Lisoski, Derek L. (Inventor); Kendall, Greg T. (Inventor)
A solar rechargeable, long-duration, span-loaded flying wing, having no fuselage or rudder. Having a two-hundred foot wingspan that mounts photovoltaic cells on most all of the wing's top surface, the aircraft uses only differential thrust of its eight propellers to turn, pitch and yaw. The wing is configured to deform under flight loads to position the propellers such that the control can be achieved. Each of five segments of the wing has one or more motors and photovoltaic arrays, and produces its own lift independent of the other segments, to avoid loading them. Five two-sided photovoltaic arrays, in all, are mounted on the wing, and receive photovoltaic energy both incident on top of the wing, and which is incident also from below, through a bottom, transparent surface.
Kendall, Greg T. (Inventor); Morgan, Walter R. (Inventor)
A span-loaded, highly flexible flying wing, having horizontal control surfaces mounted aft of the wing on extended beams to form local pitch-control devices. Each of five spanwise wing segments of the wing has one or more motors and photovoltaic arrays, and produces its own lift independent of the other wing segments, to minimize inter-segment loads. Wing dihedral is controlled by separately controlling the local pitch-control devices consisting of a control surface on a boom, such that inboard and outboard wing segment pitch changes relative to each other, and thus relative inboard and outboard lift is varied.
Kulkarni, Nilesh V. (Inventor); Kaneshige, John T. (Inventor); Krishnakumar, Kalmanje S. (Inventor); Burken, John J. (Inventor)
A method for modeling error-driven adaptive control of an aircraft. Normal aircraft plant dynamics is modeled, using an original plant description in which a controller responds to a tracking error e(k) to drive the component to a normal reference value according to an asymptote curve. Where the system senses that (1) at least one aircraft plant component is experiencing an excursion and (2) the return of this component value toward its reference value is not proceeding according to the expected controller characteristics, neural network (NN) modeling of aircraft plant operation may be changed. However, if (1) is satisfied but the error component is returning toward its reference value according to expected controller characteristics, the NN will continue to model operation of the aircraft plant according to an original description.
Padula, Sharon L.; Rogers, James L.; Raney, David L.
The Aircraft Morphing Program at NASA Langley Research Center explores opportunities to improve airframe designs with smart technologies. Two elements of this basic research program are multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) and advanced flow control. This paper describes examples where MDO techniques such as sensitivity analysis, automatic differentiation, and genetic algorithms contribute to the design of novel control systems. In the test case, the design and use of distributed shapechange devices to provide low-rate maneuvering capability for a tailless aircraft is considered. The ability of MDO to add value to control system development is illustrated using results from several years of research funded by the Aircraft Morphing Program.
Padula, Sharon L.; Rogers, James L.; Raney, David L.
The Aircraft Morphing Program at NASA Langley Research Center explores opportunities to improve airframe designs with smart technologies. Two elements of this basic research program are multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) and advanced flow control. This paper describes examples where MDO techniques such as sensitivity analysis, automatic differentiation, and genetic algorithms contribute to the design of novel control systems. In the test case, the design and use of distributed shape-change devices to provide low-rate maneuvering capability for a tailless aircraft is considered. The ability of MDO to add value to control system development is illustrated using results from several years of research funded by the Aircraft Morphing Program.
Wakayama, Sean R. (Inventor)
Independently deflectable control surfaces are located on the trailing edge of the wing of a blended wing-body aircraft. The reconfiguration control system of the present invention controls the deflection of each control surface to optimize the spanwise lift distribution across the wing for each of several flight conditions, e.g., cruise, pitch maneuver, and high lift at low speed. The control surfaces are deflected and reconfigured to their predetermined optimal positions when the aircraft is in each of the aforementioned flight conditions. With respect to cruise, the reconfiguration control system will maximize the lift to drag ratio and keep the aircraft trimmed at a stable angle of attack. In a pitch maneuver, the control surfaces are deflected to pitch the aircraft and increase lift. Moreover, this increased lift has its spanwise center of pressure shifted inboard relative to its location for cruise. This inboard shifting reduces the increased bending moment about the aircraft's x-axis occasioned by the increased pitch force acting normal to the wing. To optimize high lift at low speed, during take-off and landing for example, the control surfaces are reconfigured to increase the local maximum coefficient of lift at stall-critical spanwise locations while providing pitch trim with control surfaces that are not stall critical.
Zeller, J. R.; Szuch, J. R.; Merrill, W. C.; Lehtinen, B.; Soeder, J. F.
The need for a more sophisticated engine control system is discussed. The improvements in better thrust-to-weight ratios demand the manipulation of more control inputs. New technological solutions to the engine control problem are practiced. The digital electronic engine control (DEEC) system is a step in the evolution to digital electronic engine control. Technology issues are addressed to ensure a growth in confidence in sophisticated electronic controls for aircraft turbine engines. The need of a control system architecture which permits propulsion controls to be functionally integrated with other aircraft systems is established. Areas of technology studied include: (1) control design methodology; (2) improved modeling and simulation methods; and (3) implementation technologies. Objectives, results and future thrusts are summarized.
Mekel, R.; Nachmias, S.
A learning control system is developed which blends the gain scheduling and adaptive control into a single learning system that has the advantages of both. An important feature of the developed learning control system is its capability to adjust the gain schedule in a prescribed manner to account for changing aircraft operating characteristics. Furthermore, if tests performed by the criteria of the learning system preclude any possible change in the gain schedule, then the overall system becomes an ordinary gain scheduling system. Examples are discussed.
Burken, John J. (Inventor); Burcham, Frank W., Jr. (Inventor)
A digital longitudinal Aircraft Propulsion Control (APC system of a multiengine aircraft is provided by engine thrust modulation in response to comparing an input flightpath angle signal (gamma)c from a pilot thumbwheel. or an ILS system with a sensed flightpath angle y to produce an error signal (gamma)e that is then integrated (with reasonable limits) to generate a drift correction signal to be added to the error signal (gamma)e after first subtracting a lowpass filtered velocity signal Vel(sub f) for phugoid damping. The output error signal is multiplied by a constant to produce an aircraft thrust control signal ATC of suitable amplitude to drive a throttle servo for all engines. each of which includes its own full-authority digital engine control (FADEC) computer. An alternative APC system omits sensed flightpath angle feedback and instead controls the flightpath angle by feedback of the lowpass filtered velocity signal Vel(sub f) which also inherently provides phugoid damping. The feature of drift compensation is retained.
Mekel, R.; Nachmias, S.
A learning control system and its utilization as a flight control system for F-8 Digital Fly-By-Wire (DFBW) research aircraft is studied. The system has the ability to adjust a gain schedule to account for changing plant characteristics and to improve its performance and the plant's performance in the course of its own operation. Three subsystems are detailed: (1) the information acquisition subsystem which identifies the plant's parameters at a given operating condition; (2) the learning algorithm subsystem which relates the identified parameters to predetermined analytical expressions describing the behavior of the parameters over a range of operating conditions; and (3) the memory and control process subsystem which consists of the collection of updated coefficients (memory) and the derived control laws. Simulation experiments indicate that the learning control system is effective in compensating for parameter variations caused by changes in flight conditions.
Thomas, Russell H. (Inventor); Czech, Michael J (Inventor); Elmiligui, Alaa A. (Inventor)
An active pylon noise control system for an aircraft includes a pylon structure connecting an engine system with an airframe surface of the aircraft and having at least one aperture to supply a gas or fluid therethrough, an intake portion attached to the pylon structure to intake a gas or fluid, a regulator connected with the intake portion via a plurality of pipes, to regulate a pressure of the gas or fluid, a plenum chamber formed within the pylon structure and connected with the regulator, and configured to receive the gas or fluid as regulated by the regulator, and a plurality of injectors in communication with the plenum chamber to actively inject the gas or fluid through the plurality of apertures of the pylon structure.
Krauss, Timothy A. (Inventor); Roman, Stephan (Inventor); Beurer, Robert J. (Inventor)
A plenum for a circulation control rotor aircraft which surrounds the rotor drive shaft (18) and is so constructed that the top (32), outer (38) and bottom (36) walls through compressed air is admitted are fixed to aircraft structure and the inner wall (34) through which air passes to rotor blades (14) rotates with the drive shaft and rotor blades.
Linden, A. W.
Handling qualities of the RSRA (rotor systems research aircraft), a special test vehicle with optional configurations (forewings, removable horizontal tailplanes, main rotor, tail rotor, and twin engines for forward flight all removable), are described. The aircraft can be fitted to fly as a conventional rotary-wing aircraft, fixed-wing aircraft, or compound helicopter, and is designed for testing existing and future rotor systems in flight. Controls include full-authority fly-by-wire controls and mechanical controls for rotary wing and for fixed wing. Stability augmentation, rotor test measurement systems, variable center of gravity capability, and rotor loading potential of the RSRA are also described.
Sevart, F. D.; Patel, S. M.
Testing and evaluation of a stability augmentation system for aircraft flight control were performed. The flutter suppression system and synthesis conducted on a scale model of a supersonic wing for a transport aircraft are discussed. Mechanization and testing of the leading and trailing edge surface actuation systems are described. The ride control system analyses for a 375,000 pound gross weight B-52E aircraft are presented. Analyses of the B-52E aircraft maneuver load control system are included.
Betzina, Mark D. (Inventor); Nguyen, Khanh Q. (Inventor)
Methods and systems for reducing noise generated by rotating blades of a tiltrotor aircraft. A rotor-blade pitch angle associated with the tiltrotor aircraft can be controlled utilizing a swashplate connected to rotating blades of the tiltrotor aircraft. One or more Higher Harmonic Control (HHC) signals can be transmitted and input to a swashplate control actuator associated with the swashplate. A particular blade pitch oscillation (e.g., four cycles per revolution) is there-after produced in a rotating frame of reference associated with the rotating blades in response to input of an HHC signal to the swashplate control actuator associated with the swashplate to thereby reduce noise associated with the rotating blades of the tiltrotor aircraft. The HHC signal can be transmitted and input to the swashplate control actuator to reduce noise of the tiltrotor aircraft in response to a user input utilizing an open-loop configuration.
Myers, T. T.; Mcruer, D. T.; Johnston, D. E.
Aircraft-alone dynamics and superaugmented control system fundamental regulatory properties including stability and regulatory responses of the basic closed-loop systems; fundamental high and low frequency margins and governing factors; and sensitivity to aircraft and controller parameters are addressed. Alternative FCS mechanizations, and mechanizational side effects are also discussed. An overview of flying qualities considerations encompasses general pilot operations as a controller in unattended, intermittent and trim, and full-attention regulatory or command control; effective vehicle primary and secondary response properties to pilot inputs and disturbances; pilot control architectural possibilities; and comparison of superaugmented and conventional aircraft path responses for different forms of pilot control. Results of a simple experimental investigation into pilot dynamic behavior in attitude control of superaugmented aircraft configurations with high frequency time laps and time delays are presented.
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.
Estkowski, Regina I. (Inventor)
An unmanned vehicle management system includes an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) control station controlling one or more unmanned vehicles (UV), a collaborative routing system, and a communication network connecting the UAS and the collaborative routing system. The collaborative routing system being configured to receive flight parameters from an operator of the UAS control station and, based on the received flight parameters, automatically present the UAS control station with flight plan options to enable the operator to operate the UV in a defined airspace.
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.
AHarrah, Ralph C.
Systems to provide improved tactile feedback to aircraft pilots are being developed to help the pilots maintain harmony between their control actions and the positions of aircraft control surfaces, thereby helping to prevent loss of control. A system of this type, denoted a loss-of-control-inhibitor system (LOCIS) can be implemented as a relatively simple addition to almost any pre-existing flight-control system. The LOCIS concept offers at least a partial solution to the problem of (1) keeping a pilot aware of the state of the control system and the aircraft and (2) maintaining sufficient control under conditions that, as described below, have been known to lead to loss of control. Current commercial aircraft exhibit uneven responses of primary flight-control surfaces to aggressive pilot control commands, leading to deterioration of pilots ability to control their aircraft. In severe cases, this phenomenon can result in loss of control and consequent loss of aircraft. For an older aircraft equipped with a purely mechanical control system, the loss of harmony between a pilot s command action and the control- surface response can be attributed to compliance in the control system (caused, for example, by stretching of control cables, flexing of push rods, or servo-valve distortion). In a newer aircraft equipped with a fly-by-wire control system, the major contributions to loss of harmony between the pilot and the control surfaces are delays attributable to computer cycle time, control shaping, filtering, aliasing, servo-valve distortion, and actuator rate limiting. In addition, a fly-by-wire control system provides no tactile feedback that would enable the pilot to sense such features of the control state as surface flutter, surface jam, position limiting, actuator rate limiting, and control limiting imposed by the aircraft operational envelope. Hence, for example, when a pilot is involved in aggressive closed-loop maneuvering, as when encountering a wake
Weske, Reid A.; Danek, George L.
Pseudo Aircraft Systems (PAS) is a computerized flight dynamics and piloting system designed to provide a high fidelity multi-aircraft real-time simulation environment to support Air Traffic Control research. PAS is composed of three major software components that run on a network of computer workstations. Functionality is distributed among these components to allow the system to execute fast enough to support real-time operation. PAS workstations are linked by an Ethernet Local Area Network, and standard UNIX socket protocol is used for data transfer. Each component of PAS is controlled and operated using a custom designed Graphical User Interface. Each of these is composed of multiple windows, and many of the windows and sub-windows are used in several of the components. Aircraft models and piloting logic are sophisticated and realistic and provide complex maneuvering and navigational capabilities. PAS will continually be enhanced with new features and improved capabilities to support ongoing and future Air Traffic Control system development.
Zhen, Ziyang; Jiang, Ju; Wang, Xinhua; Gao, Chen
Wind disturbance has a great influence on landing security of Large Civil Aircraft. Through simulation research and engineering experience, it can be found that PID control is not good enough to solve the problem of restraining the wind disturbance. This paper focuses on anti-wind attitude control for Large Civil Aircraft in landing phase. In order to improve the riding comfort and the flight security, an information fusion based optimal control strategy is presented to restrain the wind in landing phase for maintaining attitudes and airspeed. Data of Boeing707 is used to establish a nonlinear mode with total variables of Large Civil Aircraft, and then two linear models are obtained which are divided into longitudinal and lateral equations. Based on engineering experience, the longitudinal channel adopts PID control and C inner control to keep longitudinal attitude constant, and applies autothrottle system for keeping airspeed constant, while an information fusion based optimal regulator in the lateral control channel is designed to achieve lateral attitude holding. According to information fusion estimation, by fusing hard constraint information of system dynamic equations and the soft constraint information of performance index function, optimal estimation of the control sequence is derived. Based on this, an information fusion state regulator is deduced for discrete time linear system with disturbance. The simulation results of nonlinear model of aircraft indicate that the information fusion optimal control is better than traditional PID control, LQR control and LQR control with integral action, in anti-wind disturbance performance in the landing phase. PMID:25440950
Yasar, Murat; Tolani, Devendra; Ray, Asok; Shah, Neerav; Litt, Jonathan S.
This paper presents a hierarchical application of Discrete Event Supervisory (DES) control theory for intelligent decision and control of a twin-engine aircraft propulsion system. A dual layer hierarchical DES controller is designed to supervise and coordinate the operation of two engines of the propulsion system. The two engines are individually controlled to achieve enhanced performance and reliability, necessary for fulfilling the mission objectives. Each engine is operated under a continuously varying control system that maintains the specified performance and a local discrete-event supervisor for condition monitoring and life extending control. A global upper level DES controller is designed for load balancing and overall health management of the propulsion system.
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.
Girwar-Nath, Jonathan Alejandro
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have been research in the past decade for a broad range of tasks and application domains such as search and rescue, reconnaissance, traffic control, pipe line inspections, surveillance, border patrol, and communication bridging. This work describes the design and implementation of a lightweight Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) semi-autonomous Fixed-Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Presented here is a methodology for System Identification utilizing the Box-Jenkins model estimator on recorded flight data to characterize the system and develop a mathematical model of the aircraft. Additionally, a novel microprocessor, the XMOS, is utilized to navigate and maneuver the aircraft utilizing a PD control system. In this thesis is a description of the aircraft and the sensor suite utilized, as well as the flight data and supporting videos for the benefit of the UAV research community.
Cogan, Bruce R. (Inventor)
A low-cost, easily retrofit Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) system for use on a wide range of commercial and military aircraft consists of an propulsion controlled aircraft computer that reads in aircraft data including aircraft state, pilot commands and other related data, calculates aircraft throttle position for a given maneuver commanded by the pilot, and then displays both current and calculated throttle position on a cockpit display to show the pilot where to move throttles to achieve the commanded maneuver, or is automatically sent digitally to command the engines directly.
Tabak, D.; Schy, A. A.; Johnson, K. G.; Giesy, D. P.
The design of an aircraft lateral control system, subject to several performance criteria and constraints, is considered. While in the previous studies of the same model a single criterion optimization, with other performance requirements expressed as constraints, has been pursued, the current approach involves a multiple criteria optimization. In particular, a Pareto optimal solution is sought.
Rising, J. J.; Davis, W. J; Grantham, W. D.
The use of modern control theory to develop a high-authority stability and control system for the next generation transport aircraft is described with examples taken from work performed on an advanced pitch active control system (PACS). The PACS was configured to have short-period and phugoid modes frequency and damping characteristics within the shaded S-plane areas, column force gradients with set bounds and with constant slope, and a blended normal-acceleration/pitch rate time history response to a step command. Details of the control law, feedback loop, and modal control syntheses are explored, as are compensation for the feedback gain, the deletion of the velocity signal, and the feed-forward compensation. Scheduling of the primary and secondary gains are discussed, together with control law mechanization, flying qualities analyses, and application on the L-1011 aircraft.
The application of separate surface control systems to general aviation aircraft is discussed. Block diagrams of a conventional control system with autopilot tie-in and of a separate surface control system are presented, and the advantages and disadvantages of the two systems are compared. Theoretical descriptions of pilot-in-the-loop operation and operation in the autopilot mode are presented. The application of separate surface stability augmentation in yaw dampers, wing levelers, and static longitudinal stability augmentation is examined. The state-of-the-art of separate control surface technology is summarized.
Lee, W. H.; Athans, M.; Castanon, D.; Bacchioloni, F.
A class of optimal linear time invariant tracking systems, both in continuous time and discrete time, of which the number of inputs (which are restricted to be step functions) is equal to the number of system outputs, is studied. Along with derivation of equations and design procedures, two discretization schemes are presented, constraining either the control or its time derivative, to be a constant over each sampling period. Descriptions are given for the linearized model of the F-8C aircraft longitudinal dynamics, and the C* handling qualities criterion, which then serve as an illustration of the applications of these linear tracking designs. A suboptimal reduced state design is also presented. Numerical results are given for both the continuous time and discrete time designs.
Concepts for software to implement real time aircraft control systems on a centralized digital computer were discussed. A fault tolerant software structure employing functionally redundant routines with concurrent error detection was proposed for critical control functions involving safety of flight and landing. A degraded recovery block concept was devised to allow collocation of critical and noncritical software modules within the same control structure. The additional computer resources required to implement the proposed software structure for a representative set of aircraft control functions were discussed. It was estimated that approximately 30 percent more memory space is required to implement the total set of control functions. A reliability model for the fault tolerant software was described and parametric estimates of failure rate were made.
Morrison, Brian D.; Robillard, Michael N.
Raytheon has developed and is certifying fault-tolerant low- cost distributed Control-By-LightTM technology for use in the next generation of Civil, Regional, and General Aviation aircraft. Distributed Control-By-LightTM holds significant promise when applied to complex sensor/actuator systems such as aircraft controls. CBLTM systems replace mechanical, hydraulic and electrical controls presently used to monitor, control and display flight, engine, and utility functions, and has substantial weight, cost, safety, and performance advantages over today's mechanical and Fly-By- Wire techniques. This paper describes the system concepts and outlines the formal certification program presently underway.
Palumbo, Dan; Cabell, Ran; Cline, John; Sullivan, Brenda
A flight test is described in which an active structural/acoustic control system reduces turboprop induced interior noise on a Raytheon Aircraft Company 1900D airliner. Control inputs to 21 inertial force actuators were computed adaptively using a transform domain version of the multichannel filtered-X LMS algorithm to minimize the mean square response of 32 microphones. A combinatorial search algorithm was employed to optimize placement of the force actuators on the aircraft frame. Both single frequency and multi-frequency results are presented. Reductions of up to 15 dB were obtained at the blade passage frequency (BPF) during single frequency control tests. Simultaneous reductions of the BPF and next 2 harmonics of 10 dB, 2.5 dB and 3.0 dB, were obtained in a multi-frequency test.
Lawrence, Thomas H. (Inventor); Gold, Phillip J. (Inventor)
Control law system for the collective axis, as well as pitch and roll axes, of an X-Wing aircraft and for the pneumatic valving controlling circulation control blowing for the rotor. As to the collective axis, the system gives the pilot single-lever direct lift control and insures that maximum cyclic blowing control power is available in transition. Angle-of-attach de-coupling is provided in rotary wing flight, and mechanical collective is used to augment pneumatic roll control when appropriate. Automatic gain variations with airspeed and rotor speed are provided, so a unitary set of control laws works in all three X-Wing flight modes. As to pitch and roll axes, the system produces essentially the same aircraft response regardless of flight mode or condition. Undesirable cross-couplings are compensated for in a manner unnoticeable to the pilot without requiring pilot action, as flight mode or condition is changed. A hub moment feedback scheme is implemented, utilizing a P+I controller, significantly improving bandwidth. Limits protect aircraft structure from inadvertent damage. As to pneumatic valving, the system automatically provides the pressure required at each valve azimuth location, as dictated by collective, cyclic and higher harmonic blowing commands. Variations in the required control phase angle are automatically introduced, and variations in plenum pressure are compensated for. The required switching for leading, trailing and dual edge blowing is automated, using a simple table look-up procedure. Non-linearities due to valve characteristics of circulation control lift are linearized by map look-ups.
Troudet, Terry; Garg, Sanjay; Merrill, Walter C.
The feasibility of using artificial neural network as control systems for modern, complex aerospace vehicles is investigated via an example aircraft control design study. The problem considered is that of designing a controller for an integrated airframe/propulsion longitudinal dynamics model of a modern fighter aircraft to provide independent control of pitch rate and airspeed responses to pilot command inputs. An explicit model following controller using H infinity control design techniques is first designed to gain insight into the control problem as well as to provide a baseline for evaluation of the neurocontroller. Using the model of the desired dynamics as a command generator, a multilayer feedforward neural network is trained to control the vehicle model within the physical limitations of the actuator dynamics. This is achieved by minimizing an objective function which is a weighted sum of tracking errors and control input commands and rates. To gain insight in the neurocontrol, linearized representations of the nonlinear neurocontroller are analyzed along a commanded trajectory. Linear robustness analysis tools are then applied to the linearized neurocontroller models and to the baseline H infinity based controller. Future areas of research identified to enhance the practical applicability of neural networks to flight control design.
Troudet, Terry; Garg, Sanjay; Merrill, Walter C.
The feasibility of using artificial neural networks as control systems for modern, complex aerospace vehicles is investigated via an example aircraft control design study. The problem considered is that of designing a controller for an integrated airframe/propulsion longitudinal dynamics model of a modern fighter aircraft to provide independent control of pitch rate and airspeed responses to pilot command inputs. An explicit model following controller using H infinity control design techniques is first designed to gain insight into the control problem as well as to provide a baseline for evaluation of the neurocontroller. Using the model of the desired dynamics as a command generator, a multilayer feedforward neural network is trained to control the vehicle model within the physical limitations of the actuator dynamics. This is achieved by minimizing an objective function which is a weighted sum of tracking errors and control input commands and rates. To gain insight in the neurocontrol, linearized representations of the nonlinear neurocontroller are analyzed along a commanded trajectory. Linear robustness analysis tools are then applied to the linearized neurocontroller models and to the baseline H infinity based controller. Future areas of research are identified to enhance the practical applicability of neural networks to flight control design.
Sevart, F. D.; Patel, S. M.; Wattman, W. J.
Testing and evaluation of stability augmentation systems for aircraft flight control were conducted. The flutter suppression system analysis of a scale supersonic transport wing model is described. Mechanization of the flutter suppression system is reported. The ride control synthesis for the B-52 aeroelastic model is discussed. Model analyses were conducted using equations of motion generated from generalized mass and stiffness data.
Whitaker, H. P.; Baram, Y.; Cheng, Y.
Theoretical development is reported for the parameter optimization design technique needed for digital flight control system design. The results of an example case study applying the optimization technique for continuous systems to an F-8 aircraft feedback control system are presented. The concept of evolving the simplest system configuration that is capable of meeting a specified set of performance requirements is illustrated in this work.
Lee, P. S. T.; Vanlandingham, H. F.
The optimal control theory of stochastic linear systems is discussed in terms of the advantages of distributed-control systems, and the control of randomly-sampled systems. An optimal solution to longitudinal control is derived and applied to the F-8 DFBW aircraft. A randomly-sampled linear process model with additive process and noise is developed.
Lapins, Maris; Jacobson, Ira D.
A critical review of past efforts in the design and testing of ride smoothing and gust alleviation systems is presented. Design trade-offs involving sensor types, choice of feedback loops, human comfort and aircraft handling-qualities criteria are discussed. Synthesis of a system designed to employ direct-lift and side-force producing surfaces is reported. Two STOL-class aircraft and an executive transport are considered. Theoretically-predicted system performance is compared with hybrid simulation and flight test data. Pilot opinion rating, pilot workload, and passenger comfort rating data for the basic and augmented aircraft are included.
Lapins, M.; Jacobson, I. D.
A critical review of past efforts in the design and testing of ride smoothing and gust alleviation systems is presented. Design trade offs involving sensor types, choice of feedback loops, human comfort, and aircraft handling-qualities criteria are discussed. Synthesis of a system designed to employ direct-lift and side-force producing surfaces is reported. Two STOL aircraft and an executive transport are considered. Theoretically predicted system performance is compared with hybrid simulation and flight test data. Pilot opinion rating, pilot workload, and passenger comfort rating data for the basic and augmented aircraft are included.
Yamane, Hideaki; Matsunaga, Yasushi; Kusakawa, Takeshi; Yasui, Hisako
The Integrated Flight and Propulsion Control (IFPC) for a highly maneuverable aircraft and a fighter-class engine with pitch/yaw thrust vectoring is described. Of the two IFPC functions the aircraft maneuver control utilizes the thrust vectoring based on aerodynamic control surfaces/thrust vectoring control allocation specified by the Integrated Control Unit (ICU) of a FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control) system. On the other hand in the Performance Seeking Control (PSC) the ICU identifies engine's various characteristic changes, optimizes manipulated variables and finally adjusts engine control parameters in cooperation with the Engine Control Unit (ECU). It is shown by hardware-in-the-loop simulation that the thrust vectoring can enhance aircraft maneuverability/agility and that the PSC can improve engine performance parameters such as SFC (specific fuel consumption), thrust and gas temperature.
Skira, C. A.
Hydromechanical control technology simply cannot compete against the performance benefits offered by electronics. Future military aircraft propulsion control systems will be full authority, digital electronic, microprocessor base systems. Anticipating the day when microprocessor technology will permit the integration and management of aircraft flight control, fire control and propulsion control systems, the Air Force Aero Propulsion Laboratory is developing control logic algorithms for a real time, adaptive control and diagnostic information system.
There are significant activities taking place to establish the procedures and requirements for safe and routine operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS). Among the barriers to overcome in achieving this goal is the lack of sufficient frequency spectrum necessary for the UAS control and air traffic control (ATC) communications links. This shortcoming is compounded by the fact that the UAS control communications links will likely be required to operate in protected frequency spectrum, just as ATC communications links are, because they relate to "safety and regularity of flight." To support future International Telecommunications Union (ITU) World Radio Conference (WRC) agenda items concerning new frequency allocations for UAS communications links, and to augment the Future Communications Study (FCS) Technology Evaluation Group efforts, NASA Glenn Research Center has sponsored a task to estimate the UAS control and ATC communications bandwidth requirements for safe, reliable, and routine operation of UAS in the NAS. This report describes the process and results of that task. The study focused on long-term bandwidth requirements for UAS approximately through 2030.
Mackall, Dale A.; Allen, James G.
Research aircraft have become increasingly dependent on advanced control systems to accomplish program goals. These aircraft are integrating multiple disciplines to improve performance and satisfy research objectives. This integration is being accomplished through electronic control systems. Because of the number of systems involved and the variety of engineering disciplines, systems design methods and information management have become essential to program success. The primary objective of the system design/information tool for aircraft flight control system is to help transfer flight control system design knowledge to the flight test community. By providing all of the design information and covering multiple disciplines in a structured, graphical manner, flight control systems can more easily be understood by the test engineers. This will provide the engineers with the information needed to thoroughly ground test the system and thereby reduce the likelihood of serious design errors surfacing in flight. The secondary objective is to apply structured design techniques to all of the design domains. By using the techniques in the top level system design down through the detailed hardware and software designs, it is hoped that fewer design anomalies will result. The flight test experiences of three highly complex, integrated aircraft programs are reviewed: the X-29 forward-swept wing, the advanced fighter technology integration (AFTI) F-16, and the highly maneuverable aircraft technology (HiMAT) program. Significant operating anomalies and the design errors which cause them, are examined to help identify what functions a system design/information tool should provide to assist designers in avoiding errors.
Belcastro, Christine M.; Jacobson, Steven r.
Loss of control remains one of the largest contributors to aircraft fatal accidents worldwide. Aircraft loss-of-control accidents are highly complex in that they can result from numerous causal and contributing factors acting alone or (more often) in combination. Hence, there is no single intervention strategy to prevent these accidents. This paper presents future system concepts and research directions for preventing aircraft loss-of-control accidents.
Mackall, Dale A.; Allen, James G.
Research aircraft have become increasingly dependent on advanced electronic control systems to accomplish program goals. These aircraft are integrating multiple disciplines to improve performance and satisfy research objective. This integration is being accomplished through electronic control systems. Systems design methods and information management have become essential to program success. The primary objective of the system design/information tool for aircraft flight control is to help transfer flight control system design knowledge to the flight test community. By providing all of the design information and covering multiple disciplines in a structured, graphical manner, flight control systems can more easily be understood by the test engineers. This will provide the engineers with the information needed to thoroughly ground test the system and thereby reduce the likelihood of serious design errors surfacing in flight. The secondary object is to apply structured design techniques to all of the design domains. By using the techniques in the top level system design down through the detailed hardware and software designs, it is hoped that fewer design anomalies will result. The flight test experiences are reviewed of three highly complex, integrated aircraft programs: the X-29 forward swept wing; the advanced fighter technology integration (AFTI) F-16; and the highly maneuverable aircraft technology (HiMAT) program. Significant operating technologies, and the design errors which cause them, is examined to help identify what functions a system design/informatin tool should provide to assist designers in avoiding errors.
An invention to be used for controlling aircraft flaps is described. It is applicable to control systems with two coaxial output units which pivot simultaneously with respect to two fixed units and which are activated by two opposed, straight coaxial jacks.
Burken, John J. (Inventor); Burcham, Frank W., Jr. (Inventor); Bull, John (Inventor)
Development of an emergency flight control system is disclosed for lateral control using only differential engine thrust modulation of multiengine aircraft is currently underway. The multiengine has at least two engines laterally displaced to the left and right from the axis of the aircraft. In response to a heading angle command psi(sub c) is to be tracked. By continually sensing the heading angle psi of the aircraft and computing a heading error signal psi(sub e) as a function of the difference between the heading angle command psi(sub c) and the sensed heading angle psi, a track control signal is developed with compensation as a function of sensed bank angle phi. Bank angle rate phi, or roll rate p, yaw rate tau, and true velocity produce an aircraft thrust control signal ATC(sub psi(L,R)). The thrust control signal is differentially applied to the left and right engines, with equal amplitude and opposite sign, such that a negative sign is applied to the control signal on the side of the aircraft. A turn is required to reduce the error signal until the heading feedback reduces the error to zero.
Harrington, W. W.
An optimal control frequency response problem is defined within the context of the optimal pilot model. The problem is designed to specify pilot model control frequencies reflective of important aircraft system properties, such as control feel system dynamics, airframe dynamics, and gust environment, as well as man machine properties, such as task and attention allocation. This is accomplished by determining a bounded set of control frequencies which minimize the total control cost. The bounds are given by zero and the neuromuscular control frequency response for each control actuator. This approach is fully adaptive, i.e., does not depend upon user entered estimates. An algorithm is developed to solve this optimal control frequency response problem. The algorithm is then applied to an attitude hold task for a bare airframe fighter aircraft case with interesting dynamic properties.
Yamane, Hideaki; Matsunaga, Yasushi; Kusakawa, Takeshi
A flyable FADEC system engineering model incorporating Integrated Flight and Propulsion Control (IFPC) concept is developed for a highly maneuverable aircraft and a fighter-class engine. An overview of the FADEC system and functional assignments for its components such as the Engine Control Unit (ECU) and the Integrated Control Unit (ICU) are described. Overall system reliability analysis, convex analysis and multivariable controller design for the engine, fault detection/redundancy management, and response characteristics of a fuel system are addressed. The engine control performance of the FADEC is demonstrated by hardware-in-the-loop simulation for fast acceleration and thrust transient characteristics.
Schenk, F. L.; Mcmaster, J. R.
The F-12 series aircraft control system design philosophy is reviewed as it pertains to functional reliability. The basic control system, i.e., cables, mixer, feel system, trim devices, and hydraulic systems are described and discussed. In addition, the implementation of the redundant stability augmentation system in the F-12 aircraft is described. Finally, the functional reliability record that has been achieved is presented.
This document provides guidance to the FAA on important human factors considerations that can be used to support the certification of a UAS Aircraft Control Station (ACS). This document provides a synopsis of the human factors analysis, design and test activities to be performed to provide a basis for FAA certification. The data from these analyses, design activities, and tests, along with data from certification/qualification tests of other key components should be used to establish the ACS certification basis. It is expected that this information will be useful to manufacturers in developing the ACS Certification Plan,, and in supporting the design of their ACS.
Hauser, John; Sastry, Shankar; Meyer, George
The paper describes the application of techniques of exact I/O linearization of nonlinear control systems to the flight control of V/STOL aircraft. It is seen that the application of the theory to this example is not straightforward; in particular, the direct application of the theory yielded an undesirable controller. The situation was remedied by neglecting the coupling between the rolling moment input to the aircraft dynamics and the dynamics along the y-axis. An approximate I/O linearization procedure developed for slightly nonminimum phase nonlinear systems is shown to be effective for V/STOL aircraft.
Galvin, James J., Jr.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is leading a research effort to develop a Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) that will expand air transportation capabilities to hundreds of underutilized airports in the United States. Most of the research effort addresses the technological development of the small aircraft as well as the systems to manage airspace usage and surface activities at airports. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will also play a major role in the successful implementation of SATS, however, the administration is reluctant to embrace the unproven concept. The purpose of the research presented in this dissertation is to determine if the FAA can pursue a resource management strategy that will support the current radar-based Air Traffic Control (ATC) system as well as a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS)-based ATC system required by the SATS. The research centered around the use of the System Dynamics modeling methodology to determine the future behavior of the principle components of the ATC system over time. The research included a model of the ATC system consisting of people, facilities, equipment, airports, aircraft, the FAA budget, and the Airport and Airways Trust Fund. The model generated system performance behavior used to evaluate three scenarios. The first scenario depicted the base case behavior of the system if the FAA continued its current resource management practices. The second scenario depicted the behavior of the system if the FAA emphasized development of GPS-based ATC systems. The third scenario depicted a combined resource management strategy that supplemented radar systems with GPS systems. The findings of the research were that the FAA must pursue a resource management strategy that primarily funds a radar-based ATC system and directs lesser funding toward a GPS-based supplemental ATC system. The most significant contribution of this research was the insight and understanding gained of how
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.
Nguyen, L. T.; Gilbert, W. P.; Ogburn, M. E.
Some fundamental information on control system effects on controllability of highly maneuverable aircraft at high angles of attack are summarized as well as techniques for enhancing fighter aircraft departure/spin resistance using control system design. The discussion includes: (1) a brief review of pertinent high angle of attack phenomena including aerodynamics, inertia coupling, and kinematic coupling; (2) effects of conventional stability augmentation systems at high angles of attack; (3) high angle of attack control system concepts designed to enhance departure/spin resistance; and (4) the outlook for applications of these concepts to future fighters, particularly those designs which incorporate relaxed static stability.
Ringland, R. F.; Craig, S. J.
Flight control system design factors involved for pilot workload relief are identified. Major contributors to pilot workload include configuration management and control and aircraft stability and response qualities. A digital fly by wire stability augmentation, configuration management, and configuration control system is suggested for reduction of pilot workload during takeoff, hovering, and approach.
A joint NASA/NAVY program, called FOCSI, is reviewed which is aimed at designing optical sensor systems to fit the installation and environmentally test passive optical sensors and electrooptic architectures. These optical sensor systems will be flown on an F18 aircraft to collect data on the operability and maintainability of these systems in a flight environment. The NASA F-18 aircraft will be equipped with a 1773 optical databus to transfer the optical sensor information to the aircraft data collection location.
Pearce, W. E.
An evaluation was made of laminar flow control (LFC) system concepts for subsonic commercial transport aircraft. Configuration design studies, performance analyses, fabrication development, structural testing, wind tunnel testing, and contamination-avoidance techniques were included. As a result of trade studies, a configuration with LFC on the upper wing surface only, utilizing an electron beam-perforated suction surface, and employing a retractable high-lift shield for contamination avoidance, was selected as the most practical LFC system. The LFC aircraft was then compared with an advanced turbulent aircraft designed for the same mission. This comparison indicated significant fuel savings.
Pearce, W. E.
An evaluation was made of laminar flow control (LFC) system concepts for subsonic commercial transport aircraft. Configuration design studies, performance analyses, fabrication development, structural testing, wind tunnel testing, and contamination-avoidance techniques were included. As a result of trade studies, a configuration with LFC on the upper wing surface only, utilizing an electron beam-perforated suction surface, and employing a retractable high-lift shield for contamination avoidance, was selected as the most practical LFC system. The LFC aircraft was then compared with an advanced turbulent aircraft designed for the same mission. This comparison indicated significant fuel savings and reduced direct operating cost benefits would result from using LFC.
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.
Gerren, Donna S.
A review of accidents that involved the loss of hydraulic flight control systems serves as an introduction to this project. In each of the accidents--involving transport aircraft such as the DC-10, the C-5A, the L-1011, and the Boeing 747--the flight crew attempted to control the aircraft by means of thrust control. Although these incidents had tragic endings, in the absence of control power due to primary control system failure, control power generated by selective application of engine thrust has proven to be a viable alternative. NASA Dryden has demonstrated the feasibility of controlling an aircraft during level flight, approach, and landing conditions using an augmented throttles-only control system. This system has been successfully flown in the flight test simulator for the B-720 passenger transport and the F-15 air superiority fighter and in actual flight tests for the F-15 aircraft. The Douglas Aircraft Company is developing a similar system for the MD-11 aircraft. The project's ultimate goal is to provide data for the development of thrust control systems for mega-transports (600+ passengers).
Hynes, Charles S.; Hardy, Gordon H.; Sherry, Lance
Volume I of this report presents a new method for synthesizing hybrid systems directly from desi gn requirements, and applies the method to design of a hybrid system for longitudinal control of transport aircraft. The resulting system satisfies general requirement for safety and effectiveness specified a priori, enabling formal validation to be achieved. Volume II contains seven appendices intended to make the report accessible to readers with backgrounds in human factors, flight dynamics and control, and formal logic. Major design goals are (1) system design integrity based on proof of correctness at the design level, (2) significant simplification and cost reduction in system development and certification, and (3) improved operational efficiency, with significant alleviation of human-factors problems encountered by pilots in current transport aircraft. This report provides for the first time a firm technical basis for criteria governing design and certification of avionic systems for transport aircraft. It should be of primary interest to designers of next-generation avionic systems.
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.
Broussard, J. R.; Berry, P. W.; Stengel, R. F.
Methods for and results from the design and evaluation of a digital flight control system (DFCS) for a CH-47B helicopter are presented. The DFCS employed proportional-integral control logic to provide rapid, precise response to automatic or manual guidance commands while following conventional or spiral-descent approach paths. It contained altitude- and velocity-command modes, and it adapted to varying flight conditions through gain scheduling. Extensive use was made of linear systems analysis techniques. The DFCS was designed, using linear-optimal estimation and control theory, and the effects of gain scheduling are assessed by examination of closed-loop eigenvalues and time responses.
Calise, A. J.; Kadushin, I.; Kramer, F.
The current status of research on the application of variable structure system (VSS) theory to design aircraft flight control systems is summarized. Two aircraft types are currently being investigated: the Augmentor Wing Jet STOL Research Aircraft (AWJSRA), and AV-8A Harrier. The AWJSRA design considers automatic control of longitudinal dynamics during the landing phase. The main task for the AWJSRA is to design an automatic landing system that captures and tracks a localizer beam. The control task for the AV-8A is to track velocity commands in a hovering flight configuration. Much effort was devoted to developing computer programs that are needed to carry out VSS design in a multivariable frame work, and in becoming familiar with the dynamics and control problems associated with the aircraft types under investigation. Numerous VSS design schemes were explored, particularly for the AWJSRA. The approaches that appear best suited for these aircraft types are presented. Examples are given of the numerical results currently being generated.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Kaneshige, John; Bull, John; Maine, Trindel A.
With the advent of digital engine control systems, considering the use of engine thrust for emergency flight control has become feasible. Many incidents have occurred in which engine thrust supplemented or replaced normal aircraft flight controls. In most of these cases, a crash has resulted, and more than 1100 lives have been lost. The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center has developed a propulsion-controlled aircraft (PCA) system in which computer-controlled engine thrust provides emergency flight control capability. Using this PCA system, an F-15 and an MD-11 airplane have been landed without using any flight controls. In simulations, C-17, B-757, and B-747 PCA systems have also been evaluated successfully. These tests used full-authority digital electronic control systems on the engines. Developing simpler PCA systems that can operate without full-authority engine control, thus allowing PCA technology to be installed on less capable airplanes or at lower cost, is also a desire. Studies have examined simplified ?PCA Ultralite? concepts in which thrust control is provided using an autothrottle system supplemented by manual differential throttle control. Some of these concepts have worked well. The PCA Ultralite study results are presented for simulation tests of MD-11, B-757, C-17, and B-747 aircraft.
Horne, W. B.
Aircraft stopping and directional control performance on wet runways is discussed. The major elements affecting tire/ground traction developed by jet transport aircraft are identified and described in terms of atmospheric, pavement, tire, aircraft system and pilot performance factors or parameters. Research results are summarized, and means for improving or restoring tire traction/aircraft performance on wet runways are discussed.
Franklin, James A.
As part of NASA's program to develop technology for short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) fighter aircraft, control system designs have been developed for a conceptual STOVL aircraft. This aircraft is representative of the class of mixed-flow remote-lift concepts that was identified as the preferred design approach by the U.S./U.K. STOVL Joint Assessment and Ranking Team. The control system designs have been evaluated throughout the powered-lift flight envelope on the Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) at Ames Research Center. Items assessed in the control system evaluation were: maximum control power used in transition and vertical flight, control system dynamic response associated with thrust transfer for attitude control, thrust margin in the presence of ground effect and hot-gas ingestion, and dynamic thrust response for the engine core. Effects of wind, turbulence, and ship airwake disturbances are incorporated in the evaluation. Results provide the basis for a reassessment of existing flying-qualities design criteria applied to STOVL aircraft.
Mccurdy, David A.; Grandle, Robert E.
A second-generation Aircraft Noise Synthesis System has been developed to provide test stimuli for studies of community annoyance to aircraft flyover noise. The computer-based system generates realistic, time-varying, audio simulations of aircraft flyover noise at a specified observer location on the ground. The synthesis takes into account the time-varying aircraft position relative to the observer; specified reference spectra consisting of broadband, narrowband, and pure-tone components; directivity patterns; Doppler shift; atmospheric effects; and ground effects. These parameters can be specified and controlled in such a way as to generate stimuli in which certain noise characteristics, such as duration or tonal content, are independently varied, while the remaining characteristics, such as broadband content, are held constant. The system can also generate simulations of the predicted noise characteristics of future aircraft. A description of the synthesis system and a discussion of the algorithms and methods used to generate the simulations are provided. An appendix describing the input data and providing user instructions is also included.
Rao, D. M. (Inventor)
Traditional roll control systems such as ailerons, elevons or spoilers are least effective at high angles of attack due to boundary layer separation over the wing. This invention uses independently deployed leading edge flaps on the upper surfaces of vortex stabilized wings to shift the center of lift outboard. A rolling moment is created that is used to control roll in flight at high angles of attack. The effectiveness of the rolling moment increases linearly with angle of attack. No adverse yaw effects are induced. In an alternate mode of operation, both leading edge flaps are deployed together at cruise speeds to create a very effective airbrake without appreciable modification in pitching moment. Little trim change is required.
Hariharapura Ramesh, Shashank
This thesis presents a framework for developing automatic carrier landing systems for aircraft with vertical or short take-off and landing capability using two different control strategies---gain-scheduled linear optimal control, and L1 adaptive control. The carrier landing sequence of V/STOL aircraft involves large variations in dynamic pressure and aerodynamic coefficients arising because of the transition from aerodynamic-supported to jet-borne flight, descent to the touchdown altitude, and turns performed to align with the runway. Consequently, the dynamics of the aircraft exhibit a highly non-linear dynamical behavior with variations in flight conditions prior to touchdown. Therefore, the implication is the need for non-linear control techniques to achieve automatic landing. Gain-scheduling has been one of the most widely employed techniques for control of aircraft, which involves designing linear controllers for numerous trimmed flight conditions, and interpolating them to achieve a global non-linear control. Adaptive control technique, on the other hand, eliminates the need to schedule the controller parameters as they adapt to changing flight conditions.
Bundick, W. Thomas
A methodology for designing a failure detection and identification (FDI) system to detect and isolate control element failures in aircraft control systems is reviewed. An FDI system design for a modified B-737 aircraft resulting from this methodology is also reviewed, and the results of evaluating this system via simulation are presented. The FDI system performed well in a no-turbulence environment, but it experienced an unacceptable number of false alarms in atmospheric turbulence. An adaptive FDI system, which adjusts thresholds and other system parameters based on the estimated turbulence level, was developed and evaluated. The adaptive system performed well over all turbulence levels simulated, reliably detecting all but the smallest magnitude partially-missing-surface failures.
Sturgeon, R. F.
Alternatives in the design of laminar flow control (LFC) subsonic commerical transport aircraft for opeation in the 1980's period were studied. Analyses were conducted to select mission parameters and define optimum aircraft configurational parameters for the selected mission, defined by a passenger payload of 400 and a design range of 12, 038 km (6500 n mi). The baseline aircraft developed for this mission was used as a vehicle for the evaluation and development of alternative LFC system concepts. Alternatices in the areas of aerodynamics, structures and materials, LFC systems, leading-edge region cleaning, and integration of auxiliary systems were studied. Relative to a similarly-optimized advanced technology turbulent transport, the final LFC configuration is approximately equal in DOC but provides descreases of 8.2% in gross weight and 21.7% in fuel consumption.
Seal, D. W.
This report describes the results of a 10 month program sponsored by NASA. The objective of this program was to evaluate various optical sensor modulation technologies and to design an optimal Electro-Optic Architecture (EOA) for servicing remote clusters of sensors and actuators in advanced aircraft flight control systems. The EOA's supply optical power to remote sensors and actuators, process the modulated optical signals returned from the sensors, and produce conditioned electrical signals acceptable for use by a digital flight control computer or Vehicle Management System (VMS) computer. This study was part of a multi-year initiative under the Fiber Optic Control System Integration (FOCSI) program to design, develop, and test a totally integrated fiber optic flight/propulsion control system for application to advanced aircraft. Unlike earlier FOCSI studies, this program concentrated on the design of the EOA interface rather than the optical transducer technology itself.
Harvey, C. A.; Pope, R. E.
Insensitive flight control system design criteria was defined in terms of maximizing performance (handling qualities, RMS gust response, transient response, stability margins) over a defined parameter range. Wing load alleviation for the C-5A was chosen as a design problem. The C-5A model was a 79-state, two-control structure with uncertainties assumed to exist in dynamic pressure, structural damping and frequency, and the stability derivative, M sub w. Five new techniques (mismatch estimation, uncertainty weighting, finite dimensional inverse, maximum difficulty, dual Lyapunov) were developed. Six existing techniques (additive noise, minimax, multiplant, sensitivity vector augmentation, state dependent noise, residualization) and the mismatch estimation and uncertainty weighting techniques were synthesized and evaluated on the design example. Evaluation and comparison of these six techniques indicated that the minimax and the uncertainty weighting techniques were superior to the other six, and of these two, uncertainty weighting has lower computational requirements. Techniques based on the three remaining new concepts appear promising and are recommended for further research.
Dunn, H. J.; Montgomery, R. C.
This paper describes the moving window parameter adaptive control system developed for the NASA F8-DFBW aircraft. The control system employs a parameter identification process that, iteratively, adjusts parameters of a model of the aircraft motions in a batch-processing manner so that responses generated from the model fit the outputs of sensors stored in a finite record referred to as the moving window. Tests are made on the validity of the parameter estimates before using the parameters in an on-line design process. The on-line design process is an algebraic mapping of the parameters of the model into primary control system feedback and feedforward gains. The mapping was selected to satisfy specific flying quality characteristics over the range of parameter variations expected. Results are presented from simulation studies on the identification algorithm made during the development of the system.
Dennis, Dale V. (Inventor)
An aircraft control position indicator was provided that displayed the degree of deflection of the primary flight control surfaces and the manner in which the aircraft responded. The display included a vertical elevator dot/bar graph meter display for indication whether the aircraft will pitch up or down, a horizontal aileron dot/bar graph meter display for indicating whether the aircraft will roll to the left or to the right, and a horizontal dot/bar graph meter display for indicating whether the aircraft will turn left or right. The vertical and horizontal display or displays intersect to form an up/down, left/right type display. Internal electronic display driver means received signals from transducers measuring the control surface deflections and determined the position of the meter indicators on each dot/bar graph meter display. The device allows readability at a glance, easy visual perception in sunlight or shade, near-zero lag in displaying flight control position, and is not affected by gravitational or centrifugal forces.
Montgomery, R. C.; Dunn, H. J.
This paper describes the moving-window parameter adaptive control system developed for the NASA F8-DFBW aircraft. The control system employs a parameter identification process that, iteratively, adjusts parameters of a model of the aircraft motions in a batch processing manner so that responses generated from the model fit the outputs of sensors stored in a finite record referred to as the moving window. Tests are made on the validity of the parameter estimates before using the parameters in an on-line design process. The on-line design process is an algebraic mapping of the parameters of the model into primary control system feedback and feedforward gains. The mapping was selected to satisfy specific flying quality characteristics over the range of parameter variations expected. Results are presented from simulation studies on the identification algorithm, tests for parameter validity, and the on-line design process.
Wangermann, John P.
Projections of future air traffic predict at least a doubling of the number of revenue passenger miles flown by the year 2025. To meet this demand, an Intelligent Aircraft/Airspace System (IAAS) has been proposed. The IAAS operates on the basis of principled negotiation between intelligent agents. The aircraft/airspace system today consists of many agents, such as airlines, control facilities, and aircraft. All the agents are becoming increasingly capable as technology develops. These capabilities should be exploited to create an Intelligent Aircraft/Airspace System (IAAS) that would meet the predicted traffic levels of 2005.
Garrard, William L.; Balas, Gary J.; Litt, Jonathan (Technical Monitor)
This is the final report on the research performed under NASA Glen grant NASA/NAG-3-1975 concerning feedback control of the Pratt & Whitney (PW) STF 952, a twin spool, mixed flow, after burning turbofan engine. The research focussed on the design of linear and gain-scheduled, multivariable inner-loop controllers for the PW turbofan engine using H-infinity and linear, parameter-varying (LPV) control techniques. The nonlinear turbofan engine simulation was provided by PW within the NASA Rocket Engine Transient Simulator (ROCETS) simulation software environment. ROCETS was used to generate linearized models of the turbofan engine for control design and analysis as well as the simulation environment to evaluate the performance and robustness of the controllers. Comparison between the H-infinity, and LPV controllers are made with the baseline multivariable controller and developed by Pratt & Whitney engineers included in the ROCETS simulation. Simulation results indicate that H-infinity and LPV techniques effectively achieve desired response characteristics with minimal cross coupling between commanded values and are very robust to unmodeled dynamics and sensor noise.
Modern high-performance aircraft demand advanced fault-tolerant flight control strategies. Not only the control effector failures, but the aerodynamic type failures like wing-body damages often result in substantially deteriorate performance because of low available redundancy. As a result the remaining control actuators may yield substantially lower maneuvering capabilities which do not authorize the accomplishment of the air-craft's original specified mission. The problem is to solve the control reconfiguration on available control redundancies when the mission modification is urged to save the aircraft. The proposed robust adaptive fault-tolerant control (RAFTC) system consists of a multi-layer reconfigurable flight controller architecture. It contains three layers accounting for different types and levels of failures including sensor, actuator, and fuselage damages. In case of the nominal operation with possible minor failure(s) a standard adaptive controller stands to achieve the control allocation. This is referred to as the first layer, the controller layer. The performance adjustment is accounted for in the second layer, the reference layer, whose role is to adjust the reference model in the controller design with a degraded transit performance. The upmost mission adjust is in the third layer, the mission layer, when the original mission is not feasible with greatly restricted control capabilities. The modified mission is achieved through the optimization of the command signal which guarantees the boundedness of the closed-loop signals. The main distinguishing feature of this layer is the the mission decision property based on the current available resources. The contribution of the research is the multi-layer fault-tolerant architecture that can address the complete failure scenarios and their accommodations in realities. Moreover, the emphasis is on the mission design capabilities which may guarantee the stability of the aircraft with restricted post
Myers, Thomas T.; Mcruer, Duane T.
The development of a comprehensive and electric methodology for conceptual and preliminary design of flight control systems is presented and illustrated. The methodology is focused on the design states starting with the layout of system requirements and ending when some viable competing system architectures (feedback control structures) are defined. The approach is centered on the human pilot and the aircraft as both the sources of, and the keys to the solution of, many flight control problems. The methodology relies heavily on computational procedures which are highly interactive with the design engineer. To maximize effectiveness, these techniques, as selected and modified to be used together in the methodology, form a cadre of computational tools specifically tailored for integrated flight control system preliminary design purposes. The FCX expert system as presently developed is only a limited prototype capable of supporting basic lateral-directional FCS design activities related to the design example used. FCX presently supports design of only one FCS architecture (yaw damper plus roll damper) and the rules are largely focused on Class IV (highly maneuverable) aircraft. Despite this limited scope, the major elements which appear necessary for application of knowledge-based software concepts to flight control design were assembled and thus FCX represents a prototype which can be tested, critiqued and evolved in an ongoing process of development.
Unmanned platforms have become increasingly more common in recent years for acquiring remotely sensed data. These aircraft are referred to as Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAV), Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPV), or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), the official term used...
Bomben, Craig R.; Smolka, James W.; Bosworth, John T.; Silliams-Hayes, Peggy S.; Burken, John J.; Larson, Richard R.; Buschbacher, Mark J.; Maliska, Heather A.
The Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) project at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, CA, has been investigating the use of neural network based adaptive control on a unique NF-15B test aircraft. The IFCS neural network is a software processor that stores measured aircraft response information to dynamically alter flight control gains. In 2006, the neural network was engaged and allowed to learn in real time to dynamically alter the aircraft handling qualities characteristics in the presence of actual aerodynamic failure conditions injected into the aircraft through the flight control system. The use of neural network and similar adaptive technologies in the design of highly fault and damage tolerant flight control systems shows promise in making future aircraft far more survivable than current technology allows. This paper will present the results of the IFCS flight test program conducted at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in 2006, with emphasis on challenges encountered and lessons learned.
Holloway, C. M.; Johnson, C. W.
This paper describes five loss of control accidents involving commercial aircraft, and derives from those accidents three principles to consider when developing a potential safety case for an advanced flight control system for commercial aircraft. One, among the foundational evidence needed to support a safety case is the availability to the control system of accurate and timely information about the status and health of relevant systems and components. Two, an essential argument to be sustained in the safety case is that pilots are provided with adequate information about the control system to enable them to understand the capabilities that it provides. Three, another essential argument is that the advanced control system will not perform less safely than a good pilot.
Corrigan, Jack; Jones, Jack E.; Shaw, Brad
Requirements for future advanced tactical aircraft identify the need for flight control system architectures that provide a higher degree of performance with regard to electromagnetic interference immunity, communication bus data rate, propulsion/utility subsystem integration, and affordability. Evolution of highly centralized, digital, fly-by-wire flight/propulsion/utility control system is achieved as modular functions are implemented and integrated by serial, digital, fiber optics communication links. These adaptable architectures allow the user to configure the fly-by-light system to meet unique safety requirements, system performance, and design to cost targets.
Decrisantis, Angelo A. (Inventor); O'Coin, James R. (Inventor); Taddey, Edmund P. (Inventor)
An ECS system includes an ACM mounted adjacent an air-liquid heat exchanger through a diffuser that contains a diffuser plate. The diffuser plate receives airflow from the ACM which strikes the diffuser plate and flows radially outward and around the diffuser plate and into the air-liquid heat exchanger to provide minimal pressure loss and proper flow distribution into the air-liquid heat exchanger with significantly less packaging space.
Hynes, Charles S.; Hardy, Gordon H.; Sherry, Lance
Volume I of this report presents a new method for synthesizing hybrid systems directly from design requirements, and applies the method to design of a hybrid system for longitudinal control of transport aircraft. The resulting system satisfies general requirement for safety and effectiveness specified a priori, enabling formal validation to be achieved. Volume II contains seven appendices intended to make the report accessible to readers with backgrounds in human factors, fli ght dynamics and control. and formal logic. Major design goals are (1) system desi g n integrity based on proof of correctness at the design level, (2), significant simplification and cost reduction in system development and certification, and (3) improved operational efficiency, with significant alleviation of human-factors problems encountered by pilots in current transport aircraft. This report provides for the first time a firm technical basis for criteria governing design and certification of avionic systems for transport aircraft. It should be of primary interest to designers of next-generation avionic systems.
Joslin, Ronald D.
Aircraft laminar flow control (LFC) from the 1930's through the 1990's is reviewed and the current status of the technology is assessed. Examples are provided to demonstrate the benefits of LFC for subsonic and supersonic aircraft. Early studies related to the laminar boundary-layer flow physics, manufacturing tolerances for laminar flow, and insect-contamination avoidance are discussed. LFC concept studies in wind-tunnel and flight experiments are the major focus of the paper. LFC design tools are briefly outlined for completeness.
A study was conducted to evaluate alternatives in the design of laminar flow control (LFC) subsonic commercial transport aircraft for operation in the 1980's period. Analyses were conducted to select mission parameters and define optimum aircraft configurational parameters for the selected mission, defined by a passenger payload of 400 and a design range of 12,038 km (6500 n mi). The baseline aircraft developed for this mission was used as a vehicle for the evaluation and development of alternative LFC system concepts. Alternatives were evaluated in the areas of aerodynamics structures, materials, LFC systems, leading-edge region cleaning and integration of auxiliary systems. Based on these evaluations, concept in each area were selected for further development and testing and ultimate incorporation in the final study aircraft. Relative to a similarly-optimized advanced technology turbulent transport, the final LFC configuration is approximately equal in direct operating cost but provides decreases of 8.2% in gross weight and 21.7% in fuel consumption.
Manoharan, Vignesh; Kim, Daewon
The conventional feel system in aircraft occupies large space in the cockpit and has complicated designs. The primary objective of this research is to develop an artificial feel force system that can overcome some drawbacks of the current system. A novel feel system using magneto-rheological (MR) fluid is constructed to precisely control the shear stress under the magnetic field. To validate the functionality of the MR artificial feel system, the final system is fabricated and multiple tests are performed to acquire force-velocity characteristics that are compared to the mathematical model derived. In addition, the PID closed loop control algorithm is developed to simulate the dynamic system model. Both experimental and simulation results are compared to validate the derived system model. The system response time and sampling rates are evaluated and compared to the conventional system at the end. It is concluded that the developed artificial feel system can precisely control and acts as a fail proof system when incorporated with a modern fly-by-wire aircraft system.
Johnson, P. R.; Bardusch, R. E.
A hydraulic control loading system for aircraft simulation was analyzed to find the causes of undesirable low frequency oscillations and loading effects in the output. The hypothesis of mechanical compliance in the control linkage was substantiated by comparing the behavior of a mathematical model of the system with previously obtained experimental data. A compensation scheme based on the minimum integral of the squared difference between desired and actual output was shown to be effective in reducing the undesirable output effects. The structure of the proposed compensation was computed by use of a dynamic programing algorithm and a linear state space model of the fixed elements in the system.
Wykes, J. H.; Byar, T. R.; Macmiller, C. J.; Greek, D. C.
Analyses and flight tests of the B-1 structural mode control system (SMCS) are presented. Improvements in the total dynamic response of a flexible aircraft and the benefits to ride qualities, handling qualities, crew efficiency, and reduced dynamic loads on the primary structures, were investigated. The effectiveness and the performance of the SMCS, which uses small aerodynamic surfaces at the vehicle nose to provide damping to the structural modes, were evaluated.
Pasha, M. A.; Dazzo, J. J.; Silverthorn, J. T.
An investigation of approach and landing longitudinal flying qualities, based on data generated using a variable stability NT-33 aircraft combined with significant control system dynamics is described. An optimum pilot lead time for pitch tracking, flight path angle tracking, and combined pitch and flight path angle tracking tasks is determined from a closed loop simulation using integral squared error (ISE) as a performance measure. Pilot gain and lead time were varied in the closed loop simulation of the pilot and aircraft to obtain the best performance for different control system configurations. The results lead to the selection of an optimum lead time using ISE as a performance criterion. Using this value of optimum lead time, a correlation is then found between pilot rating and performance with changes in the control system and in the aircraft dynamics. It is also shown that pilot rating is closely related to pilot workload which, in turn, is related to the amount of lead which the pilot must generate to obtain satisfactory response. The results also indicate that the pilot may use pitch angle tracking for the approach task and then add flight path angle tracking for the flare and touchdown.
Voracek, David F.; Clarke, Robert
High angle-of-attack flight regime research is currently being conducted for modern fighter aircraft at the NASA Ames Research Center's Dryden Flight Research Facility. This flight regime provides enhanced maneuverability to fighter pilots in combat situations. Flight research data are being acquired to compare and validate advanced computational fluid dynamic solutions and wind-tunnel models. High angle-of-attack flight creates unique aerodynamic phenomena including wing rock and buffet on the airframe. These phenomena increase the level of excitation of the structural modes, especially on the vertical and horizontal stabilizers. With high gain digital flight-control systems, this structural response may result in an aeroservoelastic interaction. A structural interaction on the X-29A aircraft was observed during high angle-of-attack flight testing. The roll and yaw rate gyros sensed the aircraft's structural modes at 11, 13, and 16 Hz. The rate gyro output signals were then amplified through the flight-control laws and sent as commands to the flaperons and rudder. The flight data indicated that as the angle of attack increased, the amplitude of the buffet on the vertical stabilizer increased, which resulted in more excitation to the structural modes. The flight-control system sensors and command signals showed this increase in modal power at the structural frequencies up to a 30 degree angle-of-attack. Beyond a 30 degree angle-of-attack, the vertical stabilizer response, the feedback sensor amplitude, and control surface command signal amplitude remained relatively constant. Data are presented that show the increased modal power in the aircraft structural accelerometers, the feedback sensors, and the command signals as a function of angle of attack. This structural interaction is traced from the aerodynamic buffet to the flight-control surfaces.
Larson, R. R.
The wing on the NASA F-111 transonic aircraft technology airplane was modified to provide flexible leading and trailing edge flaps. This wing is known as the mission adaptive wing (MAW) because aerodynamic efficiency can be maintained at all speeds. Unlike a conventional wing, the MAW has no spoilers, external flap hinges, or fairings to break the smooth contour. The leading edge flaps and three-segment trailing edge flaps are controlled by a redundant fly-by-wire control system that features a dual digital primary system architecture providing roll and symmetric commands to the MAW control surfaces. A segregated analog backup system is provided in the event of a primary system failure. This paper discusses the design, development, testing, qualification, and flight test experience of the MAW primary and backup flight control systems.
Shen, H; Xu, Y; Dickinson, B T
Inspired by sensing strategies observed in birds and bats, a new attitude control concept of directly using real-time pressure and shear stresses has recently been studied. It was shown that with an array of onboard airflow sensors, small unmanned aircraft systems can promptly respond to airflow changes and improve flight performances. In this paper, a mapping function is proposed to compute aerodynamic moments from the real-time pressure and shear data in a practical and computationally tractable formulation. Since many microscale airflow sensors are embedded on the small unmanned aircraft system surface, it is highly possible that certain sensors may fail. Here, an adaptive control system is developed that is robust to sensor failure as well as other numerical mismatches in calculating real-time aerodynamic moments. The advantages of the proposed method are shown in the following simulation cases: (i) feedback pressure and wall shear data from a distributed array of 45 airflow sensors; (ii) 50% failure of the symmetrically distributed airflow sensor array; and (iii) failure of all the airflow sensors on one wing. It is shown that even if 50% of the airflow sensors have failures, the aircraft is still stable and able to track the attitude commands. PMID:25405953
Mcruer, Duane T.; Myers, Thomas T.
The development of a comprehensive and electric methodology for conceptual and preliminary design of flight control systems is presented and illustrated. The methodology is focused on the design stages starting with the layout of system requirements and ending when some viable competing system architectures (feedback control structures) are defined. The approach is centered on the human pilot and the aircraft as both the sources of, and the keys to the solution of, many flight control problems. The methodology relies heavily on computational procedures which are highly interactive with the design engineer. To maximize effectiveness, these techniques, as selected and modified to be used together in the methodology, form a cadre of computational tools specifically tailored for integrated flight control system preliminary design purposes. While theory and associated computational means are an important aspect of the design methodology, the lore, knowledge and experience elements, which guide and govern applications are critical features. This material is presented as summary tables, outlines, recipes, empirical data, lists, etc., which encapsulate a great deal of expert knowledge. Much of this is presented in topical knowledge summaries which are attached as Supplements. The composite of the supplements and the main body elements constitutes a first cut at a a Mark 1 Knowledge Base for manned-aircraft flight control.
Voracek, David F.; Clarke, Robert
High-alpha flight creates unique aerodynamic phenomena which increase the level of structural mode excitation; in conjunction with high-gain digital control systems, this structural response may result in an aeroservoelastic interaction. One such interaction has been observed during high-alpha flight testing of the X-29A. Data are presented which demonstrate the enhanced modal power in this aircraft's structural accelerometers, the feedback sensors, and the command signals as a function of alpha value. The structural interaction is traced from the aerodynamic buffet to the flight-control surfaces.
Store-induced limit cycle oscillations (LCO) affect several fighter aircraft and is expected to remain an issue for next generation fighters. LCO arises from the interaction of aerodynamic and structural forces, however the primary contributor to the phenomenon is still unclear. The practical concerns regarding this phenomenon include whether or not ordnance can be safely released and the ability of the aircrew to perform mission-related tasks while in an LCO condition. The focus of this dissertation is the development of control strategies to suppress LCO in aircraft systems. The first contribution of this work (Chapter 2) is the development of a controller consisting of a continuous Robust Integral of the Sign of the Error (RISE) feedback term with a neural network (NN) feedforward term to suppress LCO behavior in an uncertain airfoil system. The second contribution of this work (Chapter 3) is the extension of the development in Chapter 2 to include actuator saturation. Suppression of LCO behavior is achieved through the implementation of an auxiliary error system that features hyperbolic functions and a saturated RISE feedback control structure. Due to the lack of clarity regarding the driving mechanism behind LCO, common practice in literature and in Chapters 2 and 3 is to replicate the symptoms of LCO by including nonlinearities in the wing structure, typically a nonlinear torsional stiffness. To improve the accuracy of the system model a partial differential equation (PDE) model of a flexible wing is derived (see Appendix F) using Hamilton's principle. Chapters 4 and 5 are focused on developing boundary control strategies for regulating the bending and twisting deformations of the derived model. The contribution of Chapter 4 is the construction of a backstepping-based boundary control strategy for a linear PDE model of an aircraft wing. The backstepping-based strategy transforms the original system to a exponentially stable system. A Lyapunov-based stability
Li, Aijun; Lv, Yang; Wang, Changqing
Design method of eigenvalue assignment based on standard characteristic polynomial, as well as mathematical solving process of the method, is proposed in this paper so as to resolve the uncertainty of ideal eigenvalue choice in modern control theory and the difficultly in engineering implementation of modern control system design methods. Longitudinal stability holding control system of an aircraft was designed and simulated by employing proposed method. Dynamic character and robust performance simulation of the system are given. Simulation results show that the method achieves the control quality and has better robustness than another method. There is only one design parameter which is easy to calculate. So, the method is characterized as simple design, logical structure, easy programming and convenient for engineering implementation.
Corrigan, Jack; Shaw, Brad; Jones, Jack E.
Requirements for future advanced tactical aircraft identify the need for flight control system architectures that provide a higher degree of performance with regard to electromagnetic interference immunity, communication bus data rate, propulsion/utility subsystem integration, and affordability. Evolution for highly centralized, digital, fly-by-light flight/propulsion/utility control system is achieved as modular functions are implemented and integrated by serial digital fiberoptic communication links. These adaptable architectures allow the user to configure the fly- by-light system to meet unique safety requirements, system performance, and design-to-cost targets. This paper presents results of the open and closed loop system demonstrations of Fly-By-Light Advanced System Hardware architecture building blocks integrated with SAE AS-1773 communication bus at MDA.
Litt, Jonathan S.; Simon, Donald L.; Garg, Sanjay; Guo, Ten-Heui; Mercer, Carolyn; Behbahani, Alireza; Bajwa, Anupa; Jensen, Daniel T.
Intelligent Control and Health Management technology for aircraft propulsion systems is much more developed in the laboratory than in practice. With a renewed emphasis on reducing engine life cycle costs, improving fuel efficiency, increasing durability and life, etc., driven by various government programs, there is a strong push to move these technologies out of the laboratory and onto the engine. This paper describes the existing state of engine control and on-board health management, and surveys some specific technologies under development that will enable an aircraft propulsion system to operate in an intelligent way--defined as self-diagnostic, self-prognostic, self-optimizing, and mission adaptable. These technologies offer the potential for creating extremely safe, highly reliable systems. The technologies will help to enable a level of performance that far exceeds that of today s propulsion systems in terms of reduction of harmful emissions, maximization of fuel efficiency, and minimization of noise, while improving system affordability and safety. Technologies that are discussed include various aspects of propulsion control, diagnostics, prognostics, and their integration. The paper focuses on the improvements that can be achieved through innovative software and algorithms. It concentrates on those areas that do not require significant advances in sensors and actuators to make them achievable, while acknowledging the additional benefit that can be realized when those technologies become available. The paper also discusses issues associated with the introduction of some of the technologies.
Zhou, Guilin; Zhang, Huawei
Based on the desire of aircraft maintenance, combined with the situation in work, this paper present the design and implementation of aircraft maintenance system based dot Net. For a partial page refresh object, AJAX is used through the system. New technology is used in a creative way and will promote innovation and transformation of the business.
Franklin, James A.
This report describes revisions to a simulation model that was developed for use in piloted evaluations of takeoff, transition, hover, and landing characteristics of an advanced short takeoff and vertical landing lift fan fighter aircraft. These revisions have been made to the flight/propulsion control system, head-up display, and propulsion system to reflect recent flight and simulation experience with short takeoff and vertical landing operations. They include nonlinear inverse control laws in all axes (eliminating earlier versions with state rate feedback), throttle scaling laws for flightpath and thrust command, control selector commands apportioned based on relative effectiveness of the individual controls, lateral guidance algorithms that provide more flexibility for terminal area operations, and a simpler representation of the propulsion system. The model includes modes tailored to the phases of the aircraft's operation, with several response types which are coupled to the aircraft's aerodynamic and propulsion system effectors through a control selector tailored to the propulsion system. Head-up display modes for approach and hover are integrated with the corresponding control modes. Propulsion system components modeled include a remote lift fan and a lift-cruise engine. Their static performance and dynamic responses are represented by the model. A separate report describes the subsonic, power-off aerodynamics and jet induced aerodynamics in hover and forward flight, including ground effects.
Chung, W. Y. William; Borchers, Paul F.; Franklin, James A.
A simulation model has been developed for use in piloted evaluations of takeoff, transition, hover, and landing characteristics of an advanced, short takeoff, vertical landing lift fan fighter aircraft. The flight/propulsion control system includes modes for several response types which are coupled to the aircraft's aerodynamic and propulsion system effectors through a control selector tailored to the lift fan propulsion system. Head-up display modes for approach and hover, tailored to their corresponding control modes are provided in the simulation. Propulsion system components modeled include a remote lift and a lift/cruise engine. Their static performance and dynamic response are represented by the model. A separate report describes the subsonic, power-off aerodynamics and jet induced aerodynamics in hover and forward flight, including ground effects.
Hess, R. A.; Mcnally, B. D.
The increasing reliance of state-of-the art, high performance aircraft on high authority stability and command augmentation systems, in order to obtain satisfactory performance and handling qualities, has made critical the achievement of a better understanding of human capabilities, limitations, and preferences during interactions with complex dynamic systems that involve task allocation between man and machine. An analytical and experimental study has been undertaken to investigate human interaction with a simple, multiloop dynamic system in which human activity was systematically varied by changing the levels of automation. Task definition has led to a control loop structure which parallels that for any multiloop manual control system, and may therefore be considered a stereotype.
Glende, W. L. B.
The design, fabrication and flight testing of a powered elevator system for the Augmentor Wing Jet STOL Research Aircraft (AWJSRA or Mod C-8A) are discussed. The system replaces a manual spring tab elevator control system that was unsatisfactory in the STOL flight regime. Pitch control in the AWJSRA is by means of a single elevator control surface. The elevator is used for both maneuver and trim control as the stabilizer is fixed. A fully powered, irreversible flight control system powered by dual hydraulic sources was designed. The existing control columns and single mechanical cable system of the AWJSRA have been retained as has been the basic elevator surface, except that the elevator spring tab is modified into a geared balance tab. The control surface is directly actuated by a dual tandem moving body actuator. Control signals are transmitted from the elevator aft quadrant to the actuator by a linkage system that includes a limited authority series servo actuator.
Despite being referred to as unmanned some of the major challenges confronting unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) relate to human factors. NASA is conducting research to address the human factors relevant to UAS access to non-segregated airspace. This work covers the issues of pilot performance, interaction with ATC, and control station design. A major outcome of this research will be recommendations for human factors design guidelines for UAS control stations to support routine beyond-line-of-sight operations in the US national airspace system (NAS). To be effective, guidelines must be relevant to a wide range of systems, must not be overly prescriptive, and must not impose premature standardization on evolving technologies. In developing guidelines, we recognize that existing regulatory and guidance material may already provide adequate coverage of certain issues. In other cases suitable guidelines may be found in existing military or industry human factors standards. In cases where appropriate existing standards cannot be identified, original guidelines will be proposed.
It is pointed out that the long-range antiship standoff missile is emerging as the foremost threat on the seas. Delivered by high speed bombers, surface ships, and submarines, a missile attack can be mounted against selected targets from any point on the compass. An investigation is conducted regarding the configuration of a system which could most efficiently identify and destroy standoff threats before they launch their weapons. It is found that by using ships for carrying and launching missiles, and employing aircraft with a powerful radar only for search and missile directing operations, aircraft cost and weight can be greatly reduced. The employment of V/STOL aircraft in preference to other types of aircraft makes it possible to use ships of smaller size for carrying the aircraft. However, in order to obtain an all-weather operational capability for the system, ships are selected which are still big enough to display the required stability in heavy seas.
Chavez, Carlos; Hammel, Bruce; Hammel, Allan; Moore, John R.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) represent a new capability that will provide a variety of services in the government (public) and commercial (civil) aviation sectors. The growth of this potential industry has not yet been realized due to the lack of a common understanding of what is required to safely operate UAS in the National Airspace System (NAS). To address this deficiency, NASA has established a project called UAS Integration in the NAS (UAS in the NAS), under the Integrated Systems Research Program (ISRP) of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD). This project provides an opportunity to transition concepts, technology, algorithms, and knowledge to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other stakeholders to help them define the requirements, regulations, and issues for routine UAS access to the NAS. The safe, routine, and efficient integration of UAS into the NAS requires new radio frequency (RF) spectrum allocations and a new data communications system which is both secure and scalable with increasing UAS traffic without adversely impacting the Air Traffic Control (ATC) communication system. These data communications, referred to as Control and Non-Payload Communications (CNPC), whose purpose is to exchange information between the unmanned aircraft and the ground control station to ensure safe, reliable, and effective unmanned aircraft flight operation. A Communications Subproject within the UAS in the NAS Project has been established to address issues related to CNPC development, certification and fielding. The focus of the Communications Subproject is on validating and allocating new RF spectrum and data link communications to enable civil UAS integration into the NAS. The goal is to validate secure, robust data links within the allocated frequency spectrum for UAS. A vision, architectural concepts, and seed requirements for the future commercial UAS CNPC system have been developed by RTCA Special Committee 203 (SC-203) in the process
The topics covered include fly by wire, digital control, control configured vehicles, applications to advanced flight vehicles, advanced propulsion control systems, and active control technology for transport aircraft.
Reiner, Jacob; Balas, Gary J.; Garrard, William L.
This paper presents a methodology for the design of longitudinal controllers for high performance aircraft operating over large ranges of angle of attack. The technique used for controller design is structured singular value or mu synthesis. The controller is designed to minimize the weighted H-infinity norm of the error between the aircraft response and the desired handling quality specifications without saturating the control actuators. The mu synthesis procedure ensures that the stability and performance of the aircraft is robust to parameter variations and modeling uncertainties included in the design model. Nonlinear simulations demonstrate that the controller satisfies handling quality requirements and provides excellent tracking of pilot inputs over a wide range of transient angles of attack and Mach number.
Belcastro, Christine M.
Validation of technologies developed for loss of control (LOC) prevention and recovery poses significant challenges. Aircraft LOC can result from a wide spectrum of hazards, often occurring in combination, which cannot be fully replicated during evaluation. Technologies developed for LOC prevention and recovery must therefore be effective under a wide variety of hazardous and uncertain conditions, and the validation framework must provide some measure of assurance that the new vehicle safety technologies do no harm (i.e., that they themselves do not introduce new safety risks). This paper summarizes a proposed validation framework for safety-critical systems, provides an overview of validation methods and tools developed by NASA to date within the Vehicle Systems Safety Project, and develops a preliminary set of test scenarios for the validation of technologies for LOC prevention and recovery
Seacord, C. L.; Vaughn, D. K.
The design of a fly-by-wire control system having a mission failure probability of less than one millionth failures per flight hour is examined. Emphasis was placed on developing actuator configurations that would improve the system performance, and consideration of the practical aspects of sensor/computer and computer/actuator interface implementation. Five basic configurations were defined as appropriate candidates for the F-8C research aircraft. Options on the basic configurations were included to cover variations in flight sensors, redundancy levels, data transmission techniques, processor input/output methods, and servo actuator arrangements. The study results can be applied to fly by wire systems for transport aircraft in general and the space shuttle.
Olcott, J. W.; Seckel, E.; Ellis, D. R. (Inventor)
A system for altering the lift/drag characteristics of powered aircraft to provide a safe means of glide path control includes a control device integrated for coordination action with the aircraft throttle. Such lift/drag alteration devices as spoilers, dive brakes, and the like are actuated by manual operation of a single lever coupled with the throttle for integrating, blending or coordinating power control. Improper operation of the controller is inhibited by safety mechanisms.
Beasley, G. P. (Compiler)
The workshop consisted of 24 technical presentations on various aspects of aircraft controls, ranging from the theoretical development of control laws to the evaluation of new controls technology in flight test vehicles. A special report on the status of foreign aircraft technology and a panel session with seven representatives from organizations which use aircraft controls technology were also included. The controls research needs and opportunities for the future as well as the role envisioned for NASA in that research were addressed. Input from the panel and response to the workshop presentations will be used by NASA in developing future programs.
Johnson, Eric N.; Davidson, John B.; Murphy, Patrick C.
When using eigenspace assignment to design an aircraft flight control system, one must first develop a model of the plant. Certain questions arise when creating this model as to which dynamics of the plant need to be included in the model and which dynamics can be left out or approximated. The answers to these questions are important because a poor choice can lead to closed-loop dynamics that are unpredicted by the design model. To alleviate this problem, a method has been developed for predicting the effect of not including certain dynamics in the design model on the final closed-loop eigenspace. This development provides insight as to which characteristics of unmodeled dynamics will ultimately affect the closed-loop rigid-body dynamics. What results from this insight is a guide for eigenstructure control law designers to aid them in determining which dynamics need or do not need to be included and a new way to include these dynamics in the flight control system design model to achieve a required accuracy in the closed-loop rigid-body dynamics. The method is illustrated for a lateral-directional flight control system design using eigenspace assignment for the NASA High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV).
Harlow, Charles; Zhu, Weihong
Accurate data is important in the aviation planning process. In this project we consider systems for measuring aircraft activity at airports. This would include determining the type of aircraft such as jet, helicopter, single engine, and multiengine propeller. Some of the issues involved in deploying technologies for monitoring aircraft operations are cost, reliability, and accuracy. In addition, the system must be field portable and acceptable at airports. A comparison of technologies was conducted and it was decided that an aircraft monitoring system should be based upon acoustic technology. A multimedia relational database was established for the study. The information contained in the database consists of airport information, runway information, acoustic records, photographic records, a description of the event (takeoff, landing), aircraft type, and environmental information. We extracted features from the time signal and the frequency content of the signal. A multi-layer feed-forward neural network was chosen as the classifier. Training and testing results were obtained. We were able to obtain classification results of over 90 percent for training and testing for takeoff events.
Korte, John J.
A numerical simulation of the actuation system for the propulsion control valve (PCV) of the NASA Langley Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility was developed during the preliminary design of the PCV and used throughout the entire project. The simulation is based on a predictive model of the PCV which is used to evaluate and design the actuation system. The PCV controls a 1.7 million-pound thrust water jet used in propelling a 108,000-pound test carriage. The PCV can open and close in 0.300 second and deliver over 9,000 gallons of water per sec at pressures up to 3150 psi. The numerical simulation results are used to predict transient performance and valve opening characteristics, specify the hydraulic control system, define transient loadings on components, and evaluate failure modes. The mathematical model used for numerically simulating the mechanical fluid power system is described, and numerical results are demonstrated for a typical opening and closing cycle of the PCV. A summary is then given on how the model is used in the design process.
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.
Kun, David William
Unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) are gaining popularity in civil and commercial applications as their lightweight on-board computers become more powerful and affordable, their power storage devices improve, and the Federal Aviation Administration addresses the legal and safety concerns of integrating UASs in the national airspace. Consequently, many researchers are pursuing novel methods to control UASs in order to improve their capabilities, dependability, and safety assurance. The nonlinear control approach is a common choice as it offers several benefits for these highly nonlinear aerospace systems (e.g., the quadrotor). First, the controller design is physically intuitive and is derived from well known dynamic equations. Second, the final control law is valid in a larger region of operation, including far from the equilibrium states. And third, the procedure is largely methodical, requiring less expertise with gain tuning, which can be arduous for a novice engineer. Considering these facts, this thesis proposes a nonlinear controller design method that combines the advantages of adaptive robust control (ARC) with the powerful design tools of linear matrix inequalities (LMI). The ARC-LMI controller is designed with a discontinuous projection-based adaptation law, and guarantees a prescribed transient and steady state tracking performance for uncertain systems in the presence of matched disturbances. The norm of the tracking error is bounded by a known function that depends on the controller design parameters in a known form. Furthermore, the LMI-based part of the controller ensures the stability of the system while overcoming polytopic uncertainties, and minimizes the control effort. This can reduce the number of parameters that require adaptation, and helps to avoid control input saturation. These desirable characteristics make the ARC-LMI control algorithm well suited for the quadrotor UAS, which may have unknown parameters and may encounter external
Jones, D. R.; Parrish, R. V.; Person, L. H., Jr.; Old, J. L.
With the advent of digital avionics, the workload of the pilot in a moderen transport aircraft is increasing significantly. This situation makes it necessary to reduce pilot workload with the aid of new advanced technologies. As part of an effort to improve information management systems, NASA has, therefore, studied an advanced concept for managing the navigational tasks of a modern transport aircraft. This concept is mainly concerned with the simplification of the pilot interface. The advanced navigational system provides a simple method for a pilot to enter new waypoints to change his flight plan because of heavy traffic, adverse weather conditions, or other reasons. The navigational system was implemented and evaluated in a flight simulator representative of a modern transport aircraft. Attention is given to the simulator, flight simulation, multimode devices, and the navigational system.
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.
Beard, B. B.; Foley, W. H.
Attention is given to a short takeoff vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft reaction control system (RCS) design study. The STOVL fighter/attack aircraft employs an existing turbofan engine, and its hover requirement places a premium on weight reduction, which eliminates prospective nonairbreathing RCSs. A simple engine compressor bleed RCS degrades overall performance to an unacceptable degree, and the supersonic requirement precludes the large volume alternatives of thermal or ejector thrust augmentation systems as well as the ducting of engine exhaust gases and the use of a dedicated turbojet. The only system which addressed performance criteria without requiring major engine modifications was a dedicated load compressor driven by an auxilliary power unit.
Calloway, Raymond S.; Knight, Vernie H., Jr.
NASA Langley's Crash Response Data System (CRDS) which is designed to acquire aircraft structural and anthropomorphic dummy responses during the full-scale transport CID test is described. Included in the discussion are the system design approach, details on key instrumentation subsystems and operations, overall instrumentation crash performance, and data recovery results. Two autonomous high-environment digital flight instrumentation systems, DAS 1 and DAS 2, were employed to obtain research data from various strain gage, accelerometer, and tensiometric sensors installed in the B-720 test aircraft. The CRDS successfully acquired 343 out of 352 measurements of dynamic crash data.
Calloway, Raymond S.; Knight, Vernie H., Jr.
NASA Langley's Crash Response Data System (CRDS) which is designed to acquire aircraft structural and anthropomorphic dummy responses during the full-scale transport CID test is described. Included in the discussion are the system design approach, details on key instrumentation subsystems and operations, overall instrumentation crash performance, and data recovery results. Two autonomous high-environment digital flight instrumentation systems, DAS 1 and DAS 2, were employed to obtain research data from various strain gage, accelerometer, and tensiometric sensors installed in the B-720 test aircraft. The CRDS successfully acquired 343 out of 352 measurements of dynamic crash data.
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.
Seal, Daniel W.; Weaver, Thomas L.; Kessler, Bradley L.; Bedoya, Carlos A.; Mattes, Robert E.
This report describes the design, development, and testing of passive fiber optic sensors and a multiplexing electro-optic architecture (EOA) for installation and flight test on a NASA-owned F-18 aircraft. This hardware was developed under the Fiber Optic Control Systems for Advanced Aircraft program, part of a multiyear NASA initiative to design, develop, and demonstrate through flight test 'fly-by-light' systems for application to advanced aircraft flight and propulsion control. This development included the design and production of 10 passive optical sensors and associated multiplexed EOA hardware based on wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) technology. A variety of sensor types (rotary position, linear position, temperature, and pressure) incorporating a broad range of sensor technologies (WDM analog, WDM digital, analog microbend, and fluorescent time rate of decay) were obtained from different manufacturers and functionally integrated with an independently designed EOA. The sensors were built for installation in a variety of aircraft locations, placing the sensors in a variety of harsh environments. The sensors and EOA were designed and built to have the resulting devices be as close as practical to a production system. The integrated system was delivered to NASA for flight testing on a NASA-owned F-18 aircraft. Development and integration testing of the system provided valuable information as to which sensor types were simplest to design and build for a military aircraft environment and which types were simplest to operate with a multiplexed EOA. Not all sensor types met the full range of performance and environmental requirements. EOA development problems provided information on directions to pursue in future fly-by-light flight control development programs. Lessons learned in the development of the EOA and sensor hardware are summarized.
Liberty, S. R.; Mielke, R. R.; Tung, L. J.
Applied research in the area of spectral assignment in multivariable systems is reported. A frequency domain technique for determining the set of all stabilizing controllers for a single feedback loop multivariable system is described. It is shown that decoupling and tracking are achievable using this procedure. The technique is illustrated with a simple example.
Dade County Public Schools, Miami, FL.
This document presents an outline for a 135-hour course designed to familiarize the student with manipulative skills and theoretical knowledge concerning aircraft instrument systems like major flight and engine instruments; fire protection and fire fighting systems; warning systems and navigation systems; aircraft cabin control systems, such as…
Davis, D. J.; Linse, D. J.; Suikat, R.; Entz, D. P.
The continued investigation of the design of Ride Quality Augmentation Systems (RQAS) for commuter aircraft is described. The purpose of these RQAS is the reduction of the vertical and lateral acceleration response of the aircraft due to atmospheric turbulence by the application of active control. The current investigations include the refinement of the sample data feedback control laws based on the control-rate-weighting and output-weighting optimal control design techniqes. These control designs were evaluated using aircraft time simulations driven by Dryden spectra turbulence. Fixed gain controllers were tested throughout the aircrft operating envelope. The preliminary design of the hardware modifications necessary to implement and test the RQAS on a commuter aircraft is included. These include a separate surface elevator and the flap modifications to provide both direct lift and roll control. A preliminary failure mode investigation was made for the proposed configuration. The results indicate that vertical acceleration reductions of 45% and lateral reductions of more than 50% are possible. A fixed gain controller appears to be feasible with only minor response degradation.
Dade County Public Schools, Miami, FL.
This document presents an outline for a 135-hour course designed to familiarize the student with operation, inspection, troubleshooting, and repair of aircraft landing gear, ice and rain control systems. It is designed to help the trainee master the knowledge and skills necessary to become an aviation airframe mechanic. The aviation airframe…
Garren, J. F., Jr.; Niessen, F. R.; Abbott, T. S.; Yenni, K. R.
A modified complementary filtering technique for estimating aircraft roll rate was developed and flown in a research helicopter to determine whether higher gains could be achieved. Use of this technique did, in fact, permit a substantial increase in system frequency bandwidth because, in comparison with first-order filtering, it reduced both noise amplification and control limit-cycle tendencies.
The main motivation for the work under the present grant was to use nonlinear feedback linearization methods to further enhance performance capabilities of the aircraft, and robustify its response throughout its operating envelope. The idea was to use these methods in lieu of standard Taylor series linearization, in order to obtain a well behaved linearized plant, in its entire operational regime. Thus, feedback linearization was going to constitute an 'inner loop', which would then define a 'design plant model' to be compensated for robustness and guaranteed performance in an 'outer loop' application of modern linear control methods. The motivation for this was twofold; first, earlier work had shown that by appropriately conditioning the plant through conventional, simple feedback in an 'inner loop', the resulting overall compensated plant design enjoyed considerable enhancement of performance robustness in the presence of parametric uncertainty. Second, the nonlinear techniques did not have any proven robustness properties in the presence of unstructured uncertainty; a definition of robustness (and performance) is very difficult to achieve outside the frequency domain; to date, none is available for the purposes of control system design. Thus, by proper design of the outer loop, such properties could still be 'injected' in the overall system.
Current research in Artificial Neural Networks indicates that networks offer some potential advantages in adaptation and fault tolerance. This research is directed at determining the possible applicability of neural networks to aircraft control. The first application will be to aircraft trim. Neural network node characteristics, network topology and operation, neural network learning and example histories using neighboring optimal control with a neural net are discussed.
Caglayan, A. K.; Lancraft, R. E.
The design of a sensor fault tolerant system which uses analytical redundancy for the Terminal Configured Vehicle (TCV) research aircraft in a Microwave Landing System (MLS) environment was studied. The fault tolerant system provides reliable estimates for aircraft position, velocity, and attitude in the presence of possible failures in navigation aid instruments and onboard sensors. The estimates, provided by the fault tolerant system, are used by the automated guidance and control system to land the aircraft along a prescribed path. Sensor failures are identified by utilizing the analytic relationship between the various sensor outputs arising from the aircraft equations of motion.
For the low speed operation of aircraft, during STOL-take off or STOL-landing and for windshear situations a precise measurement of the state of the aerodynamic flow is required. Normally the dynamic pressure is used to assess the state of flow, thus defining the stall margin in terms of a speed factor. However, flying at higher lift coefficients, a precise maintainence of a given lift coefficient by controlling the speed is no longer feasible. Instead, controlling the angle of attack or controlling the lift coefficient directly should be used. Some methods for the measurement and the control of the state of the aerodynamical flow including wing tap pressure measurements are discussed. Wind tunnel results are presented, that show the pressure distribution of a slotted STOL-wing and the typical relationship between the tap pressure, angle of attack and flap angle. Wing tape pressure measurements taken with the STOL-aircraft Do 28 aircraft are then discussed showing the feasibility of the method described to sense the state of flow.
Fuller, Chris R.
Previous work has demonstrated the large potential for hybrid active-passive systems for attenuating interior noise in aircraft fuselages. The main advantage of an active-passive system is, by utilizing the natural dynamics of the actuator system, the control actuator power and weight is markedly reduced and stability/robustness is enhanced. Three different active-passive approaches were studied in the past year. The first technique utilizes multiple tunable vibration absorbers (ATVA) for reducing narrow band sound radiated from panels and transmitted through fuselage structures. The focus is on reducing interior noise due to propeller or turbo fan harmonic excitation. Two types of tunable vibration absorbers were investigated; a solid state system based upon a piezoelectric mechanical exciter and an electromechanical system based upon a Motran shaker. Both of these systems utilize a mass-spring dynamic effect to maximize tile output force near resonance of the shaker system and so can also be used as vibration absorbers. The dynamic properties of the absorbers (i.e. resonance frequency) were modified using a feedback signal from an accelerometer mounted on the active mass, passed through a compensator and fed into the drive component of the shaker system (piezoelectric element or voice coil respectively). The feedback loop consisted of a two coefficient FIR filter, implemented on a DSP, where the input is acceleration of tile ATVA mass and the output is a force acting in parallel with the stiffness of the absorber. By separating the feedback signal into real and imaginary components, the effective natural frequency and damping of the ATVA can be altered independently. This approach gave control of the resonance frequencies while also allowing the simultaneous removal of damping from the ATVA, thus increasing the ease of controllability and effectiveness. In order to obtain a "tuned" vibration absorber the chosen resonant frequency was set to the excitation
Hoffman, W. C.; Curry, R. E.; Kleinman, D. L.; Hollister, W. M.; Young, L. R.
Quantative metrics were determined for system control performance, workload for control, monitoring performance, and workload for monitoring. Pilot tasks were allocated for navigation and guidance of automated commercial V/STOL aircraft in all weather conditions using an optimal control model of the human operator to determine display elements and design.
Schmidt, David K.
Results from the synthesis of control laws for an advanced short takeoff aircraft in a low-speed approach flight condition are given. Two of four candidate synthesis techniques are reported: direct eigenspace assignment and explicit model following via a linear quadratic regulator (LQR) formulation. A fundamental objective of this work is to obtain low-order feedback compensators, synthesized via the above techniques, and the judicious use of state estimation, thus allowing the use of a reasonable number of sensors for feedback.
Lambregts, Antonius A. (Inventor)
Disclosed is a vertical flight path angle steering system for aircraft, utilizing a digital flight control computer which processes pilot control inputs and aircraft response parameters into suitable elevator commands and control information for display to the pilot on a cathode ray tube. The system yields desirable airplane control handling qualities and responses as well as improvements in pilot workload and safety during airplane operation in the terminal area and under windshear conditions.
Phatak, A. V.; Kessler, K. M.
The selection of the structure of optimal control type models for the human gunner in an anti aircraft artillery system is considered. Several structures within the LQG framework may be formulated. Two basic types are considered: (1) kth derivative controllers; and (2) proportional integral derivative (P-I-D) controllers. It is shown that a suitable criterion for model structure determination can be based on the ensemble statistics of the tracking error. In the case when the ensemble tracking steady state error is zero, it is suggested that a P-I-D controller formulation be used in preference to the kth derivative controller.
Tashker, M. G.; Powell, J. D.
Investigations were conducted in two main areas: the first area is control system design, and the goals were to define the limits of 'digitized S-Plane design techniques' vs. sample rate, to show the results of a 'direct digital design technique', and to compare the two methods; the second area was to evaluate the roughness of autopilot designs parametrically versus sample rate. Goals of the first area were addressed by (1) an analysis of a 2nd order example using both design methods, (2) a linear analysis of the complete 737 aircraft with an autoland obtained using the digitized S-plane technique, (3) linear analysis of a high frequency 737 approximation with the autoland from a direct digital design technique, and (4) development of a simulation for evaluation of the autopilots with disturbances and nonlinearities included. Roughness evaluation was studied by defining an experiment to be carried out on the Langley motion simulator and coordinated with analysis at Stanford.
Murphy, Patrick C.
This paper highlights some of the results and issues associated with estimating models to evaluate control law design methods and design criteria for advanced high performance aircraft. Experimental fighter aircraft such as the NASA-High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV) have the capability to maneuver at very high angles of attack where nonlinear aerodynamics often predominate. HARV is an experimental F/A-18, configured with thrust vectoring and conformal actuated nose strakes. Identifying closed-loop models for this type of aircraft can be made difficult by nonlinearities and high order characteristics of the system. In this paper, only lateral-directional axes are considered since the lateral-directional control law was specifically designed to produce classical airplane responses normally expected with low-order, rigid-body systems. Evaluation of the control design methodology was made using low-order equivalent systems determined from flight and simulation. This allowed comparison of the closed-loop rigid-body dynamics achieved in flight with that designed in simulation. In flight, the On Board Excitation System was used to apply optimal inputs to lateral stick and pedals at five angles at attack : 5, 20, 30, 45, and 60 degrees. Data analysis and closed-loop model identification were done using frequency domain maximum likelihood. The structure of identified models was a linear state-space model reflecting classical 4th-order airplane dynamics. Input time delays associated with the high-order controller and aircraft system were accounted for in data preprocessing. A comparison of flight estimated models with small perturbation linear design models highlighted nonlinearities in the system and indicated that the closed-loop rigid-body dynamics were sensitive to input amplitudes at 20 and 30 degrees angle of attack.
Murphy, Patrick C.
This paper highlights some of the results and issues associated with estimating models to evaluate control law design methods and design criteria for advanced high performance aircraft. Experimental fighter aircraft such as the NASA High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV) have the capability to maneuver at very high angles of attack where nonlinear aerodynamics often predominate. HARV is an experimental F/A-18, configured with thrust vectoring and conformal actuated nose strakes. Identifying closed-loop models for this type of aircraft can be made difficult by nonlinearities and high-order characteristics of the system. In this paper only lateral-directional axes are considered since the lateral-directional control law was specifically designed to produce classical airplane responses normally expected with low-order, rigid-body systems. Evaluation of the control design methodology was made using low-order equivalent systems determined from flight and simulation. This allowed comparison of the closed-loop rigid-body dynamics achieved in flight with that designed in simulation. In flight, the On Board Excitation System was used to apply optimal inputs to lateral stick and pedals at five angles of attack: 5, 20, 30, 45, and 60 degrees. Data analysis and closed-loop model identification were done using frequency domain maximum likelihood. The structure of the identified models was a linear state-space model reflecting classical 4th-order airplane dynamics. Input time delays associated with the high-order controller and aircraft system were accounted for in data preprocessing. A comparison of flight estimated models with small perturbation linear design models highlighted nonlinearities in the system and indicated that the estimated closed-loop rigid-body dynamics were sensitive to input amplitudes at 20 and 30 degrees angle of attack.
Muehlbauer, J. C.; Hewell, J. G., Jr.; Lindenbaum, S. P.; Randall, C. C.; Searle, N.; Stone, R. G., Jr.
The effects of using advanced turboprop propulsion systems to reduce the fuel consumption and direct operating costs of cargo aircraft were studied, and the impact of these systems on aircraft noise and noise prints around a terminal area was determined. Parametric variations of aircraft and propeller characteristics were investigated to determine their effects on noiseprint areas, fuel consumption, and direct operating costs. From these results, three aircraft designs were selected and subjected to design refinements and sensitivity analyses. Three competitive turbofan aircraft were also defined from parametric studies to provide a basis for comparing the two types of propulsion.
Mukherjee, Jason S.
This dissertation concerns the study of radio-operated control of an aircraft using fixed gain and adaptive controllers. The real-time feedback control system is developed to enhance the flying qualities of an experimental model aircraft. The non-conventional flight dynamics of the Outboard Horizontal Stabilizer (OHS) aircraft cause significant differences in the piloting of the aircraft. The control system was added to augment stability as well as to adjust the flight characteristics so that the OHS aircraft handles similar to a conventional aircraft. The control system design process, as applied to recent innovations in aircraft design, is followed. The Outboard Horizontal Stabilizer concept is a non-conventional aircraft, designed to take advantage of the normally wasted energy developed by the wing tip vortices. The research is based on a remotely-controlled OHS aircraft fitted with various sensors and telemetry as part of a real time feedback control system. Fixed gain Linear Quadratic controllers are first applied to the aircraft and result in a dramatic increase in performance at a nominal operating condition. Non-linearities in the OHS aircraft behavior and a wide operating range demanded the development of a variable gain adaptive controller utilizing a parameter estimation scheme to model the plant. The adaptive LQR gain-scheduled controller that emerged gave good performance over a wide flight envelope.
Hopkins, A. L.; Martin, J. H.; Brock, L. D.; Jansson, D. G.; Serben, S.; Smith, T. B.; Hanley, L. D.
The application of communication structures to advanced transport aircraft are addressed. First, a set of avionic functional requirements is established, and a baseline set of avionics equipment is defined that will meet the requirements. Three alternative configurations for this equipment are then identified that represent the evolution toward more dispersed systems. Candidate communication structures are proposed for each system configuration, and these are compared using trade off analyses; these analyses emphasize reliability but also address complexity. Multiplex buses are recognized as the likely near term choice with mesh networks being desirable for advanced, highly dispersed systems.
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.
Phillips, James D.
A linear modal control algorithm is applied to the NASA Oblique Wing Research Aircraft (OWRA). The control law is evaluated using a detailed nonlinear flight simulation. It is shown that the modal control law attenuates the coupling and nonlinear aerodynamics of the oblique wing and remains stable during control saturation caused by large command inputs or large external disturbances. The technique controls each natural mode independently allowing single-input/single-output techniques to be applied to multiple-input/multiple-output systems.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Fullerton, C. Gordon
A multiengine crippled aircraft, with most or all of the flight control system inoperative, may use engine thrust for control. A study was conducted of the capability and techniques for emergency flight control. Included were light twin engine piston powered airplanes, an executive jet transport, commercial jet transports, and a high performance fighter. Piloted simulations of the B-720, B-747, B-727, MD-11, C-402, and F-15 airplanes were studied, and the Lear 24, PA-30, and F-15 airplanes were flight tested. All aircraft showed some control capability with throttles and could be kept under control in up-and-away flight for an extended period of time. Using piloted simulators, landings with manual throttles-only control were extremely difficult. However, there are techniques that improve the chances of making a survivable landing. In addition, augmented control systems provide major improvements in control capability and make repeatable landings possible. Control capabilities and techniques are discussed.
Yedavalli, R. K.
The aspect of controller design for improving the ride quality of aircraft in terms of damping ratio and natural frequency specifications on the short period dynamics is addressed. The controller is designed to be robust with respect to uncertainties in the real parameters of the control design model such as uncertainties in the dimensional stability derivatives, imperfections in actuator/sensor locations and possibly variations in flight conditions, etc. The design is based on a new robust root clustering theory developed by the author by extending the nominal root clustering theory of Gutman and Jury to perturbed matrices. The proposed methodology allows to get an explicit relationship between the parameters of the root clustering region and the uncertainty radius of the parameter space. The current literature available for robust stability becomes a special case of this unified theory. The bounds derived on the parameter perturbation for robust root clustering are then used in selecting the robust controller.
Tanner, John A. (Editor)
Topics presented include the laboratory simulation of landing gear pitch-plane dynamics, a summary of recent aircraft/ground vehicle friction measurement tests, some recent aircraft tire thermal studies, and an evaluation of critical speeds in high-speed aircraft. Also presented are a review of NASA antiskid braking research, titanium matrix composite landing gear development, the current methods and perspective of aircraft flotation analysis, the flow rate and trajectory of water spray produced by an aircraft tire, and spin-up studies of the Space Shuttle Orbiter main gear tire.
Dennis, D. V.
Aircraft control-position indicator cockpit-mounted instrument that displays positions of elevator and ailerons to pilot. Display is cruciform array of lights: horizontal row of amber lights and vertical row of green lights representing aileron and elevator positions, respectively. Display used extensively in spin testing and has been trouble-free, with no maintenance required after about 30 hours of operation.
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.
Su, Shanwei; Lin, Yan
In this article, we study the output tracking control of a class of MIMO nonlinear non-minimum phase systems in the presence of input disturbances. In order to attenuate the effects of disturbances, the method of uncertainty and disturbance estimator (UDE) is extended to the controller design for non-minimum phase systems. Due to the fact that the accumulated disturbances is composed of internal states and external disturbances, a different stability analysis is given, and the overall closed-loop system is proved to be semi-globally stable. The proposed state-feedback controller not only forces system outputs to asymptotically track desired trajectories, but also drives the unstable internal dynamics to follow bounded and causal ideal internal dynamics (IID) solved via stable system centre (SSC) method. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed controller achieves excellent tracking and disturbance rejection performance via the example of VTOL aircraft which has been the benchmark of nonlinear non-minimum phase systems.
Shin, Jong-Yeob; Belcastro, Christine
Formal robustness analysis of aircraft control upset prevention and recovery systems could play an important role in their validation and ultimate certification. As a part of the validation process, this paper describes an analysis method for determining a reliable flight regime in the flight envelope within which an integrated resilent control system can achieve the desired performance of tracking command signals and detecting additive faults in the presence of parameter uncertainty and unmodeled dynamics. To calculate a reliable flight regime, a structured singular value analysis method is applied to analyze the closed-loop system over the entire flight envelope. To use the structured singular value analysis method, a linear fractional transform (LFT) model of a transport aircraft longitudinal dynamics is developed over the flight envelope by using a preliminary LFT modeling software tool developed at the NASA Langley Research Center, which utilizes a matrix-based computational approach. The developed LFT model can capture original nonlinear dynamics over the flight envelope with the ! block which contains key varying parameters: angle of attack and velocity, and real parameter uncertainty: aerodynamic coefficient uncertainty and moment of inertia uncertainty. Using the developed LFT model and a formal robustness analysis method, a reliable flight regime is calculated for a transport aircraft closed-loop system.
A document consisting mostly of lecture slides presents overviews of artificial-intelligence-based control methods now under development for application to robotic aircraft [called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the paper] and spacecraft and to the next generation of flight controllers for piloted aircraft. Following brief introductory remarks, the paper presents background information on intelligent control, including basic characteristics defining intelligent systems and intelligent control and the concept of levels of intelligent control. Next, the paper addresses several concepts in intelligent flight control. The document ends with some concluding remarks, including statements to the effect that (1) intelligent control architectures can guarantee stability of inner control loops and (2) for UAVs, intelligent control provides a robust way to accommodate an outer-loop control architecture for planning and/or related purposes.
Hewes, D. E.; Stewart, E. C.
Some exploratory wind tunnel and radio-controlled free-flight tests were made with a small high-wing airplane model (1.23m wing span) to study the concept of a simple aero mechanical system intended to alleviate gust loads and improve ride comfort of lightly loaded aircraft. The system consisted essentially of the outer portions of each wing being hinged in the chordwise direction and connected directly to the wing flaps using internal counter weights to provide neutral mass balance. When the wing experienced a change in velocity or angle of attack, the movable wing panels, acting as sensors and flap actuators, deflected in response to the changes in lift on the wing. The corresponding movements of the interconnected flaps tended to reduce the changes in the wing lift.
Hoffman, A. C.; Hansen, I. G.; Beach, R. F.; Plencner, R. M.; Dengler, R. P.; Jefferies, K. S.; Frye, R. J.
A concept for an advanced aircraft power system was identified that uses 20-kHz, 440-V, sin-wave power distribution. This system was integrated with an electrically powered flight control system and with other aircraft systems requiring secondary power. The resulting all-electric secondary power configuration reduced the empty weight of a modern 200-passenger, twin-engine transport by 10 percent and the mission fuel by 9 percent.
This report outlines the detailed simulation of Aircraft Turbofan Engine. The objectives were to develop a detailed flow model of a full turbofan engine that runs on parallel workstation clusters overnight and to develop an integrated system of codes for combustor design and analysis to enable significant reduction in design time and cost. The model will initially simulate the 3-D flow in the primary flow path including the flow and chemistry in the combustor, and ultimately result in a multidisciplinary model of the engine. The overnight 3-D simulation capability of the primary flow path in a complete engine will enable significant reduction in the design and development time of gas turbine engines. In addition, the NPSS (Numerical Propulsion System Simulation) multidisciplinary integration and analysis are discussed.
This thesis represents a step forward to bring geometry parameterization and control on par with the disciplinary analyses involved in shape optimization, particularly high-fidelity aerodynamic shape optimization. Central to the proposed methodology is the non-uniform rational B-spline, used here to develop a new geometry generator and geometry control system applicable to the aerodynamic design of both conventional and unconventional aircraft. The geometry generator adopts a component-based approach, where any number of predefined but modifiable (parametric) wing, fuselage, junction, etc., components can be arbitrarily assembled to generate the outer mold line of aircraft geometry. A unique Python-based user interface incorporating an interactive OpenGL windowing system is proposed. Together, these tools allow for the generation of high-quality, C2 continuous (or higher), and customized aircraft geometry with fast turnaround. The geometry control system tightly integrates shape parameterization with volume mesh movement using a two-level free-form deformation approach. The framework is augmented with axial curves, which are shown to be flexible and efficient at parameterizing wing systems of arbitrary topology. A key aspect of this methodology is that very large shape deformations can be achieved with only a few, intuitive control parameters. Shape deformation consumes a few tenths of a second on a single processor and surface sensitivities are machine accurate. The geometry control system is implemented within an existing aerodynamic optimizer comprising a flow solver for the Euler equations and a sequential quadratic programming optimizer. Gradients are evaluated exactly with discrete-adjoint variables. The algorithm is first validated by recovering an elliptical lift distribution on a rectangular wing, and then demonstrated through the exploratory shape optimization of a three-pronged feathered winglet leading to a span efficiency of 1.22 under a height
Scaffidi, C. A.; Stocklin, F. J.; Feldman, M. B.
An L-band telemetry system designed to provide the capability of near-real-time processing of calibration data is described. The system also provides the capability of performing computerized spacecraft simulations, with the aircraft as a data source, and evaluating the network response. The salient characteristics of a telemetry analysis and simulation program (TASP) are discussed, together with the results of TASP testing. The results of the L-band system testing have successfully demonstrated the capability of near-real-time processing of telemetry test data, the control of the ground-received signal to within + or - 0.5 db, and the computer generation of test signals.
Powell, J. D.; Parsons, E.; Tashker, M. G.
Variations in design methods for aircraft digital flight control are evaluated and compared. The methods fall into two categories; those where the design is done in the continuous domain (or s plane) and those where the design is done in the discrete domain (or z plane). Design method fidelity is evaluated by examining closed loop root movement and the frequency response of the discretely controlled continuous aircraft. It was found that all methods provided acceptable performance for sample rates greater than 10 cps except the uncompensated s plane design method which was acceptable above 20 cps. A design procedure based on optimal control methods was proposed that provided the best fidelity at very slow sample rates and required no design iterations for changing sample rates.
Jarvis, C. R.; Szalai, K. J.
A triplex digital fly by wire flight control system was developed and installed in an F-8C aircraft to provide fail operative, full authority control. Hardware and software redundancy management techniques were designed to detect and identify failures in the system. Control functions typical of those projected for future actively controlled vehicles were implemented.
Yen, J. G.; Viswanathan, S.; Matthys, C. G.
A flight flutter testing technique is described in which the rotor controls are oscillated by series actuators to excite the rotor and airframe modes of interest, which are then allowed to decay. The moving block technique is then used to determine the damped frequency and damping variation with rotor speed. The method proved useful for tracking the stability of relatively well damped modes. The results of recently completed flight tests of an experimental soft-in-plane rotor are used to illustrate the technique. Included is a discussion of the application of this technique to investigation of the propeller whirl flutter stability characteristics of the NASA/Army XV-15 VTOL tilt rotor research aircraft.
Fuller, Chris R.; Palumbo, Dan (Technical Monitor)
It was proposed to continue with development and application in the two active-passive areas of Active Tuned Vibration Absorbers (ATVA) and smart foam applied to the reduction of interior noise in aircraft. In general the work was focused on making both techniques more efficient, practical and robust thus increasing their application potential. The work was also concerned with demonstrating the potential of these two technologies under realistic implementations as well as understanding the fundamental physics of the systems. The proposed work consisted of a three-year program and was tightly coordinated with related work being carried out in the Structural Acoustics Branch at NASA LaRC. The work was supervised and coordinated through all phases by Prof Chris Fuller of Va Tech.
Jacobson, Steven R.
Loss of control has become the leading cause of jet fatalities worldwide. Aside from their frequency of occurrence, accidents resulting from loss of aircraft control seize the public s attention by yielding large numbers of fatalities in a single event. In response to the rising threat to aviation safety, NASA's Aviation Safety Program has conducted a study of the loss of control problem. This study gathered four types of information pertaining to loss of control accidents: (1) statistical data; (2) individual accident reports that cite loss of control as a contributing factor; (3) previous meta-analyses of loss of control accidents; and (4) inputs solicited from aircraft manufacturers, air carriers, researchers, and other industry stakeholders. Using these information resources, the study team identified causal factors that were cited in the greatest number of loss of control accidents, and which were emphasized most by industry stakeholders. For each causal factor that was linked to loss of control, the team solicited ideas about what solutions are required and future research efforts that could potentially help avoid their occurrence or mitigate their consequences when they occurred in flight.
The F-15 PCA (Propulsion Controlled Aircraft) simulation was used from 1990 to 1993. It was used for the development of propulsion algorithms and piloting techniques (using throttles only) to be used for emergency flight control in the advent of a major flight control system failure on a multi-engine aircraft. Following this program with the Dryden F-15, similiar capabilities were developed for other aircraft, such as the B-720, Lear 24, B-727, C-402, and B-747.
Guinn, Wiley A.; Rising, Jerry J.; Davis, Walt J.
An advanced PACS control law was developed for a commercial wide-body transport (Lockheed L-1011) by using modern control theory. Validity of the control law was demonstrated by piloted flight simulation tests on the NASA Langley visual motion simulator. The PACS design objective was to develop a PACS that would provide good flying qualities to negative 10 percent static stability margins that were equivalent to those of the baseline aircraft at a 15 percent static stability margin which is normal for the L-1011. Also, the PACS was to compensate for high-Mach/high-g instabilities that degrade flying qualities during upset recoveries and maneuvers. The piloted flight simulation tests showed that the PACS met the design objectives. The simulation demonstrated good flying qualities to negative 20 percent static stability margins for hold, cruise and high-speed flight conditions. Analysis and wind tunnel tests performed on other Lockheed programs indicate that the PACS could be used on an advanced transport configuration to provide a 4 percent fuel savings which results from reduced trim drag by flying at negative static stability margins.
Alexander, H. R.; Smith, K. E.; Mcveigh, M. A.; Dixon, P. G.; Mcmanus, B. L.
Composite structures technology is applied in a preliminary design study of advanced technology blades and hubs for the XV-15 tilt rotor research demonstrator aircraft. Significant improvements in XV-15 hover and cruise performance are available using blades designed for compatibility with the existing aircraft, i.e., blade installation would not require modification of the airframe, hub or upper controls. Provision of a low risk nonmechanical control system was also studied, and a development specification is given.
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.
Neal, Bradford; Sengupta, Upal
During some flight programs, researchers have encountered problems in the throttle response characteristics of high-performance aircraft. To study and to help solve these problems, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Ames Research Center's Dryden Flight Research Facility (Ames-Dryden) conducted a study using a TF-104G airplane modified with a variable-response electronic throttle control system. Ames-Dryden investigated the effects of different variables on engine response and handling qualities. The system provided transport delay, lead and lag filters, second-order lags, command rate and position limits, and variable gain between the pilot's throttle command and the engine fuel controller. These variables could be tested individually or in combination. Ten research flights were flown to gather data on engine response and to obtain pilot ratings of the various system configurations. The results should provide design criteria for engine-response characteristics. The variable-response throttle components and how they were installed in the TF-104G aircraft are described. How the variable-response throttle was used in flight and some of the results of using this system are discussed.
Chung, W. W.; Mcneill, W. E.; Stortz, M. W.
The nonlinear inverse transformation flight control system design method is applied to the Lockheed Ft. Worth Company's E-7D short takeoff and vertical land (STOVL) supersonic fighter/attack aircraft design with a modified General Electric F110 engine which has augmented propulsive lift capability. The system is fully augmented to provide flight path control and velocity control, and rate command attitude hold for angular axes during the transition and hover operations. In cruise mode, the flight control system is configured to provide direct thrust command, rate command attitude hold for pitch and roll axes, and sideslip command with turn coordination. A control selector based on the nonlinear inverse transformation method is designed specifically to be compatible with the propulsion system's physical configuration which has a two dimensional convergent-divergent aft nozzle, a vectorable ventral nozzle, and a thrust augmented ejector. The nonlinear inverse transformation is used to determine the propulsive forces and nozzle deflections, which in combination with the aerodynamic forces and moments (including propulsive induced contributions), and gravitational force, are required to achieve the longitudinal and vertical acceleration commands. The longitudinal control axes are fully decoupled within the propulsion system's performance envelope. A piloted motion-base flight simulation was conducted on the Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) at NASA Ames Research Center to examine the handling qualities of this design. Based on results of the simulation, refinements to the control system have been made and will also be covered in the report.
Schutte, Paul; Goodrich, Kenneth; Williams, Ralph
The control automation and interaction paradigm (e.g., manual, autopilot, flight management system) used on virtually all large highly automated aircraft has long been an exemplar of breakdowns in human factors and human-centered design. An alternative paradigm is the Haptic Flight Control System (HFCS) that is part of NASA Langley Research Center s Naturalistic Flight Deck Concept. The HFCS uses only stick and throttle for easily and intuitively controlling the actual flight of the aircraft without losing any of the efficiency and operational benefits of the current paradigm. Initial prototypes of the HFCS are being evaluated and this paper describes one such evaluation. In this evaluation we examined claims regarding improved situation awareness, appropriate workload, graceful degradation, and improved pilot acceptance. Twenty-four instrument-rated pilots were instructed to plan and fly four different flights in a fictitious airspace using a moderate fidelity desktop simulation. Three different flight control paradigms were tested: Manual control, Full Automation control, and a simplified version of the HFCS. Dependent variables included both subjective (questionnaire) and objective (SAGAT) measures of situation awareness, workload (NASA-TLX), secondary task performance, time to recognize automation failures, and pilot preference (questionnaire). The results showed a statistically significant advantage for the HFCS in a number of measures. Results that were not statistically significant still favored the HFCS. The results suggest that the HFCS does offer an attractive and viable alternative to the tactical components of today s FMS/autopilot control system. The paper describes further studies that are planned to continue to evaluate the HFCS.
Hartmann, G. L.; Stein, G.
Honeywell has designed a digital self-adaptive flight control system for flight test in the VALT Research Aircraft (a modified CH-47). The final design resulted from a comparison of two different adaptive concepts: one based on explicit parameter estimates from a real-time maximum likelihood estimation algorithm and the other based on an implicit model reference adaptive system. The two designs are compared on the basis of performance and complexity.
Tanner, J. A.; Stubbs, S. M.; Smith, E. G.
The investigation utilized one main gear wheel, brake, and tire assembly of a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 series 10 airplane. The landing-gear strut was replaced by a dynamometer. During maximum braking, average braking behavior indexes based upon brake pressure, brake torque, and drag-force friction coefficient developed by the antiskid system were generally higher on dry surfaces than on wet surfaces. The three braking behavior indexes gave similar results but should not be used interchangeably as a measure of the braking of this antiskid sytem. During the transition from a dry to a flooded surface under heavy braking, the wheel entered into a deep skid but the antiskid system reacted quickly by reducing brake pressure and performed normally during the remainder of the run on the flooded surface. The brake-pressure recovery following transition from a flooded to a dry surface was shown to be a function of the antiskid modulating orifice.
Wells, Edward A.; Urnes, James M., Sr.
This paper describes the design, development, and ground testing of the propulsion controlled aircraft (PCA) flight control system. A backup flight control system which uses only engine thrust, the PCA system utilizes collective and differential thrust changes to steer an aircraft that experiences partial or complete failure of the hydraulically actuated control surfaces. The objective of the program was to investigate, in flight, the throttles-only control capability of the F-15, using manual control, and also an augmented PCA mode in which computer-controlled thrust was used for flight control. The objective included PCA operation in up-and-away flight and, if performance was adequate, a secondary objective to make actual PCA landings. The PCA design began with a feasibility study which evaluated many control law designs. The study was done using off-line control analysis, simulation, and on-line manned flight simulator tests. Control laws, cockpit displays, and cockpit controls were evaluated by NASA test pilots. A flight test baseline configuration was selected based on projected flight performance, applicability to transport and fighter aircraft, and funding costs. During the PCA software and hardware development, the initial design was updated as data became available from throttle-only flight experiments conducted by NASA on the F-15. This information showed basic airframe characteristics that were not observed in the F-15 flight simulator and resulted in several design changes. After the primary objectives of the PCA flight testing were accomplished, additional PCA modes of operation were developed and implemented. The evolution of the PCA system from the initial feasibility study, control law design, simulation, hardware-in-the-loop tests, pilot-in-the-loop tests, and ground tests is presented.
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.
Mcneill, Walter, E.; Chung, William W.; Stortz, Michael W.
A piloted motion simulator evaluation, using the NASA Ames Vertical Motion Simulator, was conducted in support of a NASA Lewis Contractual study of the integration of flight and propulsion systems of a STOVL aircraft. Objectives of the study were to validate the Design Methods for Integrated Control Systems (DMICS) concept, to evaluate the handling qualities, and to assess control power usage. The E-7D ejector-augmentor STOVL fighter design served as the basis for the simulation. Handling-qualities ratings were obtained during precision hover and shipboard landing tasks. Handling-qualities ratings for these tasks ranged from satisfactory to adequate. Further improvement of the design process to fully validate the DMICS concept appears to be warranted.
Project planning data for a rotor and control system procurement and testing program for modifications to the XV-15 tilt-rotor research demonstrator aircraft is presented. The design, fabrication, and installation of advanced composite blades compatible with the existing hub, an advanced composite hub, and a nonmechanical control system are required.
Kwatny, Harry G.; Dongmo, Jean-Etienne T.; Chang, Bor-Chin; Bajpai, Guarav; Yasar, Murat; Belcastro, Christine M.
The majority of fatal aircraft accidents are associated with loss-of-control . Yet the notion of loss-of-control is not well-defined in terms suitable for rigorous control systems analysis. Loss-of-control is generally associated with flight outside of the normal flight envelope, with nonlinear influences, and with an inability of the pilot to control the aircraft. The two primary sources of nonlinearity are the intrinsic nonlinear dynamics of the aircraft and the state and control constraints within which the aircraft must operate. In this paper we examine how these nonlinearities affect the ability to control the aircraft and how they may contribute to loss-of-control. Examples are provided using NASA s Generic Transport Model.
Aircraft control systems are usually very reliable because of redundancy and multiple control surfaces. However, there are rare occasions when potentially disastrous flight control system failures do occur. At such times, the use of appropriate modulation of engine thrust to stabilize the aircraft may be the only chance of survival for the people aboard. In several cases where complete loss of control systems has occurred in multi-engine aircraft, pilots used the propulsion system to regain limited control of the aircraft with various degrees of success. In order to evaluate the feasibility of using only engine thrust modulation for emergency backup flight control, the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center has been conducting a series of analytical studies and flight tests on several different types of aircraft in a propulsion controlled aircraft (PCA) program. Simulation studies have included B-720, B-727, MD-11, C-402, C-17, F-18, and F-15, and flight tests have included B-747, B-777, MD-11, T-39, Lear 24, F-18, F-15, T-38, and PA-30. One objective was to determine the degree of control available with manual manipulation (open-loop) of the engine throttles. Flight tests and simulations soon showed that a closed loop controller could improve the chances of making a safe runway landing. The major work to date has concentrated on three aircraft (F-15, F-18, and the MD-11). Successful landings using PCA controllers were performed on the F-15 and MD-11 without the use of control surfaces. During the course of the research, some unique challenges have been identified. Compared to the conventional flight control surfaces, the engines are slow and have limited control effectiveness. Hence the ability of the system to promptly respond to aerodynamic changes is limited. Consequently, many nonlinear effects, which are easily accommodated by a conventional flight control system, become significant issues in the design of an effective controller when the engines are used as the
Ma, Jian; Lu, Chen; Liu, Hongmei
The aircraft environmental control system (ECS) is a critical aircraft system, which provides the appropriate environmental conditions to ensure the safe transport of air passengers and equipment. The functionality and reliability of ECS have received increasing attention in recent years. The heat exchanger is a particularly significant component of the ECS, because its failure decreases the system's efficiency, which can lead to catastrophic consequences. Fault diagnosis of the heat exchanger is necessary to prevent risks. However, two problems hinder the implementation of the heat exchanger fault diagnosis in practice. First, the actual measured parameter of the heat exchanger cannot effectively reflect the fault occurrence, whereas the heat exchanger faults are usually depicted by utilizing the corresponding fault-related state parameters that cannot be measured directly. Second, both the traditional Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) and the EKF-based Double Model Filter have certain disadvantages, such as sensitivity to modeling errors and difficulties in selection of initialization values. To solve the aforementioned problems, this paper presents a fault-related parameter adaptive estimation method based on strong tracking filter (STF) and Modified Bayes classification algorithm for fault detection and failure mode classification of the heat exchanger, respectively. Heat exchanger fault simulation is conducted to generate fault data, through which the proposed methods are validated. The results demonstrate that the proposed methods are capable of providing accurate, stable, and rapid fault diagnosis of the heat exchanger. PMID:25823010
A detailed description is presented of the simulation philosophy and process used in the development of a Separate Surface Attitude Command control system (SSAC) for a Beech Model 99 Airliner. The intent of this system is to provide complete three axes stability augmentation at low cost and without the need for system redundancy. The system, although aimed at the general aviation market, also has applications to certain military airplanes as well as to miniature submarines.
Wensley, J. H.; Lamport, L.; Goldberg, J.; Green, M. W.; Levitt, K. N.; Melliar-Smith, P. M.; Shostak, R. E.; Weinstock, C. B.
SIFT (Software Implemented Fault Tolerance) is an ultrareliable computer for critical aircraft control applications that achieves fault tolerance by the replication of tasks among processing units. The main processing units are off-the-shelf minicomputers, with standard microcomputers serving as the interface to the I/O system. Fault isolation is achieved by using a specially designed redundant bus system to interconnect the processing units. Error detection and analysis and system reconfiguration are performed by software. Iterative tasks are redundantly executed, and the results of each iteration are voted upon before being used. Thus, any single failure in a processing unit or bus can be tolerated with triplication of tasks, and subsequent failures can be tolerated after reconfiguration. Independent execution by separate processors means that the processors need only be loosely synchronized, and a novel fault-tolerant synchronization method is described.
Baheti, R. S.
The magnetic suspension and balance system for an airplane model in a large wind tunnel is considered. In this system, superconducting coils generate magnetic forces and torques on the magnetized soft iron core of the airplane model. The control system is a position servo where the airplane model, with six degrees of feedom, follows the reference static or dynamic input commands. The controller design, based on the characteristic loci method, minimizes the effects of aerodynamic and inertial cross-couplings, and provides the specified dynamic response.
The current Fiber Optic Control System Integration (FOCSI) program is reviewed and the potential role of IOCs in FOCSI applications is described. The program is intended for building, environmentally testing, and demonstrating operation in piggyback flight tests (no active control with optical sensors) of a representative sensor system for propulsion and flight control. The optical sensor systems are to be designed to fit alongside the bill-of-materials sensors for comparison. The sensors are to be connected to electrooptic architecture cards which will contain the optical sources and detectors to recover and process the modulated optical signals. The FOCSI program is to collect data on the behavior of passive optical sensor systems in a flight environment and provide valuable information on installation amd maintenance problems for this technology, as well as component survivability (light sources, connectors, optical fibers, etc.).
Ma, Jian; Lu, Chen; Liu, Hongmei
The aircraft environmental control system (ECS) is a critical aircraft system, which provides the appropriate environmental conditions to ensure the safe transport of air passengers and equipment. The functionality and reliability of ECS have received increasing attention in recent years. The heat exchanger is a particularly significant component of the ECS, because its failure decreases the system’s efficiency, which can lead to catastrophic consequences. Fault diagnosis of the heat exchanger is necessary to prevent risks. However, two problems hinder the implementation of the heat exchanger fault diagnosis in practice. First, the actual measured parameter of the heat exchanger cannot effectively reflect the fault occurrence, whereas the heat exchanger faults are usually depicted by utilizing the corresponding fault-related state parameters that cannot be measured directly. Second, both the traditional Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) and the EKF-based Double Model Filter have certain disadvantages, such as sensitivity to modeling errors and difficulties in selection of initialization values. To solve the aforementioned problems, this paper presents a fault-related parameter adaptive estimation method based on strong tracking filter (STF) and Modified Bayes classification algorithm for fault detection and failure mode classification of the heat exchanger, respectively. Heat exchanger fault simulation is conducted to generate fault data, through which the proposed methods are validated. The results demonstrate that the proposed methods are capable of providing accurate, stable, and rapid fault diagnosis of the heat exchanger. PMID:25823010
Riedel, S. A.
A method by which modern and classical control theory techniques may be integrated in a synergistic fashion and used in the design of practical flight control systems is presented. A general procedure is developed, and several illustrative examples are included. Emphasis is placed not only on the synthesis of the design, but on the assessment of the results as well. The first step is to establish the differences, distinguishing characteristics and connections between the modern and classical control theory approaches. Ultimately, this uncovers a relationship between bandwidth goals familiar in classical control and cost function weights in the equivalent optimal system. In order to obtain a practical optimal solution, it is also necessary to formulate the problem very carefully, and each choice of state, measurement and output variable must be judiciously considered. Once design goals are established and problem formulation completed, the control system is synthesized in a straightforward manner. Three steps are involved: filter-observer solution, regulator solution, and the combination of those two into the controller. Assessment of the controller permits and examination and expansion of the synthesis results.
Belcastro, Christine M.
Loss of control remains one of the largest contributors to fatal aircraft accidents worldwide. Aircraft loss-of-control accidents are complex, resulting from numerous causal and contributing factors acting alone or more often in combination. Hence, there is no single intervention strategy to prevent these accidents. This paper summarizes recent analysis results in identifying worst-case combinations of loss-of-control accident precursors and their time sequences, a holistic approach to preventing loss-of-control accidents in the future, and key requirements for validating the associated technologies.
Wagner, R. D.
The incorporation of laminar flow control into transport aircraft is discussed. Design concepts for the wing surface panel of laminar flow control transport aircraft are described. The development of small amounts of laminar flow on small commercial transports with natural or hybrid flow control is examined. Techniques for eliminating the insect contamination problem in the leading-edge region are proposed.
Atwell, William; Koontz, Steve; Normand, Eugene
In this paper we review the discovery of cosmic ray effects on the performance and reliability of microelectronic systems as well as on human health and safety, as well as the development of the engineering and health science tools used to evaluate and mitigate cosmic ray effects in earth surface, atmospheric flight, and space flight environments. Three twentieth century technological developments, 1) high altitude commercial and military aircraft; 2) manned and unmanned spacecraft; and 3) increasingly complex and sensitive solid state micro-electronics systems, have driven an ongoing evolution of basic cosmic ray science into a set of practical engineering tools (e.g. ground based test methods as well as high energy particle transport and reaction codes) needed to design, test, and verify the safety and reliability of modern complex electronic systems as well as effects on human health and safety. The effects of primary cosmic ray particles, and secondary particle showers produced by nuclear reactions with spacecraft materials, can determine the design and verification processes (as well as the total dollar cost) for manned and unmanned spacecraft avionics systems. Similar considerations apply to commercial and military aircraft operating at high latitudes and altitudes near the atmospheric Pfotzer maximum. Even ground based computational and controls systems can be negatively affected by secondary particle showers at the Earth's surface, especially if the net target area of the sensitive electronic system components is large. Accumulation of both primary cosmic ray and secondary cosmic ray induced particle shower radiation dose is an important health and safety consideration for commercial or military air crews operating at high altitude/latitude and is also one of the most important factors presently limiting manned space flight operations beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO).
Pauli, F. A.
Systems consist of single duct system with two sets of reaction control nozzles, one linked mechanically to pilot's controls, and other set driven by electric servomotors commanded by preselected combinations of electrical signals.
Hofmann, L. G.; Riedel, S. A.; Mcruer, D.
A method by which modern and classical theory techniques may be integrated in a synergistic fashion and used in the design of practical flight control systems is presented. A general procedure is developed, and several illustrative examples are included. Emphasis is placed not only on the synthesis of the design, but on the assessment of the results as well.
Gorham, J. A.
Answers to specific study questions are used to ascertain the data requirements associated with a guidance, navigation and control system for a future civil STOL airplane. Results of the study were used to recommend changes for improving the outputs of the STOLAND flight experiments program.
Athans, M. (Editor); Willsky, A. S. (Editor)
The analysis and design of complex multivariable reliable control systems are considered. High performance and fault tolerant aircraft systems are the objectives. A preliminary feasibility study of the design of a lateral control system for a VTOL aircraft that is to land on a DD963 class destroyer under high sea state conditions is provided. Progress in the following areas is summarized: (1) VTOL control system design studies; (2) robust multivariable control system synthesis; (3) adaptive control systems; (4) failure detection algorithms; and (5) fault tolerant optimal control theory.
Zverev, A. Ya.
World trends in the development of methods and approaches to noise reduction in aircraft cabins are reviewed. The paper discusses the mechanisms of passive and active noise and vibration control, application of "smart" and innovative materials, new approaches to creating all fuselage-design elements, and other promising directions of noise control inside aircraft.
Dudley, Michael R.
An overview of electric aircraft propulsion technology performance thresholds for key power system components is presented. A weight comparison of electric drive systems with equivalent total delivered energy is made to help identify component performance requirements, and promising research and development opportunities.
Garrard, William L.; Balas, Gary J.
The results of a study of the application of H infinity and mu synthesis techniques to the design of feedback control laws for the longitudinal dynamics of the High Angle of Attack Research Vehicle (HARV) are presented. The objective of this study is to develop methods for the design of feedback control laws which cause the closed loop longitudinal dynamics of the HARV to meet handling quality specifications over the entire flight envelope. Control law designs are based on models of the HARV linearized at various flight conditions. The control laws are evaluated by both linear and nonlinear simulations of typical maneuvers. The fixed gain control laws resulting from both the H infinity and mu synthesis techniques result in excellent performance even when the aircraft performs maneuvers in which the system states vary significantly from their equilibrium design values. Both the H infinity and mu synthesis control laws result in performance which compares favorably with an existing baseline longitudinal control law.
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.
Lan, C. Edward; Ge, Fuying
Control system design for general nonlinear flight dynamic models is considered through numerical simulation. The design is accomplished through a numerical optimizer coupled with analysis of flight dynamic equations. The general flight dynamic equations are numerically integrated and dynamic characteristics are then identified from the dynamic response. The design variables are determined iteratively by the optimizer to optimize a prescribed objective function which is related to desired dynamic characteristics. Generality of the method allows nonlinear effects to aerodynamics and dynamic coupling to be considered in the design process. To demonstrate the method, nonlinear simulation models for an F-5A and an F-16 configurations are used to design dampers to satisfy specifications on flying qualities and control systems to prevent departure. The results indicate that the present method is simple in formulation and effective in satisfying the design objectives.
Morrison, J. A.
To provide a background for evaluating advanced STOL systems concepts, a number of short haul and STOL airline operations in the United States and one operation in Canada were studied. A study of flight director operational procedures for an advanced STOL research airplane, the Augmented Wing Jet STOL Research Airplane, was conducted using the STOLAND simulation facility located at the Ames Changes to the advanced digital flight control system (STOLAND) installed in the Augmentor Wing Airplane are proposed to improve the mode sequencing to simplify pilot procedures and reduce pilot workload.
Franklin, James A.; Stortz, Michael W.; Borchers, Paul F.; Moralez, Ernesto, III
Flight experiments were conducted on Ames Research Center's V/STOL Systems Research Aircraft (VSRA) to assess the influence of advanced control modes and head-up displays (HUD's) on flying qualities for precision approach and landing operations. Evaluations were made for decelerating approaches to hover followed by a vertical landing and for slow landings for four control/display mode combinations: the basic YAV-8B stability augmentation system; attitude command for pitch, roll, and yaw; flightpath/acceleration command with translational rate command in the hover; and height-rate damping with translational-rate command. Head-up displays used in conjunction with these control modes provided flightpath tracking/pursuit guidance and deceleration commands for the decelerating approach and a mixed horizontal and vertical presentation for precision hover and landing. Flying qualities were established and control usage and bandwidth were documented for candidate control modes and displays for the approach and vertical landing. Minimally satisfactory bandwidths were determined for the translational-rate command system. Test pilot and engineer teams from the Naval Air Warfare Center, the Boeing Military Airplane Group, Lockheed Martin, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, Northrop Grumman, Rolls-Royce, and the British Defense Research Agency participated in the program along with NASA research pilots from the Ames and Lewis Research Centers. The results, in conjunction with related ground-based simulation data, indicate that the flightpath/longitudinal acceleration command response type in conjunction with pursuit tracking and deceleration guidance on the HUD would be essential for operation to instrument minimums significantly lower than the minimums for the AV-8B. It would also be a superior mode for performing slow landings where precise control to an austere landing area such as a narrow road is demanded. The translational-rate command system would reduce pilot workload for
Walker, S. A.
The benefits that accrue from using control configured vehicle (CCV) concepts were examined along with the techniques for applying these concepts to an advanced tanker aircraft design. Reduced static stability (RSS) and flutter mode control (FMC) were the two primary CCV concepts used in the design. The CCV tanker was designed to the same mission requirements specified for a conventional tanker design. A seven degree of freedom mathematical model of the flexible aircraft was derived and used to synthesize a lateral stability augmentation system (SAS), a longitudinal control augmentation system (CAS), and a FMC system. Fatigue life and cost analyses followed the control system synthesis, after which a comparative evaluation of the CCV and conventional tankers was made. This comparison indicated that the CCV weight and cost were lower but that, for this design iteration, the CCV fatigue life was shorter. Also, the CCV crew station acceleration was lower, but the acceleration at the boom operator station was higher relative to the corresponding conventional tanker. Comparison of the design processes used in the CCV and conventional design studies revealed that they were basically the same.
Lan, C. Edward; Ge, Fu-Ying
Control system design for general nonlinear flight dynamic models is considered through numerical simulation. The design is accomplished through a numerical optimizer coupled with analysis of flight dynamic equations. In the analysis, the general nonlinear flight dynamic equations with nonlinear aerodynamics are numerically integrated; and the dynamic characteristics needed in the optimization process are then identified from the dynamic response. To assure a reasonable solution, the initial input values of the design variables are estimated through a sensitivity analysis. To demonstrate the method, the pitch departure prevention for an F-16 configuration is demonstrated.
Results of a 2-year study are reported which were carried out to extend the development of laminar flow control (LFC) technology and evaluate LFC systems concepts. The overall objective of the LFC program is to provide a sound basis for industry decisions on the application of LFC to future commercial transports. The study was organized into major tasks to support the stated objectives through application of LFC systems concepts to a baseline LFC transport initially generated for the study. Based on competitive evaluation of these concepts, a final selection was made for incorporation into the final design of an LFC transport which also included other advanced technology elements appropriate to the 1990 time period.
Belcastro, Christine M.; Foster, John V.
Loss of control remains one of the largest contributors to fatal aircraft accidents worldwide. Aircraft loss-of-control accidents are complex in that they can result from numerous causal and contributing factors acting alone or (more often) in combination. Hence, there is no single intervention strategy to prevent these accidents. To gain a better understanding into aircraft loss-of-control events and possible intervention strategies, this paper presents a detailed analysis of loss-of-control accident data (predominantly from Part 121), including worst case combinations of causal and contributing factors and their sequencing. Future potential risks are also considered.
Jorgensen, Charles; Wheeler, Kevin; Stepniewski, Slawomir; Norvig, Peter (Technical Monitor)
This paper presents results of a recent experiment in fine grain Electromyographic (EMG) signal recognition, We demonstrate bioelectric flight control of 757 class simulation aircraft landing at San Francisco International Airport. The physical instrumentality of a pilot control stick is not used. A pilot closes a fist in empty air and performs control movements which are captured by a dry electrode array on the arm, analyzed and routed through a flight director permitting full pilot outer loop control of the simulation. A Vision Dome immersive display is used to create a VR world for the aircraft body mechanics and flight changes to pilot movements. Inner loop surfaces and differential aircraft thrust is controlled using a hybrid neural network architecture that combines a damage adaptive controller (Jorgensen 1998, Totah 1998) with a propulsion only based control system (Bull & Kaneshige 1997). Thus the 757 aircraft is not only being flown bioelectrically at the pilot level but also demonstrates damage adaptive neural network control permitting adaptation to severe changes in the physical flight characteristics of the aircraft at the inner loop level. To compensate for accident scenarios, the aircraft uses remaining control surface authority and differential thrust from the engines. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time real time bioelectric fine-grained control, differential thrust based control, and neural network damage adaptive control have been integrated into a single flight demonstration. The paper describes the EMG pattern recognition system and the bioelectric pattern recognition methodology.
Richards, Zach D.
The thesis project proposes analytical and theoretical algorithms for a networked swarm of autonomous vehicles, such as those used in planet exploration, and to be used in target location determination and convergence, an algorithm of this type could be used in an Autonomous Stratospheric Aircraft (ASA), thus having the possibility of being used for the exploration of a planet as well as many other applications. Upon locating an unknown location of a specified target, the algorithm would then swarm and eventually converge upon the location. There are two similar, but fundamentally different algorithms proposed in this project. These algorithms are capable of locating and converging upon multiple targeted locations simultaneously. This project is inspired by the current thought of NASA in the search of life on Mars, which is "Follow the Water" , where the targeted location would be the targeted source of water. These algorithms make use of combining a modified Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm with fuzzy variables for increased intelligence.
Atwell, William; Koontz, Steve; Normand, Eugene
Three twentieth century technological developments, 1) high altitude commercial and military aircraft; 2) manned and unmanned spacecraft; and 3) increasingly complex and sensitive solid state micro-electronics systems, have driven an ongoing evolution of basic cosmic ray science into a set of practical engineering tools needed to design, test, and verify the safety and reliability of modern complex technological systems. The effects of primary cosmic ray particles and secondary particle showers produced by nuclear reactions with the atmosphere, can determine the design and verification processes (as well as the total dollar cost) for manned and unmanned spacecraft avionics systems. Similar considerations apply to commercial and military aircraft operating at high latitudes and altitudes near the atmospheric Pfotzer maximum. Even ground based computational and controls systems can be negatively affected by secondary particle showers at the Earth s surface, especially if the net target area of the sensitive electronic system components is large. Finally, accumulation of both primary cosmic ray and secondary cosmic ray induced particle shower radiation dose is an important health and safety consideration for commercial or military air crews operating at high altitude/latitude and is also one of the most important factors presently limiting manned space flight operations beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO). In this paper we review the discovery of cosmic ray effects on the performance and reliability of microelectronic systems as well as human health and the development of the engineering and health science tools used to evaluate and mitigate cosmic ray effects in ground-based atmospheric flight, and space flight environments. Ground test methods applied to microelectronic components and systems are used in combinations with radiation transport and reaction codes to predict the performance of microelectronic systems in their operating environments. Similar radiation transport
Guinn, Wiley A.
The development of an advanced pitch active control system (PACS) and a reduced area horizontal tail for a wide-body jet transport (L-1011) with a flying horizontal stabilizer is discussed. The advanced PACS control law design objectives were to provide satisfactory handling qualities for aft c.g. flight conditions to negative static stability margins of 10 percent and to provide good maneuver control column force gradients for nonlinear stability flight conditions. Validity of the control laws were demonstrated by piloted flight simulation tests on the NASA Langley Visual Motion Simulator. Satisfactory handling qualities were actually demonstrated to a negative 20 percent static stability margin. The PACS control laws were mechanized to provide the system architecture that would be suitable for an L-1011 flight test program to a negative stability margin of 3 percent which represents the aft c.g. limits of the aircraft. Reduced area horizontal tail designs of 30 and 38 percent with respect to the L-1011 standard tail were designed, fabricated and wind tunnel tested. Drag reductions and weight savings of the 30 percent smaller tail would provide an L/D benefit of about 2% and the 38% small tail L/D benefit would be about 3 percent. However, forward c.g. limitations would have to be imposed on the aircraft because the maximum horizontal tail lift goal was not achieved and sufficient aircraft nose-up control authority was not available. This limitation would not be required for a properly designed new aircraft.
Wood, Kenneth E.
Emergency escape system for aircraft and aerospace vehicles ejects up to seven crewmembers, one by one, within 120 s. Intended for emergencies in which disabled craft still in stable flight at no more than 220 kn (113 m/s) equivalent airspeed and sinking no faster than 110 ft/s (33.5 m/s) at altitudes up to 50,000 ft (15.2 km). Ejection rockets load themselves from magazine after each crewmember ejected. Jumpmaster queues other crewmembers and helps them position themselves on egress ramp. Rockets pull crewmembers clear of aircraft structure. Provides orderly, controlled exit and avoids ditching at sea or landing in rough terrain.
A two-year study conducted to establish a basis for industry decisions on the application of laminar flow control (LFC) to future commercial transports was presented. Areas of investigation included: (1) mission definition and baseline selection; (2) concepts evaluations; and (3) LFC transport configuration selection and component design. The development and evaluation of competing design concepts was conducted in the areas of aerodynamics, structures and materials, and systems. The results of supporting wind tunnel and laboratory testing on a full-scale LFC wing panel, suction surface opening concepts and structural samples were included. A final LFC transport was configured in incorporating the results of concept evaluation studies and potential performance improvements were assessed. Remaining problems together with recommendations for future research are discussed.
Bretmersky, Steven C.; Bishop, William D.; Dailey, Justin E.; Chevalier, Christine T.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center (GRC) is performing communications systems research for the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) Project. One of the goals of the communications element is to select and test a communications technology for the UAS Control and Non-Payload Communications (CNPC) link. The GRC UAS Modeling and Simulation (M/S) Sub Team will evaluate the performance of several potential technologies for the CNPC link through detailed software simulations. In parallel, an industry partner will implement a technology in hardware to be used for flight testing. The task necessitated a technical assessment of existing Radio Frequency (RF) communications technologies to identify the best candidate systems for use as the UAS CNPC link. The assessment provides a basis for selecting the technologies for the M/S effort and the hardware radio design. The process developed for the technical assessments for the Future Communications Study1 (FCS) was used as an initial starting point for this assessment. The FCS is a joint Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Eurocontrol study on technologies for use as a future aeronautical communications link. The FCS technology assessment process methodology can be applied to the UAS CNPC link; however the findings of the FCS are not directly applicable because of different requirements between a CNPC link and a general aeronautical data link. Additional technologies were added to the potential technologies list from the State of the Art Unmanned Aircraft System Communication Assessment developed by NASA GRC2. This document investigates the state of the art of communications as related to UAS. A portion of the document examines potential communications systems for a UAS communication architecture. Like the FCS, the state of the art assessment surveyed existing communications technologies. It did not, however, perform a detailed assessment of the
Stubbs, S. M.; Tanner, J. A.; Smith, E. G.
The braking and cornering response of a slip velocity controlled, pressure bias modulated aircraft antiskid braking system is investigated. The investigation, conducted on dry and wet runway surfaces, utilized one main gear wheel, brake, and tire assembly of a McDonnell Douglas DC 9 series 10 airplane. The landing gear strut was replaced by a dynamometer. The parameters, which were varied, included the carriage speed, tire loading, yaw angle, tire tread condition, brake system operating pressure, and runway wetness conditions. The effects of each of these parameters on the behavior of the skid control system is presented. Comparisons between data obtained with the skid control system and data obtained from single cycle braking tests without antiskid protection are examined.
Taylor, Brian R.
This presentation for the Fundamental Aeronautics Program Technical Conference covers the benefits of active structural control, related research areas, and focuses on the use of optimal control allocation for the prevention of critical loads. Active control of lightweight structures has the potential to reduce aircraft weight and fuel burn. Sensor, control law, materials, control effector, and system level research will be necessary to enable active control of lightweight structures. Optimal control allocation with structural feedback has been shown in simulation to be feasible in preventing critical loads and is one example of a control law to enable future lightweight aircraft.
In recent years, fuel cells have been explored for use in aircraft. While the weight and size of fuel cells allows only the smallest of aircraft to use fuel cells for their primary engines, fuel cells have showed promise for use as auxiliary power units (APUs), which power aircraft accessories and serve as an electrical backup in case of an engine failure. Fuel cell MUS are both more efficient and emit fewer pollutants. However, sea-level fuel cells need modifications to be properly used in aircraft applications. At high altitudes, the ambient air has a much lower pressure than at sea level, which makes it much more difficult to get air into the fuel cell to react and produce electricity. Compressors can be used to pressurize the air, but this leads to added weight, volume, and power usage, all of which are undesirable things. Another problem is that fuel cells require hydrogen to create electricity, and ever since the Hindenburg burst into flames, aircraft carrying large quantities of hydrogen have not been in high demand. However, jet fuel is a hydrocarbon, so it is possible to reform it into hydrogen. Since jet fuel is already used to power conventional APUs, it is very convenient to use this to generate the hydrogen for fuel-cell-based APUs. Fuel cells also tend to get large and heavy when used for applications that require a large amount of power. Reducing the size and weight becomes especially beneficial when it comes to fuel cells for aircraft. My goal this summer is to work on several aspects of Aircraft Fuel Cell Power System project. My first goal is to perform checks on a newly built injector rig designed to test different catalysts to determine the best setup for reforming Jet-A fuel into hydrogen. These checks include testing various thermocouples, transmitters, and transducers, as well making sure that the rig was actually built to the design specifications. These checks will help to ensure that the rig will operate properly and give correct results
Stengel, R. F.; Berry, P. W.
The stability and control of a high-performance aircraft was analyzed, and a design methodology for a departure prevention stability augmentation system (DPSAS) was developed. A general linear aircraft model was derived which includes maneuvering flight effects and trim calculation procedures for investigating highly dynamic trajectories. The stability and control analysis systematically explored the effects of flight condition and angular motion, as well as the stability of typical air combat trajectories. The effects of configuration variation also were examined.
Trujillo, Anna C.; Gregory, Irene M.
The experiments described here explored how pilots want available maneuver authority information transmitted and how this information affects pilots before and after an aircraft failure. The aircraft dynamic variables relative to flight performance were narrowed to energy management variables. A survey was conducted to determine what these variables should be. Survey results indicated that bank angle, vertical velocity, and airspeed were the preferred variables. Based on this, two displays were designed to inform the pilot of available maneuver envelope expressed as bank angle, vertical velocity, and airspeed. These displays were used in an experiment involving control surface failures. Results indicate the displayed limitations in bank angle, vertical velocity, and airspeed were helpful to the pilots during aircraft surface failures. However, the additional information did lead to a slight increase in workload, a small decrease in perceived aircraft flying qualities, and no effect on aircraft situation awareness.
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.
Garrard, William L.; Snell, Anthony; Enns, Dale F.
A technique is described which can be used for design of feedback controllers for high-performance aircraft operating in flight conditions in which nonlinearities significantly affect performance. Designs are performed on a mathematical model of the longitudinal dynamics of a hypothetical aircraft similar to proposed supermaneuverable flight test vehicles. Nonlinear controller designs are performed using truncated solutions of the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equation. Preliminary results show that the method yields promising results.
NASA Dryden has a heritage of developmental and operational experience with unmanned aircraft systems. Work on Boeing's sub-scale X-36 Tailless Fighter Agility Research Aircraft, X-48 Blended Wing ...
Hewett, M. D.; Rediess, H. A.; Buckley, E. C.; Spitzer, C. R.
A survey of U.S. and foreign technology in aircraft flight controls was conducted for NASA Langley Research Center as a data base for planning future research and technology programs. The survey covers control and hardware configurations of major contemporary systems on operational aircraft, R&D flight programs, advanced aircraft developments and significant research and technology programs. This paper concentrates on the foreign technology elements and findings of the survey with primary emphasis on Western Europe, where most of the advanced technology resides.
McGlynn, Gregory E.; Litt, Jonathan S.; Lemon, Kimberly A.; Csank, Jeffrey T.
Enhanced engine operation--operation that is beyond normal limits--has the potential to improve the adaptability and safety of aircraft in emergency situations. Intelligent use of enhanced engine operation to improve the handling qualities of the aircraft requires sophisticated risk estimation techniques and a risk management system that spans the flight and propulsion controllers. In this paper, an architecture that weighs the risks of the emergency and of possible engine performance enhancements to reduce overall risk to the aircraft is described. Two examples of emergency situations are presented to demonstrate the interaction between the flight and propulsion controllers to facilitate the enhanced operation.
Loeffler, Irvin J.
Structureborne noise is discussed as a contributor to propeller aircraft interior noise levels that are nonresponsive to the application of a generous amount of cabin sidewall acoustic treatment. High structureborne noise levels may jeopardize passenger acceptance of the fuel-efficient high-speed propeller transport aircraft designed for cruise at Mach 0.65 to 0.85. These single-rotation tractor and counter-rotation tractor and pusher propulsion systems will consume 15 to 30 percent less fuel than advanced turbofan systems. Structureborne noise detection methodologies and the importance of development of a structureborne noise sensor are discussed. A structureborne noise generation mechanism is described in which the periodic components or propeller swirl produce periodic torques and forces on downstream wings and airfoils that are propagated to the cabin interior as noise. Three concepts for controlling structureborne noise are presented: (1) a stator row swirl remover, (2) selection of a proper combination of blade numbers in the rotor/stator system of a single-rotation propeller, and the rotor/rotor system of a counter-rotation propeller, and (3) a tuned mechanical absorber.
Schmidt, D. K.; Duke, E. L.
Two techniques, direct eigenspace assignment (DEA) and explicit model following (EMF), are used initially to synthesize control laws for the longitudinal dynamics model of a Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) vehicle in the landing configuration. The vehicle model and the flight control design are presented. The two synthesis techniques are briefly discussed and the handling qualities specifications mapped into the algorithm formulations. The control laws resulting from exercising the algorithms are evaluated in terms of achieved performance and robustness. Since the synthesized control laws involve full state feedback, methodologies were implemented for the control laws using output feedback without adversely affecting performance and robustness. Finally, the salient features of the two design techniques are summarized and the areas that require further investigation are suggested.
Hood, R. V., Jr.
Broad outlines of the NASA Aircraft Energy Efficiency Program for expediting the application of active controls technology to civil transport aircraft are presented. Advances in propulsion and airframe technology to cut down on fuel consumption and fuel costs, a program for an energy-efficient transport, and integrated analysis and design technology in aerodynamics, structures, and active controls are envisaged. Fault-tolerant computer systems and fault-tolerant flight control system architectures are under study. Contracts with leading manufacturers for research and development work on wing-tip extensions and winglets for the B-747, a wing load alleviation system, elastic mode suppression, maneuver-load control, and gust alleviation are mentioned.
Andre, Anthony D.; Wickens, Christopher D.
In this study we contrast display-control movement relations defined in terms of stimulus-response (physical) compatibility with those defined by stimulus-cognitive compatibility, and we relate these findings to the issue of command versus status levels of decision aid support. A second issue addressed is the cost of inconsistency across multiple display-control mappings. Subjects performed a flight control task while responding to one to four analog indicators, formatted as either command or status displays. The results suggest that there is an advantage for the status format when subjects are required to verbally report the state of the indicator(s), but no advantage was found for either format when subjects were required to manually correct the indicated state. The data point to the importance of display-control consistency and suggest that it may even outweigh that of compatibility.
Bonner, T. F., Jr.; Pride, J. D., Jr.; Fernald, W. W.
An engineering design study was performed in which laminar flow control (LFC) was integrated into the wing of a commercial passenger transport aircraft. A baseline aircraft configuration was selected and the wing geometry was defined. The LFC system, with suction slots, ducting, and suction pumps was integrated with the wing structure. The use of standard aluminum technology and advanced superplastic formed diffusion bonded titanium technology was evaluated. The results of the design study show that the LFC system can be integrated with the wing structure to provide a structurally and aerodynamically efficient wing for a commercial transport aircraft.
Looze, D. P.; Krolewski, S.; Weiss, J.; Barrett, N.; Eterno, J.
A simple, reliable automatic redesign procedure for restructurable control is discussed. This procedure is based on Linear Quadratic (LQ) design methodologies. It employs a robust control system design for the unfailed aircraft to minimize the effects of failed surfaces and to extend the time available for restructuring the Flight Control System. The procedure uses the LQ design parameters for the unfailed system as a basis for choosing the design parameters of the failed system. This philosophy alloys the engineering trade-offs that were present in the nominal design to the inherited by the restructurable design. In particular, it alloys bandwidth limitations and performance trade-offs to be incorporated in the redesigned system. The procedure also has several other desirable features. It effectively redistributes authority among the available control effectors to maximize the system performance subject to actuator limitations and constraints. It provides a graceful performance degradation as the amount of control authority lessens. When given the parameters of the unfailed aircraft, the automatic redesign procedure reproduces the nominal control system design.
Chazanoff, Seth L.; Dinardo, Steven J.
The CARVE Small Aircraft Data Distribution System acquires the aircraft location and attitude data that is required by the various programs running on a distributed network. This system distributes the data it acquires to the data acquisition programs for inclusion in their data files. It uses UDP (User Datagram Protocol) to broadcast data over a LAN (Local Area Network) to any programs that might have a use for the data. The program is easily adaptable to acquire additional data and log that data to disk. The current version also drives displays using precision pitch and roll information to aid the pilot in maintaining a level-level attitude for radar/radiometer mapping beyond the degree available by flying visually or using a standard gyro-driven attitude indicator. The software is designed to acquire an array of data to help the mission manager make real-time decisions as to the effectiveness of the flight. This data is displayed for the mission manager and broadcast to the other experiments on the aircraft for inclusion in their data files. The program also drives real-time precision pitch and roll displays for the pilot and copilot to aid them in maintaining the desired attitude, when required, during data acquisition on mapping lines.
Sturgeon, R. F.; Bennett, J. A.
A study was conducted to investigate major design considerations involved in the application of laminar flow control to the wings and empennage of long range subsonic transport aircraft compatible with initial operation in 1985. For commercial transports with a design mission range of 10,186 km (5500 n mil) and a payload of 200 passengers, parametric configuration analyses were conducted to evaluate the effect of aircraft performance, operational, and geometric parameters on fuel efficiency. Study results indicate that major design goals for aircraft optimization include maximization of aspect ratio and wing loading and minimization of wing sweep consistent with wing volume and airport performance requirements.
Wood, H. A.
The application of applied fracture mechanics in the design, analysis, and qualification of aircraft structural systems are reviewed. Recent service experiences are cited. Current trends in high-strength materials application are reviewed with particular emphasis on the manner in which fracture toughness and structural efficiency may affect the material selection process. General fracture control procedures are reviewed in depth with specific reference to the impact of inspectability, structural arrangement, and material on proposed analysis requirements for safe crack growth. The relative impact on allowable design stress is indicated by example. Design criteria, material, and analysis requirements for implementation of fracture control procedures are reviewed together with limitations in current available data techniques. A summary of items which require further study and attention is presented.
In a perspective look at aircraft and airport noise control over the past ten years or more - or more is added here because the Federal Aviation Regulation Part 36 of 1969 is a more significant milestone for the air transportation system than is the Noise Control Act of 1972 - we see an appreciable reduction in the noise emitted by newly designed and newly produced airplanes, particularly those powered by the new high bypass engines, but only, at best, a moderate alleviation of airport noise. The change in airport noise exposure was the consequence of the introduction of some new, quieter airplanes into the airlines fleets and some operational modifications or restrictions at the airports.
Alag, G. S.; Kempel, R. W.; Pahle, J. W.
Interest in oblique-wing aircraft has surfaced periodically since the 1940's. This concept offers some substantial aerodynamic performance advantages but also has significant aerodynamic and inertial cross-coupling between the aircraft longitudinal and lateral-directional axes. This paper presents a technique for synthesizing a decoupling controller while providing the desired stability augmentation. The proposed synthesis procedure uses the concept of a real model-following control system. Feedforward gains are selected on the assumption that perfect model-following conditions are satisfied. The feedback gains are obtained by using eigensystem assignment, and the aircraft is stabilized by using partial state feedback. The effectiveness of the control laws developed in achieving the desired decoupling is illustrated by application to linearized equations of motion of an oblique-wing aircraft for a given flight condition.
Csank, Jeffrey; May, Ryan D.
This paper describes the control algorithms and control design process for a generic commercial aircraft engine simulation of a 40,000 lb thrust class, two spool, high bypass ratio turbofan engine. The aircraft engine is a complex nonlinear system designed to operate over an extreme range of environmental conditions, at temperatures from approximately -60 to 120+ F, and at altitudes from below sea level to 40,000 ft, posing multiple control design constraints. The objective of this paper is to provide the reader an overview of the control design process, design considerations, and justifications as to why the particular architecture and limits have been chosen. The controller architecture contains a gain-scheduled Proportional Integral controller along with logic to protect the aircraft engine from exceeding any limits. Simulation results illustrate that the closed loop system meets the Federal Aviation Administration s thrust response requirements
Montoya, R. J.; Jai, A. R.; Parker, C. D.
A ground based, general purpose, real time, digital control system simulator (CSS) is specified, developed, and integrated with the existing instrumentation van of the testing facility. This CSS is built around a PDP-11/55, and its operational software was developed to meet the dual goal of providing the immediate capability to represent the F-18 drop model control laws and the flexibility for expansion to represent more complex control laws typical of control configured vehicles. Overviews of the two CSS's developed are reviewed as well as the overall system after their integration with the existing facility. Also the latest version of the F-18 drop model control laws (REV D) is described and the changes needed for its incorporation in the digital and analog CSS's are discussed.
Abbott, Terence S.; Consiglio, Maria C.; Baxley, Brian T.; Williams, Daniel M.; Jones, Kenneth M.; Adams, Catherine A.
This document defines the Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) Higher Volume Operations concept. The general philosophy underlying this concept is the establishment of a newly defined area of flight operations called a Self-Controlled Area (SCA). Within the SCA, pilots would take responsibility for separation assurance between their aircraft and other similarly equipped aircraft. This document also provides details for a number of off-nominal and emergency procedures which address situations that could be expected to occur in a future SCA. The details for this operational concept along with a description of candidate aircraft systems to support this concept are provided.
Tanner, J. A.; Stubbs, S. M.
An experimental investigation was conducted at the Langley aircraft landing loads and traction facility to study the braking and cornering response of a slip ratio controlled aircraft antiskid braking system with ground speed reference derived from an unbraked nose wheel. The investigation, conducted on dry and wet runway surfaces, utilized one main gear wheel, brake, and tire assembly of a DC-9 series 10 airplane. During maximum braking, the average ratio of the drag force friction coefficient developed by the antiskid system to the maximum drag force friction coefficient available was higher on the dry surface than on damp and flooded surfaces, and was reduced with lighter vertical loads, higher yaw angles, and when new tire treads were replaced by worn treads. Similarly, the average ratio of side force friction coefficient developed by the tire under antiskid control to the maximum side force friction coefficient available to a freely rolling yawed tire decreased with increasing yaw angle, generally increased with ground speed, and decreased when tires with new treads were replaced by those with worn treads.
Hopkins, A. L.; Martin, J. H.; Brock, L. D.; Jansson, D. G.; Serben, S.; Smith, T. B.; Hanley, L. D.
Candidate data communication techniques are identified, including dedicated links, local buses, broadcast buses, multiplex buses, and mesh networks. The design methodology for mesh networks is then discussed, including network topology and node architecture. Several concepts of power distribution are reviewed, including current limiting and mesh networks for power. The technology issues of packaging, transmission media, and lightning are addressed, and, finally, the analysis tools developed to aid in the communication design process are described. There are special tools to analyze the reliability and connectivity of networks and more general reliability analysis tools for all types of systems.
Hansen, Irving G.
It should not be suprising that more electric aircraft must meet significantly more difficult electrical power system requirements than were considereed when today's power distribution systems were being developed. Electric power, no longer a secondary system, will become a critical element of the primary control system. Functional reliability requiirements will be extremely stringent and can only be met by controlling element redundancy within a distributed power system. Existing electrical systems were not developed to have both the power system and the control/sensing elements distributed and yet meet the requirements of lighting tolerance and high intensity radio frequency (HIRF). In addition, the operation of electric actuators involves high transient loading and reverse energy flows. Such phenomena were also not anticipated when power quality was specified for either 270 vdc or 400 Hertz ac power systems. This paper will expand upon the issues and discuss some of the technologies involved in their resolution.
Acosta, Diana Michelle; KrishnaKumar, Kalmanje Srinvas; Frost, Susan Alane
NASA Aeronautics Subsonic Fixed Wing Project is focused on mitigating the environmental and operation impacts expected as aviation operations triple by 2025. The approach is to extend technological capabilities and explore novel civil transport configurations that reduce noise, emissions, fuel consumption and field length. Two Next Generation (NextGen) aircraft have been identified to meet the Subsonic Fixed Wing Project goals - these are the Hybrid Wing-Body (HWB) and Cruise Efficient Short Take-Off and Landing (CESTOL) aircraft. The technologies and concepts developed for these aircraft complicate the vehicle s design and operation. In this paper, flight control challenges for NextGen aircraft are described. The objective of this paper is to examine the potential of state-of-the-art control architectures and algorithms to meet the challenges and needed performance metrics for NextGen flight control. A broad range of conventional and intelligent control approaches are considered, including dynamic inversion control, integrated flight-propulsion control, control allocation, adaptive dynamic inversion control, data-based predictive control and reinforcement learning control.
Smith, G. A.; Meyer, G.; Nordstrom, M.
A new automatic flight control system concept suitable for aircraft with highly nonlinear aerodynamic and propulsion characteristics and which must operate over a wide flight envelope was investigated. This exact model follower inverts a complete nonlinear model of the aircraft as part of the feed-forward path. The inversion is accomplished by a Newton-Raphson trim of the model at each digital computer cycle time of 0.05 seconds. The combination of the inverse model and the actual aircraft in the feed-forward path alloys the translational and rotational regulators in the feedback path to be easily designed by linear methods. An explanation of the model inversion procedure is presented. An extensive set of simulation data for essentially the full flight envelope for a vertical attitude takeoff and landing aircraft (VATOL) is presented. These data demonstrate the successful, smooth, and precise control that can be achieved with this concept. The trajectory includes conventional flight from 200 to 900 ft/sec with path accelerations and decelerations, altitude changes of over 6000 ft and 2g and 3g turns. Vertical attitude maneuvering as a tail sitter along all axes is demonstrated. A transition trajectory from 200 ft/sec in conventional flight to stationary hover in the vertical attitude includes satisfactory operation through lift-cure slope reversal as attitude goes from horizontal to vertical at constant altitude. A vertical attitude takeoff from stationary hover to conventional flight is also demonstrated.
Robins, A. W.; Beissner, F. L., Jr.; Domack, C. S.; Swanson, E. E.
A performance study was made of a vertical attitude takeoff and landing (VATOL), supersonic cruise aircraft concept having thrust vectoring integrated into the flight control system. Those characteristics considered were aerodynamics, weight, balance, and performance. Preliminary results indicate that high levels of supersonic aerodynamic performance can be achieved. Further, with the assumption of an advanced (1985 technology readiness) low bypass ratio turbofan engine and advanced structures, excellent mission performance capability is indicated.
Linse, Dennis J.
Recent research indicates that artificial neural networks offer interesting learning or adaptive capabilities. The current research focuses on the potential for application of neural networks in a nonlinear aircraft control law. The current work has been to determine which networks are suitable for such an application and how they will fit into a nonlinear control law.
When trying to fly an aircraft as smoothly as possible it is a good idea to use the derivatives of the pilot command instead of using the actual control. This idea was implemented with splines and control theory, in a system that tries to model an aircraft. Computer calculations in Matlab show that it is impossible to receive enough smooth control signals by this way. This is due to the fact that the splines not only try to approximate the test function, but also its derivatives. A perfect traction is received but we have to pay in very peaky control signals and accelerations.