendencies. Maximum changes in lift coefficient were measured at (Delta) CL equals +/- .73 which indicates that terminal and initial missile load factors may be increased by approximately 3.1 and 12.6 g's respectively, leading to a greatly reduced turn radius of only 2,400 ft.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Fullerton, C. Gordon; Stewart, James F.; Gilyard, Glenn B.; Conley, Joseph A.
Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) systems are digital electronic control systems undergoing development to provide limited maneuvering ability through variations of individual engine thrusts in multiple-engine airplanes. Provide landing capability when control surfaces inoperable. Incorporated on existing and future airplanes that include digital engine controls, digital flight controls, and digital data buses, adding no weight for additional hardware to airplane. Possible to handle total failure of hydraulic system, depending on how surfaces respond to loss of hydraulic pressure, and broken control cables or linkages. Future airplanes incorporate data from Global Positioning System for guidance to any suitable emergency runway in world.
Yonke, W. A.; Terrell, L. A.; Meyers, L. P.
The adaptive engine control system mode (ADECS) which is developed and tested on an F-15 aircraft with PW1128 engines, using the NASA sponsored highly integrated digital electronic control program, is examined. The operation of the ADECS mode, as well as the basic control logic, the avionic architecture, and the airframe/engine interface are described. By increasing engine pressure ratio (EPR) additional thrust is obtained at intermediate power and above. To modulate the amount of EPR uptrim and to prevent engine stall, information from the flight control system is used. The performance benefits, anticipated from control integration are shown for a range of flight conditions and power settings. It is found that at higher altitudes, the ADECS mode can increase thrust as much as 12 percent, which is used for improved acceleration, improved turn rate, or sustained turn angle.
This 48 - page Technology Transfer Report provides a case study of how water quality-based toxicity control procedures can be combined with chemical analyses and biological stream surveys to achieve more effective water pollution control. t describes how regulatory agencies used ...
Weiss, Jerold L.; Hsu, John Y.
The purpose of this study was to examine the complementary capabilities of several restructurable flight control system (RFCS) concepts through the integration of these technologies into a complete system. Performance issues were addressed through a re-examination of RFCS functional requirements, and through a qualitative analysis of the design issues that, if properly addressed during integration, will lead to the highest possible degree of fault-tolerant performance. Software developed under previous phases of this contract and under NAS1-18004 was modified and integrated into a complete RFCS subroutine for NASA's B-737 simulation. The integration of these modules involved the development of methods for dealing with the mismatch between the outputs of the failure detection module and the input requirements of the automatic control system redesign module. The performance of this demonstration system was examined through extensive simulation trials.
Bosworth, John T.
Objective: Provide validation of adaptive control law concepts through full scale flight evaluation. Technical Approach: a) Engage failure mode - destabilizing or frozen surface. b) Perform formation flight and air-to-air tracking tasks. Evaluate adaptive algorithm: a) Stability metrics. b) Model following metrics. Full scale flight testing provides an ability to validate different adaptive flight control approaches. Full scale flight testing adds credence to NASA's research efforts. A sustained research effort is required to remove the road blocks and provide adaptive control as a viable design solution for increased aircraft resilience.
Sitz, Joel R.; Vernon, Todd H.
Automated validation of flight-critical embedded systems is being done at ARC Dryden Flight Research Facility. The automated testing techniques are being used to perform closed-loop validation of man-rated flight control systems. The principal design features and operational experiences of the X-29 forward-swept-wing aircraft and F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV) automated test systems are discussed. Operationally applying automated testing techniques has accentuated flight control system features that either help or hinder the application of these techniques. The paper also discusses flight control system features which foster the use of automated testing techniques.
Ito, Daigoro; Georgie, Jennifer; Valasek, John; Ward, Donald T.
This report addresses issues in developing a flight control design for vehicles operating across a broad flight regime and with highly nonlinear physical descriptions of motion. Specifically it addresses the need for reentry vehicles that could operate through reentry from space to controlled touchdown on Earth. The latter part of controlled descent is achieved by parachute or paraglider - or by all automatic or a human-controlled landing similar to that of the Orbiter. Since this report addresses the specific needs of human-carrying (not necessarily piloted) reentry vehicles, it deals with highly nonlinear equations of motion, and then-generated control systems must be robust across a very wide range of physics. Thus, this report deals almost exclusively with some form of dynamic inversion (DI). Two vital aspects of control theory - noninteracting control laws and the transformation of nonlinear systems into equivalent linear systems - are embodied in DI. Though there is no doubt that the mathematical tools and underlying theory are widely available, there are open issues as to the practicality of using DI as the only or primary design approach for reentry articles. This report provides a set of guidelines that can be used to determine the practical usefulness of the technique.
This video collage provides several views of the robotic lander prototype during its second free flight test. The lander is captured in flight from overhead and side mounted cameras in high definit...
Painter, W. D.; Sitterle, G. J.
A flight evaluation was made of the mechanical hydraulic flight control system and the electrohydraulic stability augmentation system installed in the HL-10 lifting body research vehicle. Flight tests performed in the speed range from landing to a Mach number of 1.86 and the altitude range from 697 meters (2300 feet) to 27,550 meters (90,300 feet) were supplemented by ground tests to identify and correct structural resonance and limit-cycle problems. Severe limit-cycle and control sensitivity problems were encountered during the first flight. Stability augmentation system structural resonance electronic filters were modified to correct the limit-cycle problem. Several changes were made to control stick gearing to solve the control sensitivity problem. Satisfactory controllability was achieved by using a nonlinear system. A limit-cycle problem due to hydraulic fluid contamination was encountered during the first powered flight, but the problem did not recur after preflight operations were improved.
Loss of control in flight is among the highest aviation accident categories for both the number of accidents and the number of fatalities. The flight controls community is seeking an improved validation tools for safety critical flight control systems. Current validation tools rely heavily on linear analysis, which ignore the inherent nonlinear nature of the aircraft dynamics and flight control system. Specifically, current practices in validating the flight control system involve gridding the flight envelope and checking various criteria based on linear analysis to ensure safety of the flight control system. The analysis and certification methods currently applied assume the aircrafts' dynamics is linear. In reality, the behavior of the aircraft is always nonlinear due to its aerodynamic characteristics and physical limitations imposed by the actuators. This thesis develops nonlinear analysis tools capable of certifying flight control laws for nonlinear aircraft dynamics. The proposed analysis tools can handle both the aerodynamic nonlinearities and the physical limitations imposed by the actuators in the aircrafts' dynamics. This proposed validation technique will extend and enrich the predictive capability of existing flight control law validation methods to analyze nonlinearities. The objective of this thesis is to provide the flight control community with an advanced set of analysis tools to reduce aviation fatalities and accidents rate.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Fullerton, C. Gordon; Maine, Trindel A.
If normal aircraft flight controls are lost, emergency flight control may be attempted using only engines thrust. Collective thrust is used to control flightpath, and differential thrust is used to control bank angle. Flight test and simulation results on many airplanes have shown that pilot manipulation of throttles is usually adequate to maintain up-and-away flight, but is most often not capable of providing safe landings. There are techniques that will improve control and increase the chances of a survivable landing. This paper reviews the principles of throttles-only control (TOC), a history of accidents or incidents in which some or all flight controls were lost, manual TOC results for a wide range of airplanes from simulation and flight, and suggested techniques for flying with throttles only and making a survivable landing.
Lim, Kyong B.; Markley, F. Landis; Whorton, Mark S.
Several unique issues related to mated flight control have been broadly identified. These issues include redundancies in subsystems, controllability, command and control authority distribution, information flow across elements, and changes and variability in system characteristics due to variable mated configurations during operations. Architectural options for mated flight control are discussed in the context of evolving space systems.
Antoniewicz, Robert F.; Duke, Eugene L.; Menon, P. K. A.
The design of nonlinear controllers has relied on the use of detailed aerodynamic and engine models that must be associated with the control law in the flight system implementation. Many of these controllers were applied to vehicle flight path control problems and have attempted to combine both inner- and outer-loop control functions in a single controller. An approach to the nonlinear trajectory control problem is presented. This approach uses linearizing transformations with measurement feedback to eliminate the need for detailed aircraft models in outer-loop control applications. By applying this approach and separating the inner-loop and outer-loop functions two things were achieved: (1) the need for incorporating detailed aerodynamic models in the controller is obviated; and (2) the controller is more easily incorporated into existing aircraft flight control systems. An implementation of the controller is discussed, and this controller is tested on a six degree-of-freedom F-15 simulation and in flight on an F-15 aircraft. Simulation data are presented which validates this approach over a large portion of the F-15 flight envelope. Proof of this concept is provided by flight-test data that closely matches simulation results. Flight-test data are also presented.
Brown, Nelson A.
This video presentation reviews the F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System and contains clips of flight tests and aircraft performance in the areas of target tracking, takeoff and differential stabilators. Video of the APG milestone flight 1g formation is included.
Wells, Edward A.; Urnes, James M., Sr.
This report describes the design, development and flight testing of the Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) flight control system performed at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA), St. Louis, Missouri and at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards Air Force Base, California. This research and development program was conducted by MDA and directed by NASA through the Dryden Flight Research Facility for the period beginning January 1991 and ending December 1993. A propulsion steering backup to the aircraft conventional flight control system has been developed and flight demonstrated on a NASA F-15 test aircraft. The Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) flight system utilizes collective and differential thrust changes to steer an aircraft that experiences partial or complete failure of the hydraulically actuated control surfaces. The PCA flight control research has shown that propulsion steering is a viable backup flight control mode and can assist the pilot in safe landing recovery of a fighter aircraft that has damage to or loss of the flight control surfaces. NASA, USAF and Navy evaluation test pilots stated that the F-15 PCA design provided the control necessary to land the aircraft. Moreover, the feasibility study showed that PCA technology can be directly applied to transport aircraft and provide a major improvement in the survivability of passengers and crew of controls damaged aircraft.
Institute for Scientific Research, Inc. (ISR) is pleased to submit this closeout report for the Research Cooperative Agreement NCC4-00128 of accomplishments for the Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) Project. It has been a pleasure working with NASA and NASA partners as we strive to meet the goals of this research initiative. ISR was engaged in this Research Cooperative Agreement beginning March 3, 2001 and ending March 31, 2003. During this time, a great deal has been accomplished and plans have been solidified for the continued success of this program. Our primary areas of involvement include the following: 1) ARTS II Master Test Plan; 2) ARTS II Hardware Design and Development; 3) ARTS II Software Design and Development; 4) IFCS PID/BLNN/OLNN Development; 5) Performed Preliminary and Formal Testing; 6) Documentation and Reporting.
Weisshaar, T. A.
Aeroservoelastic optimization techniques were studied to determine a methodology for maximization of the stable flight envelope of an idealized, actively controlled, flexible airfoil. The equations of motion for the airfoil were developed in state-space form to include time-domain representations of aerodynamic forces and active control. The development of an optimization scheme to stabilize the aeroelastic system over a range of airspeeds, including the design airspeed is outlined. The solution approach was divided in two levels: (1) the airfoil structure, with a design variable represented by the shear center position; and (2) the control system. An objective was stated in mathematical form and a search was conducted with the restriction that each subsystem be constrained to be optimal in some sense. Analytical expressions are developed to compute the changes in the eigenvalues of the closed-loop, actively controlled system. A stability index is constructed to ensure that stability is present at the design speed and at other airspeeds away from the design speed.
Yuan, Hongchang; Jiang, Qingwu; Zhao, Genming; He, Na
The control of schistosomiasis has been spectacularly successful in terms of controlling endemicity and severity of the disease during the last 50 years. It can be categorized into two stages. From 1955 through 1980, the transmission-control strategy had been widely and successfully carried out. By the end of 1980, the epidemic of schistosomiasis was successfully circumscribed in certain core regions including areas at the middle and low reaches of the Yangtze River and some mountainous areas in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, where control of schistosomiasis had been demonstrated to be very difficult to be sustained. Therefore, since 1980, schistosomiasis control in China has been modified to employ a stepwise strategy, based on which morbidity control has been given priorities and if possible transmission control has been pursued. However, since snail-ridden areas remain unchanged so far, reinfections occur frequently. This necessitates a maintenance phase to consolidate the achievements in the control of schistosomiasis. In the mean time, we are challenged with some environmental, social and economical changes in terms of controlling schistosomiasis. Successfully controlling schistosomiasis in China is still a long-term task but will be achieved without doubt along with the economic development and the promotion of living and cultural standard of people. PMID:12426618
Barrett, Ron; Gross, R. Steven; Brozoski, Fred
A new type of subsonic missile flight control surface using piezoelectric flexspar actuators is presented. The flexspar design uses an aerodynamic shell which is pivoted at the quarter-chord about a graphite main spar. The shell is pitched up and down by a piezoelectric bender element which is rigidly attached to a base mount and allowed to rotate freely at the tip. The element curvature, shell pitch deflection and torsional stiffness are modeled using laminated plate theory. A one-third scale TOW 2B missile model was used as a demonstration platform. A static wing of the missile was replaced with an active flexspar wing. The 1 in 0964-1726/5/2/002/img1 2.7 in active flight control surface was powered by a bimorph bender with 5 mil PZT-5H sheets. Bench and wind tunnel testing showed good correlation between theory and experiment and static pitch deflections in excess of 0964-1726/5/2/002/img2. A natural frequency of 78.5 rad 0964-1726/5/2/002/img3 with a break frequency of 157 rad 0964-1726/5/2/002/img3 was measured. Wind tunnel tests revealed no flutter or divergence tendencies. Maximum changes in lift coefficient were measured at 0964-1726/5/2/002/img5 which indicates that terminal and initial missile load factors may be increased by approximately 3.1 and 12.6 g respectively, leading to a greatly reduced turn radius of only 2400 ft.
Williams-Hayes, Peggy S.
The NASA F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System project team has developed a series of flight control concepts designed to demonstrate the benefits of a neural network-based adaptive controller. The objective of the team was to develop and flight-test control systems that use neural network technology, to optimize the performance of the aircraft under nominal conditions, and to stabilize the aircraft under failure conditions. Failure conditions include locked or failed control surfaces as well as unforeseen damage that might occur to the aircraft in flight. The Intelligent Flight Control System team is currently in the process of implementing a second generation control scheme, collectively known as Generation 2 or Gen 2, for flight testing on the NASA F-15 aircraft. This report describes the Gen 2 system as implemented by the team for flight test evaluation. Simulation results are shown which describe the experiment to be performed in flight and highlight the ways in which the Gen 2 system meets the defined objectives.
Davidson, J. B.; Schmidt, D. K.
The use of eigenspace assignment techniques to synthesize flight control systems for flexible aircraft is explored. Eigenspace assignment techniques are used to achieve a specified desired eigenspace, chosen to yield desirable system impulse residue magnitudes for selected system responses. Two of these are investigated. The first directly determines constant measurement feedback gains that will yield a close-loop system eigenspace close to a desired eigenspace. The second technique selects quadratic weighting matrices in a linear quadratic control synthesis that will asymptotically yield the close-loop achievable eigenspace. Finally, the possibility of using either of these techniques with state estimation is explored. Application of the methods to synthesize integrated flight-control and structural-mode-control laws for a large flexible aircraft is demonstrated and results discussed. Eigenspace selection criteria based on design goals are discussed, and for the study case it would appear that a desirable eigenspace can be obtained. In addition, the importance of state-space selection is noted along with problems with reduced-order measurement feedback. Since the full-state control laws may be implemented with dynamic compensation (state estimation), the use of reduced-order measurement feedback is less desirable. This is especially true since no change in the transient response from the pilot's input results if state estimation is used appropriately. The potential is also noted for high actuator bandwidth requirements if the linear quadratic synthesis approach is utilized. Even with the actuator pole location selected, a problem with unmodeled modes is noted due to high bandwidth. Some suggestions for future research include investigating how to choose an eigenspace that will achieve certain desired dynamics and stability robustness, determining how the choice of measurements effects synthesis results, and exploring how the phase relationships between desired
Bright, Michelle M.; Simon, Donald L.
A new flight simulation facility was developed at NASA-Lewis. The purpose of this flight simulator is to allow integrated propulsion control and flight control algorithm development and evaluation in real time. As a preliminary check of the simulator facility capabilities and correct integration of its components, the control design and physics models for a short take-off and vertical landing fighter aircraft model were shown, with their associated system integration and architecture, pilot vehicle interfaces, and display symbology. The initial testing and evaluation results show that this fixed based flight simulator can provide real time feedback and display of both airframe and propulsion variables for validation of integrated flight and propulsion control systems. Additionally, through the use of this flight simulator, various control design methodologies and cockpit mechanizations can be tested and evaluated in a real time environment.
Murch, Austin M.
A flight control system architecture for the NASA AirSTAR infrastructure has been designed to address the challenges associated with safe and efficient flight testing of research control laws in adverse flight conditions. The AirSTAR flight control system provides a flexible framework that enables NASA Aviation Safety Program research objectives, and includes the ability to rapidly integrate and test research control laws, emulate component or sensor failures, inject automated control surface perturbations, and provide a baseline control law for comparison to research control laws and to increase operational efficiency. The current baseline control law uses an angle of attack command augmentation system for the pitch axis and simple stability augmentation for the roll and yaw axes.
Chou, Hwei-Lan; Biezad, Daniel J.
Longitudinal control system architectures which directly couple flight stick motions to throttle commands for a multi-engine aircraft are presented. This coupling enables positive attitude control with complete failure of the flight control system. The architectures chosen vary from simple feedback gains to classical lead-lag compensators with and without prefilters. Each architecture is reviewed for its appropriateness for piloted flight. The control systems are then analyzed with pilot-in-the-loop metrics related to bandwidth required for landing. Results indicate that current and proposed bandwidth requirements should be modified for throttles-only flight control. Pilot ratings consistently showed better ratings than predicted by analysis. Recommendations are made for more robust design and implementation. The use of quantitative feedback theory for compensator design is discussed. Although simple and effective augmented control can be achieved in a wide variety of failed configurations, a few configuration characteristics are dominant for pilot-in-the-loop control.
The Johnson Space Center s (JSC) International Space Station (ISS) Space Flight Resource Management (SFRM) training program is designed to teach the team skills required to be an effective flight controller. It was adapted from the SFRM training given to Shuttle flight controllers to fit the needs of a "24 hours a day/365 days a year" flight controller. More recently, the length reduction of technical training flows for ISS flight controllers impacted the number of opportunities for fully integrated team scenario based training, where most SFRM training occurred. Thus, the ISS SFRM training program is evolving yet again, using a new approach of teaching and evaluating SFRM alongside of technical materials. Because there are very few models in other industries that have successfully tied team and technical skills together, challenges are arising. Despite this, the Mission Operations Directorate of NASA s JSC is committed to implementing this integrated training approach because of the anticipated benefits.
Mihaloew, James R.; Drummond, Colin K.
The United States is in the initial stages of committing to a national program to develop a supersonic short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. The goal of the propulsion community in this effort is to have the enabling propulsion technologies for this type aircraft in place to permit a low risk decision regarding the initiation of a research STOVL supersonic attack/fighter aircraft in the late mid-90's. This technology will effectively integrate, enhance, and extend the supersonic cruise, STOVL and fighter/attack programs to enable U.S. industry to develop a revolutionary supersonic short takeoff and vertical landing fighter/attack aircraft in the post-ATF period. A joint NASA Lewis and NASA Ames research program, with the objective of developing and validating technology for integrated-flight propulsion control design methodologies for short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft, was planned and is underway. This program, the NASA Supersonic STOVL Integrated Flight-Propulsion Controls Program, is a major element of the overall NASA-Lewis Supersonic STOVL Propulsion Technology Program. It uses an integrated approach to develop an integrated program to achieve integrated flight-propulsion control technology. Essential elements of the integrated controls research program are realtime simulations of the integrated aircraft and propulsion systems which will be used in integrated control concept development and evaluations. This paper describes pertinent parts of the research program leading up to the related realtime simulation development and remarks on the simulation structure to accommodate propulsion system hardware drop-in for real system evaluation.
Baer-Riedhart, Jennifer L.; Landy, Robert J.
The highly integrated digital electronic control (HIDEC) program at NASA Ames Research Center, Dryden Flight Research Facility is a multiphase flight research program to quantify the benefits of promising integrated control systems. McDonnell Aircraft Company is the prime contractor, with United Technologies Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, and Lear Siegler Incorporated as major subcontractors. The NASA F-15A testbed aircraft was modified by the HIDEC program by installing a digital electronic flight control system (DEFCS) and replacing the standard F100 (Arab 3) engines with F100 engine model derivative (EMD) engines equipped with digital electronic engine controls (DEEC), and integrating the DEEC's and DEFCS. The modified aircraft provides the capability for testing many integrated control modes involving the flight controls, engine controls, and inlet controls. This paper focuses on the first two phases of the HIDEC program, which are the digital flight control system/aircraft model identification (DEFCS/AMI) phase and the adaptive engine control system (ADECS) phase.
Iliff, Kenneth W.; Shafer, Mary F.
The Space Shuttle Orbiter has provided unique and important information on aircraft flight dynamics. This information has provided the opportunity to assess the flight-derived stability and control derivatives for maneuvering flight in the hypersonic regime. In the case of the Space Shuttle Orbiter, these derivatives are required to determine if certain configuration placards (limitations on the flight envelope) can be modified. These placards were determined on the basis of preflight predictions and the associated uncertainties. As flight-determined derivatives are obtained, the placards are reassessed, and some of them are removed or modified. Extraction of the stability and control derivatives was justified by operational considerations and not by research considerations. Using flight results to update the predicted database of the orbiter is one of the most completely documented processes for a flight vehicle. This process followed from the requirement for analysis of flight data for control system updates and for expansion of the operational flight envelope. These results show significant changes in many important stability and control derivatives from the preflight database. This paper presents some of the stability and control derivative results obtained from Space Shuttle flights. Some of the limitations of this information are also examined.
Tischler, Mark B.
System-identification methods compose a mathematical model, or series of models, from measurements of inputs and outputs of dynamic systems. The extracted models allow the characterization of the response of the overall aircraft or component subsystem behavior, such as actuators and on-board signal processing algorithms. This paper discusses the use of frequency-domain system-identification methods for the development and integration of aircraft flight-control systems. The extraction and analysis of models of varying complexity from nonparametric frequency-responses to transfer-functions and high-order state-space representations is illustrated using the Comprehensive Identification from FrEquency Responses (CIFER) system-identification facility. Results are presented for test data of numerous flight and simulation programs at the Ames Research Center including rotorcraft, fixed-wing aircraft, advanced short takeoff and vertical landing (ASTOVL), vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL), tiltrotor aircraft, and rotor experiments in the wind tunnel. Excellent system characterization and dynamic response prediction is achieved for this wide class of systems. Examples illustrate the role of system-identification technology in providing an integrated flow of dynamic response data around the entire life-cycle of aircraft development from initial specifications, through simulation and bench testing, and into flight-test optimization.
Bahm, Catherine; Baumann, Ethan; Martin, John; Bose, David; Beck, Roger E.; Strovers, Brian
The objective of the Hyper-X program was to flight demonstrate an airframe-integrated hypersonic vehicle. On March 27, 2004, the Hyper-X program team successfully conducted flight 2 and achieved all of the research objectives. The Hyper-X research vehicle successfully separated from the Hyper-X launch vehicle and achieved the desired engine test conditions before the experiment began. The research vehicle rejected the disturbances caused by the cowl door opening and the fuel turning on and off and maintained the engine test conditions throughout the experiment. After the engine test was complete, the vehicle recovered and descended along a trajectory while performing research maneuvers. The last data acquired showed that the vehicle maintained control to the water. This report will provide an overview of the research vehicle guidance and control systems and the performance of the vehicle during the separation event and engine test. The research maneuvers were performed to collect data for aerodynamics and flight controls research. This report also will provide an overview of the flight controls related research and results.
Analytical aerodynamic models are derived from a high alpha 6 DOF wind tunnel model. One detail model requires some interpolation between nonlinear functions of alpha. One analytical model requires no interpolation and as such is a completely continuous model. Flight path optimization is conducted on the basic maneuvers: half-loop, 90 degree pitch-up, and level turn. The optimal control analysis uses the derived analytical model in the equations of motion and is based on both moment and force equations. The maximum principle solution for the half-loop is poststall trajectory performing the half-loop in 13.6 seconds. The agility induced by thrust vectoring capability provided a minimum effect on reducing the maneuver time. By means of thrust vectoring control the 90 degrees pitch-up maneuver can be executed in a small place over a short time interval. The agility capability of thrust vectoring is quite beneficial for pitch-up maneuvers. The level turn results are based currently on only outer layer solutions of singular perturbation. Poststall solutions provide high turn rates but generate higher losses of energy than that of classical sustained solutions.
Moes, Tim; Smith, Mark; Morelli, Gene
A flight test on an F-15 airplane was performed to evaluate the utility of prescribed simultaneous independent surface excitations (PreSISE) for real-time estimation of flight-control parameters, including stability and control derivatives. The ability to extract these derivatives in nearly real time is needed to support flight demonstration of intelligent flight-control system (IFCS) concepts under development at NASA, in academia, and in industry. Traditionally, flight maneuvers have been designed and executed to obtain estimates of stability and control derivatives by use of a post-flight analysis technique. For an IFCS, it is required to be able to modify control laws in real time for an aircraft that has been damaged in flight (because of combat, weather, or a system failure). The flight test included PreSISE maneuvers, during which all desired control surfaces are excited simultaneously, but at different frequencies, resulting in aircraft motions about all coordinate axes. The objectives of the test were to obtain data for post-flight analysis and to perform the analysis to determine: 1) The accuracy of derivatives estimated by use of PreSISE, 2) The required durations of PreSISE inputs, and 3) The minimum required magnitudes of PreSISE inputs. The PreSISE inputs in the flight test consisted of stacked sine-wave excitations at various frequencies, including symmetric and differential excitations of canard and stabilator control surfaces and excitations of aileron and rudder control surfaces of a highly modified F-15 airplane. Small, medium, and large excitations were tested in 15-second maneuvers at subsonic, transonic, and supersonic speeds. Typical excitations are shown in Figure 1. Flight-test data were analyzed by use of pEst, which is an industry-standard output-error technique developed by Dryden Flight Research Center. Data were also analyzed by use of Fourier-transform regression (FTR), which was developed for onboard, real-time estimation of the
Regenie, Victoria A.; Chacon, Claude V.; Lock, Wilton P.
Flight control systems have undergone a revolution since the days of simple mechanical linkages; presently the most advanced systems are full-authority, full-time digital systems controlling unstable aircraft. With the use of advanced control systems, the aerodynamic design can incorporate features that allow greater performance and fuel savings, as can be seen on the new Airbus design and advanced tactical fighter concepts. These advanced aircraft will be and are relying on the flight control system to provide the stability and handling qualities required for safe flight and to allow the pilot to control the aircraft. Various design philosophies have been proposed and followed to investigate system architectures for these advanced flight control systems. One major area of discussion is whether a multichannel digital control system should be synchronous or asynchronous. This paper addressed the flight experience at the Dryden Flight Research Facility of NASA's Ames Research Center with both synchronous and asynchronous digital flight control systems. Four different flight control systems are evaluated against criteria such as software reliability, cost increases, and schedule delays.
Tanaka, Futoshi; Ohmi, Toshiatsu; Kuroda, Shigeaki; Hirasawa, Kazuhiro
In this paper, we show an approach to elucidate the free flight of an insect using a simulation. We modeled a fly, Drosophila, by using aerodynamics, body dynamics, and control theory. The modeled virtual insect performs free flight in virtual space generated by a computer. We simulated the free flight of a virtual insect having two dimensions and two degrees of freedom. The flight pass and flight velocity of the virtual insect during a free flight were calculated by Newton’s equations of motion. The aerodynamic force generated by the flapping motion of the virtual insect was estimated by using the blade element theory. An optimal regulator theory was used as a control law. The flight pass from the initial position to the target position and the wing motion was obtained from the results of the free flight simulation of the virtual insect. We can presume the wing motion of an insect in free flight by using the flight simulation of a virtual insect. These results have suggested that the approach based on the simulation is effective in elucidating the free flight of an insect.
Cox, K. J.; Daly, K. C.; Hattis, P. D.
Experience gained through the Shuttle Orbital Flight Test program has matured the engineering understanding of the Shuttle on-orbit control system. The geneology of the control systems (called digital autopilots, or DAPs, and used by the Shuttle for on-orbit operations) is reviewed, the flight experience gained during the flight test program is examined within the context of preflight analysis and test results, and issues for the operational phase of the Shuttle, including constraints upon both operations and analysis still required to increase confidence in the Shuttle's ability to handle capabilities not experienced during the flight test program are addressed. Two orbital autopilots have resulted from computer memory and time constraints on a flight control system, with many different, flight phase unique requirements. The transition DAP, used for insertion and deorbit, has more active sensors and redundancy but a less complex data processing scheme excluding state estimation with fewer choices of operational mode.
This viewgraph presentation describes NASA's guidance navigation and control flight software development background. The contents include: 1) NASA/Goddard Guidance Navigation and Control (GN&C) Flight Software (FSW) Development Background; 2) GN&C FSW Development Improvement Concepts; and 3) GN&C FSW Application Framework.
Hall, Robert; Kirchwey, Kim; Martin, Michael; Rosch, Gene; Zimpfer, Douglas
When the Space Shuttle Endeavour undocked from the Zarya/Unity configuration on STS-88 it marked the completion of the most challenging shuttle mission to date and the beginning of an enormous task of assembling the International Space Station. The flight offered an array of complex dynamics and control related challenges to mate the American module 'Unity' to the Russian module 'Zarya'. Capability demonstrated on the flight included closed-loop thruster control in the presence of low frequency structural dynamics and mated-vehicle translational maneuvers in the presence of structural loads and thruster hardware constraints. The flight was a complete success from all aspects. This paper will give an overview of the flight control challenges encountered and the actual control performance observed for the on-orbit operations. Included will be the shuttle analysis and filtering strategies to ensure control system stability in the presence of low frequency flex-body dynamics.
Hess, R. A.; Siwakosit, W.; Chung, J.
A technique for the design of flight control systems that can accommodate a set of actuator failures is presented. As employed herein, an actuator failure is defined as any change in the parametric model of the actuator which can adversely affect actuator performance. The technique is based upon the formulation of a fixed feedback topology which ensures at least stability in the presence of the failures in the set. The fixed compensation is obtained from a loop-shaping design procedure similar to Quantitative Feedback Theory and provides stability robustness in the presence of uncertainty in the vehicle dynamics caused by the failures. System adaptation to improve performance after actuator failure(s) occurs through a static gain adjustment in the compensator followed by modification of the system prefilter. Precise identification of the vehicle dynamics is unnecessary. Application to a single-input, single-output design using a simplified model of the longitudinal dynamics of the NASA High Angle of Attack Research Vehicle is discussed. Non-real time simulations of the system including a model of the pilot demonstrate the effectiveness and limitations of the approach.
Goodrich, Kenneth H.; Schutte, Paul C.; Williams, Ralph A.
The rapidly advancing capabilities of autonomous aircraft suggest a future where many of the responsibilities of today s pilot transition to the vehicle, transforming the pilot s job into something akin to driving a car or simply being a passenger. Notionally, this transition will reduce the specialized skills, training, and attention required of the human user while improving safety and performance. However, our experience with highly automated aircraft highlights many challenges to this transition including: lack of automation resilience; adverse human-automation interaction under stress; and the difficulty of developing certification standards and methods of compliance for complex systems performing critical functions traditionally performed by the pilot (e.g., sense and avoid vs. see and avoid). Recognizing these opportunities and realities, researchers at NASA Langley are developing a haptic-multimodal flight control (HFC) system concept that can serve as a bridge between today s state of the art aircraft that are highly automated but have little autonomy and can only be operated safely by highly trained experts (i.e., pilots) to a future in which non-experts (e.g., drivers) can safely and reliably use autonomous aircraft to perform a variety of missions. This paper reviews the motivation and theoretical basis of the HFC system, describes its current state of development, and presents results from two pilot-in-the-loop simulation studies. These preliminary studies suggest the HFC reshapes human-automation interaction in a way well-suited to revolutionary ease-of-use.
Smaili, H.; Breeman, J.; Lombaerts, T.; Stroosma, O.
A large transport aircraft simulation benchmark (REconfigurable COntrol for Vehicle Emergency Return - RECOVER) has been developed within the GARTEUR (Group for Aeronautical Research and Technology in Europe) Flight Mechanics Action Group 16 (FM-AG(16)) on Fault Tolerant Control (2004 2008) for the integrated evaluation of fault detection and identification (FDI) and reconfigurable flight control strategies. The benchmark includes a suitable set of assessment criteria and failure cases, based on reconstructed accident scenarios, to assess the potential of new adaptive control strategies to improve aircraft survivability. The application of reconstruction and modeling techniques, based on accident flight data, has resulted in high-fidelity nonlinear aircraft and fault models to evaluate new Fault Tolerant Flight Control (FTFC) concepts and their real-time performance to accommodate in-flight failures.
Chubb, W. B.; Kennel, H. F.; Rupp, C. C.; Seltzer, S. M.
In 1967 a paper at the AIAA Guidance, Control and Flight Dynamics Conference in Huntsville, Ala. presented for the first time the prot)osed SKYLAB Attitude and Pointing Control System (APCS) The system requirements, Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) configuration, control philosophy, and operational modes were presented and the APCS described. The Initial mission and system design requirements changed during the period of time before the SKYLAB was launched. This paper will review the Initial and final APCS requirements and goals and their relationship. The actual flight mission (and Its alterations during the flight) and known achieved APCS performance will then be presented. SKYLAB was a tremendous success in furthering man's scientific knowledge; but perhaps SKYLAB will be remembered more for the anomalies and the efforts undertaken to solve them. On May 14, 1973, the unmanned SKYLAB Orbital Workshop (OWS) was launched from Cape Kennedy. Serious hardware failures began to occur during ascent through the atmosphere and their spectre continued to haunt both the astronauts and their ground based support team. Nor were these the only surprises affecting the design and operation of the APCS. Mission requirements for pointing to various stellar targets and to nadir for earth resources experiments were added after the hardware was designed. The chance appearance of comet Kohoutek during the SKYLAB operational life-time caused NASA to add comet observation to the mission requirements and to adjust the time when the third crew would man the SKYLAB. The development of new procedures and software for the opportunity to observe this visitor to our solar system is described.
Jang, Jiann-Woei; Alaniz, Abran; Hall, Robert; Bedossian, Nazareth; Hall, Charles; Jackson, Mark
A launch vehicle represents a complicated flex-body structural environment for flight control system design. The Ascent-vehicle Stability Analysis Tool (ASAT) is developed to address the complicity in design and analysis of a launch vehicle. The design objective for the flight control system of a launch vehicle is to best follow guidance commands while robustly maintaining system stability. A constrained optimization approach takes the advantage of modern computational control techniques to simultaneously design multiple control systems in compliance with required design specs. "Tower Clearance" and "Load Relief" designs have been achieved for liftoff and max dynamic pressure flight regions, respectively, in the presence of large wind disturbances. The robustness of the flight control system designs has been verified in the frequency domain Monte Carlo analysis using ASAT.
Washburn, D. A.; Rumbaugh, D. M.; Richardson, W. K.; Gulledge, J. P.; Shlyk, G. G.; Vasilieva, O. N.
A total of 25 young monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were trained with the Psychomotor Test System, a package of software tasks and computer hardware developed for spaceflight research with nonhuman primates. Two flight monkeys and two control monkeys were selected from this pool and performed a psychomotor task before and after the Bion 11 flight or a ground-control period. Monkeys from both groups showed significant disruption in performance after the 14-day flight or simulation (plus one anesthetized day of biopsies and other tests), and this disruption appeared to be magnified for the flight animal.
Motter, Mark A.; High, James W.
A successful flight test and training campaign of the NASA Flying Controls Testbed was conducted at Naval Outlying Field, Webster Field, MD during 2008. Both the prop and jet-powered versions of the subscale, remotely piloted testbeds were used to test representative experimental flight controllers. These testbeds were developed by the Subsonic Fixed Wing Project s emphasis on new flight test techniques. The Subsonic Fixed Wing Project is under the Fundamental Aeronautics Program of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD). The purpose of these testbeds is to quickly and inexpensively evaluate advanced concepts and experimental flight controls, with applications to adaptive control, system identification, novel control effectors, correlation of subscale flight tests with wind tunnel results, and autonomous operations. Flight tests and operator training were conducted during four separate series of tests during April, May, June and August 2008. Experimental controllers were engaged and disengaged during fully autonomous flight in the designated test area. Flaps and landing gear were deployed by commands from the ground control station as unanticipated disturbances. The flight tests were performed NASA personnel with support from the Maritime Unmanned Development and Operations (MUDO) team of the Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division
From NASAâs International Space Station Mission Control Center Todd Quasny, ODIN Flight Controller, participates in a Digital Learning Network (DLN) event with students at Northeast Nodaway Eleme...
From NASAâs International Space Station Mission Control Center ODIN Flight Controller Amy Brezinski participates in a Digital Learning Network (DLN) event with students at Coppell Middle School i...
Wacker, Roger; Munday, Steve; Merkle, Scott
This paper summarizes the application of a nonlinear dynamic inversion (DI) flight control system (FCS) to an autonomous flight test vehicle in NASA's X-38 Project, a predecessor to the International Space Station (ISS) Crew Return Vehicle (CRV). Honeywell's Multi-Application Control-H (MACH) is a parameterized FCS design architecture including both model-based DI rate-compensation and classical P+I command-tracking. MACH was adopted by X-38 in order to shorten the design cycle time for different vehicle shapes and flight envelopes and evolving aerodynamic databases. Specific design issues and analysis results are presented for the application of MACH to the 3rd free flight (FF3) of X-38 Vehicle 132 (V132). This B-52 drop test, occurring on March 30, 2000, represents the first flight test of MACH and one of the first few known applications of DI in the primary FCS of an autonomous flight test vehicle.
Berthe, C. J.; Chalk, C. R.; Sarrafian, S.
The degree of attitude control provided by current integral-proportional pitch rate command-type control systems, while a prerequisite for flared landing, is insufficient for 'Level 1' performance. The pilot requires 'surrogate' feedback cues to precisely control flight path in the landing flare. Monotonic stick forces and pilot station vertical acceleration are important cues which can be provided by means of angle-of-attack and pitch rate feedback in order to achieve conventional short period and phugoid characteristics. Integral-proportional pitch rate flight control systems can be upgraded to Level 1 flared landing performance by means of lead/lag and washout prefilters in the command path. Strong pilot station vertical acceleration cues can provide Level 1 flared landing performance even in the absence of monotonic stick forces.
Kehoe, Michael W.; Bjarke, Lisa J.; Laurie, Edward J.
This paper presents the details of an aeroservoelastic interaction experienced in flight by the X-29A forward-swept-wing aircraft. A 26.5-Hz canard pitch-mode response was aliased by the digital sampling rate in the canard-position feed-back loop of the flight-control system, resulting in a 13.5-Hz signal being commanded to the longitudinal control surfaces. The amplitude of this commanded signal increased as the wear of the canard seals increased, as the feedback path gains were increased, and as the canard aerodynamic loading decreased. The resultant control-surface deflections were of sufficient amplitude to excite the structure. The flight data presented shows the effect of each component (structural dynamics, aerodynamics, and flight-control system) for this aeroservoelastic interaction.
Hewes, Donald E.
A free-flight investigation of two radio-controlled models with parawings, a glider configuration and an airplane (powered) configuration, was made to evaluate the performance, stability, and methods of controlling parawing vehicles. The flight tests showed that the models were stable and could be controlled either by shifting the center of gravity or by using conventional elevator and rudder control surfaces. Static wind-tunnel force-test data were also obtained.
Pahle, Joe W.
This viewgraph presentation describes the adaptive and intelligent control methods used for aircraft survival. The contents include: 1) Motivation for Adaptive Control; 2) Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control Project; 3) Full-scale Flight Assets in Use for IRAC; 4) NASA NF-15B Tail Number 837; 5) Gen II Direct Adaptive Control Architecture; 6) Limited Authority System; and 7) 837 Flight Experiments. A simulated destabilization failure analysis along with experience and lessons learned are also presented.
Motter, Mark A.; Logan, Michael J.; French, Michael L.; Guerreiro, Nelson M.
The NASA Flying Controls Testbed (FLiC) is a relatively small and inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicle developed specifically to test highly experimental flight control approaches. The most recent version of the FLiC is configured with 16 independent aileron segments, supports the implementation of C-coded experimental controllers, and is capable of fully autonomous flight from takeoff roll to landing, including flight test maneuvers. The test vehicle is basically a modified Army target drone, AN/FQM-117B, developed as part of a collaboration between the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) at Fort Eustis, Virginia and NASA Langley Research Center. Several vehicles have been constructed and collectively have flown over 600 successful test flights, including a fully autonomous demonstration at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) UAV Demo 2005. Simulations based on wind tunnel data are being used to further develop advanced controllers for implementation and flight test.
Gregory, Irene M.; Xargay, Enric; Cao, Chengyu; Hovakimyan, Naira
This paper presents new results of a flight test of the L1 adaptive control architecture designed to directly compensate for significant uncertain cross-coupling in nonlinear systems. The flight test was conducted on the subscale turbine powered Generic Transport Model that is an integral part of the Airborne Subscale Transport Aircraft Research system at the NASA Langley Research Center. The results presented include control law evaluation for piloted offset landing tasks as well as results in support of nonlinear aerodynamic modeling and real-time dynamic modeling of the departure-prone edges of the flight envelope.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Gilyard, Glenn B.; Gelhausen, Paul A.
Integration of propulsion and flight control systems will provide significant performance improvements for supersonic transport airplanes. Increased engine thrust and reduced fuel consumption can be obtained by controlling engine stall margin as a function of flight and engine operating conditions. Improved inlet pressure recovery and decreased inlet drag can result from inlet control system integration. Using propulsion system forces and moments to augment the flight control system and airplane stability can reduce the flight control surface and tail size, weight, and drag. Special control modes may also be desirable for minimizing community noise and for emergency procedures. The overall impact of integrated controls on the takeoff gross weight for a generic high speed civil transport is presented.
Kelly, James R.; Person, Lee H., Jr.; Bruce, Kevin R.
This paper describes some of the unique features of an integrated throttle-elevator control law known as the Total Energy Control System (TECS) which has been flight tested on NASA Langley's Transport Systems Research Vehicle. The TECS concept is designed around total energy principles. It utilizes a full-time autothrottle to control the total energy of the aircraft and the elevator to distribute the energy between speed and flight path objectives. Time histories of selected parameters generated from flight data are used to illustrate the pilot-like control strategy of the system and the priority logic employed when throttle limiting is encountered.
Schmidt, D. K.; Innocenti, M.
An optimal control-law synthesis approach is presented that involves simultaneous solution for two cooperating controllers operating in parallel. One controller's structure includes stochastic state estimation and linear feedback of the state estimates, while the other controller involves direct linear feedback of selected system output measurements. This structure is shown to be optimal under the constraint of linear feedback of system outputs in one controller. Furthermore, it is appropriate for flight control synthesis where the full-state optimal stochastic controller can be adjusted to be representative of an optimal control model of the human pilot in a stochastic regulation task. The method is experimentally verified in the case of the selection of pitch-damper gain for optimum pitch tracking, where optimum implies the best subjective pilot rating in the task. Finally, results from application of the method to synthesize a controller for a multivariable fighter aircraft are presented, and implications of the results of this method regarding the optimal plant dynamics for tracking are discussed.
A viewgraph presentation on the lessons learned and flight results from the F15 Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) project is shown. The topics include: 1) F-15 IFCS Project Goals; 2) Motivation; 3) IFCS Approach; 4) NASA F-15 #837 Aircraft Description; 5) Flight Envelope; 6) Limited Authority System; 7) NN Floating Limiter; 8) Flight Experiment; 9) Adaptation Goals; 10) Handling Qualities Performance Metric; 11) Project Phases; 12) Indirect Adaptive Control Architecture; 13) Indirect Adaptive Experience and Lessons Learned; 14) Gen II Direct Adaptive Control Architecture; 15) Current Status; 16) Effect of Canard Multiplier; 17) Simulated Canard Failure Stab Open Loop; 18) Canard Multiplier Effect Closed Loop Freq. Resp.; 19) Simulated Canard Failure Stab Open Loop with Adaptation; 20) Canard Multiplier Effect Closed Loop with Adaptation; 21) Gen 2 NN Wts from Simulation; 22) Direct Adaptive Experience and Lessons Learned; and 23) Conclusions
Bevacqoa, Tim; Adams, Tony; Zhu. J. Jim; Rao, P. Prabhakara
Flight control of small crew return vehicles during atmospheric reentry will be an important technology in any human space flight mission undertaken in the future. The control system presented in this paper is applicable to small crew return vehicles in which reaction control system (RCS) thrusters are the only actuators available for attitude control. The control system consists of two modules: (i) the attitude controller using the trajectory linearization control (TLC) technique, and (ii) the reaction control system (RCS) control allocation module using a dynamic table-lookup technique. This paper describes the design and implementation of the TLC attitude control and the dynamic table-lookup RCS control allocation for nonimal flight along with design verification test results.
Nájera, J A
Even if history has not always been the Magistra vitae, Cicero expected it to be, it should provide, as Baas said, a mirror in which to observe and compare the past and present in order to draw therefrom well-grounded conclusions for the future. Based on this belief, this paper aims to provide an overview of the foundations and development of malaria control policies during the XX century. It presents an analysis of the conflicting tendencies which shaped the development of these policies and which appear to have oscillated between calls for frontal attack in an all-out campaign and calls for sustainable gains, even if slow. It discusses the various approaches to the control of malaria, their achievements and their limitations, not only to serve as a background to understand better the foundations of current policies, but also to prevent that simplistic generalisations may again lead to exaggerated expectations and disillusion. The first part of the paper is devoted to the development of malaria control during the first half of the century, characterised by the ups and downs in the reliance on mosquito control as the control measure applicable everywhere. The proliferation of "man-made-malaria", which accompanied the push for economic development in most of the endemic countries, spurred the need for control interventions and, while great successes were obtained in many specific projects, the general campaigns proposed by the enthusiasts of vector control faced increasing difficulties in their practical implementation in the field. Important events, which may be considered representative of this period are, on the campaign approach, the success of Gorgas in the Panama Canal, but also the failure of the Mian Mir project in India; while on the developmental approach, the Italian and Dutch schools of malariology, the Tennessee Valley and the development of malaria sanitation, included the so called species sanitation. The projection of these developments to a global
Murch, Austin M.; Cox, David E.; Cunningham, Kevin
The NASA AirSTAR system has been designed to address the challenges associated with safe and efficient subscale flight testing of research control laws in adverse flight conditions. In this paper, software elements of this system are described, with an emphasis on components which allow for rapid prototyping and deployment of aircraft control laws. Through model-based design and automatic coding a common code-base is used for desktop analysis, piloted simulation and real-time flight control. The flight control system provides the ability to rapidly integrate and test multiple research control laws and to emulate component or sensor failures. Integrated integrity monitoring systems provide aircraft structural load protection, isolate the system from control algorithm failures, and monitor the health of telemetry streams. Finally, issues associated with software configuration management and code modularity are briefly discussed.
This study investigates a hybrid adaptive flight control method as a design possibility for a flight control system that can enable an effective adaptation strategy to deal with off-nominal flight conditions. The hybrid adaptive control blends both direct and indirect adaptive control in a model inversion flight control architecture. The blending of both direct and indirect adaptive control provides a much more flexible and effective adaptive flight control architecture than that with either direct or indirect adaptive control alone. The indirect adaptive control is used to update the model inversion controller by an on-line parameter estimation of uncertain plant dynamics based on two methods. The first parameter estimation method is an indirect adaptive law based on the Lyapunov theory, and the second method is a recursive least-squares indirect adaptive law. The model inversion controller is therefore made to adapt to changes in the plant dynamics due to uncertainty. As a result, the modeling error is reduced that directly leads to a decrease in the tracking error. In conjunction with the indirect adaptive control that updates the model inversion controller, a direct adaptive control is implemented as an augmented command to further reduce any residual tracking error that is not entirely eliminated by the indirect adaptive control.
A proof-of-concept hand controller for controlling lateral and longitudinal cyclic pitch, collective pitch and tail rotor thrust was developed. The purpose of the work was to address problems of operator fatigue, poor proprioceptive feedback and cross-coupling of axes associated with many four-axis controller designs. The present design is an attempt to reduce cross-coupling to a level that can be controlled with breakout force, rather than to eliminate it entirely. The cascaded design placed lateral and longitudinal cyclic in their normal configuration. Tail rotor thrust was placed atop the cyclic controller. A left/right twisting motion with the wrist made the control input. The axis of rotation was canted outboard (clockwise) to minimize cross-coupling with the cyclic pitch axis. The collective control was a twist grip, like a motorcycle throttle. Measurement of the amount of cross-coupling involved in pure, single-axis inputs showed cross coupling under 10 percent of full deflection for all axes. This small amount of cross-coupling could be further reduced with better damping and force gradient control. Fatigue was not found to be a problem, and proprioceptive feedback was adequate for all flight tasks executed.
Ness, W. G.; Davis, R. M.; Benson, J. W.; Smith, M. K.; Eldredge, D.
The integrated application of reliability, failure effects and system simulator methods in establishing the airworthiness of a flight critical digital flight control system (DFCS) is demonstrated. The emphasis was on the mutual reinforcement of the methods in demonstrating the system safety.
Bosworth, John T.
This viewgraph presentation reviews the use of Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) for the F-15. The goals of the project are: (1) Demonstrate Revolutionary Control Approaches that can Efficiently Optimize Aircraft Performance in both Normal and Failure Conditions (2) Advance Neural Network-Based Flight Control Technology for New Aerospace Systems Designs. The motivation for the development are to reduce the chance and skill required for survival.
The major operational characteristics of the 747 Primary Flight Control Systems (PFCS) are described. Results of reliability analysis for separate control functions are presented. The analysis makes use of a NASA computer program which calculates reliability of redundant systems. Costs for maintaining the 747 PFCS in airline service are assessed. The reliabilities and cost will provide a baseline for use in trade studies of future flight control system design.
Brand, Timothy J.; Engel, Albert G.
The Aeroassist Flight Experiment scheduled for the early 1990's will demonstrate the use of a low L/D lifting brake using aerodynamic drag to return a spacecraft from a high energy to a low earth orbit. The experimental vehicle will be deployed and retrieved by the Shuttle Orbiter. This paper reviews some of the challenges, problems, and solutions encountered to date during guidance system development, with emphasis on technology advances which will benefit an operational Orbit Transfer Vehicle (OTV). Key factors to be discussed include guidance alternatives, aerodynamic modeling, navigation requirements, the impact of atmospheric uncertainties, and flight profile alternatives considered during initial planning.
Hunter, J. E.
Results from an intensive FBW advanced development effort indicate significant improvements in overall flight control system performance, reliability, safety and maintainability. Additionally, the strong and credible FBW technology base developed as a result paved the way for further exploitation through the application of advanced concepts such as control configured vehicles and multi-mode controls.
Schmidt, David K.; Schierman, John D.
This report documents the activities and research results obtained under a grant (NAG3-998) from the NASA Lewis Research Center. The focus of the research was the investigation of dynamic interactions between airframe and engines for advanced ASTOVL aircraft configurations, and the analysis of the implications of these interactions on the stability and performance of the airframe and engine control systems. In addition, the need for integrated flight and propulsion control for such aircraft was addressed. The major contribution of this research was the exposition of the fact that airframe and engine interactions could be present, and their effects could include loss of stability and performance of the control systems. Also, the significance of two directional, as opposed to one-directional, coupling was identified and explained. A multi variable stability and performance analysis methodology was developed, and applied to several candidate aircraft configurations. Also exposed was the fact that with interactions present along with some integrated control approaches, the engine command/limiting logic (which represents an important non-linear component of the engine control system) can impact closed-loop airframe/engine system stability. Finally, a brief investigation of control-law synthesis techniques appropriate for the class of systems was pursued, and it was determined that multi variable techniques, included model-following formulations of LQG and/or H (infinity) methods showed promise. However, for practical reasons, decentralized control architectures are preferred, which is an architecture incompatible with these synthesis methods.
Mcruer, D. T.; Johnston, D. E.
This volume contains a delineation of fundamental and mechanization-specific flight control characteristics and problems gleaned from many sources and spanning a period of over two decades. It is organized to present and discuss first some fundamental, generic problems of closed-loop flight control systems involving numerator characteristics (quadratic dipoles, non-minimum phase roots, and intentionally introduced zeros). Next the principal elements of the largely mechanical primary flight control system are reviewed with particular emphasis on the influence of nonlinearities. The characteristics and problems of augmentation (damping, stability, and feel) system mechanizations are then dealt with. The particular idiosyncracies of automatic control actuation and command augmentation schemes are stressed, because they constitute the major interfaces with the primary flight control system and an often highly variable vehicle response.
Cooke, D. R.
A unique approach for obtaining vehicle aerodynamic characteristics during entry has been developed for the Space Shuttle. This is due to the high cost of Shuttle testing, the need to open constraints for operational flights, and the fact that all flight regimes are flown starting with the first flight. Because of uncertainties associated with predicted aerodynamic coefficients, nine flight conditions have been identified at which control problems could occur. A detailed test plan has been developed for testing at these conditions and is presented. Due to limited testing, precise computer initiated maneuvers are implemented. These maneuvers are designed to optimize the vehicle motion for determining aerodynamic coefficients. Special sensors and atmospheric measurements are required to provide stability and control flight data during an entire entry. The techniques employed in data reduction are proven programs developed and used at NASA/DFRC.
Hess, R. A.; Wells, S. R.; Bacon, Barton (Technical Monitor)
Sliding mode control is applied to the design of a flight control system capable of operating with limited bandwidth actuators and in the presence of significant damage to the airframe and/or control effector actuators. Although inherently robust, sliding mode control algorithms have been hampered by their sensitivity to the effects of parasitic unmodeled dynamics, such as those associated with actuators and structural modes. It is known that asymptotic observers can alleviate this sensitivity while still allowing the system to exhibit significant robustness. This approach is demonstrated. The selection of the sliding manifold as well as the interpretation of the linear design that results after introduction of a boundary layer is accomplished in the frequency domain. The design technique is exercised on a pitch-axis controller for a simple short-period model of the High Angle of Attack F-18 vehicle via computer simulation. Stability and performance is compared to that of a system incorporating a controller designed by classical loop-shaping techniques.
The production of the General Aviation industry has declined in the past 25 years. Ironically, however, the increasing demand for air travel as a fast, safe, and high-quality mode of transportation has been far from satisfied. Addressing this demand shortfall with personal air transportation necessitates advanced systems for navigation, guidance, control, flight management, and flight traffic control. Among them, an effective decoupling flight control system will not only improve flight quality, safety, and simplicity, and increase air space usage, but also reduce expenses on pilot initial and current training, and thus expand the current market and explore new markets. Because of the formidable difficulties encountered in the actual decoupling of non-linear, time-variant, and highly coupled flight control systems through traditional approaches, a new approach, which essentially converts the decoupling problem into a real-time trajectory synthesis and tracking problem, is employed. Then, the converted problem is solved and a virtual decoupling effect is achieved. In this approach, a trajectory in inertial space can be predefined and dynamically modified based on the flight mission and the pilot's commands. A feedforward-feedback control architecture is constructed to guide the airplane along the trajectory as precisely as possible. Through this approach, the pilot has much simpler, virtually decoupled control of the airplane in terms of speed, flight path angle and horizontal radius of curvature. To verify and evaluate this approach, extensive computer simulation is performed. A great deal of test cases are designed for the flight control under different flight conditions. The simulation results show that our decoupling strategy is satisfactory and promising, and therefore the research can serve as a consolidated foundation for future practical applications.
Stewart, James F.; Shuck, Thomas L.
Flight tests conducted with the self-repairing flight control system (SRFCS) installed on the NASA F-15 highly integrated digital electronic control aircraft are described. The development leading to the current SRFCS configuration is highlighted. Key objectives of the program are outlined: (1) to flight-evaluate a control reconfiguration strategy with three types of control surface failure; (2) to evaluate a cockpit display that will inform the pilot of the maneuvering capacity of the damage aircraft; and (3) to flight-evaluate the onboard expert system maintenance diagnostics process using representative faults set to occur only under maneuvering conditions. Preliminary flight results addressing the operation of the overall system, as well as the individual technologies, are included.
Stewart, James F.; Shuck, Thomas L.
Flight tests conducted with the self-repairing flight control system (SRFCS) installed on the NASA F-15 highly integrated digital electronic control aircraft are described. The development leading to the current SRFCS configuration is highlighted. Key objectives of the program are outlined: (1) to flight-evaluate a control reconfiguration strategy with three types of control surface failure; (2) to evaluate a cockpit display that will inform the pilot of the maneuvering capacity of the damaged aircraft; and (3) to flight-evaluate the onboard expert system maintenance diagnostics process using representative faults set to occur only under maneuvering conditions. Preliminary flight results addressing the operation of the overall system, as well as the individual technologies, are included.
Szalai, K. J.; Jarvis, C. R.; Krier, G. E.; Megna, V. A.; Brock, L. D.; Odonnell, R. N.
The experience gained in digital fly-by-wire technology through a flight test program being conducted by the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in an F-8C aircraft is described. The system requirements are outlined, along with the requirements for flight qualification. The system is described, including the hardware components, the aircraft installation, and the system operation. The flight qualification experience is emphasized. The qualification process included the theoretical validation of the basic design, laboratory testing of the hardware and software elements, systems level testing, and flight testing. The most productive testing was performed on an iron bird aircraft, which used the actual electronic and hydraulic hardware and a simulation of the F-8 characteristics to provide the flight environment. The iron bird was used for sensor and system redundancy management testing, failure modes and effects testing, and stress testing in many cases with the pilot in the loop. The flight test program confirmed the quality of the validation process by achieving 50 flights without a known undetected failure and with no false alarms.
Landis, K. H.; Aiken, E. W.
Several night nap-of-the-earth mission tasks were evaluated using a helmet-mounted display which provided a limited field-of-view image with superimposed flight control symbology. A wide range of stability and control augmentation designs was investigated. Variations in controller force-deflection characteristics and the number of axes controlled through an integrated side-stick controller were studied. In general, a small displacement controller is preferred over a stiffstick controller particularly for maneuvering flight. Higher levels of stability augmentation were required for IMC tasks to provide handling qualities comparable to those achieved for the same tasks conducted under simulated visual flight conditions. Previously announced in STAR as N82-23216
Hecht, H.; Hecht, M.
Software error data of major recent Digital Flight Control Systems Development Programs. The report summarizes the data, compare these data with similar data from previous surveys and identifies trends and disciplines to improve software reliability.
Smokey Bear celebrated his 68th birthday with a special visit to the International Space Station Flight Control Room at Johnson Space Center in Houston. On May 14, Smokey went where no bear had gon...
Schmidt, D. K.
A unified control synthesis methodology for complex and/or non-conventional flight vehicles are developed. Prediction techniques for the handling characteristics of such vehicles and pilot parameter identification from experimental data are addressed.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Maine, Trindel A.; Fullerton, C. Gordon; Webb, Lannie Dean
A propulsion-controlled aircraft (PCA) system for emergency flight control of aircraft with no flight controls was developed and flight tested on an F-15 aircraft at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. The airplane has been flown in a throttles-only manual mode and with an augmented system called PCA in which pilot thumbwheel commands and aircraft feedback parameters were used to drive the throttles. Results from a 36-flight evaluation showed that the PCA system can be used to safety land an airplane that has suffered a major flight control system failure. The PCA system was used to recover from a severe upset condition, descend, and land. Guest pilots have also evaluated the PCA system. This paper describes the principles of throttles-only flight control; a history of loss-of-control accidents; a description of the F-15 aircraft; the PCA system operation, simulation, and flight testing; and the pilot comments.
Schmidt, Phillip; Garg, Sanjay; Holowecky, Brian
A parameter optimization framework is presented to solve the problem of partitioning a centralized controller into a decentralized hierarchical structure suitable for integrated flight/propulsion control implementation. The controller partitioning problem is briefly discussed and a cost function to be minimized is formulated, such that the resulting 'optimal' partitioned subsystem controllers will closely match the performance (including robustness) properties of the closed-loop system with the centralized controller while maintaining the desired controller partitioning structure. The cost function is written in terms of parameters in a state-space representation of the partitioned sub-controllers. Analytical expressions are obtained for the gradient of this cost function with respect to parameters, and an optimization algorithm is developed using modern computer-aided control design and analysis software. The capabilities of the algorithm are demonstrated by application to partitioned integrated flight/propulsion control design for a modern fighter aircraft in the short approach to landing task. The partitioning optimization is shown to lead to reduced-order subcontrollers that match the closed-loop command tracking and decoupling performance achieved by a high-order centralized controller.
Garg, Sanjay; Mattern, Duane L.; Bright, Michelle M.; Ouzts, Peter J.
Results are presented from an application of H-infinity control design methodology to a centralized integrated flight/propulsion control (IFPC) system design for a supersonic Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) fighter aircraft in transition flight. The overall design methodology consists of a centralized IFPC controller design with controller partitioning. Only the feedback controller design portion of the methodology is addressed. Design and evaluation vehicle models are summarized, and insight is provided into formulating the H-infinity control problem such that it reflects the IFPC design objectives. The H-infinity controller is shown to provide decoupled command tracking for the design model. The controller order could be significantly reduced by modal residualization of the fast controller modes without any deterioration in performance. A discussion is presented of the areas in which the controller performance needs to be improved, and ways in which these improvements can be achieved within the framework of an H-infinity based linear control design.
Athans, M.; Willner, D.
A flight control system design is presented, that can be implemented by analog hardware, to be used to control an aircraft with uncertain parameters. The design is based upon the use of modern control theory. The ideas are illustrated by considering control of STOL longitudinal dynamics.
Azam, Mohammad; Pattipati, Krishna; Allanach, Jeffrey; Poll, Scott; Patterson-Hine, Ann
In this paper we consider the problem of test design for real-time fault detection and isolation (FDI) in the flight control system of fixed-wing aircraft. We focus on the faults that are manifested in the control surface elements (e.g., aileron, elevator, rudder and stabilizer) of an aircraft. For demonstration purposes, we restrict our focus on the faults belonging to nine basic fault classes. The diagnostic tests are performed on the features extracted from fifty monitored system parameters. The proposed tests are able to uniquely isolate each of the faults at almost all severity levels. A neural network-based flight control simulator, FLTZ(Registered TradeMark), is used for the simulation of various faults in fixed-wing aircraft flight control systems for the purpose of FDI.
White, Molly E.; Hyatt, Andrew J.
The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) Reaction Control System (RCS) is critical to guide the vehicle along the desired trajectory during re--entry. However, this system has a significant impact on the convective heating environment to the spacecraft. Heating augmentation from the jet interaction (JI) drives thermal protection system (TPS) material selection and thickness requirements for the spacecraft. This paper describes the heating environment from the RCS on the afterbody of the Orion MPCV during Orion's first flight test, Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1). These jet plumes interact with the wake of the crew capsule and cause an increase in the convective heating environment. Not only is there widespread influence from the jet banks, there may also be very localized effects. The firing history during EFT-1 will be summarized to assess which jet bank interaction was measured during flight. Heating augmentation factors derived from the reconstructed flight data will be presented. Furthermore, flight instrumentation across the afterbody provides the highest spatial resolution of the region of influence of the individual jet banks of any spacecraft yet flown. This distribution of heating augmentation across the afterbody will be derived from the flight data. Additionally, trends with possible correlating parameters will be investigated to assist future designs and ground testing programs. Finally, the challenges of measuring JI, applying this data to future flights and lessons learned will be discussed.
Endeavour, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 105, forward flight deck controls are documented during manufacture, assembly, and checkout at North American Rockwell facilities Building 150, Palmdale, California. Overall view looks from aft flight deck forward showing displays and controls with panel F7 CRT screens lit and window shades in place on W2, W3, W4, W5. OV-105 is undergoing final touches prior to rollout and a scheduled flight for STS-49. View was included as part of Rockwell International (RI) Submittal No. 40 (STS 87-0342-40) with alternate number A901207 R-16/NAS9-17800.
Kehoe, Michael W.; Bjarke, Lisa J.; Laurie, Edward J.
Many of today's high performance airplanes use high gain, digital flight control systems. These sytems are liable to couple with the aircraft's structural dynamics and aerodynamics to cause an aeroservoelastic interaction. These interactions can be stable or unstable depending upon damping and phase relationships within the system. The details of an aeroservoelastic interaction experienced in flight by the X-29A forward-swept wing airplane. A 26.5-Hz canard pitch mode response was aliased by the digital sampling rate in the canard position feedback loop of the flight control system, resulting in a 13.5-Hz signal being commanded to the longitudinal control surfaces. The amplitude of this commanded signal increased as the wear of the canard seals increased, as the feedback path gains were increased, and as the canard aerodynamic loading decreased. The resultant control surface deflections were of sufficient amplitude to excite the structure. The flight data presented shows the effect of each component (structural dynamics, aerodynamics, and flight control system) for this aeroservoelastic interaction.
Andrews, D. M.; Mahmood, A.; Mccluskey, E. J.
Assertions are used to dynamically test fault tolerant flight software. The experiment showed that 87% of typical errors introduced into the program would be detected by assertions. Detailed analysis of the test data showed that the number of assertions needed to detect those errors could be reduced to a minimal set. The analysis also revealed that the most effective assertions tested program parameters that provided greater indirect (collateral) testing of other parameters.
Andrews, D. M.; Mahmood, A.; Mccluskey, E. J.
An experiment in using assertions to dynamically test fault tolerant flight software is described. The experiment showed that 87% of typical errors introduced into the program would be detected by assertions. Detailed analysis of the test data showed that the number of assertions needed to detect those errors could be reduced to a minimal set. The analysis also revealed that the most effective assertions tested program parameters that provided greater indirect (collateral) testing of other parameters.
Schutte, Paul C.; Willshire, Kelli F.
It is widely accepted that human error is a major contributing factor in aircraft accidents. There has been a significant amount of research in why these errors occurred, and many reports state that the design of flight deck can actually dispose humans to err. This research has led to the call for changes in design according to human factors and human-centered principles. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Langley Research Center has initiated an effort to design a human-centered flight deck from a clean slate (i.e., without constraints of existing designs.) The effort will be based on recent research in human-centered design philosophy and mission management categories. This design will match the human's model of the mission and function of the aircraft to reduce unnatural or non-intuitive interfaces. The product of this effort will be a flight deck design description, including training and procedures, and a cross reference or paper trail back to design hypotheses, and an evaluation of the design. The present paper will discuss the philosophy, process, and status of this design effort.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Maine, Trindel A.
Flight tests of the propulsion controlled aircraft (PCA) system on the NASA F-15 airplane evolved as a result of a long series of simulation and flight tests. Initially, the simulation results were very optimistic. Early flight tests showed that manual throttles-only control was much more difficult than the simulation, and a flight investigation was flown to acquire data to resolve this discrepancy. The PCA system designed and developed by MDA evolved as these discrepancies were found and resolved, requiring redesign of the PCA software and modification of the flight test plan. Small throttle step inputs were flown to provide data for analysis, simulation update, and control logic modification. The PCA flight tests quickly revealed less than desired performance, but the extensive flexibility built into the flight PCA software allowed rapid evaluation of alternate gains, filters, and control logic, and within 2 weeks, the PCA system was functioning well. The initial objective of achieving adequate control for up-and-away flying and approaches was satisfied, and the option to continue to actual landings was achieved. After the PCA landings were accomplished, other PCA features were added, and additional maneuvers beyond those originally planned were flown. The PCA system was used to recover from extreme upset conditions, descend, and make approaches to landing. A heading mode was added, and a single engine plus rudder PCA mode was also added and flown. The PCA flight envelope was expanded far beyond that originally designed for. Guest pilots from the USAF, USN, NASA, and the contractor also flew the PCA system and were favorably impressed.
The F-16XL #1 (NASA 849) takes off for the first flight of the Digital Flight Control System (DFCS) on December 16, 1997. Like most first flight, the DFCS required months of preparations. During July 1997, crews worked on the engine, cockpit, canopy, seat, and instrumentation. By late August, the aircraft began combined systems tests and a flight readiness review. Although the Air Force Safety Review Board (AFSRB)- a group that provided double checks on all flight operations - approved the program in late November 1997, a problem with the aircraft flight computer delayed the functional check flight until mid-December.
Zinchiak, Andrew G.
Nearly all modern helicopters are designed with a swashplate-based system for control of the main rotor blades. However, the swashplate-based approach does not provide the level of redundancy necessary to cope with abnormal actuator conditions. For example, if an actuator fails (becomes locked) on the main rotor, the cyclic inputs are consequently fixed and the helicopter may become stuck in a flight maneuver. This can obviously be seen as a catastrophic failure, and would likely lead to a crash. These types of failures can be overcome with the application of individual blade control (IBC). IBC is achieved using the blade pitch control method, which provides complete authority of the aerodynamic characteristics of each rotor blade at any given time by replacing the normally rigid pitch links between the swashplate and the pitch horn of the blade with hydraulic or electronic actuators. Thus, IBC can provide the redundancy necessary for subsystem failure accommodation. In this research effort, a simulation environment is developed to investigate the potential of the IBC main rotor configuration for fault-tolerant control. To examine the applications of IBC to failure scenarios and fault-tolerant controls, a conventional, swashplate-based linear model is first developed for hover and forward flight scenarios based on the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The linear modeling techniques for the swashplate-based helicopter are then adapted and expanded to include IBC. Using these modified techniques, an IBC based mathematical model of the UH-60 helicopter is developed for the purposes of simulation and analysis. The methodology can be used to model and implement a different aircraft if geometric, gravimetric, and general aerodynamic data are available. Without the kinetic restrictions of the swashplate, the IBC model effectively decouples the cyclic control inputs between different blades. Simulations of the IBC model prove that the primary control functions can be manually
Shafer, M. F.
NASA's F-8 digital fly-by-wire aircraft has been subjected to stability and control derivative assessments, leading to the proposal of improved control inputs for more efficient control derivative estimation. This will reduce program costs by reducing flight test and data analysis requirements. Inputs were divided into sinusoidal types and cornered types. Those with corners produced the best set of stability and control derivatives for the unaugmented flight control system mode. Small inputs are noted to have provided worse derivatives than larger ones.
Bauer, Jeffrey E.; Clarke, Robert; Burken, John J.
The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center has flight tested two X-29A aircraft at low and high angles of attack. The high-angle-of-attack tests evaluate the feasibility of integrated X-29A technologies. More specific objectives focus on evaluating the high-angle-of-attack flying qualities, defining multiaxis controllability limits, and determining the maximum pitch-pointing capability. A pilot-selectable gain system allows examination of tradeoffs in airplane stability and maneuverability. Basic fighter maneuvers provide qualitative evaluation. Bank angle captures permit qualitative data analysis. This paper discusses the design goals and approach for high-angle-of-attack control laws and provides results from the envelope expansion and handling qualities testing at intermediate angles of attack. Comparisons of the flight test results to the predictions are made where appropriate. The pitch rate command structure of the longitudinal control system is shown to be a valid design for high-angle-of-attack control laws. Flight test results show that wing rock amplitude was overpredicted and aileron and rudder effectiveness were underpredicted. Flight tests show the X-29A airplane to be a good aircraft up to 40 deg angle of attack.
Michou, Aikaterini; Vansteenkiste, Maarten; Mouratidis, Athanasios; Lens, Willy
Background: The hierarchical model of achievement motivation presumes that achievement goals channel the achievement motives of need for achievement and fear of failure towards motivational outcomes. Yet, less is known whether autonomous and controlling reasons underlying the pursuit of achievement goals can serve as additional pathways between…
Harper, Sandy L.
The FOPMN is a fiber-optic signal collection system for primary flight control applications. An avionics bay protected electro-optic interface unit transmits light down fiber optic cable to an optical sensor housed in the harsh environment of a hydraulic actuator. The interface unit also receives the sensor's reflected pattern and calculates independent positions from the multiplexed signals. This paper discusses the FOPMN method for fiber-optically sensing and multiplexing two channels of position of a TEF actuator's main ram cylinder. Currently installed in NASA Dryden's SRA F/A-18, the FOPMN has accumulated approximately 15 hours of flight time. A performance comparison is made between the FOPMN positions and the flight control computer's feedback mechanism (the actuator LVDTs). Included is a discussion of some of the lessons learned as a result of testing the FOPMN in the lab and in flight. The FOPMN is well on its way to proving itself as a robust fiber optic system with the ability to multiplex numerous optical sensors for primary flight control. The success of the FOPMN leads to the second phase of the project--optical loop closure. Our goal for this phase is to have four FOPMN sensor channels on the main ram and/or the main control valve of the actuator to serve as the quad redundant feedback mechanism for flight control.
Mettler, Bernard; Tuschler, Mark B.; Kanade, Takeo
This paper presents a process of design and flight-test validation and flying qualities evaluation of a flight control system for a rotorcraft-based unmanned aerial vehicle (RUAV). The keystone of this process is an accurate flight-dynamic model of the aircraft, derived by using system identification modeling. The model captures the most relevant dynamic features of our unmanned rotorcraft, and explicitly accounts for the presence of a stabilizer bar. Using the identified model we were able to determine the performance margins of our original control system and identify limiting factors. The performance limitations were addressed and the attitude control system was 0ptimize.d for different three performance levels: slow, medium, fast. The optimized control laws will be implemented in our RUAV. We will first determine the validity of our control design approach by flight test validating our optimized controllers. Subsequently, we will fly a series of maneuvers with the three optimized controllers to determine the level of flying qualities that can be attained. The outcome enable us to draw important conclusions on the flying qualities requirements for small-scale RUAVs.
Landis, K. H.; Aiken, E. W.
Several night nap-of-the-earth mission tasks were evaluated using a helmet-mounted display which provided a limited field-of-view image with superimposed flight control symbology. A wide range of stability and control augmentation designs was investigated. Variations in controller force-deflection characteristics and the number of axes controlled through an integrated side-stick controller were studied. In general, a small displacement controller is preferred over a stiffstick controller particularly for maneuvering flight. Higher levels of stability augmentation were required for IMC tasks to provide handling qualities comparable to those achieved for the same tasks conducted under simulated visual flight conditions.
Forman, P.; Moses, K.
A brief description of a SIFT (Software Implemented Fault Tolerance) Flight Control Computer with emphasis on implementation is presented. A multiprocessor system that relies on software-implemented fault detection and reconfiguration algorithms is described. A high level reliability and fault tolerance is achieved by the replication of computing tasks among processing units.
Lina, Lindsay J.; Champine, Robert A.; Morris, Garland J.
A flight investigation of an automatic throttle control in landing approaches has been made. It was found that airspeed could be maintained satisfactorily by the automatic throttle control. Turbulent air caused undesirably large variations of engine power which were uncomfortable and disconcerting; nevertheless, the pilot felt that he could make approaches 5 knots slower with equal assurance when the automatic control was in operation.
Chou, Hwei-Lan; Biezad, Daniel J.
Longitudinal control system architectures are presented which directly couple flight stick motions to throttle commands for a multi-engine aircraft. This coupling enables positive attitude control with complete failure of the flight control system. The architectures chosen vary from simple feedback gains to classical lead-lag compensators with and without prefilters. Each architecture is reviewed for its appropriateness for piloted flight. The control systems are then analyzed with pilot-in-the-loop metrics related to bandwidth required for landing. Results indicate that current and proposed bandwidth requirements should be modified for throttles only flight control. Pilot ratings consistently showed better ratings than predicted by analysis. Recommendations are made for more robust design and implementation. The use of Quantitative Feedback Theory for compensator design is discussed. Although simple and effective augmented control can be achieved in a wide variety of failed configurations, a few configuration characteristics are dominant for pilot-in-the-loop control. These characteristics will be tested in a simulator study involving failed flight controls for a multi-engine aircraft.
Barfield, A. F.
A modified YF-16 aircraft was used to flight demonstrate decoupled modes under the USAF Fighter Control Configured Vehicle (CCV) Program. The direct force capabilities were used to implement seven manually controlled unconventional modes on the aircraft, allowing flat turns, decoupled normal acceleration control, independent longitudinal and lateral translations, uncoupled elevation and azimuth aiming, and blended direct lift. This paper describes the design, development, and flight testing of these control modes. The need for task-tailored mode authorities, gain-scheduling and selected closed-loop design is discussed.
Kennedy, Quinn; Taylor, Joy L.; Reade, Gordon; Yesavage, Jerome A.
Introduction Age (due to declines in cognitive abilities necessary for navigation) and level of aviation expertise are two factors that may affect aviation performance and decision making under adverse weather conditions. We examined the roles of age, expertise, and their relationship on aviation decision making and flight control performance during a flight simulator task. Methods Seventy-two IFR-rated general aviators, aged 19–79 yr, made multiple approach, holding pattern entry, and landing decisions while navigating under Instrument Flight Rules weather conditions. Over three trials in which the fog level varied, subjects decided whether or not to land the aircraft. They also completed two holding pattern entries. Subjects’ flight control during approaches and holding patterns was measured. Results Older pilots (41+ yr) were more likely than younger pilots to land when visibility was inadequate (older pilots’ mean false alarm rate: 0.44 vs 0.25). They also showed less precise flight control for components of the approach, performing 0.16 SD below mean approach scores. Expertise attenuated an age-related decline in flight control during holding patterns: older IFR/CFI performed 0.73 SD below mean score; younger IFR/CFI, younger CFII/ATP, older CFII/ATP: 0.32, 0.26, 0.03 SD above mean score. Additionally, pilots with faster processing speed (by median split) had a higher mean landing decision false alarm rate (0.42 vs 0.28), yet performed 0.14 SD above the mean approach control score. Conclusions Results have implications regarding specialized training for older pilots and for understanding processes involved in older adults’ real world decision making and performance. PMID:20464816
...; Electronic Flight Control System Mode Annunciation AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION... design features include an electronic flight control system. The applicable airworthiness regulations do... INFORMATION CONTACT: Joe Jacobsen, FAA, Airplane and Flight Crew Interface Branch, ANM-111,...
Taylor, Lawrence W., Jr.; Day, Richard E.
A simulator study and flight tests were performed to determine the levels of static stability and damping necessary to enable a pilot to control the longitudinal and lateral-directional dynamics of a vehicle for short periods of time. Although a basic set of aerodynamic characteristics was used, the study was conducted so that the results would be applicable to a wide range of flight conditions and configurations. Novel piloting techniques were found which enabled the pilot to control the vehicle at conditions that were otherwise uncontrollable. The influence of several critical factors in altering the controllability limits was also investigated. Several human transfer functions were used which gave fairly good representations of the controllability limits determined experimentally for the short-period longitudinal, directional, and lateral modes. A transfer function with approximately the same gain and phase angle as the pilot at the controlling frequencies along the controllability limits was also derived.
Jang, Jiann-Woei; Yang, Lee; Fritz, Mathew; Nguyen, Louis H.; Johnson, Wyatt R.; Hart, Jeremy J.
The Morpheus Lander is a vertical takeoff and landing test bed vehicle developed to demonstrate the system performance of the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) system capability for the integrated autonomous landing and hazard avoidance system hardware and software. The Morpheus flight control system design must be robust to various mission profiles. This paper presents a design methodology for employing numerical optimization to develop the Morpheus flight control system. The design objectives include attitude tracking accuracy and robust stability with respect to rigid body dynamics and propellant slosh. Under the assumption that the Morpheus time-varying dynamics and control system can be frozen over a short period of time, the flight controllers are designed to stabilize all selected frozen-time control systems in the presence of parametric uncertainty. Both control gains in the inner attitude control loop and guidance gains in the outer position control loop are designed to maximize the vehicle performance while ensuring robustness. The flight control system designs provided herein have been demonstrated to provide stable control systems in both Draper Ares Stability Analysis Tool (ASAT) and the NASA/JSC Trick-based Morpheus time domain simulation.
Geissler, W. H.
The results of a feasibility study of orbiter flight control experiments performed are summarized. Feasibility studies were performed on a group of 14 experiments selected from a candidate list of 35 submitted to the study contractor by the flight control community. Concepts and requirements were developed for the 14 selected experiments and they were ranked on a basis of technical value, feasibility, and cost. It was concluded that all the selected experiments can be considered as potential candidates for the Orbiter Experiment program, which is being formulated for the Orbiter Flight Tests and subsequent operational flights, regardless of the relative ranking established during the study. None of the selected experiments has significant safety implications and the cost of most was estimated to be less than $200K.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Maine, Trindel A.; Fullerton, C. Gordon; Wells, Edward A.
A multi-engine aircraft, with some or all of the flight control system inoperative, may use engine thrust for control. NASA Dryden has conducted a study of the capability and techniques for this emergency flight control method for the F-15 airplane. With an augmented control system, engine thrust, along with appropriate feedback parameters, is used to control flightpath and bank angle. Extensive simulation studies were followed by flight tests. The principles of throttles only control, the F-15 airplane, the augmented system, and the flight results including actual landings with throttles-only control are discussed.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Maine, Trindel A.; Fullerton, C. G.; Wells, Edward A.
A multi-engine aircraft, with some or all of the flight control system inoperative, may use engine thrust for control. NASA Dryden has conducted a study of the capability and techniques for this emergency flight control method for the F-15 airplane. With an augmented control system, engine thrust, along with appropriate feedback parameters, is used to control flightpath and bank angle. Extensive simulation studies have been followed by flight tests. This paper discusses the principles of throttles-only control, the F-15 airplane, the augmented system, and the flight results including landing approaches with throttles-only control to within 10 ft of the ground.