Biewener, Andrew A.
Flapping flight places strenuous requirements on the physiological performance of an animal. Bird flight muscles, particularly at smaller body sizes, generally contract at high frequencies and do substantial work in order to produce the aerodynamic power needed to support the animal's weight in the air and to overcome drag. This is in contrast to terrestrial locomotion, which offers mechanisms for minimizing energy losses associated with body movement combined with elastic energy savings to reduce the skeletal muscles' work requirements. Muscles also produce substantial power during swimming, but this is mainly to overcome body drag rather than to support the animal's weight. Here, I review the function and architecture of key flight muscles related to how these muscles contribute to producing the power required for flapping flight, how the muscles are recruited to control wing motion and how they are used in manoeuvring. An emergent property of the primary flight muscles, consistent with their need to produce considerable work by moving the wings through large excursions during each wing stroke, is that the pectoralis and supracoracoideus muscles shorten over a large fraction of their resting fibre length (33–42%). Both muscles are activated while being lengthened or undergoing nearly isometric force development, enhancing the work they perform during subsequent shortening. Two smaller muscles, the triceps and biceps, operate over a smaller range of contractile strains (12–23%), reflecting their role in controlling wing shape through elbow flexion and extension. Remarkably, pigeons adjust their wing stroke plane mainly via changes in whole-body pitch during take-off and landing, relative to level flight, allowing their wing muscles to operate with little change in activation timing, strain magnitude and pattern. PMID:21502121
Wingett, Paul T. (Inventor); Gaines, Louie T. (Inventor); Evans, Paul S. (Inventor); Kern, James I. (Inventor)
A flight control actuation system comprises a controller, electromechanical actuator and a pneumatic actuator. During normal operation, only the electromechanical actuator is needed to operate a flight control surface. When the electromechanical actuator load level exceeds 40 amps positive, the controller activates the pneumatic actuator to offset electromechanical actuator loads to assist the manipulation of flight control surfaces. The assistance from the pneumatic load assist actuator enables the use of an electromechanical actuator that is smaller in size and mass, requires less power, needs less cooling processes, achieves high output forces and adapts to electrical current variations. The flight control actuation system is adapted for aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, and other flight vehicles, especially flight vehicles that are large in size and travel at high velocities.
Hartmann, G. L.; Wall, J. E., Jr.; Rang, E. R.; Lee, H. P.; Schulte, R. W.; Ng, W. K.
A fly by wire flight control system architecture designed for high reliability includes spare sensor and computer elements to permit safe dispatch with failed elements, thereby reducing unscheduled maintenance. A methodology capable of demonstrating that the architecture does achieve the predicted performance characteristics consists of a hierarchy of activities ranging from analytical calculations of system reliability and formal methods of software verification to iron bird testing followed by flight evaluation. Interfacing this architecture to the Lockheed S-3A aircraft for flight test is discussed. This testbed vehicle can be expanded to support flight experiments in advanced aerodynamics, electromechanical actuators, secondary power systems, flight management, new displays, and air traffic control concepts.
Musgrave, F. S.
A multidisciplinary medical-management team at mission control provided Skylab crew support by monitoring health, retrieving and compiling experimental data, assisting in the development of flight plans, and by contributing to in-flight procedures and checklists. Real time computers assisted the flight crews in performing medical and other experiments.
Stengel, Robert F.
The capabilities of flight control systems can be enhanced by designing them to emulate functions of natural intelligence. Intelligent control functions fall in three categories. Declarative actions involve decision-making, providing models for system monitoring, goal planning, and system/scenario identification. Procedural actions concern skilled behavior and have parallels in guidance, navigation, and adaptation. Reflexive actions are spontaneous, inner-loop responses for control and estimation. Intelligent flight control systems learn knowledge of the aircraft and its mission and adapt to changes in the flight environment. Cognitive models form an efficient basis for integrating 'outer-loop/inner-loop' control functions and for developing robust parallel-processing algorithms.
The feasibility of using an electromechanical actuator (EMA) as the primary flight control equipment in aerospace flight is examined. The EMA motor design is presented utilizing improved permanent magnet materials. The necessary equipment to complete a single channel EMA using the single channel power electronics breadboard is reported. The design and development of an improved rotor position sensor/tachometer is investigated.
Davidson, Ron; Bosworth, John T.; Jacobson, Steven R.; Thomson, Michael Pl; Jorgensen, Charles C.
inputs with the outputs provided to instrumentation only. The IFCS was not used to control the airplane. In another stage of the flight test, the Phase I pre-trained neural network was integrated into a Phase III version of the flight control system. The Phase I pretrained neural network provided realtime stability and control derivatives to a Phase III controller that was based on a stochastic optimal feedforward and feedback technique (SOFFT). This combined Phase I/III system was operated together with the research flight-control system (RFCS) of the F-15 ACTIVE during the flight test. The RFCS enables the pilot to switch quickly from the experimental- research flight mode back to the safe conventional mode. These initial IFCS ACP flight tests were completed in April 1999. The Phase I/III flight test milestone was to demonstrate, across a range of subsonic and supersonic flight conditions, that the pre-trained neural network could be used to supply real-time aerodynamic stability and control derivatives to the closed-loop optimal SOFFT flight controller. Additional objectives attained in the flight test included (1) flight qualification of a neural-network-based control system; (2) the use of a combined neural-network/closed-loop optimal flight-control system to obtain level-one handling qualities; and (3) demonstration, through variation of control gains, that different handling qualities can be achieved by setting new target parameters. In addition, data for the Phase-II (on-line-learning) neural network were collected, during the use of stacked-frequency- sweep excitation, for post-flight analysis. Initial analysis of these data showed the potential for future flight tests that will incorporate the real-time identification and on-line learning aspects of the IFCS.
The Neural Flight Control System (NFCS) was developed to address the need for control systems that can be produced and tested at lower cost, easily adapted to prototype vehicles and for flight systems that can accommodate damaged control surfaces or changes to aircraft stability and control characteristics resulting from failures or accidents. NFCS utilizes on a neural network-based flight control algorithm which automatically compensates for a broad spectrum of unanticipated damage or failures of an aircraft in flight. Pilot stick and rudder pedal inputs are fed into a reference model which produces pitch, roll and yaw rate commands. The reference model frequencies and gains can be set to provide handling quality characteristics suitable for the aircraft of interest. The rate commands are used in conjunction with estimates of the aircraft s stability and control (S&C) derivatives by a simplified Dynamic Inverse controller to produce virtual elevator, aileron and rudder commands. These virtual surface deflection commands are optimally distributed across the aircraft s available control surfaces using linear programming theory. Sensor data is compared with the reference model rate commands to produce an error signal. A Proportional/Integral (PI) error controller "winds up" on the error signal and adds an augmented command to the reference model output with the effect of zeroing the error signal. In order to provide more consistent handling qualities for the pilot, neural networks learn the behavior of the error controller and add in the augmented command before the integrator winds up. In the case of damage sufficient to affect the handling qualities of the aircraft, an Adaptive Critic is utilized to reduce the reference model frequencies and gains to stay within a flyable envelope of the aircraft.
Mowery, D. K.; Winder, S. W.
The prediction of flight loads and their potential reduction, using various control logics for the space shuttle vehicles, is very complex. Some factors, not found on previous launch vehicles, that increase the complexity are large lifting surfaces, unsymmetrical structure, unsymmetrical aerodynamics, trajectory control system coupling, and large aeroelastic effects. Discussed are these load producing factors and load reducing techniques. Identification of potential technology areas is included.
Caglayan, A. K.; Vanlandingham, H. F.
The design of stable feedback control laws for sampled-data systems with variable rate sampling was investigated. These types of sampled-data systems arise naturally in digital flight control systems which use digital actuators where it is desirable to decrease the number of control computer output commands in order to save wear and tear of the associated equipment. The design of aircraft control systems which are optimally tolerant of sensor and actuator failures was also studied. Detection of the failed sensor or actuator must be resolved and if the estimate of the state is used in the control law, then it is also desirable to have an estimator which will give the optimal state estimate even under the failed conditions.
Rediess, H. A.; Buckley, E. C.
The results of a technology survey in flight crucial flight controls conducted as a data base for planning future research and technology programs are provided. Free world countries were surveyed with primary emphasis on the United States and Western Europe because that is where the most advanced technology resides. The survey includes major contemporary systems on operational aircraft, R&D flight programs, advanced aircraft developments, and major research and technology programs. The survey was not intended to be an in-depth treatment of the technology elements, but rather a study of major trends in systems level technology. The information was collected from open literature, personal communications and a tour of several companies, government organizations and research laboratories in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Rysdyk, Rolf Theoduor
Research under supervision of Dr. Calise and Dr. Prasad at the Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Aerospace Engineering. has demonstrated the applicability of an adaptive controller architecture. The architecture successfully combines model inversion control with adaptive neural network (NN) compensation to cancel the inversion error. The tiltrotor aircraft provides a specifically interesting control design challenge. The tiltrotor aircraft is capable of converting from stable responsive fixed wing flight to unstable sluggish hover in helicopter configuration. It is desirable to provide the pilot with consistency in handling qualities through a conversion from fixed wing flight to hover. The linear model inversion architecture was adapted by providing frequency separation in the command filter and the error-dynamics, while not exiting the actuator modes. This design of the architecture provides for a model following setup with guaranteed performance. This in turn allowed for convenient implementation of guaranteed handling qualities. A rigorous proof of boundedness is presented making use of compact sets and the LaSalle-Yoshizawa theorem. The analysis allows for the addition of the e-modification which guarantees boundedness of the NN weights in the absence of persistent excitation. The controller is demonstrated on the Generic Tiltrotor Simulator of Bell-Textron and NASA Ames R.C. The model inversion implementation is robustified with respect to unmodeled input dynamics, by adding dynamic nonlinear damping. A proof of boundedness of signals in the system is included. The effectiveness of the robustification is also demonstrated on the XV-15 tiltrotor. The SHL Perceptron NN provides a more powerful application, based on the universal approximation property of this type of NN. The SHL NN based architecture is also robustified with the dynamic nonlinear damping. A proof of boundedness extends the SHL NN augmentation with robustness to unmodeled actuator
Pechner, Adam Daniel
With recent design improvement in fixed wing aircraft, there has been a considerable interest in the design of robust flight control systems to compensate for the inherent instability necessary to achieve desired performance. Such systems are designed for maximum available retention of stability and performance in the presence of significant vehicle damage or system failure. The rotorcraft industry has shown similar interest in adopting these reconfigurable flight control schemes specifically because of their ability to reject disturbance inputs and provide a significant amount of robustness for all but the most catastrophic of situations. The research summarized herein focuses on the extension of the pseudo-sliding mode control design procedure interpreted in the frequency domain. Application of the technique is employed and simulated on two well known helicopters, a simplified model of a hovering Sikorsky S-61 and the military's Black Hawk UH-60A also produced by Sikorsky. The Sikorsky helicopter model details are readily available and was chosen because it can be limited to pitch and roll motion reducing the number of degrees of freedom and yet contains two degrees of freedom, which is the minimum requirement in proving the validity of the pseudo-sliding control technique. The full order model of a hovering Black Hawk system was included both as a comparison to the S-61 helicopter design system and as a means to demonstrate the scaleability and effectiveness of the control technique on sophisticated systems where design robustness is of critical concern.
Mcgough, J.; Moses, K.; Klafin, J. F.
The architecture, requirements, and system elements of an ultrareliable, advanced flight control system are described. The basic criteria are functional reliability of 10 to the minus 10 power/hour of flight and only 6 month scheduled maintenance. A distributed system architecture is described, including a multiplexed communication system, reliable bus controller, the use of skewed sensor arrays, and actuator interfaces. Test bed and flight evaluation program are proposed.
Biezad, Daniel J.; Chou, Hwei-Lan
Through throttle manipulations, engine thrust can be used for emergency flight control for multi-engine aircraft. Previous study by NASA Dryden has shown the use of throttles for emergency flight control to be very difficult. In general, manual fly-by-throttle is extremely difficult - with landing almost impossible, but control augmentation makes runway landings feasible. Flight path control using throttles-only to achieve safe emergency landing for a large jet transport airplane, Boeing 720, was investigated using Quantitative Feedback Theory (QFT). Results were compared to an augmented control developed in a previous simulation study. The control augmentation corrected the unsatisfactory open-loop characteristics by increasing system bandwidth and damping, but increasing the control bandwidth substantially proved very difficult. The augmented pitch control is robust under no or moderate turbulence. The augmented roll control is sensitive to configuration changes.
Biezad, Daniel J.; Chou, Hwei-Lan
Through throttle manipulations, engine thrust can be used for emergency flight control for multi-engine aircraft. Previous study by NASA Dryden has shown the use of throttles for emergency flight control to be very difficult. In general, manual fly-by-throttle is extremely difficult - with landing almost impossible, but control augmentation makes runway landings feasible. Flight path control using throttles-only to achieve safe emergency landing for a large jet transport airplane, Boeing 720, was investigated using Quantitative Feedback Theory (QFT). Results were compared to an augmented control developed in a previous simulation study. The control augmentation corrected the unsatisfactory open-loop characteristics by increasing system bandwidth and damping, but increasing the control bandwidth substantially proved very difficult. The augmented pitch control is robust under no or moderate turbulence. The augmented roll control is sensitive to configuration changes.
Menon, P. K. A.; Walker, R. A.
Two control law design techniques are compared and the performance of the resulting controllers evaluated. The design requirement is for a flight test trajectory controller (FTTC) capable of closed-loop, outer-loop control of an F-15 aircraft performing high-quality research flight test maneuvers. The maneuver modeling, linearization, and design methodologies utilized in this research, are detailed. The results of applying these FTTCs to a nonlinear F-15 simulation are presented.
Kaneshige, John; Gundy-Burlet, Karen; Norvig, Peter (Technical Monitor)
This paper describes an integrated neural flight and propulsion control system. which uses a neural network based approach for applying alternate sources of control power in the presence of damage or failures. Under normal operating conditions, the system utilizes conventional flight control surfaces. Neural networks are used to provide consistent handling qualities across flight conditions and for different aircraft configurations. Under damage or failure conditions, the system may utilize unconventional flight control surface allocations, along with integrated propulsion control, when additional control power is necessary for achieving desired flight control performance. In this case, neural networks are used to adapt to changes in aircraft dynamics and control allocation schemes. Of significant importance here is the fact that this system can operate without emergency or backup flight control mode operations. An additional advantage is that this system can utilize, but does not require, fault detection and isolation information or explicit parameter identification. Piloted simulation studies were performed on a commercial transport aircraft simulator. Subjects included both NASA test pilots and commercial airline crews. Results demonstrate the potential for improving handing qualities and significantly increasing survivability rates under various simulated failure conditions.
Menon, P. K. A.; Walker, R. A.
Two design techniques for linear flight test trajectory controllers (FTTCs) are described: Eigenstructure assignment and the minimum error excitation technique. The two techniques are used to design FTTCs for an F-15 aircraft model for eight different maneuvers at thirty different flight conditions. An evaluation of the FTTCs is presented.
Jang, Jiann-Woei; Alaniz, Abran; Hall, Robert; Bedrossian, Nazareth; Hall, Charles; Ryan, Stephen; Jackson, Mark
The Ares I launch vehicle represents a challenging flex-body structural environment for flight control system design. This paper presents a design methodology for employing numerical optimization to develop the Ares I flight control system. The design objectives include attitude tracking accuracy and robust stability with respect to rigid body dynamics, propellant slosh, and flex. Under the assumption that the Ares I time-varying dynamics and control system can be frozen over a short period of time, the flight controllers are designed to stabilize all selected frozen-time launch control systems in the presence of parametric uncertainty. Flex filters in the flight control system are designed to minimize the flex components in the error signals before they are sent to the attitude controller. To ensure adequate response to guidance command, step response specifications are introduced as constraints in the optimization problem. Imposing these constraints minimizes performance degradation caused by the addition of the flex filters. The first stage bending filter design achieves stability by adding lag to the first structural frequency to phase stabilize the first flex mode while gain stabilizing the higher modes. The upper stage bending filter design gain stabilizes all the flex bending modes. The flight control system designs provided here have been demonstrated to provide stable first and second stage control systems in both Draper Ares Stability Analysis Tool (ASAT) and the MSFC 6DOF nonlinear time domain simulation.
Kurzhals, P. R.; Deloach, R.
In connection with advances in technology, mainly in the electronic area, aircraft flight control applications have evolved from simple pilot-relief autopilots to flight-critical and redundant fly-by-wire and active control systems. For flight-critical implementations which required accommodation of inflight failures, additional levels of redundancy were incorporated to provide fail-safe and fail-operative performance. The current status of flight control systems reliability is examined and high-reliability approaches are discussed. Attention is given to the design of ring laser gyros and magnetohydrodynamic rate sensors, redundancy configurations for component failure protection, improvements of hydraulic actuators made on the component level, integrated actuators, problems of software reliability, lightning considerations, and failure detection methods for component and system failures.
Carter, John; Stephenson, Mark
The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center has completed the initial flight test of a modified set of F/A-18 flight control computers that gives the aircraft a research control law capability. The production support flight control computers (PSFCC) provide an increased capability for flight research in the control law, handling qualities, and flight systems areas. The PSFCC feature a research flight control processor that is "piggybacked" onto the baseline F/A-18 flight control system. This research processor allows for pilot selection of research control law operation in flight. To validate flight operation, a replication of a standard F/A-18 control law was programmed into the research processor and flight-tested over a limited envelope. This paper provides a brief description of the system, summarizes the initial flight test of the PSFCC, and describes future experiments for the PSFCC.
Szalai, K. J.; Larson, R. R.; Glover, R. D.
Flight experience with both current and advanced redundancy management schemes was gained in recent flight research programs using the F-8 digital fly by wire aircraft. The flight performance of fault detection, isolation, and reconfiguration (FDIR) methods for sensors, computers, and actuators is reviewed. Results of induced failures as well as of actual random failures are discussed. Deficiencies in modeling and implementation techniques are also discussed. The paper also presents comparison off multisensor tracking in smooth air, in turbulence, during large maneuvers, and during maneuvers typical of those of large commercial transport aircraft. The results of flight tests of an advanced analytic redundancy management algorithm are compared with the performance of a contemporary algorithm in terms of time to detection, false alarms, and missed alarms. The performance of computer redundancy management in both iron bird and flight tests is also presented.
Urnes, James M.; Hoy, Stephen E.; Ladage, Robert N.; Stewart, James
A flight control concept that can identify aircraft stability properties and continually optimize the aircraft flying qualities has been developed by McDonnell Aircraft Company under a contract with the NASA-Dryden Flight Research Facility. This flight concept, termed the Intelligent Flight Control System, utilizes Neural Network technology to identify the host aircraft stability and control properties during flight, and use this information to design on-line the control system feedback gains to provide continuous optimum flight response. This self-repairing capability can provide high performance flight maneuvering response throughout large flight envelopes, such as needed for the National Aerospace Plane. Moreover, achieving this response early in the vehicle's development schedule will save cost.
Dade, W. W.; Edwards, R. H.; Katt, G. T.; Mcclellan, K. L.; Shomber, H. A.
Collection and analysis of data are reported that concern the reliability and maintenance experience of flight control system electronics currently in use on passenger carrying jet aircraft. Two airlines B-747 airplane fleets were analyzed to assess the component reliability, system functional reliability, and achieved availability of the CAT II configuration flight control system. Also assessed were the costs generated by this system in the categories of spare equipment, schedule irregularity, and line and shop maintenance. The results indicate that although there is a marked difference in the geographic location and route pattern between the airlines studied, there is a close similarity in the reliability and the maintenance costs associated with the flight control electronics.
Bachelder, Edward N. (Inventor); Lee, Dong-Chan (Inventor); Aponso, Bimal L. (Inventor)
The present invention provides computer implemented methodology that permits the safe landing and recovery of rotorcraft following engine failure. With this invention successful autorotations may be performed from well within the unsafe operating area of the height-velocity profile of a helicopter by employing the fast and robust real-time trajectory optimization algorithm that commands control motion through an intuitive pilot display, or directly in the case of autonomous rotorcraft. The algorithm generates optimal trajectories and control commands via the direct-collocation optimization method, solved using a nonlinear programming problem solver. The control inputs computed are collective pitch and aircraft pitch, which are easily tracked and manipulated by the pilot or converted to control actuator commands for automated operation during autorotation in the case of an autonomous rotorcraft. The formulation of the optimal control problem has been carefully tailored so the solutions resemble those of an expert pilot, accounting for the performance limitations of the rotorcraft and safety concerns.
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Flight controls. 29.151 Section 29.151... STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Flight Flight Characteristics § 29.151 Flight controls. (a) Longitudinal, lateral, directional, and collective controls may not exhibit excessive breakout force,...
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Flight controls. 27.151 Section 27.151... STANDARDS: NORMAL CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Flight Flight Characteristics § 27.151 Flight controls. (a) Longitudinal, lateral, directional, and collective controls may not exhibit excessive breakout force,...
Raney, David L.; Lallman, Frederick J.
This research investigates an approach to provide precise, coordinated maneuver control during excursions from a hypersonic cruise flight path while observing the necessary flight condition constraints. The approach achieves specified guidance commands by resolving altitude and cross-range errors into a load factor and bank angle command through a coordinate transformation which acts as an interface between outer loop guidance controls and inner loop flight controls. This interface, referred to as a 'resolver', applies constraints on angle-of-attack and dynamic pressure perturbations while prioritizing altitude regulation over crossrange. An unpiloted test simulation, in which the resolver was used to drive inner-loop flight controls, produced time histories of responses to guidance commands at Mach numbers of 6, 10, 15, and 20. It is shown that angle-of-attack and throttle perturbation constraints, combined with high-speed flight effects and the desire to maintain constant dynamic pressure, significantly impact the maneuver envelope for a hypersonic vehicle. Turn rate, climb rate, and descent rate limits are expressed in terms of these constraints.
Walker, R.; Gupta, N.
Recent extensions to optimal control theory applied to meaningful linear models with sufficiently flexible software tools provide powerful techniques for designing flight test trajectory controllers (FTTCs). This report describes the principal steps for systematic development of flight trajectory controllers, which can be summarized as planning, modeling, designing, and validating a trajectory controller. The techniques have been kept as general as possible and should apply to a wide range of problems where quantities must be computed and displayed to a pilot to improve pilot effectiveness and to reduce workload and fatigue. To illustrate the approach, a detailed trajectory guidance law is developed and demonstrated for the F-15 aircraft flying the zoom-and-pushover maneuver.
Kempel, Robert W.; Earls, Michael R.
Two highly maneuverable aircraft technology (HiMAT) remotely piloted vehicles were flown a total of 26 flights. These subscale vehicles were of advanced aerodynamic configuration with advanced technology concepts such as composite and metallic structures, digital integrated propulsion control, and ground (primary) and airborne (backup) relaxed static stability, digital fly-by-wire control systems. Extensive systems development, checkout, and flight qualification were required to conduct the flight test program. The design maneuver goal was to achieve a sustained 8-g turn at Mach 0.9 at an altitude of 25,000 feet. This goal was achieved, along with the acquisition of high-quality flight data at subsonic and supersonic Mach numbers. Control systems were modified in a variety of ways using the flight-determined aerodynamic characteristics. The HiMAT program was successfully completed with approximately 11 hours of total flight time.
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight controls. 29.151 Section 29.151 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AIRCRAFT AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Flight Flight Characteristics § 29.151 Flight controls....
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight controls. 27.151 Section 27.151 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AIRCRAFT AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: NORMAL CATEGORY ROTORCRAFT Flight Flight Characteristics § 27.151 Flight controls....
Niewoehner, Kevin R.; Carter, John (Technical Monitor)
The research accomplishments for the cooperative agreement 'Online Learning Flight Control for Intelligent Flight Control Systems (IFCS)' include the following: (1) previous IFC program data collection and analysis; (2) IFC program support site (configured IFC systems support network, configured Tornado/VxWorks OS development system, made Configuration and Documentation Management Systems Internet accessible); (3) Airborne Research Test Systems (ARTS) II Hardware (developed hardware requirements specification, developing environmental testing requirements, hardware design, and hardware design development); (4) ARTS II software development laboratory unit (procurement of lab style hardware, configured lab style hardware, and designed interface module equivalent to ARTS II faceplate); (5) program support documentation (developed software development plan, configuration management plan, and software verification and validation plan); (6) LWR algorithm analysis (performed timing and profiling on algorithm); (7) pre-trained neural network analysis; (8) Dynamic Cell Structures (DCS) Neural Network Analysis (performing timing and profiling on algorithm); and (9) conducted technical interchange and quarterly meetings to define IFC research goals.
Lippay, A. L.; Kruk, R.; King, M.; Morgan, M.
A six-axis displacement-stick sidearm controller was developed to enable single-handed control of remote manipulator operations in space. With a working model available, piloted evaluation became possible in a fly-by-computer variable-stability research aircraft, originally a Bell 205 helicopter. The original mechanization was limited to three rotational axes and a linear one, analogous to the collective stick. A newly designed short stickgrip was mounted and the spring force pattern adjusted to suit the helicopter flight control environment. A standard set of test maneuvers was flown by four experimental pilots with conventional helicopter flight controls and with sidearm controllers equipped with two different handgrips. Existing data from flight tests with an isometric-stick controller were added to complete the comparison. The displacement controller consistently achieved a rating of 3.0 to 3.5 on the Cooper-Harper scale, on par with the conventional controls. The same basic controller design was tested in spacecraft and remote manipulator simulations with very promising results. In each application operator/system integration was rapid and positive. The results demonstrate feasibility and support the design philosphy of using deflection as well as force to generate proprioceptive feedback.
Andersen, George J.
Issues important in rotorcraft flight control are discussed. A perceptual description is suggested of what is believed to be the major issues in flight control. When the task is considered of a pilot controlling a helicopter in flight, the task is decomposed in several subtasks. These subtasks include: (1) the control of altitude, (2) the control of speed, (3) the control of heading, (4) the control of orientation, (5) the control of flight over obstacles, and (6) the control of flight to specified positions in the world. The first four subtasks can be considered to be primary control tasks as they are not dependent on any other subtasks. However, the latter two subtasks can be considered hierarchical tasks as they are dependent on other subtasks. For example, the task of flight control over obstacles can be decomposed as a task requiring the control of speed, altitude, and heading. Thus, incorrect control of altitude should result in poor control of flight over an obstacle.
The Cassini Attitude and Articulation Control Subsystem (AACS) Flight Software (FSW) has achieved its intended design goals by successfully guiding and controlling the Cassini-Huygens planetary mission to Saturn and its moons. This paper describes an overview of AACS FSW details from early design, development, implementation, and test to its fruition of operating and maintaining spacecraft control over an eleven year prime mission. Starting from phases of FSW development, topics expand to FSW development methodology, achievements utilizing in-flight autonomy, and summarize lessons learned during flight operations which can be useful to FSW in current and future spacecraft missions.
Berry, D. T.; Schweikhard, W. G.
Typical airframe/propulsion interactions such as Mach/altitude excursions and inlet unstarts are reviewed. The improvements in airplane performance and flight control that can be achieved by improving the interfaces between propulsion and flight control are estimated. A research program to determine the feasibility of integrating propulsion and flight control is described. This program includes analytical studies and YF-12 flight tests.
Flying insects achieve flight stabilization and control in a manner that requires only small, specialized neural structures to perform the essential components of sensing and feedback, achieving unparalleled levels of robust aerobatic flight on limited computational resources. An engineering mechanism to replicate these control strategies could provide a dramatic increase in the mobility of small scale aerial robotics, but a formal investigation has not yet yielded tools that both quantitatively and intuitively explain flapping wing flight as an "input-output" relationship. This work uses experimental and simulated measurements of insect flight to create reduced order flight dynamics models. The framework presented here creates models that are relevant for the study of control properties. The work begins with automated measurement of insect wing motions in free flight, which are then used to calculate flight forces via an empirically-derived aerodynamics model. When paired with rigid body dynamics and experimentally measured state feedback, both the bare airframe and closed loop systems may be analyzed using frequency domain system identification. Flight dynamics models describing maneuvering about hover and cruise conditions are presented for example fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and blowflies (Calliphorids). The results show that biologically measured feedback paths are appropriate for flight stabilization and sexual dimorphism is only a minor factor in flight dynamics. A method of ranking kinematic control inputs to maximize maneuverability is also presented, showing that the volume of reachable configurations in state space can be dramatically increased due to appropriate choice of kinematic inputs.
Southwick, Robert D.; Gallops, George W.; Kerr, Laura J.; Kielb, Robert P.; Welsh, Mark G.; DeLaat, John C.; Orme, John S.
The High Stability Engine Control (HISTEC) Program, managed and funded by the NASA Lewis Research Center, is a cooperative effort between NASA and Pratt & Whitney (P&W). The program objective is to develop and flight demonstrate an advanced high stability integrated engine control system that uses real-time, measurement-based estimation of inlet pressure distortion to enhance engine stability. Flight testing was performed using the NASA Advanced Controls Technologies for Integrated Vehicles (ACTIVE) F-15 aircraft at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. The flight test configuration, details of the research objectives, and the flight test matrix to achieve those objectives are presented. Flight test results are discussed that show the design approach can accurately estimate distortion and perform real-time control actions for engine accommodation.
From NASA's International Space Station Mission Control Center, EVA Systems Flight Controller Sandy Fletcher participates in a Digital Learning Network (DLN) event with students from Northtowne Ele...
Miller, Chris J.
The problem of control command and maneuver induced structural loads is an important aspect of any control system design. Designers must design the aircraft structure and the control architecture to achieve desired piloted control responses while limiting the imparted structural loads. The classical approach is to build the structure with high margins, restrict control surface commands to known good combinations, and train pilots to follow procedural maneuvering limitations. With recent advances in structural sensing and the continued desire to improve safety and vehicle fuel efficiency, it is both possible and desirable to develop control architectures that enable lighter vehicle weights while maintaining and improving protection against structural damage.
Nelson, W. E., Jr.
The evolution of fighter aircraft flight control technology is briefly surveyed. Systems engineering, battle damage considerations for adaptive flutter suppression, in-flight simulation, and artificial intelligence are briefly discussed.
Pavlock, Kate Maureen; Less, James L.; Larson, David Nils
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Dryden Flight Research Center completed flight testing of adaptive controls research on a full-scale F-18 testbed. The testbed served as a full-scale vehicle to test and validate adaptive flight control research addressing technical challenges involved with reducing risk to enable safe flight in the presence of adverse conditions such as structural damage or control surface failures. This paper describes the research interface architecture, risk mitigations, flight test approach and lessons learned of adaptive controls research.
Jorgensen, Charles C.
Neural networks are being developed at NASA Ames Research Center to permit real-time adaptive control of time varying nonlinear systems, enhance the fault-tolerance of mission hardware, and permit online system reconfiguration. In general, the problem of controlling time varying nonlinear systems with unknown structures has not been solved. Adaptive neural control techniques show considerable promise and are being applied to technical challenges including automated docking of spacecraft, dynamic balancing of the space station centrifuge, online reconfiguration of damaged aircraft, and reducing cost of new air and spacecraft designs. Our experiences have shown that neural network algorithms solved certain problems that conventional control methods have been unable to effectively address. These include damage mitigation in nonlinear reconfiguration flight control, early performance estimation of new aircraft designs, compensation for damaged planetary mission hardware by using redundant manipulator capability, and space sensor platform stabilization. This presentation explored these developments in the context of neural network control theory. The discussion began with an overview of why neural control has proven attractive for NASA application domains. The more important issues in control system development were then discussed with references to significant technical advances in the literature. Examples of how these methods have been applied were given, followed by projections of emerging application needs and directions.
Rossing, R.; Hupp, R.
Flight control actuators and feedback sensors suitable for use in a redundant digital flight control system were examined. The most appropriate design approach for an advanced digital flight control actuation system for development and use in a fly-by-wire system was selected. The concept which was selected consisted of a PM torque motor direct drive. The selected system is compatible with concurrent and independent development efforts on the computer system and the control law mechanizations.
Pavlock, Kate Maureen; Less, James L.; Larson, David Nils
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration s Dryden Flight Research Center completed flight testing of adaptive controls research on a full-scale F-18 testbed. The validation of adaptive controls has the potential to enhance safety in the presence of adverse conditions such as structural damage or control surface failures. This paper describes the research interface architecture, risk mitigations, flight test approach and lessons learned of adaptive controls research.
Franklin, James A.; Stortz, Michael W.; Mihaloew, James R.
A technology program to investigate integrated flight/propulsion control-system design for STOVL fighter aircraft is described. Integrated control systems being developed by U.S. industry for specific STOVL concepts are discussed. Attention is given to NASA involvement in the definition of control concepts, design-methods and flying-qualities criteria, and the evaluation of these concepts and criteria in analytical design studies, in ground-based experiments, and in flight on the Harrier V/STOL research aircraft. Initial fixed-base simulation experiments conducted for two STOVL fighter concepts are discussed. These simulations defined acceptable transition flight envelopes, determined control power used during transition and hover, and provided evaluations of the integration of the flight and propulsion controls to achieve good flying qualities throughout the low-speed flight envelope.
Techniques which address the multi-input closely coupled nature of advanced flight control applications and digital implementation issues are described and illustrated through flight control examples. The techniques described seek to exploit the advantages of traditional techniques in treating conventional feedback control design specifications and the simplicity of modern approaches for multivariable control system design.
Rediess, H. A.
A survey of foreign technology in flight crucial flight controls is being conducted to provide a data base for planning future research and technology programs. Only Free World countries were surveyed, and the primary emphasis was on Western Europe because that is where the most advanced technology resides. The survey includes major contemporary systems on operational aircraft, R&D flight programs, advanced aircraft developments, and major research and technology programs. The information was collected from open literature, personal communications, and a tour of several companies, government organizations, and research laboratories in the United Kingdom, France, and the Federal Republic of Germany. A summary of the survey results to date is presented.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Gilyard, Glenn B.; Myers, Lawrence P.
Integration of propulsion and flight control systems and their optimization offers significant performance improvements. Research programs were conducted which have developed new propulsion and flight control integration concepts, implemented designs on high-performance airplanes, demonstrated these designs in flight, and measured the performance improvements. These programs, first on the YF-12 airplane, and later on the F-15, demonstrated increased thrust, reduced fuel consumption, increased engine life, and improved airplane performance; with improvements in the 5 to 10 percent range achieved with integration and with no changes to hardware. The design, software and hardware developments, and testing requirements were shown to be practical.
This research set out to investigate flight control of aircraft which has sustained damage in regular flight control effectors, due to jammed control surfaces or complete loss of hydraulic power. It is recognized that in such an extremely difficult situation unconventional measures may need to be taken to regain control and stability of the aircraft. Propulsion controlled aircraft (PCA) concept, initiated at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. represents a ground-breaking effort in this direction. In this approach, the engine is used as the only flight control effector in the rare event of complete loss of normal flight control system. Studies and flight testing conducted at NASA Dryden have confirmed the feasibility of the PCA concept. During the course of this research (March 98, 1997 to November 30, 1997), a comparative study has been done using the full nonlinear model of an F-18 aircraft. Linear controllers and nonlinear controllers based on a nonlinear predictive control method have been designed for normal flight control system and propulsion controlled aircraft. For the healthy aircraft with normal flight control, the study shows that an appropriately designed linear controller can perform as well as a nonlinear controller. On the other hand. when the normal flight control is lost and the engine is the only available means of flight control, a nonlinear PCA controller can significantly increase the size of the recoverable region in which the stability of the unstable aircraft can be attained by using only thrust modulation. The findings and controller design methods have been summarized in an invited paper entitled.
This viewgraph presentation describes the F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS). The goals of this project include: 1) Demonstrate revolutionary control approaches that can efficiently optimize aircraft performance in both normal and failure conditions; and 2) Demonstrate advance neural network-based flight control technology for new aerospace systems designs.
A design study of adaptive control logic suitable for implementation in modern airborne digital flight computers was conducted. Both explicit controllers which directly utilize parameter identification and implicit controllers which do not require identification were considered. Extensive analytical and simulation efforts resulted in the recommendation of two explicit digital adaptive flight controllers. Interface weighted least squares estimation procedures with control logic were developed using either optimal regulator theory or with control logic based upon single stage performance indices.
Theodore, Colin R.
This presentation will touch topics, including but not limited to, the objectives and challenges of flight dynamics and controls that deal with the pilot and the cockpit's technology, the flight dynamics and controls discipline tasks, and the full envelope of flight dynamics modeling. In addition, the LCTR 7x10-ft wind tunnel test will also be included along with the optimal trajectories for noise abatement and its investigations on handling quality. Furthermore, previous experiments and their complying results will also be discussed.
Schmidt, David K.
Research dealt with the general area of optimal flight control synthesis for manned flight vehicles. The work was generic; no specific vehicle was the focus of study. However, the class of vehicles generally considered were those for which high authority, multivariable control systems might be considered, for the purpose of stabilization and the achievement of optimal handling characteristics. Within this scope, the topics of study included several optimal control synthesis techniques, control-theoretic modeling of the human operator in flight control tasks, and the development of possible handling qualities metrics and/or measures of merit. Basic contributions were made in all these topics, including human operator (pilot) models for multi-loop tasks, optimal output feedback flight control synthesis techniques; experimental validations of the methods developed, and fundamental modeling studies of the air-to-air tracking and flared landing tasks.
Rice, Caleb Michael
Autonomous Formation Flight is a key approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and managing traffic in future high density airspace. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's) have made it possible for the physical demonstration and validation of autonomous formation flight concepts inexpensively and eliminates the flight risk to human pilots. This thesis discusses the design, implementation, and flight testing of three different formation flight control methods, Proportional Integral and Derivative (PID); Fuzzy Logic (FL); and NonLinear Dynamic Inversion (NLDI), and their respective performance behavior. Experimental results show achievable autonomous formation flight and performance quality with a pair of low-cost unmanned research fixed wing aircraft and also with a solo vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) quadrotor.
Johnson, Walter W.; Phatak, Anil V.
The simplest model for a human operator is a gain with a time delay. However, there have been no comprehensive studies evaluating human control strategies in visually controlled flight. The results of preliminary studies on this topic are described. Human visually guided flight control is important both in low level flight, where it predominates, and in higher altitude flights, where instrument failure is always a potential danger. Two general approaches to this problem, one founded on high order perceptual psychophysics and the other on control systems engineering, are described. Initial results show that the use of control engineering modeling techniques, together with a psychophysical analysis of information in the perspective scene, holds promise for capturing the manual control strategies used during visual flight.
Lambregts, Antonius A. (Inventor)
An integrated aircraft longitudinal flight control system uses a generalized thrust and elevator command computation (38), which accepts flight path angle, longitudinal acceleration command signals, along with associated feedback signals, to form energy rate error (20) and energy rate distribution error (18) signals. The engine thrust command is developed (22) as a function of the energy rate distribution error and the elevator position command is developed (26) as a function of the energy distribution error. For any vertical flight path and speed mode the outerloop errors are normalized (30, 34) to produce flight path angle and longitudinal acceleration commands. The system provides decoupled flight path and speed control for all control modes previously provided by the longitudinal autopilot, autothrottle and flight management systems.
Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Layne, Charles S.; McDonald, P. Vernon; Peters, Brian T.; Huebner, William P.; Reschke, Millard F.; Berthoz, Alain; Glasauer, Stefan; Newman, Dava; Jackson, D. Keoki
In the microgravity environment of spaceflight, the relationship between sensory input and motor output is altered. During prolonged missions, neural adaptive processes come into play to recalibrate central nervous system function, thereby permitting new motor control strategies to emerge in the novel sensory environment of microgravity. However, the adaptive state achieved during spaceflight is inappropriate for a unit gravity environment and leads to motor control alterations upon return to Earth that include disturbances in locomotion. Indeed, gait and postural instabilities following the return to Earth have been reported in both U.S. astronauts and Russian cosmonauts even after short duration (5- to 10-day) flights. After spaceflight, astronauts may: (1) experience the sensation of turning while attempting to walk a straight path, (2) encounter sudden loss of postural stability, especially when rounding corners, (3) perceive exaggerated pitch and rolling head movements during walking, (4) experience sudden loss of orientation in unstructured visual environments, or (5) experience significant oscillopsia during locomotion.
Davidson, J.; Lallman, F.; McMinn, J. D.; Martin, J.; Pahle, J.; Stephenson, M.; Selmon, J.; Bose, D.
The goal of the Hyper-X program is to demonstrate and validate technology for design and performance predictions of hypersonic aircraft with an airframe-integrated supersonic-combustion ramjet propulsion system. Accomplishing this goal requires flight demonstration of a hydrogen-fueled scramjet powered hypersonic aircraft. A key enabling technology for this flight demonstration is flight controls. Closed-loop flight control is required to enable a successful stage separation, to achieve and maintain the design condition during the engine test, and to provide a controlled descent. Before the contract award, NASA developed preliminary flight control laws for the Hyper-X to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed scramjet test sequence and descent trajectory. After the contract award, a Boeing/NASA partnership worked to develop the current control laws. This paper presents a description of the Hyper-X Research Vehicle control law architectures with performance and robustness analyses. Assessments of simulated flight trajectories and stability margin analyses demonstrate that these control laws meet the flight test requirements.
Smalls, James R.; Jones, Cheryl L.; Carrier, Alicia S.
There are several engineering disciplines, such as reliability, supportability, quality assurance, human factors, risk management, safety, etc. Safety is an extremely important engineering specialty within NASA, and the consequence involving a loss of crew is considered a catastrophic event. Safety is not difficult to achieve when properly integrated at the beginning of each space systems project/start of mission planning. The key is to ensure proper handling of safety verification throughout each flight/mission phase. Today, Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) operations engineers continue to conduct these flight product reviews across all open flight products. As such, these reviews help ensure that each mission is accomplished with safety requirements along with controls heavily embedded in applicable flight products. Most importantly, the S&MA operations engineers are required to look for important design and operations controls so that safety is strictly adhered to as well as reflected in the final flight product.
Sato, Hirotaka; Berry, Christopher W.; Peeri, Yoav; Baghoomian, Emen; Casey, Brendan E.; Lavella, Gabriel; VandenBrooks, John M.; Harrison, Jon F.; Maharbiz, Michel M.
We demonstrated the remote control of insects in free flight via an implantable radio-equipped miniature neural stimulating system. The pronotum mounted system consisted of neural stimulators, muscular stimulators, a radio transceiver-equipped microcontroller and a microbattery. Flight initiation, cessation and elevation control were accomplished through neural stimulus of the brain which elicited, suppressed or modulated wing oscillation. Turns were triggered through the direct muscular stimulus of either of the basalar muscles. We characterized the response times, success rates, and free-flight trajectories elicited by our neural control systems in remotely controlled beetles. We believe this type of technology will open the door to in-flight perturbation and recording of insect flight responses. PMID:20161808
Welborn, Curtis Ray
The Workstation Prototype Laboratory is currently working on a number of projects which we feel can have a direct impact on ground operations automation. These projects include: The Fuel Cell Monitoring System (FCMS), which will monitor and detect problems with the fuel cells on the Shuttle. FCMS will use a combination of rules (forward/backward) and multi-threaded procedures which run concurrently with the rules, to implement the malfunction algorithms of the EGIL flight controllers. The combination of rule based reasoning and procedural reasoning allows us to more easily map the malfunction algorithms into a real-time system implementation. A graphical computation language (AGCOMPL). AGCOMPL is an experimental prototype to determine the benefits and drawbacks of using a graphical language to design computations (algorithms) to work on Shuttle or Space Station telemetry and trajectory data. The design of a system which will allow a model of an electrical system, including telemetry sensors, to be configured on the screen graphically using previously defined electrical icons. This electrical model would then be used to generate rules and procedures for detecting malfunctions in the electrical components of the model. A generic message management (GMM) system. GMM is being designed as a message management system for real-time applications which send advisory messages to a user. The primary purpose of GMM is to reduce the risk of overloading a user with information when multiple failures occurs and in assisting the developer in devising an explanation facility. The emphasis of our work is to develop practical tools and techniques, while determining the feasibility of a given approach, including identification of appropriate software tools to support research, application and tool building activities.
... Design and Construction Fire Protection § 25.865 Fire protection of flight controls, engine mounts, and other flight structure. Essential flight controls, engine mounts, and other flight structures located in... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Fire protection of flight controls,...
Hartman, Richard M.
DIVERS translator is computer program to convert descriptions of digital flight-control systems (DFCS) into computer program. Language developed to represent design charts of DFCS. Translator converts DIVERS source code into easily transportable language, while minimizing probability that results are affected by interpretation of programmer. Final translated program used as standard of comparison to verify operation of actual flight-control systems. Applicable to simulation of other control systems; for example, electrical circuits and logic processes. Written in C.
Burcham, Frank W. (Inventor); Gilyard, Glenn B (Inventor); Conley, Joseph L. (Inventor); Stewart, James F. (Inventor); Fullerton, Charles G. (Inventor)
A backup flight control system for controlling the flightpath of a multi-engine airplane using the main drive engines is introduced. The backup flight control system comprises an input device for generating a control command indicative of a desired flightpath, a feedback sensor for generating a feedback signal indicative of at least one of pitch rate, pitch attitude, roll rate and roll attitude, and a control device for changing the output power of at least one of the main drive engines on each side of the airplane in response to the control command and the feedback signal.
The idea behind intelligent flight control is to provide more autonomy in an aircraft cockpit. Such systems must allow for all different kinds of situations and for human factors that occur in loss...
Lightweight flexible aircraft may be the future of aviation, but a major problem is their susceptibility to flutter-uncontrollable vibrations that can destroy wings. Armstrong Flight Research Center awarded SBIR funding to Minneapolis, Minnesota-based MUSYN Inc. to develop software that helps program flight controllers to suppress flutter. The technology is now available for aircraft manufacturers and other industries that use equipment with automated controls.
Hartmann, G. L.; Harvey, C. A.; Stein, G.; Carlson, D. N.; Hendrick, R. C.
Three candidate digital adaptive control laws were designed for NASA's F-8C digital flyby wire aircraft. Each design used the same control laws but adjusted the gains with a different adaptative algorithm. The three adaptive concepts were: high-gain limit cycle, Liapunov-stable model tracking, and maximum likelihood estimation. Sensors were restricted to conventional inertial instruments (rate gyros and accelerometers) without use of air-data measurements. Performance, growth potential, and computer requirements were used as criteria for selecting the most promising of these candidates for further refinement. The maximum likelihood concept was selected primarily because it offers the greatest potential for identifying several aircraft parameters and hence for improved control performance in future aircraft application. In terms of identification and gain adjustment accuracy, the MLE design is slightly superior to the other two, but this has no significant effects on the control performance achievable with the F-8C aircraft. The maximum likelihood design is recommended for flight test, and several refinements to that design are proposed.
Bortins, Richard; Sorensen, John A.
The NASA Ames Research Center developed the Aircraft Synthesis (ACSYNT) computer program to synthesize conceptual future aircraft designs and to evaluate critical performance metrics early in the design process before significant resources are committed and cost decisions made. ACSYNT uses steady-state performance metrics, such as aircraft range, payload, and fuel consumption, and static performance metrics, such as the control authority required for the takeoff rotation and for landing with an engine out, to evaluate conceptual aircraft designs. It can also optimize designs with respect to selected criteria and constraints. Many modern aircraft have stability provided by the flight control system rather than by the airframe. This may allow the aircraft designer to increase combat agility, or decrease trim drag, for increased range and payload. This strategy requires concurrent design of the airframe and the flight control system, making trade-offs of performance and dynamics during the earliest stages of design. ACSYNT presently lacks means to implement flight control system designs but research is being done to add methods for predicting rotational degrees of freedom and control effector performance. A software module to compute and analyze the dynamics of the aircraft and to compute feedback gains and analyze closed loop dynamics is required. The data gained from these analyses can then be fed back to the aircraft design process so that the effects of the flight control system and the airframe on aircraft performance can be included as design metrics. This report presents results of a feasibility study and the initial design work to add an inner loop flight control system (ILFCS) design capability to the stability and control module in ACSYNT. The overall objective is to provide a capability for concurrent design of the aircraft and its flight control system, and enable concept designers to improve performance by exploiting the interrelationships between
Ma, Kevin Y; Chirarattananon, Pakpong; Fuller, Sawyer B; Wood, Robert J
Flies are among the most agile flying creatures on Earth. To mimic this aerial prowess in a similarly sized robot requires tiny, high-efficiency mechanical components that pose miniaturization challenges governed by force-scaling laws, suggesting unconventional solutions for propulsion, actuation, and manufacturing. To this end, we developed high-power-density piezoelectric flight muscles and a manufacturing methodology capable of rapidly prototyping articulated, flexure-based sub-millimeter mechanisms. We built an 80-milligram, insect-scale, flapping-wing robot modeled loosely on the morphology of flies. Using a modular approach to flight control that relies on limited information about the robot's dynamics, we demonstrated tethered but unconstrained stable hovering and basic controlled flight maneuvers. The result validates a sufficient suite of innovations for achieving artificial, insect-like flight. PMID:23641114
Carlin, C. M.; Hastings, W. J.
The Propulsion Flight Control Integration Technology (PROFIT) program is designed to develop a flying testbed dedicated to controls research. The control software for PROFIT is defined. Maximum flexibility, needed for long term use of the flight facility, is achieved through a modular design. The Host program, processes inputs from the telemetry uplink, aircraft central computer, cockpit computer control and plant sensors to form an input data base for use by the control algorithms. The control algorithms, programmed as application modules, process the input data to generate an output data base. The Host program formats the data for output to the telemetry downlink, the cockpit computer control, and the control effectors. Two applications modules are defined - the bill of materials F-100 engine control and the bill of materials F-15 inlet control.
Wang, S.-H.; Davison, E. J.
Decoupling theory and robust servomechanism theory are applied to the design of linear multivariable systems with large parameter variations. In addition to being approximately decoupled in the transient period, the over-all system achieves tracking and disturbance rejection robustly in the steady state. An example in flight control system is given.
Song, Yong D.; Gupta, Kajal (Technical Monitor)
The research is concerned with developing a new approach to enhancing fault tolerance of flight control systems. The original motivation for fault-tolerant control comes from the need for safe operation of control elements (e.g. actuators) in the event of hardware failures in high reliability systems. One such example is modem space vehicle subjected to actuator/sensor impairments. A major task in flight control is to revise the control policy to balance impairment detectability and to achieve sufficient robustness. This involves careful selection of types and parameters of the controllers and the impairment detecting filters used. It also involves a decision, upon the identification of some failures, on whether and how a control reconfiguration should take place in order to maintain a certain system performance level. In this project new flight dynamic model under uncertain flight conditions is considered, in which the effects of both ramp and jump faults are reflected. Stabilization algorithms based on neural network and adaptive method are derived. The control algorithms are shown to be effective in dealing with uncertain dynamics due to external disturbances and unpredictable faults. The overall strategy is easy to set up and the computation involved is much less as compared with other strategies. Computer simulation software is developed. A serious of simulation studies have been conducted with varying flight conditions.
Motter, Mark A.
A broad overview of current adaptive flight control research efforts at NASA is presented, as well as some more detailed discussion of selected specific approaches. The stated objective of the Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control Project, one of NASA s Aviation Safety programs, is to advance the state-of-the-art of adaptive controls as a design option to provide enhanced stability and maneuverability margins for safe landing in the presence of adverse conditions such as actuator or sensor failures. Under this project, a number of adaptive control approaches are being pursued, including neural networks and multiple models. Validation of all the adaptive control approaches will use not only traditional methods such as simulation, wind tunnel testing and manned flight tests, but will be augmented with recently developed capabilities in unmanned flight testing.
Hartmann, G. L.; Hauge, J. A.; Hendrick, R. C.
A set of digital flight control laws were designed for the NASA F-8C digital fly-by-wire aircraft. The control laws emphasize Control Configured Vehicle (CCV) benefits. Specific pitch axis objectives were improved handling qualities, angle-of-attack limiting, gust alleviation, drag reduction in steady and maneuvering flight, and a capability to fly with reduced static stability. The lateral-directional design objectives were improved Dutch roll damping and turn coordination over a wide range in angle-of-attack. An overall program objective was to explore the use of modern control design methodilogy to achieve these specific CCV benefits. Tests for verifying system integrity, an experimental design for handling qualities evaluation, and recommended flight test investigations were specified.
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Fire protection of flight controls, engine... COMMUTER CATEGORY AIRPLANES Design and Construction Fire Protection § 23.865 Fire protection of flight controls, engine mounts, and other flight structure. Flight controls, engine mounts, and other...
Andrews, D. M.; Mahmood, A.; Mccluskey, E. J.
Digital Flight Control System (DFCS) software was used as a test case for assertion testing. The assertions were written and embedded in the code, then errors were inserted (seeded) one at a time and the code executed. Results indicate that assertion testing is an effective and efficient method of detecting errors in flight software. Most errors are eliminate at an earlier stage in the development than before.
Frost, Susan A.; Taylor, Brian R.; Bodson, Marc
Advances in sensors and avionics computation power suggest real-time structural load measurements could be used in flight control systems for improved safety and performance. A conventional transport flight control system determines the moments necessary to meet the pilot's command, while rejecting disturbances and maintaining stability of the aircraft. Control allocation is the problem of converting these desired moments into control effector commands. In this paper, a framework is proposed to incorporate real-time structural load feedback and structural load constraints in the control allocator. Constrained optimal control allocation can be used to achieve desired moments without exceeding specified limits on monitored load points. Minimization of structural loads by the control allocator is used to alleviate gust loads. The framework to incorporate structural loads in the flight control system and an optimal control allocation algorithm will be described and then demonstrated on a nonlinear simulation of a generic transport aircraft with flight dynamics and static structural loads.
Taylor, Graham K; Bacic, Marko; Bomphrey, Richard J; Carruthers, Anna C; Gillies, James; Walker, Simon M; Thomas, Adrian L R
Here we consider how new experimental approaches in biomechanics can be used to attain a systems-level understanding of the dynamics of animal flight control. Our aim in this paper is not to provide detailed results and analysis, but rather to tackle several conceptual and methodological issues that have stood in the way of experimentalists in achieving this goal, and to offer tools for overcoming these. We begin by discussing the interplay between analytical and empirical methods, emphasizing that the structure of the models we use to analyse flight control dictates the empirical measurements we must make in order to parameterize them. We then provide a conceptual overview of tethered-flight paradigms, comparing classical ;open-loop' and ;closed-loop' setups, and describe a flight simulator that we have recently developed for making flight dynamics measurements on tethered insects. Next, we provide a conceptual overview of free-flight paradigms, focusing on the need to use system identification techniques in order to analyse the data they provide, and describe two new techniques that we have developed for making flight dynamics measurements on freely flying birds. First, we describe a technique for obtaining inertial measurements of the orientation, angular velocity and acceleration of a steppe eagle Aquila nipalensis in wide-ranging free flight, together with synchronized measurements of wing and tail kinematics using onboard instrumentation and video cameras. Second, we describe a photogrammetric method to measure the 3D wing kinematics of the eagle during take-off and landing. In each case, we provide demonstration data to illustrate the kinds of information available from each method. We conclude by discussing the prospects for systems-level analyses of flight control using these techniques and others like them. PMID:18165253
Davenport, Otha B.; Leggett, David B.
The Aircraft Digital Flight Control Technical Review was initiated by two pilot induced oscillation (PIO) incidents in the spring and summer of 1992. Maj. Gen. Franklin (PEO) wondered why the Air Force development process for digital flight control systems was not preventing PIO problems. Consequently, a technical review team was formed to examine the development process and determine why PIO problems continued to occur. The team was also to identify the 'best practices' used in the various programs. The charter of the team was to focus on the PIO problem, assess the current development process, and document the 'best practices.' The team reviewed all major USAF aircraft programs with digital flight controls, specifically, the F-15E, F-16C/D, F-22, F-111, C-17, and B-2. The team interviewed contractor, System Program Office (SPO), and Combined Test Force (CTF) personnel on these programs. The team also went to NAS Patuxent River to interview USN personnel about the F/A-18 program. The team also reviewed experimental USAF and NASA systems with digital flight control systems: X-29, X-31, F-15 STOL and Maneuver Technology Demonstrator (SMTD), and the Variable In-Flight Stability Test Aircraft (VISTA). The team also discussed the problem with other experts in the field including Ralph Smith and personnel from Calspan. The major conclusions and recommendations from the review are presented.
Arnold, Scott; Barry, Matthew R.; Benton, Isaac; Bishop, Michael M.; Evans, Steven; Harvey, Jason; King, Timothy; Martin, Jacob; Mercier, Al; Miller, Walt; Payne, Dan L.; Phu, Hanh; Thompson, James C.; Aadsen, Ron
The Next Generation Flight Controller Trainer (NGFCT) is a relatively inexpensive system of hardware and software that provides high-fidelity training for spaceshuttle flight controllers. NGFCT provides simulations into which are integrated the behaviors of emulated space-shuttle vehicle onboard general-purpose computers (GPCs), mission-control center (MCC) displays, and space-shuttle systems as represented by high-fidelity shuttle mission simulator (SMS) mathematical models. The emulated GPC computers enable the execution of onboard binary flight-specific software. The SMS models include representations of system malfunctions that can be easily invoked. The NGFCT software has a flexible design that enables independent updating of its GPC, SMS, and MCC components.
Jorgensen, C. C.; Mah, R. W.; Ross, J.; Lu, Henry, Jr. (Technical Monitor)
NASA Ames Research Center has an ongoing program in neural network control technology targeted toward real time flight demonstrations using a modified F-15 which permits direct inner loop control of actuators, rapid switching between alternative control designs, and substitutable processors. An important part of this program is the ACTIVE flight project which is examining the feasibility of using neural networks in the design, control, and system identification of new aircraft prototypes. This paper discusses two research applications initiated with this objective in mind: utilization of neural networks for wind tunnel aircraft model identification and rapid learning algorithms for on line reconfiguration and control. The first application involves the identification of aerodynamic flight characteristics from analysis of wind tunnel test data. This identification is important in the early stages of aircraft design because complete specification of control architecture's may not be possible even though concept models at varying scales are available for aerodynamic wind tunnel testing. Testing of this type is often a long and expensive process involving measurement of aircraft lift, drag, and moment of inertia at varying angles of attack and control surface configurations. This information in turn can be used in the design of the flight control systems by applying the derived lookup tables to generate piece wise linearized controllers. Thus, reduced costs in tunnel test times and the rapid transfer of wind tunnel insights into prototype controllers becomes an important factor in more efficient generation and testing of new flight systems. NASA Ames Research Center is successfully applying modular neural networks as one way of anticipating small scale aircraft model performances prior to testing, thus reducing the number of in tunnel test hours and potentially, the number of intermediate scaled models required for estimation of surface flow effects.
Marshall, Kara L.; Chadha, Mohit; deSouza, Laura A.; Sterbing-D’Angelo, Susanne J.; Moss, Cynthia F.; Lumpkin, Ellen A.
Summary Flight maneuvers require rapid sensory integration to generate adaptive motor output. Bats achieve remarkable agility with modified forelimbs that serve as airfoils while retaining capacity for object manipulation. Wing sensory inputs provide behaviorally relevant information to guide flight; however, components of wing sensory-motor circuits have not been analyzed. Here, we elucidate the organization of wing innervation in an insectivore, the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. We demonstrate that wing sensory innervation differs from other vertebrate forelimbs, revealing a peripheral basis for the atypical topographic organization reported for bat somatosensory nuclei. Furthermore, the wing is innervated by an unusual complement of sensory neurons poised to report airflow and touch. Finally, we report that cortical neurons encode tactile and airflow inputs with sparse activity patterns. Together, our findings identify neural substrates of somatosensation in the bat wing and imply that evolutionary pressures giving rise to mammalian flight led to unusual sensorimotor projections. PMID:25937277
Sterbing-D'Angelo, Susanne; Chadha, Mohit; Chiu, Chen; Falk, Ben; Xian, Wei; Barcelo, Janna; Zook, John M.; Moss, Cynthia F.
Bats are the only mammals capable of powered flight, and they perform impressive aerial maneuvers like tight turns, hovering, and perching upside down. The bat wing contains five digits, and its specialized membrane is covered with stiff, microscopically small, domed hairs. We provide here unique empirical evidence that the tactile receptors associated with these hairs are involved in sensorimotor flight control by providing aerodynamic feedback. We found that neurons in bat primary somatosensory cortex respond with directional sensitivity to stimulation of the wing hairs with low-speed airflow. Wing hairs mostly preferred reversed airflow, which occurs under flight conditions when the airflow separates and vortices form. This finding suggests that the hairs act as an array of sensors to monitor flight speed and/or airflow conditions that indicate stall. Depilation of different functional regions of the bats’ wing membrane altered the flight behavior in obstacle avoidance tasks by reducing aerial maneuverability, as indicated by decreased turning angles and increased flight speed. PMID:21690408
Barth, Andrew; Mamich, Harvey; Hoelscher, Brian
The first test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle presented additional challenges for guidance, navigation and control as compared to a typical re-entry from the International Space Station or other Low Earth Orbit. An elevated re-entry velocity and steeper flight path angle were chosen to achieve aero-thermal flight test objectives. New IMU's, a GPS receiver, and baro altimeters were flight qualified to provide the redundant navigation needed for human space flight. The guidance and control systems must manage the vehicle lift vector in order to deliver the vehicle to a precision, coastal, water landing, while operating within aerodynamic load, reaction control system, and propellant constraints. Extensive pre-flight six degree-of-freedom analysis was performed that showed mission success for the nominal mission as well as in the presence of sensor and effector failures. Post-flight reconstruction analysis of the test flight is presented in this paper to show whether that all performance metrics were met and establish how well the pre-flight analysis predicted the in-flight performance.
Strahan, Alan L.; Loe, Greg R.; Seiler, Pete
The Orion Spacecraft will be required to perform entry and landing functions for both Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Lunar return missions, utilizing only the Command Module (CM) with its unique systems and GN&C design. This paper presents the current CM Flight Control System (FCS) design to support entry and landing, with a focus on analyses that have supported its development to date. The CM FCS will have to provide for spacecraft stability and control while following guidance or manual commands during exo-atmospheric flight, after Service Module separation, translational powered flight required of the CM, atmospheric flight supporting both direct entry and skip trajectories down to drogue chute deploy, and during roll attitude reorientation just prior to touchdown. Various studies and analyses have been performed or are on-going supporting an overall FCS design with reasonably sized Reaction Control System (RCS) jets, that minimizes fuel usage, that provides appropriate command following but with reasonable stability and control margin. Results from these efforts to date are included, with particular attention on design issues that have emerged, such as the struggle to accommodate sub-sonic pitch and yaw control without using excessively large jets that could have a detrimental impact on vehicle weight. Apollo, with a similar shape, struggled with this issue as well. Outstanding CM FCS related design and analysis issues, planned for future effort, are also briefly be discussed.
Naish, J. M.
The purpose of the inquiry is to determine how precisely a pilot can estimate the movements of his vehicle, and thus exercise control, during an unaided visual approach. The method is to relate changes in the forward view, due to movements along and across the approach path, to human visual thresholds and errors. The scope is restricted to effects of inclination, expansion, size, and rotation in runway features during approaches at small angles of elevation. Quantitative relations are given which provide a basis for ranking the several information mechanisms. Alignment by inclination of a ground line is found to be an accurate lateral mechanism, probably superior to the expansion mechanism. Vertical control mechanisms are complex, of questionable accuracy, and difficult to rank. The results throw some doubt on the usefulness of a runway symbol as a source of displayed information.
Hall, Charles; Lee, Chong; Jackson, Mark; Whorton, Mark; West, mark; Brandon, Jay; Hall, Rob A.; Jang, Jimmy; Bedrossian, Naz; Compton, Jimmy; Rutherford, Chad
This paper describes the control challenges posed by the Ares I vehicle, the flight control system design and performance analyses used to test and verify the design. The major challenges in developing the control system are structural dynamics, dynamic effects from the powerful first stage booster, aerodynamics, first stage separation and large uncertainties in the dynamic models for all these. Classical control techniques were employed using innovative methods for structural mode filter design and an anti-drift feature to compensate for translational and rotational disturbances. This design was coded into an integrated vehicle flight simulation and tested by Monte Carlo methods. The product of this effort is a linear, robust controller design that is easy to implement, verify and test.
Myers, T. T.; Johnston, D. E.; Mcruer, D.
The suitability of existing and proposed flying quality and flight control system criteria for application to the space shuttle orbiter during atmospheric flight phases was assessed. An orbiter experiment for flying qualities and flight control system design criteria is discussed. Orbiter longitudinal and lateral-directional flying characteristics, flight control system lag and time delay considerations, and flight control manipulator characteristics are included. Data obtained from conventional aircraft may be inappropriate for application to the shuttle orbiter.
VanZwieten, Tannen S.; Orr, Jeb S.; Wall, John H.; Hall, Charles E.
A robust and flexible autopilot architecture for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) family of launch vehicles is presented. As the SLS configurations represent a potentially significant increase in complexity and performance capability of the integrated flight vehicle, it was recognized early in the program that a new, generalized autopilot design should be formulated to fulfill the needs of this new space launch architecture. The present design concept is intended to leverage existing NASA and industry launch vehicle design experience and maintain the extensibility and modularity necessary to accommodate multiple vehicle configurations while relying on proven and flight-tested control design principles for large boost vehicles. The SLS flight control architecture combines a digital three-axis autopilot with traditional bending filters to support robust active or passive stabilization of the vehicle's bending and sloshing dynamics using optimally blended measurements from multiple rate gyros on the vehicle structure. The algorithm also relies on a pseudo-optimal control allocation scheme to maximize the performance capability of multiple vectored engines while accommodating throttling and engine failure contingencies in real time with negligible impact to stability characteristics. The architecture supports active in-flight load relief through the use of a nonlinear observer driven by acceleration measurements, and envelope expansion and robustness enhancement is obtained through the use of a multiplicative forward gain modulation law based upon a simple model reference adaptive control scheme.
Breakwell, J. V.; Bryson, A. E., Jr.; Franklin, G. F.
Progress reports on guidance and attitude control mechanisms of different flight vehicles are presented. The vehicles considered include orbiting spacecraft, supersonic aircraft, and general aviation aircraft. Data also cover orbital transfer using low thrust, automatic landing logic for aircraft, optimal and three dimensional turns for supersonic aircraft, and orbital rendezvous.
Murphy, James R.
Contents include the following: 1. Commercial flight is a partnership. Airlines. Pilots. Air traffic control. 2. Airline schedules and weather problems can cause delays at the airport. Delays are inevitable in de-regulated industry due to simple economics. 3.Delays can be mitigated. Build more runways/technology. Increase airspace supply. 4. Cost/benefit analysis determine justification.
This news release reports on the development and testing of a new integrated flight and propulsion automated control system that aerospace engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center have been working on. The system is being tested in the V/STOL (Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing) Systems Research Aircraft (VSRA).
Barnes, H. A.
A method to desensitize the entry flight control system to structural vibration feedback which might induce an oscillatory instability is described. Trends in vehicle response and handling characteristics as a function of gain combinations in the FCS forward and rate feedback loops were described as observed in a man-in-the-loop simulation. Among the flight conditions considered are the effects of downmoding with APU failures, off-nominal trajectory conditions, sensed angle of attack errors, the impact on RCS fuel consumption, performance in the presence of aero variations, recovery from large FCS upsets, and default gains.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Maine, Trindel; Wolf, Thomas
Flight tests and simulation studies using the throttles of an F-15 airplane for emergency flight control have been conducted at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility. The airplane and the simulation are capable of extended up-and-away flight, using only throttles for flight path control. Initial simulation results showed that runway landings using manual throttles-only control were difficult, but possible with practice. Manual approaches flown in the airplane were much more difficult, indicating a significant discrepancy between flight and simulation. Analysis of flight data and development of improved simulation models that resolve the discrepancy are discussed. An augmented throttle-only control system that controls bank angle and flight path with appropriate feedback parameters has also been developed, evaluated in simulations, and is planned for flight in the F-15.
Wilkes, Donald R.; Hummer, Leigh L.; Zwiener, James M.
The Thermal Control Surfaces Experiment (TCSE) is the most complex system retrieved after long term space exposure. The TCSE is a microcosm of complex electro-optical payloads being developed and flown. The objective of the TCSE on the LDEF was to determine the effects of the near-Earth orbital environment and the LDEF induced environment on spacecraft thermal control surfaces. The TCSE was a comprehensive experiment that combined in-space measurements with extensive post-flight analyses of thermal control surfaces to determine the effects of exposure to the low Earth orbit space environment. The TCSE was the first space experiment to measure the optical properties of thermal control surfaces the way they are routinely measured in the lab. The performance of the TCSE flight system on the LDEF was excellent.
Biezad, Daniel J.; Chou, Hwei-Lan
During the final reporting period (Jun. - Dec. 1992), analyses of the longitudinal and lateral flying qualities were made for propulsive-only flight control (POFC) of a Boeing 720 aircraft model. Performance resulting from compensators developed using Quantitative Feedback Theory (QFT) is documented and analyzed. This report is a first draft of a thesis to be presented by graduate student Hwei-Lan Chou. The final thesis will be presented to NASA when it is completed later this year. The latest landing metrics related to bandwidth criteria and based on the Neal-Smith approach to flying qualities prediction were used in developing performance criteria for the controllers. The compensator designs were tested on the NASA simulator and exhibited adequate performance for piloted flight. There was no significant impact of QFT on performance of the propulsive-only flight controllers in either the longitudinal or lateral modes of flight. This was attributed to the physical limits of thrust available and the engine rate of response, both of whiih severely limited the available bandwidth of the closed-loop system.
Clinedinst, Winston C.; Debure, Kelly R.; Dickson, Richard W.; Heaphy, William J.; Parks, Mark A.; Slominski, Christopher J.; Wolverton, David A.
The Flight Management/Flight Controls (FM/FC) software for the Norden 2 (PDP-11/70M) computer installed on the NASA 737 aircraft is described. The software computes the navigation position estimates, guidance commands, those commands to be issued to the control surfaces to direct the aircraft in flight based on the modes selected on the Advanced Guidance Control System (AGSC) mode panel, and the flight path selected via the Navigation Control/Display Unit (NCDU).
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight crewmembers at controls. 121.543... REQUIREMENTS: DOMESTIC, FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATIONS Flight Operations § 121.543 Flight crewmembers at controls. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each required flight crewmember...
Mack, A.; Steelant, J.; Adirim, H.; Lentsch, A.; Marini, M.; Pilz, N.
In Europe, the EC co-funded project FAST20XX aims at exploring the borderline between aviation and space by investigating suborbital vehicles. The main focus is the identification and mastering of critical technologies for such vehicles rather than the vehicle development itself. Besides the objectives and overall layout of the project, the paper addresses also the progress made during the first period of the project. Two vehicle concepts are considered. A first one is a space vehicle launched from an airplane providing a low-energy ballistic flight experience using hybrid propulsion. The second is a vertically starting two-stage rocket space vehicle system concept taken as a basis to identify the conditions and constraints experienced during high- energy suborbital ultra-fast transport. The paper mainly discusses the two actual reference vehicles and the technical aspects of prerequisites for commercial operation including safety, human spaceflight, business cases, environmental and legal issues.
This dissertation investigates the feasibility and potential of life extension control logic for reducing fatigue within aerospace vehicle structural components. A key underpinning of this control logic is to exploit nonintuitive, optimal loading conditions which minimize nonlinear crack growth behavior, as predicted by analytical fatigue models with experimentally validated behavior. A major simplification in the development of life extension control logic is the observation and justification that optimal stress loading conditions, as described by overload magnitude ratio and application interval, are primarily independent of crack length and therefore, component age. This weak relationship between optimal stress loading and structural age implies the life extension control logic does not require tight integration with real-time health monitoring systems performing crack state estimation from measurement and model simulation. At a fundamental level, the life extension control logic conducts load alleviation and/or amplification tailoring of external and internal excitations to optimally exploit nonlinear crack retardation phenomenon. The life extension control logic is designed to be a simple, practical modification applied to an existing flight control system. A nonlinear autopilot for the nonlinear F-16 dynamics, coupled with a separate flexible F-16 wing model and a state space crack growth model, are used to demonstrate the life extension control concept. Results indicate that significant structural life savings is obtained by integrating life extending control logic dedicated for critical structural components to the existing flight control system. On the other hand, some components under life extending control showed minor reductions of structural life, particularly when the components are located in a low stress region where fatigue damage is of lower concern. Further, to achieve enhanced long-term structural integrity with life extending control, tradeoffs
Flight control computer (FCC) 0104-I has been designated the prime unit for the SA-210 launch vehicle. The results of the final flight simulation for FCC S/N 0104-I are documented. These results verify satisfactory implementation of the design release and proper interfacing of the FCC with flight-type control sensor elements and simulated thrust vector control system.
Hammond, Walter E.; Vanhook, Michael E. (Technical Monitor)
Good program management practices, cost analysis, cost estimation, and cost control for aerospace flight systems are interrelated and depend upon each other. The best cost control process cannot overcome poor design or poor systems trades that lead to the wrong approach. The project needs robust Technical, Schedule, Cost, Risk, and Cost Risk practices before it can incorporate adequate Cost Control. Cost analysis both precedes and follows cost estimation -- the two are closely coupled with each other and with Risk analysis. Parametric cost estimating relationships and computerized models are most often used. NASA has learned some valuable lessons in controlling cost problems, and recommends use of a summary Project Manager's checklist as shown here.
Eklund, T I
Fatal accidents originating from in-flight cabin fires comprise only about 1% of all fatal accidents in the civil jet transport fleet. Nevertheless, the impossibility of escape during flight accentuates the hazards resulting from low visibility and toxic gases. Control of combustion products in an aircraft cabin is affected by several characteristics that make the aircraft cabin environment unique. The aircraft fuselage is pressurized in flight and has an air distribution system which provides ventilation jets from the ceiling level air inlets running along the cabin length. A fixed quantity of ventilation air is metered into the cabin and air discharge is handled primarily by pressure controlling outflow valves in the rear lower part of the fuselage. Earlier airplane flight tests on cabin smoke control used generators producing minimally buoyant smoke products that moved with and served as a telltales for overall cabin ventilation flows. Analytical studies were done with localized smoke production to predict the percent of cabin length that would remain smoke-free during continuous generation. Development of a buoyant smoke generator allowed simulation of a fire plume with controllable simulated temperature and heat release rates. Tests on a Boeing 757, modified to allow smoke venting out through the top of the cabin, showed that the buoyant smoke front moved at 0.46m/s (1.5ft/sec) with and 0.27m/sec (0.9ft/sec) against, the axial ventilation airflow. Flight tests in a modified Boeing 727 showed that a ceiling level counterflow of about 0.55m/sec (1.8ft/sec) was required to arrest the forward movement of buoyant smoke. A design goal of 0.61m/s (2ft/sec) axial cabin flow would require a flow rate of 99m3/min (3500ft3/min) in a furnished Boeing 757. The current maximum fresh air cabin ventilation flow is 78m3/min (2756 ft3/min). Experimental results indicate that buoyancy effects cause smoke movement behaviour that is not predicted by traditional design analyses and
Orr, Jeb S.; Wall, John H.; VanZwieten, Tannen S.; Hall, Charles E.
A robust and flexible autopilot architecture for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) family of launch vehicles is presented. The SLS configurations represent a potentially significant increase in complexity and performance capability when compared with other manned launch vehicles. It was recognized early in the program that a new, generalized autopilot design should be formulated to fulfill the needs of this new space launch architecture. The present design concept is intended to leverage existing NASA and industry launch vehicle design experience and maintain the extensibility and modularity necessary to accommodate multiple vehicle configurations while relying on proven and flight-tested control design principles for large boost vehicles. The SLS flight control architecture combines a digital three-axis autopilot with traditional bending filters to support robust active or passive stabilization of the vehicle's bending and sloshing dynamics using optimally blended measurements from multiple rate gyros on the vehicle structure. The algorithm also relies on a pseudo-optimal control allocation scheme to maximize the performance capability of multiple vectored engines while accommodating throttling and engine failure contingencies in real time with negligible impact to stability characteristics. The architecture supports active in-flight disturbance compensation through the use of nonlinear observers driven by acceleration measurements. Envelope expansion and robustness enhancement is obtained through the use of a multiplicative forward gain modulation law based upon a simple model reference adaptive control scheme.
Williams-Hayes, Peggy S.
The NASA F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System project team developed a series of flight control concepts designed to demonstrate neural network-based adaptive controller benefits, with the objective to develop and flight-test control systems using neural network technology to optimize aircraft performance under nominal conditions and stabilize the aircraft under failure conditions. This report presents flight-test results for an adaptive controller using stability and control derivative values from an online learning neural network. A dynamic cell structure neural network is used in conjunction with a real-time parameter identification algorithm to estimate aerodynamic stability and control derivative increments to baseline aerodynamic derivatives in flight. This open-loop flight test set was performed in preparation for a future phase in which the learning neural network and parameter identification algorithm output would provide the flight controller with aerodynamic stability and control derivative updates in near real time. Two flight maneuvers are analyzed - pitch frequency sweep and automated flight-test maneuver designed to optimally excite the parameter identification algorithm in all axes. Frequency responses generated from flight data are compared to those obtained from nonlinear simulation runs. Flight data examination shows that addition of flight-identified aerodynamic derivative increments into the simulation improved aircraft pitch handling qualities.
Owen, Dean H.
Three topics which can be applied to rotorcraft flight are examined: (1) the nature of visual information; (2) what visual information is informative about; and (3) the control of visual information. The anchorage of visual perception is defined as the distribution of structure in the surrounding optical array or the distribution of optical structure over the retinal surface. A debate was provoked about whether the referent of visual event perception, and in turn control, is optical motion, kinetics, or dynamics. The interface of control theory and visual perception is also considered. The relationships among these problems is the basis of this article.
Nguyen, Nhan T.; Gregory, Irene M.; Joshi, Suresh M.
This poster presents the current adaptive control research being conducted at NASA ARC and LaRC in support of the Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control (IRAC) project. The technique "Approximate Stability Margin Analysis of Hybrid Direct-Indirect Adaptive Control" has been developed at NASA ARC to address the needs for stability margin metrics for adaptive control that potentially enables future V&V of adaptive systems. The technique "Direct Adaptive Control With Unknown Actuator Failures" is developed at NASA LaRC to deal with unknown actuator failures. The technique "Adaptive Control with Adaptive Pilot Element" is being researched at NASA LaRC to investigate the effects of pilot interactions with adaptive flight control that can have implications of stability and performance.
The notion of partitioning a centralized controller into a decentralized, hierarchical structure suitable for integrated flight/propulsion control (IFPC) implementation is discussed. A systematic procedure is developed for determining partitioned airframe and engine subsystem controllers (subcontrollers), with the desired interconnection structure, that approximate the closed-loop performance and robustness characteristics of a given centralized controller. The procedure is demonstrated by application to IFPC design for a Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft in the landing approach to hover transition flight phase.
Stewart, James F.; Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Gatlin, Donald H.
Over the last two decades, NASA has conducted several experiments in integrated flight-propulsion control. Benefits have included improved maneuverability; increased thrust, range, and survivability; reduced fuel consumption; and reduced maintenance. This paper presents the basic concepts for control integration, examples of implementation, and benefits. The F-111E experiment integrated the engine and inlet control systems. The YF-12C incorporated an integral control system involving the inlet, autopilot, autothrottle, airdata, navigation, and stability augmentation systems. The F-15 research involved integration of the engine, flight, and inlet control systems. Further extension of the integration included real-time, onboard optimization of engine, inlet, and flight control variables; a self-repairing flight control system; and an engines-only control concept for emergency control. The F-18A aircraft incorporated thrust vectoring integrated with the flight control system to provide enhanced maneuvering at high angles of attack. The flight research programs and the resulting benefits of each program are described.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.
There have been many cases in which the crew of a multi-engine airplane had to use engine thrust for emergency flight control. Such a procedure is very difficult, because the propulsive control forces are small, the engine response is slow, and airplane dynamics such as the phugoid and dutch roll are difficult to damp with thrust. In general, thrust increases are used to climb, thrust decreases to descend, and differential thrust is used to turn. Average speed is not significantly affected by changes in throttle setting. Pitch control is achieved because of pitching moments due to speed changes, from thrust offset, and from the vertical component of thrust. Roll control is achieved by using differential thrust to develop yaw, which, through the normal dihedral effect, causes a roll. Control power in pitch and roll tends to increase as speed decreases. Although speed is not controlled by the throttles, configuration changes are often available (lowering gear, flaps, moving center-of-gravity) to change the speed. The airplane basic stability is also a significant factor. Fuel slosh and gyroscopic moments are small influences on throttles-only control. The background and principles of throttles-only flight control are described.
Burcham, F. W., Jr.; Burken, John; Maine, Trindel A.
Flight tests of a propulsion-controlled aircraft (PCA) system on an F-15 airplane have been conducted at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. The airplane was flown with all flight control surfaces locked both in the manual throttles-only mode and in an augmented system mode. In the latter mode, pilot thumbwheel commands and aircraft feedback parameters were used to position the throttles. Flight evaluation results showed that the PCA system can be used to land an airplane that has suffered a major flight control system failure safely. The PCA system was used to recover the F-15 airplane from a severe upset condition, descend, and land. Pilots from NASA, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and McDonnell Douglas Aerospace evaluated the PCA system and were favorably impressed with its capability. Manual throttles-only approaches were unsuccessful. This paper describes the PCA system operation and testing. It also presents flight test results and pilot comments.
Brody, Adam R. (Editor); Ellis, Stephen R. (Editor)
A brief description of several laboratories' current research in the general area of manual control of orbital flight is presented. With an operational-space-station era (and its increased traffic levels) approaching, now is an opportune time to investigate issues such as docking and rendezvous profiles and course-planning aids. The tremendous increase in the capabilities of computers and computer graphics has made extensive study possible and economical. It is time to study these areas, from a human factors and manual control perspective in order to preclude the occurrence of problems analogous to those that occurred in the airline and other related industries.
After completing its first flight with the Digital Flight Control System on December 16, 1997, the F-16XL #1 aircraft began a series of envelope expansion flights. On January 27 and 29, 1998, it successfully completed structural clearance tests, as well as most of the load testing Only flights at Mach 1.05 at 10,000 feet, Mach 1.1 at 15,000 feet, and Mach 1.2 at 20,000 feet remained. During the next flight, on February 4, an instrumentation problem cut short the planned envelope expansion tests. After the problem was corrected, the F-16XL returned to flight status, and on February 18 and 20, flight control and evaluation flights were made. Two more research flights were planned for the following week, but another problem appeared. During the ground start up, project personnel noticed that the leading edge flap moved without being commanded. The Digital Flight Control Computer was sent to the Lockheed-Martin facility at Fort Worth, where the problem was traced to a defective chip in the computer. After it was replaced, the F-16XL #1 flew a highly successful flight controls and handling qualities evaluation flight on March 26, clearing the way for the final tests. The final limited loads expansion flight occurred on March 31, and was fully successful. As a result, the on-site Lockheed-Martin loads engineer cleared the aircraft to Mach 1.8. The remaining two handling qualities and flight control evaluation flights were both made on April 3, 1998. These three flights concluded the flight test portion of the DFCS upgrade.
Lambregts, A. A.
A generalized automatic flight control system was developed which integrates all longitudinal flight path and speed control functions previously provided by a pitch autopilot and autothrottle. In this design, a net thrust command is computed based on total energy demand arising from both flight path and speed targets. The elevator command is computed based on the energy distribution error between flight path and speed. The engine control is configured to produce the commanded net thrust. The design incorporates control strategies and hierarchy to deal systematically and effectively with all aircraft operational requirements, control nonlinearities, and performance limits. Consistent decoupled maneuver control is achieved for all modes and flight conditions without outer loop gain schedules, control law submodes, or control function duplication.
Carlin, C. M.; Hastings, W. J.
The propulsion flight control integration technology (PROFIT) program was designed to develop a flying testbed dedicated to controls research. The preliminary design, analysis, and feasibility studies conducted in support of the PROFIT program are reported. The PROFIT system was built around existing IPCS hardware. In order to achieve the desired system flexibility and capability, additional interfaces between the IPCS hardware and F-15 systems were required. The requirements for additions and modifications to the existing hardware were defined. Those interfaces involving the more significant changes were studied. The DCU memory expansion to 32K with flight qualified hardware was completed on a brassboard basis. The uplink interface breadboard and a brassboard of the central computer interface were also tested. Two preliminary designs and corresponding program plans are presented.
An overall view of the group of Soviet Union flight controllers who served at the Mission Control Center during the joint U.S.-USSR Apollo Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) docking in Earth orbit mission. They are applauding the successful touchdown of the Soyuz spacecraft in Central Asia. The television monitor had just shown the land landing of the Soyuz descent vehicle.
Williams, Peggy S.
The NASA F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System project team has developed a series of flight control concepts designed to demonstrate the benefits of a neural network-based adaptive controller. The objective of the team is to develop and flight-test control systems that use neural network technology to optimize the performance of the aircraft under nominal conditions as well as stabilize the aircraft under failure conditions. Failure conditions include locked or failed control surfaces as well as unforeseen damage that might occur to the aircraft in flight. This report presents flight-test results for an adaptive controller using stability and control derivative values from an online learning neural network. A dynamic cell structure neural network is used in conjunction with a real-time parameter identification algorithm to estimate aerodynamic stability and control derivative increments to the baseline aerodynamic derivatives in flight. This set of open-loop flight tests was performed in preparation for a future phase of flights in which the learning neural network and parameter identification algorithm output would provide the flight controller with aerodynamic stability and control derivative updates in near real time. Two flight maneuvers are analyzed a pitch frequency sweep and an automated flight-test maneuver designed to optimally excite the parameter identification algorithm in all axes. Frequency responses generated from flight data are compared to those obtained from nonlinear simulation runs. An examination of flight data shows that addition of the flight-identified aerodynamic derivative increments into the simulation improved the pitch handling qualities of the aircraft.
Anders, Scott G.; Fischer, Michael C.
The F-16XL-2 Supersonic Laminar Flow Control Flight Test Experiment was part of the NASA High-Speed Research Program. The goal of the experiment was to demonstrate extensive laminar flow, to validate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes and design methodology, and to establish laminar flow control design criteria. Topics include the flight test hardware and design, airplane modification, the pressure and suction distributions achieved, the laminar flow achieved, and the data analysis and code correlation.
Training of ground control teams has been a difficult task in space operations. There are several intangible skills that must be learned to become the steely eyed men and women of mission control who respond to spacecraft failures that can lead to loss of vehicle or crew if handled improperly. And as difficult as training is, it can also be costly. Every day, month or year an operator is in training, is a day that not only they are being trained without direct benefit to the organization, but potentially an instructor or mentor is also being paid for hours spent assisting them. Therefore, optimization of the training flow is highly desired. Recently the Expedition Division (DI) at Johnson Space Flight Center has recreated their training flows for the purpose of both moving to an operator/specialist/instructor hierarchy and to address past inefficiencies in the training flow. This paper will discuss the types of training DI is utilizing in their new flows, and the balance that has been struck between the ideal learning environments and realistic constraints. Specifically, the past training flow for the ISS Attitude Determination and Control Officer will be presented, including drawbacks that were encountered. Then the new training flow will be discussed and how a new approach utilizes more training methods and teaching techniques. We will look at how DI has integrated classes, workshops, checkouts, module reviews, scenarios, OJT, paper sims, Mini Sims, and finally Integrated Sims to balance the cost and timing of training a new flight controller.
A limiting factor in control system design and analysis for spacecraft is the inability to physically test new algorithms quickly and cheaply. Test flights of space vehicles are costly and take much preparation. As such, EV41 recently acquired a small research quadrocopter that has the ability to be a test bed for new control systems. This project focused on learning how to operate, fly, and maintain the quadrocopter, as well as developing and testing protocols for its use. In parallel to this effort, developing a model in Simulink facilitated the design and analysis of simple control systems for the quadrocopter. Software provided by the manufacturer enabled testing of the Simulink control system on the vehicle.
Wilkes, Donald R.; Hummer, Leigh L.; Zwiener, James M.
The Thermal Control Surfaces Experiment (TCSE) is the most complex system, other than the LDEF, retrieved after long term space exposure. The TCSE is a microcosm of complex electro-optical payloads being developed and flow by NASA and the DoD including SDI. The objective of TCSE was to determine the effects of the near-Earth orbital environment and the LDEF induced environment on spacecraft thermal control surfaces. The TCSE was a comprehensive experiment that combined in-space measurements with extensive post flight analyses of thermal control surfaces to determine the effects of exposure to the low earth orbit space environment. The TCSE was the first space experiment to measure the optical properties of thermal control surfaces the way they are routinely measured in a lab. The performance of the TCSE confirms that low cost, complex experiment packages can be developed that perform well in space.
Xargay, Enric; Hovakimyan, Naira; Dobrokhodov, Vladimir; Kaminer, Isaac; Gregory, Irene M.; Cao, Chengyu
Certification of adaptive control technologies for both manned and unmanned aircraft represent a major challenge for current Verification and Validation techniques. A (missing) key step towards flight certification of adaptive flight control systems is the definition and development of analysis tools and methods to support Verification and Validation for nonlinear systems, similar to the procedures currently used for linear systems. In this paper, we describe and demonstrate the advantages of L(sub l) adaptive control architectures for closing some of the gaps in certification of adaptive flight control systems, which may facilitate the transition of adaptive control into military and commercial aerospace applications. As illustrative examples, we present the results of a piloted simulation evaluation on the NASA AirSTAR flight test vehicle, and results of an extensive flight test program conducted by the Naval Postgraduate School to demonstrate the advantages of L(sub l) adaptive control as a verifiable robust adaptive flight control system.
Chenoweth, C. C.; Ryder, D. R.
The constraint of requiring airplanes to have inherent aerodynamic stability can be removed by using active control systems. The resulting airplane requires control system reliability approaching that of the basic airframe. Redundant control actuators can be used to achieve the required reliability, but create mechanization and operational problems. Of numerous candidate systems, two different approaches to solving the problems associated with redundant actuators which appear the most likely to be used in advanced airplane control systems are described.
VanZwieten, Tannen S.; Gilligan, Eric T.; Wall, John H.; Orr, Jeb S.; Miller, Christopher J.; Hanson, Curtis E.
The NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Flight Mechanics and Analysis Division developed an Adaptive Augmenting Control (AAC) algorithm for launch vehicles that improves robustness and performance by adapting an otherwise welltuned classical control algorithm to unexpected environments or variations in vehicle dynamics. This AAC algorithm is currently part of the baseline design for the SLS Flight Control System (FCS), but prior to this series of research flights it was the only component of the autopilot design that had not been flight tested. The Space Launch System (SLS) flight software prototype, including the adaptive component, was recently tested on a piloted aircraft at Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) which has the capability to achieve a high level of dynamic similarity to a launch vehicle. Scenarios for the flight test campaign were designed specifically to evaluate the AAC algorithm to ensure that it is able to achieve the expected performance improvements with no adverse impacts in nominal or nearnominal scenarios. Having completed the recent series of flight characterization experiments on DFRC's F/A-18, the AAC algorithm's capability, robustness, and reproducibility, have been successfully demonstrated. Thus, the entire SLS control architecture has been successfully flight tested in a relevant environment. This has increased NASA's confidence that the autopilot design is ready to fly on the SLS Block I vehicle and will exceed the performance of previous architectures.
Numerous aviation accidents have been caused by stuck control surfaces. In most cases the impaired aircraft has sufficient redundancy to reconfigure the flight. However, the actions that the pilot needs to make could be counter intuitive, demanding and complicated. This is due to the drastic changes in the system's dynamics that are caused by the nonlinearities, the loss of control authority and the disturbance imposed by the stuck surface. The reconfiguration of the flight laws will alleviate the work load on the crew and give them a better leeway to safely land the aircraft. The fault tolerant scheme that is adopted here is a multiple model one with a finite number of reconfigured controllers. Each reconfigured controller consists of a nonlinear output regulator and a constant gain nonlinear observer. The guidelines available for designing the nominal stabilizer are not appropriate for the reconfigured systems. The ability of the control law to reconfigure the aircraft is limited by saturation of the control surfaces, bifurcation points and stability limits. Identifying and characterizing these limitations is the first step in systematically improving the fault tolerant design. The computational results were obtained using a continuation method based on the Newton-Raphson and Newton-Raphson-Seydel methods. The numerous subtleties in employing these tools, when bifurcation points are clustered together, when many eigenvalues are near the origin or when the eigenvalues nearest the origin are complex, are addressed in this work. The reconfigured controller design for all possible single surface failures and the bifurcation analysis of the nominal and reconfigured systems was carried out on a real aircraft, namely the F-16. This was facilitated by the development of a unique, high fidelity, six degree of freedom, F-16 model.
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight crewmembers at controls. 125.311... CAPACITY OF 6,000 POUNDS OR MORE; AND RULES GOVERNING PERSONS ON BOARD SUCH AIRCRAFT Flight Operations § 125.311 Flight crewmembers at controls. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section,...
Mulcare, D. B.; Downing, L. E.; Smith, M. K.
Described are the development and validation of a double fail-operational digital flight control system architecture for critical pitch axis functions. Architectural tradeoffs are assessed, system simulator modifications are described, and demonstration testing results are critiqued. Assessment tools and their application are also illustrated. Ultimately, the vital role of system simulation, tailored to digital mechanization attributes, is shown to be essential to validating the airworthiness of full-time critical functions such as augmented fly-by-wire systems for relaxed static stability airplanes.
Powell, Ferolyn T.; Sudar, Martin; Timm, Marc; Yost, Bruce
An atmosphere exchange system (AES) has been designed to provide a conditioned atmosphere supply to plant specimens in flight without incurring the large weight and volume associated with bottled gases. The paper examines the atmosphere filter cartridge (AFC) designed to remove trace organic atmosphere contaminants from the Space Shuttle cabin and to condition the cabin atmosphere prior to exposure to plant specimens. The AES and AFC are described and illustrated. The AFC design requirements are discussed and results are presented from tests on the performance of the AFC. Also, consideration is given to the potential applications of the AFC and future design concepts for atmosphere control.
This is the closeout report for the Research Cooperative Agreement NCC4-00130 of accomplishments for the Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) Project. It has been a pleasure working with NASA and NASA partners as we strive to meet the goals of this research initiative. ISR was engaged in this Research Cooperative Agreement beginning 01 January 2003 and ending 31 January 2004. During this time ISR conducted efforts towards development of the ARTS II Computer Software Configuration Item (CSCI) version 4.0 by performing or developing the following: 1) Requirements Definition; 2) Software Design and Development; 3) Hardware In the Loop Simulation; 4) Unit Level testing; 5) Documentation.
Mackall, Dale A.
Engineers and scientists in the advanced fighter technology integration (AFTI) F-16 program investigated the integration of emerging technologies into an advanced fighter aircraft. AFTI's three major technologies included: flight-crucial digital control, decoupled aircraft flight control, and integration of avionics, flight control, and pilot displays. In addition to investigating improvements in fighter performance, researchers studied the generic problems confronting the designers of highly integrated flight-crucial digital control. An overview is provided of both the advantages and problems of integration digital control systems. Also, an examination of the specification, design, qualification, and flight test life-cycle phase is provided. An overview is given of the fault-tolerant design, multimoded decoupled flight control laws, and integrated avionics design. The approach to qualifying the software and system designs is discussed, and the effects of design choices on system qualification are highlighted.
Mackall, D. A.
The Advanced Flighter Technology Integration (AFTI) F-16 program is investigating the integration of emerging technologies into an advanced fighter aircraft. The three major technologies involved are the triplex digital flight control system; decoupled aircraft flight control; and integration of avionics, pilot displays, and flight control. In addition to investigating improvements in fighter performance, the AFTI/F-16 program provides a look at generic problems facing highly integrated, flight-crucial digital controls. An overview of the AFTI/F-16 systems is followed by a summary of flight test experience and recommendations.
Smolka, James W.
NASA-Ames' Highly Integrated Digital Electronic Control (HIDEC) flight test program aims to develop fully integrated airframe, propulsion, and flight control systems. The HIDEC F-15 adaptive engine control system flight test program has demonstrated that significant performance improvements are obtainable through the retention of stall-free engine operation throughout the aircraft flight and maneuver envelopes. The greatest thrust increase was projected for the medium-to-high altitude flight regime at subsonic speed which is of such importance to air combat. Adaptive engine control systems such as the HIDEC F-15's can be used to upgrade the performance of existing aircraft without resort to expensive reengining programs.
Wolverton, David A.; Dickson, Richard W.; Clinedinst, Winston C.; Slominski, Christopher J.
The flight software developed for the Flight Management/Flight Controls (FM/FC) MicroVAX computer used on the Transport Systems Research Vehicle for Advanced Transport Operating Systems (ATOPS) research is described. The FM/FC software computes navigation position estimates, guidance commands, and those commands issued to the control surfaces to direct the aircraft in flight. Various modes of flight are provided for, ranging from computer assisted manual modes to fully automatic modes including automatic landing. A high-level system overview as well as a description of each software module comprising the system is provided. Digital systems diagrams are included for each major flight control component and selected flight management functions.
Boskovic, Jovan D.; Knoebel, Nathan; Mehra, Raman K.; Gregory, Irene
In this paper we present an integrated approach to in-flight damage accommodation in flight control. The approach is based on Multiple Models, Switching and Tuning (MMST), and consists of three steps: In the first step the main objective is to acquire a realistic aircraft damage model. Modeling of in-flight damage is a highly complex problem since there is a large number of issues that need to be addressed. One of the most important one is that there is strong coupling between structural dynamics, aerodynamics, and flight control. These effects cannot be studied separately due to this coupling. Once a realistic damage model is available, in the second step a large number of models corresponding to different damage cases are generated. One possibility is to generate many linear models and interpolate between them to cover a large portion of the flight envelope. Once these models have been generated, we will implement a recently developed-Model Set Reduction (MSR) technique. The technique is based on parameterizing damage in terms of uncertain parameters, and uses concepts from robust control theory to arrive at a small number of "centered" models such that the controllers corresponding to these models assure desired stability and robustness properties over a subset in the parametric space. By devising a suitable model placement strategy, the entire parametric set is covered with a relatively small number of models and controllers. The third step consists of designing a Multiple Models, Switching and Tuning (MMST) strategy for estimating the current operating regime (damage case) of the aircraft, and switching to the corresponding controller to achieve effective damage accommodation and the desired performance. In the paper present a comprehensive approach to damage accommodation using Model Set Design,MMST, and Variable Structure compensation for coupling nonlinearities. The approach was evaluated on a model of F/A-18 aircraft dynamics under control effector damage
Stengel, Robert F.; Sircar, Subrata
A computer program is presented for facilitating the development and assessment of flight control systems, and application to a control design is discussed. The program is a computer-aided control-system design program based on direct digital synthesis of a proportional-integral-filter controller with scheduled linear-quadratic-Gaussian gains and command generator tracking of pilot inputs. The FlightCAD system concentrates on aircraft dynamics, flight-control systems, stability and performance, and has practical engineering applications.
Xu, Yunjun; Fitz-Coy, Norman; Mason, Paul
Physical constraints of any real system can have a drastic effect on its performance. Some of the more recognized constraints are actuator and sensor saturation and bandwidth, power consumption, sampling rate (sensor and control-loop) and computation limits. These constraints can degrade system s performance, such as settling time, overshoot, rising time, and stability margins. In order to address these issues, researchers have investigated the use of robust and nonlinear controllers that can incorporate uncertainty and constraints into a controller design. For instance, uncertainties can be addressed in the synthesis model used in such algorithms as H(sub infinity), or mu. There is a significant amount of literature addressing this type of problem. However, there is one constraint that has not often been considered; that is, actuator authority resolution. In this work, thruster resolution and controller schemes to compensate for this effect are investigated for position and attitude control of a Low Earth Orbit formation flight system In many academic problems, actuators are assumed to have infinite resolution. In real system applications, such as formation flight systems, the system actuators will not have infinite resolution. High-precision formation flying requires the relative position and the relative attitude to be controlled on the order of millimeters and arc-seconds, respectively. Therefore, the minimum force resolution is a significant concern in this application. Without the sufficient actuator resolution, the system may be unable to attain the required pointing and position precision control. Furthermore, fuel may be wasted due to high-frequency chattering phenomena when attempting to provide a fine control with inadequate actuators. To address this issue, a Sliding Mode Controller is developed along with the boundary Layer Control to provide the best control resolution constraints. A Genetic algorithm is used to optimize the controller parameters
Barrett, Ronald M.; Gross, R. Steven; Brozoski, Fred
A new type of subsonic missile flight control surface using piezoelectric flexspar actuators is presented. The flexspar design uses an aerodynamic shell which is pivoted at the quarter-chord about a graphite main spar. The shell is pitched up and down by a piezoelectric bender element which is rigidly attached to a base mount and allowed to rotate freely at the tip. The element curvature, shell pitch deflection and torsional stiffness are modeled using laminated plate theory. A one-third scale TOW 2B missile model was used as a demonstration platform. A static wing of the missile was replaced with an active flexspar wing. The 1' X 2.7' active flight control surface was powered by a bi-morph bender with 5-mil PZT-5H sheets. Bench and wind tunnel testing showed good correlation between theory and experiment and static pitch deflections in excess of +/- 14 degree(s). A natural frequency of 78.5 rad/s with a break frequency of 157 rad/s was measured. Wind tunnel tests revealed no flutter or divergence tendencies. Maximum changes in lift coefficient were measured at (Delta) CL equals +/- .73 which indicates that terminal and initial missile load factors may be increased by approximately 3.1 and 12.6 g's respectively, leading to a greatly reduced turn radius of only 2,400 ft.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Fullerton, C. Gordon; Stewart, James F.; Gilyard, Glenn B.; Conley, Joseph A.
Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) systems are digital electronic control systems undergoing development to provide limited maneuvering ability through variations of individual engine thrusts in multiple-engine airplanes. Provide landing capability when control surfaces inoperable. Incorporated on existing and future airplanes that include digital engine controls, digital flight controls, and digital data buses, adding no weight for additional hardware to airplane. Possible to handle total failure of hydraulic system, depending on how surfaces respond to loss of hydraulic pressure, and broken control cables or linkages. Future airplanes incorporate data from Global Positioning System for guidance to any suitable emergency runway in world.
Yonke, W. A.; Terrell, L. A.; Meyers, L. P.
The adaptive engine control system mode (ADECS) which is developed and tested on an F-15 aircraft with PW1128 engines, using the NASA sponsored highly integrated digital electronic control program, is examined. The operation of the ADECS mode, as well as the basic control logic, the avionic architecture, and the airframe/engine interface are described. By increasing engine pressure ratio (EPR) additional thrust is obtained at intermediate power and above. To modulate the amount of EPR uptrim and to prevent engine stall, information from the flight control system is used. The performance benefits, anticipated from control integration are shown for a range of flight conditions and power settings. It is found that at higher altitudes, the ADECS mode can increase thrust as much as 12 percent, which is used for improved acceleration, improved turn rate, or sustained turn angle.
This 48 - page Technology Transfer Report provides a case study of how water quality-based toxicity control procedures can be combined with chemical analyses and biological stream surveys to achieve more effective water pollution control. t describes how regulatory agencies used ...
Weiss, Jerold L.; Hsu, John Y.
The purpose of this study was to examine the complementary capabilities of several restructurable flight control system (RFCS) concepts through the integration of these technologies into a complete system. Performance issues were addressed through a re-examination of RFCS functional requirements, and through a qualitative analysis of the design issues that, if properly addressed during integration, will lead to the highest possible degree of fault-tolerant performance. Software developed under previous phases of this contract and under NAS1-18004 was modified and integrated into a complete RFCS subroutine for NASA's B-737 simulation. The integration of these modules involved the development of methods for dealing with the mismatch between the outputs of the failure detection module and the input requirements of the automatic control system redesign module. The performance of this demonstration system was examined through extensive simulation trials.
Bosworth, John T.
Objective: Provide validation of adaptive control law concepts through full scale flight evaluation. Technical Approach: a) Engage failure mode - destabilizing or frozen surface. b) Perform formation flight and air-to-air tracking tasks. Evaluate adaptive algorithm: a) Stability metrics. b) Model following metrics. Full scale flight testing provides an ability to validate different adaptive flight control approaches. Full scale flight testing adds credence to NASA's research efforts. A sustained research effort is required to remove the road blocks and provide adaptive control as a viable design solution for increased aircraft resilience.
Sitz, Joel R.; Vernon, Todd H.
Automated validation of flight-critical embedded systems is being done at ARC Dryden Flight Research Facility. The automated testing techniques are being used to perform closed-loop validation of man-rated flight control systems. The principal design features and operational experiences of the X-29 forward-swept-wing aircraft and F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV) automated test systems are discussed. Operationally applying automated testing techniques has accentuated flight control system features that either help or hinder the application of these techniques. The paper also discusses flight control system features which foster the use of automated testing techniques.
Ito, Daigoro; Georgie, Jennifer; Valasek, John; Ward, Donald T.
This report addresses issues in developing a flight control design for vehicles operating across a broad flight regime and with highly nonlinear physical descriptions of motion. Specifically it addresses the need for reentry vehicles that could operate through reentry from space to controlled touchdown on Earth. The latter part of controlled descent is achieved by parachute or paraglider - or by all automatic or a human-controlled landing similar to that of the Orbiter. Since this report addresses the specific needs of human-carrying (not necessarily piloted) reentry vehicles, it deals with highly nonlinear equations of motion, and then-generated control systems must be robust across a very wide range of physics. Thus, this report deals almost exclusively with some form of dynamic inversion (DI). Two vital aspects of control theory - noninteracting control laws and the transformation of nonlinear systems into equivalent linear systems - are embodied in DI. Though there is no doubt that the mathematical tools and underlying theory are widely available, there are open issues as to the practicality of using DI as the only or primary design approach for reentry articles. This report provides a set of guidelines that can be used to determine the practical usefulness of the technique.
This video collage provides several views of the robotic lander prototype during its second free flight test. The lander is captured in flight from overhead and side mounted cameras in high definit...
Painter, W. D.; Sitterle, G. J.
A flight evaluation was made of the mechanical hydraulic flight control system and the electrohydraulic stability augmentation system installed in the HL-10 lifting body research vehicle. Flight tests performed in the speed range from landing to a Mach number of 1.86 and the altitude range from 697 meters (2300 feet) to 27,550 meters (90,300 feet) were supplemented by ground tests to identify and correct structural resonance and limit-cycle problems. Severe limit-cycle and control sensitivity problems were encountered during the first flight. Stability augmentation system structural resonance electronic filters were modified to correct the limit-cycle problem. Several changes were made to control stick gearing to solve the control sensitivity problem. Satisfactory controllability was achieved by using a nonlinear system. A limit-cycle problem due to hydraulic fluid contamination was encountered during the first powered flight, but the problem did not recur after preflight operations were improved.
Loss of control in flight is among the highest aviation accident categories for both the number of accidents and the number of fatalities. The flight controls community is seeking an improved validation tools for safety critical flight control systems. Current validation tools rely heavily on linear analysis, which ignore the inherent nonlinear nature of the aircraft dynamics and flight control system. Specifically, current practices in validating the flight control system involve gridding the flight envelope and checking various criteria based on linear analysis to ensure safety of the flight control system. The analysis and certification methods currently applied assume the aircrafts' dynamics is linear. In reality, the behavior of the aircraft is always nonlinear due to its aerodynamic characteristics and physical limitations imposed by the actuators. This thesis develops nonlinear analysis tools capable of certifying flight control laws for nonlinear aircraft dynamics. The proposed analysis tools can handle both the aerodynamic nonlinearities and the physical limitations imposed by the actuators in the aircrafts' dynamics. This proposed validation technique will extend and enrich the predictive capability of existing flight control law validation methods to analyze nonlinearities. The objective of this thesis is to provide the flight control community with an advanced set of analysis tools to reduce aviation fatalities and accidents rate.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Fullerton, C. Gordon; Maine, Trindel A.
If normal aircraft flight controls are lost, emergency flight control may be attempted using only engines thrust. Collective thrust is used to control flightpath, and differential thrust is used to control bank angle. Flight test and simulation results on many airplanes have shown that pilot manipulation of throttles is usually adequate to maintain up-and-away flight, but is most often not capable of providing safe landings. There are techniques that will improve control and increase the chances of a survivable landing. This paper reviews the principles of throttles-only control (TOC), a history of accidents or incidents in which some or all flight controls were lost, manual TOC results for a wide range of airplanes from simulation and flight, and suggested techniques for flying with throttles only and making a survivable landing.
Lim, Kyong B.; Markley, F. Landis; Whorton, Mark S.
Several unique issues related to mated flight control have been broadly identified. These issues include redundancies in subsystems, controllability, command and control authority distribution, information flow across elements, and changes and variability in system characteristics due to variable mated configurations during operations. Architectural options for mated flight control are discussed in the context of evolving space systems.
Antoniewicz, Robert F.; Duke, Eugene L.; Menon, P. K. A.
The design of nonlinear controllers has relied on the use of detailed aerodynamic and engine models that must be associated with the control law in the flight system implementation. Many of these controllers were applied to vehicle flight path control problems and have attempted to combine both inner- and outer-loop control functions in a single controller. An approach to the nonlinear trajectory control problem is presented. This approach uses linearizing transformations with measurement feedback to eliminate the need for detailed aircraft models in outer-loop control applications. By applying this approach and separating the inner-loop and outer-loop functions two things were achieved: (1) the need for incorporating detailed aerodynamic models in the controller is obviated; and (2) the controller is more easily incorporated into existing aircraft flight control systems. An implementation of the controller is discussed, and this controller is tested on a six degree-of-freedom F-15 simulation and in flight on an F-15 aircraft. Simulation data are presented which validates this approach over a large portion of the F-15 flight envelope. Proof of this concept is provided by flight-test data that closely matches simulation results. Flight-test data are also presented.
Brown, Nelson A.
This video presentation reviews the F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System and contains clips of flight tests and aircraft performance in the areas of target tracking, takeoff and differential stabilators. Video of the APG milestone flight 1g formation is included.
Wells, Edward A.; Urnes, James M., Sr.
This report describes the design, development and flight testing of the Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) flight control system performed at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA), St. Louis, Missouri and at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards Air Force Base, California. This research and development program was conducted by MDA and directed by NASA through the Dryden Flight Research Facility for the period beginning January 1991 and ending December 1993. A propulsion steering backup to the aircraft conventional flight control system has been developed and flight demonstrated on a NASA F-15 test aircraft. The Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) flight system utilizes collective and differential thrust changes to steer an aircraft that experiences partial or complete failure of the hydraulically actuated control surfaces. The PCA flight control research has shown that propulsion steering is a viable backup flight control mode and can assist the pilot in safe landing recovery of a fighter aircraft that has damage to or loss of the flight control surfaces. NASA, USAF and Navy evaluation test pilots stated that the F-15 PCA design provided the control necessary to land the aircraft. Moreover, the feasibility study showed that PCA technology can be directly applied to transport aircraft and provide a major improvement in the survivability of passengers and crew of controls damaged aircraft.
Institute for Scientific Research, Inc. (ISR) is pleased to submit this closeout report for the Research Cooperative Agreement NCC4-00128 of accomplishments for the Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) Project. It has been a pleasure working with NASA and NASA partners as we strive to meet the goals of this research initiative. ISR was engaged in this Research Cooperative Agreement beginning March 3, 2001 and ending March 31, 2003. During this time, a great deal has been accomplished and plans have been solidified for the continued success of this program. Our primary areas of involvement include the following: 1) ARTS II Master Test Plan; 2) ARTS II Hardware Design and Development; 3) ARTS II Software Design and Development; 4) IFCS PID/BLNN/OLNN Development; 5) Performed Preliminary and Formal Testing; 6) Documentation and Reporting.
Weisshaar, T. A.
Aeroservoelastic optimization techniques were studied to determine a methodology for maximization of the stable flight envelope of an idealized, actively controlled, flexible airfoil. The equations of motion for the airfoil were developed in state-space form to include time-domain representations of aerodynamic forces and active control. The development of an optimization scheme to stabilize the aeroelastic system over a range of airspeeds, including the design airspeed is outlined. The solution approach was divided in two levels: (1) the airfoil structure, with a design variable represented by the shear center position; and (2) the control system. An objective was stated in mathematical form and a search was conducted with the restriction that each subsystem be constrained to be optimal in some sense. Analytical expressions are developed to compute the changes in the eigenvalues of the closed-loop, actively controlled system. A stability index is constructed to ensure that stability is present at the design speed and at other airspeeds away from the design speed.
Yuan, Hongchang; Jiang, Qingwu; Zhao, Genming; He, Na
The control of schistosomiasis has been spectacularly successful in terms of controlling endemicity and severity of the disease during the last 50 years. It can be categorized into two stages. From 1955 through 1980, the transmission-control strategy had been widely and successfully carried out. By the end of 1980, the epidemic of schistosomiasis was successfully circumscribed in certain core regions including areas at the middle and low reaches of the Yangtze River and some mountainous areas in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, where control of schistosomiasis had been demonstrated to be very difficult to be sustained. Therefore, since 1980, schistosomiasis control in China has been modified to employ a stepwise strategy, based on which morbidity control has been given priorities and if possible transmission control has been pursued. However, since snail-ridden areas remain unchanged so far, reinfections occur frequently. This necessitates a maintenance phase to consolidate the achievements in the control of schistosomiasis. In the mean time, we are challenged with some environmental, social and economical changes in terms of controlling schistosomiasis. Successfully controlling schistosomiasis in China is still a long-term task but will be achieved without doubt along with the economic development and the promotion of living and cultural standard of people. PMID:12426618
Barrett, Ron; Gross, R. Steven; Brozoski, Fred
A new type of subsonic missile flight control surface using piezoelectric flexspar actuators is presented. The flexspar design uses an aerodynamic shell which is pivoted at the quarter-chord about a graphite main spar. The shell is pitched up and down by a piezoelectric bender element which is rigidly attached to a base mount and allowed to rotate freely at the tip. The element curvature, shell pitch deflection and torsional stiffness are modeled using laminated plate theory. A one-third scale TOW 2B missile model was used as a demonstration platform. A static wing of the missile was replaced with an active flexspar wing. The 1 in 0964-1726/5/2/002/img1 2.7 in active flight control surface was powered by a bimorph bender with 5 mil PZT-5H sheets. Bench and wind tunnel testing showed good correlation between theory and experiment and static pitch deflections in excess of 0964-1726/5/2/002/img2. A natural frequency of 78.5 rad 0964-1726/5/2/002/img3 with a break frequency of 157 rad 0964-1726/5/2/002/img3 was measured. Wind tunnel tests revealed no flutter or divergence tendencies. Maximum changes in lift coefficient were measured at 0964-1726/5/2/002/img5 which indicates that terminal and initial missile load factors may be increased by approximately 3.1 and 12.6 g respectively, leading to a greatly reduced turn radius of only 2400 ft.
Williams-Hayes, Peggy S.
The NASA F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System project team has developed a series of flight control concepts designed to demonstrate the benefits of a neural network-based adaptive controller. The objective of the team was to develop and flight-test control systems that use neural network technology, to optimize the performance of the aircraft under nominal conditions, and to stabilize the aircraft under failure conditions. Failure conditions include locked or failed control surfaces as well as unforeseen damage that might occur to the aircraft in flight. The Intelligent Flight Control System team is currently in the process of implementing a second generation control scheme, collectively known as Generation 2 or Gen 2, for flight testing on the NASA F-15 aircraft. This report describes the Gen 2 system as implemented by the team for flight test evaluation. Simulation results are shown which describe the experiment to be performed in flight and highlight the ways in which the Gen 2 system meets the defined objectives.
Davidson, J. B.; Schmidt, D. K.
The use of eigenspace assignment techniques to synthesize flight control systems for flexible aircraft is explored. Eigenspace assignment techniques are used to achieve a specified desired eigenspace, chosen to yield desirable system impulse residue magnitudes for selected system responses. Two of these are investigated. The first directly determines constant measurement feedback gains that will yield a close-loop system eigenspace close to a desired eigenspace. The second technique selects quadratic weighting matrices in a linear quadratic control synthesis that will asymptotically yield the close-loop achievable eigenspace. Finally, the possibility of using either of these techniques with state estimation is explored. Application of the methods to synthesize integrated flight-control and structural-mode-control laws for a large flexible aircraft is demonstrated and results discussed. Eigenspace selection criteria based on design goals are discussed, and for the study case it would appear that a desirable eigenspace can be obtained. In addition, the importance of state-space selection is noted along with problems with reduced-order measurement feedback. Since the full-state control laws may be implemented with dynamic compensation (state estimation), the use of reduced-order measurement feedback is less desirable. This is especially true since no change in the transient response from the pilot's input results if state estimation is used appropriately. The potential is also noted for high actuator bandwidth requirements if the linear quadratic synthesis approach is utilized. Even with the actuator pole location selected, a problem with unmodeled modes is noted due to high bandwidth. Some suggestions for future research include investigating how to choose an eigenspace that will achieve certain desired dynamics and stability robustness, determining how the choice of measurements effects synthesis results, and exploring how the phase relationships between desired
Bright, Michelle M.; Simon, Donald L.
A new flight simulation facility was developed at NASA-Lewis. The purpose of this flight simulator is to allow integrated propulsion control and flight control algorithm development and evaluation in real time. As a preliminary check of the simulator facility capabilities and correct integration of its components, the control design and physics models for a short take-off and vertical landing fighter aircraft model were shown, with their associated system integration and architecture, pilot vehicle interfaces, and display symbology. The initial testing and evaluation results show that this fixed based flight simulator can provide real time feedback and display of both airframe and propulsion variables for validation of integrated flight and propulsion control systems. Additionally, through the use of this flight simulator, various control design methodologies and cockpit mechanizations can be tested and evaluated in a real time environment.
Murch, Austin M.
A flight control system architecture for the NASA AirSTAR infrastructure has been designed to address the challenges associated with safe and efficient flight testing of research control laws in adverse flight conditions. The AirSTAR flight control system provides a flexible framework that enables NASA Aviation Safety Program research objectives, and includes the ability to rapidly integrate and test research control laws, emulate component or sensor failures, inject automated control surface perturbations, and provide a baseline control law for comparison to research control laws and to increase operational efficiency. The current baseline control law uses an angle of attack command augmentation system for the pitch axis and simple stability augmentation for the roll and yaw axes.
Chou, Hwei-Lan; Biezad, Daniel J.
Longitudinal control system architectures which directly couple flight stick motions to throttle commands for a multi-engine aircraft are presented. This coupling enables positive attitude control with complete failure of the flight control system. The architectures chosen vary from simple feedback gains to classical lead-lag compensators with and without prefilters. Each architecture is reviewed for its appropriateness for piloted flight. The control systems are then analyzed with pilot-in-the-loop metrics related to bandwidth required for landing. Results indicate that current and proposed bandwidth requirements should be modified for throttles-only flight control. Pilot ratings consistently showed better ratings than predicted by analysis. Recommendations are made for more robust design and implementation. The use of quantitative feedback theory for compensator design is discussed. Although simple and effective augmented control can be achieved in a wide variety of failed configurations, a few configuration characteristics are dominant for pilot-in-the-loop control.
The Johnson Space Center s (JSC) International Space Station (ISS) Space Flight Resource Management (SFRM) training program is designed to teach the team skills required to be an effective flight controller. It was adapted from the SFRM training given to Shuttle flight controllers to fit the needs of a "24 hours a day/365 days a year" flight controller. More recently, the length reduction of technical training flows for ISS flight controllers impacted the number of opportunities for fully integrated team scenario based training, where most SFRM training occurred. Thus, the ISS SFRM training program is evolving yet again, using a new approach of teaching and evaluating SFRM alongside of technical materials. Because there are very few models in other industries that have successfully tied team and technical skills together, challenges are arising. Despite this, the Mission Operations Directorate of NASA s JSC is committed to implementing this integrated training approach because of the anticipated benefits.
Mihaloew, James R.; Drummond, Colin K.
The United States is in the initial stages of committing to a national program to develop a supersonic short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. The goal of the propulsion community in this effort is to have the enabling propulsion technologies for this type aircraft in place to permit a low risk decision regarding the initiation of a research STOVL supersonic attack/fighter aircraft in the late mid-90's. This technology will effectively integrate, enhance, and extend the supersonic cruise, STOVL and fighter/attack programs to enable U.S. industry to develop a revolutionary supersonic short takeoff and vertical landing fighter/attack aircraft in the post-ATF period. A joint NASA Lewis and NASA Ames research program, with the objective of developing and validating technology for integrated-flight propulsion control design methodologies for short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft, was planned and is underway. This program, the NASA Supersonic STOVL Integrated Flight-Propulsion Controls Program, is a major element of the overall NASA-Lewis Supersonic STOVL Propulsion Technology Program. It uses an integrated approach to develop an integrated program to achieve integrated flight-propulsion control technology. Essential elements of the integrated controls research program are realtime simulations of the integrated aircraft and propulsion systems which will be used in integrated control concept development and evaluations. This paper describes pertinent parts of the research program leading up to the related realtime simulation development and remarks on the simulation structure to accommodate propulsion system hardware drop-in for real system evaluation.
Baer-Riedhart, Jennifer L.; Landy, Robert J.
The highly integrated digital electronic control (HIDEC) program at NASA Ames Research Center, Dryden Flight Research Facility is a multiphase flight research program to quantify the benefits of promising integrated control systems. McDonnell Aircraft Company is the prime contractor, with United Technologies Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, and Lear Siegler Incorporated as major subcontractors. The NASA F-15A testbed aircraft was modified by the HIDEC program by installing a digital electronic flight control system (DEFCS) and replacing the standard F100 (Arab 3) engines with F100 engine model derivative (EMD) engines equipped with digital electronic engine controls (DEEC), and integrating the DEEC's and DEFCS. The modified aircraft provides the capability for testing many integrated control modes involving the flight controls, engine controls, and inlet controls. This paper focuses on the first two phases of the HIDEC program, which are the digital flight control system/aircraft model identification (DEFCS/AMI) phase and the adaptive engine control system (ADECS) phase.
Iliff, Kenneth W.; Shafer, Mary F.
The Space Shuttle Orbiter has provided unique and important information on aircraft flight dynamics. This information has provided the opportunity to assess the flight-derived stability and control derivatives for maneuvering flight in the hypersonic regime. In the case of the Space Shuttle Orbiter, these derivatives are required to determine if certain configuration placards (limitations on the flight envelope) can be modified. These placards were determined on the basis of preflight predictions and the associated uncertainties. As flight-determined derivatives are obtained, the placards are reassessed, and some of them are removed or modified. Extraction of the stability and control derivatives was justified by operational considerations and not by research considerations. Using flight results to update the predicted database of the orbiter is one of the most completely documented processes for a flight vehicle. This process followed from the requirement for analysis of flight data for control system updates and for expansion of the operational flight envelope. These results show significant changes in many important stability and control derivatives from the preflight database. This paper presents some of the stability and control derivative results obtained from Space Shuttle flights. Some of the limitations of this information are also examined.
Tischler, Mark B.
System-identification methods compose a mathematical model, or series of models, from measurements of inputs and outputs of dynamic systems. The extracted models allow the characterization of the response of the overall aircraft or component subsystem behavior, such as actuators and on-board signal processing algorithms. This paper discusses the use of frequency-domain system-identification methods for the development and integration of aircraft flight-control systems. The extraction and analysis of models of varying complexity from nonparametric frequency-responses to transfer-functions and high-order state-space representations is illustrated using the Comprehensive Identification from FrEquency Responses (CIFER) system-identification facility. Results are presented for test data of numerous flight and simulation programs at the Ames Research Center including rotorcraft, fixed-wing aircraft, advanced short takeoff and vertical landing (ASTOVL), vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL), tiltrotor aircraft, and rotor experiments in the wind tunnel. Excellent system characterization and dynamic response prediction is achieved for this wide class of systems. Examples illustrate the role of system-identification technology in providing an integrated flow of dynamic response data around the entire life-cycle of aircraft development from initial specifications, through simulation and bench testing, and into flight-test optimization.
Bahm, Catherine; Baumann, Ethan; Martin, John; Bose, David; Beck, Roger E.; Strovers, Brian
The objective of the Hyper-X program was to flight demonstrate an airframe-integrated hypersonic vehicle. On March 27, 2004, the Hyper-X program team successfully conducted flight 2 and achieved all of the research objectives. The Hyper-X research vehicle successfully separated from the Hyper-X launch vehicle and achieved the desired engine test conditions before the experiment began. The research vehicle rejected the disturbances caused by the cowl door opening and the fuel turning on and off and maintained the engine test conditions throughout the experiment. After the engine test was complete, the vehicle recovered and descended along a trajectory while performing research maneuvers. The last data acquired showed that the vehicle maintained control to the water. This report will provide an overview of the research vehicle guidance and control systems and the performance of the vehicle during the separation event and engine test. The research maneuvers were performed to collect data for aerodynamics and flight controls research. This report also will provide an overview of the flight controls related research and results.
Analytical aerodynamic models are derived from a high alpha 6 DOF wind tunnel model. One detail model requires some interpolation between nonlinear functions of alpha. One analytical model requires no interpolation and as such is a completely continuous model. Flight path optimization is conducted on the basic maneuvers: half-loop, 90 degree pitch-up, and level turn. The optimal control analysis uses the derived analytical model in the equations of motion and is based on both moment and force equations. The maximum principle solution for the half-loop is poststall trajectory performing the half-loop in 13.6 seconds. The agility induced by thrust vectoring capability provided a minimum effect on reducing the maneuver time. By means of thrust vectoring control the 90 degrees pitch-up maneuver can be executed in a small place over a short time interval. The agility capability of thrust vectoring is quite beneficial for pitch-up maneuvers. The level turn results are based currently on only outer layer solutions of singular perturbation. Poststall solutions provide high turn rates but generate higher losses of energy than that of classical sustained solutions.
Moes, Tim; Smith, Mark; Morelli, Gene
A flight test on an F-15 airplane was performed to evaluate the utility of prescribed simultaneous independent surface excitations (PreSISE) for real-time estimation of flight-control parameters, including stability and control derivatives. The ability to extract these derivatives in nearly real time is needed to support flight demonstration of intelligent flight-control system (IFCS) concepts under development at NASA, in academia, and in industry. Traditionally, flight maneuvers have been designed and executed to obtain estimates of stability and control derivatives by use of a post-flight analysis technique. For an IFCS, it is required to be able to modify control laws in real time for an aircraft that has been damaged in flight (because of combat, weather, or a system failure). The flight test included PreSISE maneuvers, during which all desired control surfaces are excited simultaneously, but at different frequencies, resulting in aircraft motions about all coordinate axes. The objectives of the test were to obtain data for post-flight analysis and to perform the analysis to determine: 1) The accuracy of derivatives estimated by use of PreSISE, 2) The required durations of PreSISE inputs, and 3) The minimum required magnitudes of PreSISE inputs. The PreSISE inputs in the flight test consisted of stacked sine-wave excitations at various frequencies, including symmetric and differential excitations of canard and stabilator control surfaces and excitations of aileron and rudder control surfaces of a highly modified F-15 airplane. Small, medium, and large excitations were tested in 15-second maneuvers at subsonic, transonic, and supersonic speeds. Typical excitations are shown in Figure 1. Flight-test data were analyzed by use of pEst, which is an industry-standard output-error technique developed by Dryden Flight Research Center. Data were also analyzed by use of Fourier-transform regression (FTR), which was developed for onboard, real-time estimation of the
Regenie, Victoria A.; Chacon, Claude V.; Lock, Wilton P.
Flight control systems have undergone a revolution since the days of simple mechanical linkages; presently the most advanced systems are full-authority, full-time digital systems controlling unstable aircraft. With the use of advanced control systems, the aerodynamic design can incorporate features that allow greater performance and fuel savings, as can be seen on the new Airbus design and advanced tactical fighter concepts. These advanced aircraft will be and are relying on the flight control system to provide the stability and handling qualities required for safe flight and to allow the pilot to control the aircraft. Various design philosophies have been proposed and followed to investigate system architectures for these advanced flight control systems. One major area of discussion is whether a multichannel digital control system should be synchronous or asynchronous. This paper addressed the flight experience at the Dryden Flight Research Facility of NASA's Ames Research Center with both synchronous and asynchronous digital flight control systems. Four different flight control systems are evaluated against criteria such as software reliability, cost increases, and schedule delays.
Tanaka, Futoshi; Ohmi, Toshiatsu; Kuroda, Shigeaki; Hirasawa, Kazuhiro
In this paper, we show an approach to elucidate the free flight of an insect using a simulation. We modeled a fly, Drosophila, by using aerodynamics, body dynamics, and control theory. The modeled virtual insect performs free flight in virtual space generated by a computer. We simulated the free flight of a virtual insect having two dimensions and two degrees of freedom. The flight pass and flight velocity of the virtual insect during a free flight were calculated by Newton’s equations of motion. The aerodynamic force generated by the flapping motion of the virtual insect was estimated by using the blade element theory. An optimal regulator theory was used as a control law. The flight pass from the initial position to the target position and the wing motion was obtained from the results of the free flight simulation of the virtual insect. We can presume the wing motion of an insect in free flight by using the flight simulation of a virtual insect. These results have suggested that the approach based on the simulation is effective in elucidating the free flight of an insect.
Cox, K. J.; Daly, K. C.; Hattis, P. D.
Experience gained through the Shuttle Orbital Flight Test program has matured the engineering understanding of the Shuttle on-orbit control system. The geneology of the control systems (called digital autopilots, or DAPs, and used by the Shuttle for on-orbit operations) is reviewed, the flight experience gained during the flight test program is examined within the context of preflight analysis and test results, and issues for the operational phase of the Shuttle, including constraints upon both operations and analysis still required to increase confidence in the Shuttle's ability to handle capabilities not experienced during the flight test program are addressed. Two orbital autopilots have resulted from computer memory and time constraints on a flight control system, with many different, flight phase unique requirements. The transition DAP, used for insertion and deorbit, has more active sensors and redundancy but a less complex data processing scheme excluding state estimation with fewer choices of operational mode.
This viewgraph presentation describes NASA's guidance navigation and control flight software development background. The contents include: 1) NASA/Goddard Guidance Navigation and Control (GN&C) Flight Software (FSW) Development Background; 2) GN&C FSW Development Improvement Concepts; and 3) GN&C FSW Application Framework.
Hall, Robert; Kirchwey, Kim; Martin, Michael; Rosch, Gene; Zimpfer, Douglas
When the Space Shuttle Endeavour undocked from the Zarya/Unity configuration on STS-88 it marked the completion of the most challenging shuttle mission to date and the beginning of an enormous task of assembling the International Space Station. The flight offered an array of complex dynamics and control related challenges to mate the American module 'Unity' to the Russian module 'Zarya'. Capability demonstrated on the flight included closed-loop thruster control in the presence of low frequency structural dynamics and mated-vehicle translational maneuvers in the presence of structural loads and thruster hardware constraints. The flight was a complete success from all aspects. This paper will give an overview of the flight control challenges encountered and the actual control performance observed for the on-orbit operations. Included will be the shuttle analysis and filtering strategies to ensure control system stability in the presence of low frequency flex-body dynamics.
Hess, R. A.; Siwakosit, W.; Chung, J.
A technique for the design of flight control systems that can accommodate a set of actuator failures is presented. As employed herein, an actuator failure is defined as any change in the parametric model of the actuator which can adversely affect actuator performance. The technique is based upon the formulation of a fixed feedback topology which ensures at least stability in the presence of the failures in the set. The fixed compensation is obtained from a loop-shaping design procedure similar to Quantitative Feedback Theory and provides stability robustness in the presence of uncertainty in the vehicle dynamics caused by the failures. System adaptation to improve performance after actuator failure(s) occurs through a static gain adjustment in the compensator followed by modification of the system prefilter. Precise identification of the vehicle dynamics is unnecessary. Application to a single-input, single-output design using a simplified model of the longitudinal dynamics of the NASA High Angle of Attack Research Vehicle is discussed. Non-real time simulations of the system including a model of the pilot demonstrate the effectiveness and limitations of the approach.
Goodrich, Kenneth H.; Schutte, Paul C.; Williams, Ralph A.
The rapidly advancing capabilities of autonomous aircraft suggest a future where many of the responsibilities of today s pilot transition to the vehicle, transforming the pilot s job into something akin to driving a car or simply being a passenger. Notionally, this transition will reduce the specialized skills, training, and attention required of the human user while improving safety and performance. However, our experience with highly automated aircraft highlights many challenges to this transition including: lack of automation resilience; adverse human-automation interaction under stress; and the difficulty of developing certification standards and methods of compliance for complex systems performing critical functions traditionally performed by the pilot (e.g., sense and avoid vs. see and avoid). Recognizing these opportunities and realities, researchers at NASA Langley are developing a haptic-multimodal flight control (HFC) system concept that can serve as a bridge between today s state of the art aircraft that are highly automated but have little autonomy and can only be operated safely by highly trained experts (i.e., pilots) to a future in which non-experts (e.g., drivers) can safely and reliably use autonomous aircraft to perform a variety of missions. This paper reviews the motivation and theoretical basis of the HFC system, describes its current state of development, and presents results from two pilot-in-the-loop simulation studies. These preliminary studies suggest the HFC reshapes human-automation interaction in a way well-suited to revolutionary ease-of-use.
Smaili, H.; Breeman, J.; Lombaerts, T.; Stroosma, O.
A large transport aircraft simulation benchmark (REconfigurable COntrol for Vehicle Emergency Return - RECOVER) has been developed within the GARTEUR (Group for Aeronautical Research and Technology in Europe) Flight Mechanics Action Group 16 (FM-AG(16)) on Fault Tolerant Control (2004 2008) for the integrated evaluation of fault detection and identification (FDI) and reconfigurable flight control strategies. The benchmark includes a suitable set of assessment criteria and failure cases, based on reconstructed accident scenarios, to assess the potential of new adaptive control strategies to improve aircraft survivability. The application of reconstruction and modeling techniques, based on accident flight data, has resulted in high-fidelity nonlinear aircraft and fault models to evaluate new Fault Tolerant Flight Control (FTFC) concepts and their real-time performance to accommodate in-flight failures.
Chubb, W. B.; Kennel, H. F.; Rupp, C. C.; Seltzer, S. M.
In 1967 a paper at the AIAA Guidance, Control and Flight Dynamics Conference in Huntsville, Ala. presented for the first time the prot)osed SKYLAB Attitude and Pointing Control System (APCS) The system requirements, Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) configuration, control philosophy, and operational modes were presented and the APCS described. The Initial mission and system design requirements changed during the period of time before the SKYLAB was launched. This paper will review the Initial and final APCS requirements and goals and their relationship. The actual flight mission (and Its alterations during the flight) and known achieved APCS performance will then be presented. SKYLAB was a tremendous success in furthering man's scientific knowledge; but perhaps SKYLAB will be remembered more for the anomalies and the efforts undertaken to solve them. On May 14, 1973, the unmanned SKYLAB Orbital Workshop (OWS) was launched from Cape Kennedy. Serious hardware failures began to occur during ascent through the atmosphere and their spectre continued to haunt both the astronauts and their ground based support team. Nor were these the only surprises affecting the design and operation of the APCS. Mission requirements for pointing to various stellar targets and to nadir for earth resources experiments were added after the hardware was designed. The chance appearance of comet Kohoutek during the SKYLAB operational life-time caused NASA to add comet observation to the mission requirements and to adjust the time when the third crew would man the SKYLAB. The development of new procedures and software for the opportunity to observe this visitor to our solar system is described.
Jang, Jiann-Woei; Alaniz, Abran; Hall, Robert; Bedossian, Nazareth; Hall, Charles; Jackson, Mark
A launch vehicle represents a complicated flex-body structural environment for flight control system design. The Ascent-vehicle Stability Analysis Tool (ASAT) is developed to address the complicity in design and analysis of a launch vehicle. The design objective for the flight control system of a launch vehicle is to best follow guidance commands while robustly maintaining system stability. A constrained optimization approach takes the advantage of modern computational control techniques to simultaneously design multiple control systems in compliance with required design specs. "Tower Clearance" and "Load Relief" designs have been achieved for liftoff and max dynamic pressure flight regions, respectively, in the presence of large wind disturbances. The robustness of the flight control system designs has been verified in the frequency domain Monte Carlo analysis using ASAT.
Washburn, D. A.; Rumbaugh, D. M.; Richardson, W. K.; Gulledge, J. P.; Shlyk, G. G.; Vasilieva, O. N.
A total of 25 young monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were trained with the Psychomotor Test System, a package of software tasks and computer hardware developed for spaceflight research with nonhuman primates. Two flight monkeys and two control monkeys were selected from this pool and performed a psychomotor task before and after the Bion 11 flight or a ground-control period. Monkeys from both groups showed significant disruption in performance after the 14-day flight or simulation (plus one anesthetized day of biopsies and other tests), and this disruption appeared to be magnified for the flight animal.
Motter, Mark A.; High, James W.
A successful flight test and training campaign of the NASA Flying Controls Testbed was conducted at Naval Outlying Field, Webster Field, MD during 2008. Both the prop and jet-powered versions of the subscale, remotely piloted testbeds were used to test representative experimental flight controllers. These testbeds were developed by the Subsonic Fixed Wing Project s emphasis on new flight test techniques. The Subsonic Fixed Wing Project is under the Fundamental Aeronautics Program of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD). The purpose of these testbeds is to quickly and inexpensively evaluate advanced concepts and experimental flight controls, with applications to adaptive control, system identification, novel control effectors, correlation of subscale flight tests with wind tunnel results, and autonomous operations. Flight tests and operator training were conducted during four separate series of tests during April, May, June and August 2008. Experimental controllers were engaged and disengaged during fully autonomous flight in the designated test area. Flaps and landing gear were deployed by commands from the ground control station as unanticipated disturbances. The flight tests were performed NASA personnel with support from the Maritime Unmanned Development and Operations (MUDO) team of the Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division
From NASAâs International Space Station Mission Control Center Todd Quasny, ODIN Flight Controller, participates in a Digital Learning Network (DLN) event with students at Northeast Nodaway Eleme...
From NASAâs International Space Station Mission Control Center ODIN Flight Controller Amy Brezinski participates in a Digital Learning Network (DLN) event with students at Coppell Middle School i...
Wacker, Roger; Munday, Steve; Merkle, Scott
This paper summarizes the application of a nonlinear dynamic inversion (DI) flight control system (FCS) to an autonomous flight test vehicle in NASA's X-38 Project, a predecessor to the International Space Station (ISS) Crew Return Vehicle (CRV). Honeywell's Multi-Application Control-H (MACH) is a parameterized FCS design architecture including both model-based DI rate-compensation and classical P+I command-tracking. MACH was adopted by X-38 in order to shorten the design cycle time for different vehicle shapes and flight envelopes and evolving aerodynamic databases. Specific design issues and analysis results are presented for the application of MACH to the 3rd free flight (FF3) of X-38 Vehicle 132 (V132). This B-52 drop test, occurring on March 30, 2000, represents the first flight test of MACH and one of the first few known applications of DI in the primary FCS of an autonomous flight test vehicle.
Berthe, C. J.; Chalk, C. R.; Sarrafian, S.
The degree of attitude control provided by current integral-proportional pitch rate command-type control systems, while a prerequisite for flared landing, is insufficient for 'Level 1' performance. The pilot requires 'surrogate' feedback cues to precisely control flight path in the landing flare. Monotonic stick forces and pilot station vertical acceleration are important cues which can be provided by means of angle-of-attack and pitch rate feedback in order to achieve conventional short period and phugoid characteristics. Integral-proportional pitch rate flight control systems can be upgraded to Level 1 flared landing performance by means of lead/lag and washout prefilters in the command path. Strong pilot station vertical acceleration cues can provide Level 1 flared landing performance even in the absence of monotonic stick forces.
Kehoe, Michael W.; Bjarke, Lisa J.; Laurie, Edward J.
This paper presents the details of an aeroservoelastic interaction experienced in flight by the X-29A forward-swept-wing aircraft. A 26.5-Hz canard pitch-mode response was aliased by the digital sampling rate in the canard-position feed-back loop of the flight-control system, resulting in a 13.5-Hz signal being commanded to the longitudinal control surfaces. The amplitude of this commanded signal increased as the wear of the canard seals increased, as the feedback path gains were increased, and as the canard aerodynamic loading decreased. The resultant control-surface deflections were of sufficient amplitude to excite the structure. The flight data presented shows the effect of each component (structural dynamics, aerodynamics, and flight-control system) for this aeroservoelastic interaction.
Hewes, Donald E.
A free-flight investigation of two radio-controlled models with parawings, a glider configuration and an airplane (powered) configuration, was made to evaluate the performance, stability, and methods of controlling parawing vehicles. The flight tests showed that the models were stable and could be controlled either by shifting the center of gravity or by using conventional elevator and rudder control surfaces. Static wind-tunnel force-test data were also obtained.
Pahle, Joe W.
This viewgraph presentation describes the adaptive and intelligent control methods used for aircraft survival. The contents include: 1) Motivation for Adaptive Control; 2) Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control Project; 3) Full-scale Flight Assets in Use for IRAC; 4) NASA NF-15B Tail Number 837; 5) Gen II Direct Adaptive Control Architecture; 6) Limited Authority System; and 7) 837 Flight Experiments. A simulated destabilization failure analysis along with experience and lessons learned are also presented.
Motter, Mark A.; Logan, Michael J.; French, Michael L.; Guerreiro, Nelson M.
The NASA Flying Controls Testbed (FLiC) is a relatively small and inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicle developed specifically to test highly experimental flight control approaches. The most recent version of the FLiC is configured with 16 independent aileron segments, supports the implementation of C-coded experimental controllers, and is capable of fully autonomous flight from takeoff roll to landing, including flight test maneuvers. The test vehicle is basically a modified Army target drone, AN/FQM-117B, developed as part of a collaboration between the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) at Fort Eustis, Virginia and NASA Langley Research Center. Several vehicles have been constructed and collectively have flown over 600 successful test flights, including a fully autonomous demonstration at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) UAV Demo 2005. Simulations based on wind tunnel data are being used to further develop advanced controllers for implementation and flight test.
Gregory, Irene M.; Xargay, Enric; Cao, Chengyu; Hovakimyan, Naira
This paper presents new results of a flight test of the L1 adaptive control architecture designed to directly compensate for significant uncertain cross-coupling in nonlinear systems. The flight test was conducted on the subscale turbine powered Generic Transport Model that is an integral part of the Airborne Subscale Transport Aircraft Research system at the NASA Langley Research Center. The results presented include control law evaluation for piloted offset landing tasks as well as results in support of nonlinear aerodynamic modeling and real-time dynamic modeling of the departure-prone edges of the flight envelope.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Gilyard, Glenn B.; Gelhausen, Paul A.
Integration of propulsion and flight control systems will provide significant performance improvements for supersonic transport airplanes. Increased engine thrust and reduced fuel consumption can be obtained by controlling engine stall margin as a function of flight and engine operating conditions. Improved inlet pressure recovery and decreased inlet drag can result from inlet control system integration. Using propulsion system forces and moments to augment the flight control system and airplane stability can reduce the flight control surface and tail size, weight, and drag. Special control modes may also be desirable for minimizing community noise and for emergency procedures. The overall impact of integrated controls on the takeoff gross weight for a generic high speed civil transport is presented.
Kelly, James R.; Person, Lee H., Jr.; Bruce, Kevin R.
This paper describes some of the unique features of an integrated throttle-elevator control law known as the Total Energy Control System (TECS) which has been flight tested on NASA Langley's Transport Systems Research Vehicle. The TECS concept is designed around total energy principles. It utilizes a full-time autothrottle to control the total energy of the aircraft and the elevator to distribute the energy between speed and flight path objectives. Time histories of selected parameters generated from flight data are used to illustrate the pilot-like control strategy of the system and the priority logic employed when throttle limiting is encountered.
Schmidt, D. K.; Innocenti, M.
An optimal control-law synthesis approach is presented that involves simultaneous solution for two cooperating controllers operating in parallel. One controller's structure includes stochastic state estimation and linear feedback of the state estimates, while the other controller involves direct linear feedback of selected system output measurements. This structure is shown to be optimal under the constraint of linear feedback of system outputs in one controller. Furthermore, it is appropriate for flight control synthesis where the full-state optimal stochastic controller can be adjusted to be representative of an optimal control model of the human pilot in a stochastic regulation task. The method is experimentally verified in the case of the selection of pitch-damper gain for optimum pitch tracking, where optimum implies the best subjective pilot rating in the task. Finally, results from application of the method to synthesize a controller for a multivariable fighter aircraft are presented, and implications of the results of this method regarding the optimal plant dynamics for tracking are discussed.
A viewgraph presentation on the lessons learned and flight results from the F15 Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) project is shown. The topics include: 1) F-15 IFCS Project Goals; 2) Motivation; 3) IFCS Approach; 4) NASA F-15 #837 Aircraft Description; 5) Flight Envelope; 6) Limited Authority System; 7) NN Floating Limiter; 8) Flight Experiment; 9) Adaptation Goals; 10) Handling Qualities Performance Metric; 11) Project Phases; 12) Indirect Adaptive Control Architecture; 13) Indirect Adaptive Experience and Lessons Learned; 14) Gen II Direct Adaptive Control Architecture; 15) Current Status; 16) Effect of Canard Multiplier; 17) Simulated Canard Failure Stab Open Loop; 18) Canard Multiplier Effect Closed Loop Freq. Resp.; 19) Simulated Canard Failure Stab Open Loop with Adaptation; 20) Canard Multiplier Effect Closed Loop with Adaptation; 21) Gen 2 NN Wts from Simulation; 22) Direct Adaptive Experience and Lessons Learned; and 23) Conclusions
Bevacqoa, Tim; Adams, Tony; Zhu. J. Jim; Rao, P. Prabhakara
Flight control of small crew return vehicles during atmospheric reentry will be an important technology in any human space flight mission undertaken in the future. The control system presented in this paper is applicable to small crew return vehicles in which reaction control system (RCS) thrusters are the only actuators available for attitude control. The control system consists of two modules: (i) the attitude controller using the trajectory linearization control (TLC) technique, and (ii) the reaction control system (RCS) control allocation module using a dynamic table-lookup technique. This paper describes the design and implementation of the TLC attitude control and the dynamic table-lookup RCS control allocation for nonimal flight along with design verification test results.
Nájera, J A
Even if history has not always been the Magistra vitae, Cicero expected it to be, it should provide, as Baas said, a mirror in which to observe and compare the past and present in order to draw therefrom well-grounded conclusions for the future. Based on this belief, this paper aims to provide an overview of the foundations and development of malaria control policies during the XX century. It presents an analysis of the conflicting tendencies which shaped the development of these policies and which appear to have oscillated between calls for frontal attack in an all-out campaign and calls for sustainable gains, even if slow. It discusses the various approaches to the control of malaria, their achievements and their limitations, not only to serve as a background to understand better the foundations of current policies, but also to prevent that simplistic generalisations may again lead to exaggerated expectations and disillusion. The first part of the paper is devoted to the development of malaria control during the first half of the century, characterised by the ups and downs in the reliance on mosquito control as the control measure applicable everywhere. The proliferation of "man-made-malaria", which accompanied the push for economic development in most of the endemic countries, spurred the need for control interventions and, while great successes were obtained in many specific projects, the general campaigns proposed by the enthusiasts of vector control faced increasing difficulties in their practical implementation in the field. Important events, which may be considered representative of this period are, on the campaign approach, the success of Gorgas in the Panama Canal, but also the failure of the Mian Mir project in India; while on the developmental approach, the Italian and Dutch schools of malariology, the Tennessee Valley and the development of malaria sanitation, included the so called species sanitation. The projection of these developments to a global
Murch, Austin M.; Cox, David E.; Cunningham, Kevin
The NASA AirSTAR system has been designed to address the challenges associated with safe and efficient subscale flight testing of research control laws in adverse flight conditions. In this paper, software elements of this system are described, with an emphasis on components which allow for rapid prototyping and deployment of aircraft control laws. Through model-based design and automatic coding a common code-base is used for desktop analysis, piloted simulation and real-time flight control. The flight control system provides the ability to rapidly integrate and test multiple research control laws and to emulate component or sensor failures. Integrated integrity monitoring systems provide aircraft structural load protection, isolate the system from control algorithm failures, and monitor the health of telemetry streams. Finally, issues associated with software configuration management and code modularity are briefly discussed.
This study investigates a hybrid adaptive flight control method as a design possibility for a flight control system that can enable an effective adaptation strategy to deal with off-nominal flight conditions. The hybrid adaptive control blends both direct and indirect adaptive control in a model inversion flight control architecture. The blending of both direct and indirect adaptive control provides a much more flexible and effective adaptive flight control architecture than that with either direct or indirect adaptive control alone. The indirect adaptive control is used to update the model inversion controller by an on-line parameter estimation of uncertain plant dynamics based on two methods. The first parameter estimation method is an indirect adaptive law based on the Lyapunov theory, and the second method is a recursive least-squares indirect adaptive law. The model inversion controller is therefore made to adapt to changes in the plant dynamics due to uncertainty. As a result, the modeling error is reduced that directly leads to a decrease in the tracking error. In conjunction with the indirect adaptive control that updates the model inversion controller, a direct adaptive control is implemented as an augmented command to further reduce any residual tracking error that is not entirely eliminated by the indirect adaptive control.
A proof-of-concept hand controller for controlling lateral and longitudinal cyclic pitch, collective pitch and tail rotor thrust was developed. The purpose of the work was to address problems of operator fatigue, poor proprioceptive feedback and cross-coupling of axes associated with many four-axis controller designs. The present design is an attempt to reduce cross-coupling to a level that can be controlled with breakout force, rather than to eliminate it entirely. The cascaded design placed lateral and longitudinal cyclic in their normal configuration. Tail rotor thrust was placed atop the cyclic controller. A left/right twisting motion with the wrist made the control input. The axis of rotation was canted outboard (clockwise) to minimize cross-coupling with the cyclic pitch axis. The collective control was a twist grip, like a motorcycle throttle. Measurement of the amount of cross-coupling involved in pure, single-axis inputs showed cross coupling under 10 percent of full deflection for all axes. This small amount of cross-coupling could be further reduced with better damping and force gradient control. Fatigue was not found to be a problem, and proprioceptive feedback was adequate for all flight tasks executed.
Ness, W. G.; Davis, R. M.; Benson, J. W.; Smith, M. K.; Eldredge, D.
The integrated application of reliability, failure effects and system simulator methods in establishing the airworthiness of a flight critical digital flight control system (DFCS) is demonstrated. The emphasis was on the mutual reinforcement of the methods in demonstrating the system safety.
Bosworth, John T.
This viewgraph presentation reviews the use of Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) for the F-15. The goals of the project are: (1) Demonstrate Revolutionary Control Approaches that can Efficiently Optimize Aircraft Performance in both Normal and Failure Conditions (2) Advance Neural Network-Based Flight Control Technology for New Aerospace Systems Designs. The motivation for the development are to reduce the chance and skill required for survival.
The major operational characteristics of the 747 Primary Flight Control Systems (PFCS) are described. Results of reliability analysis for separate control functions are presented. The analysis makes use of a NASA computer program which calculates reliability of redundant systems. Costs for maintaining the 747 PFCS in airline service are assessed. The reliabilities and cost will provide a baseline for use in trade studies of future flight control system design.
Brand, Timothy J.; Engel, Albert G.
The Aeroassist Flight Experiment scheduled for the early 1990's will demonstrate the use of a low L/D lifting brake using aerodynamic drag to return a spacecraft from a high energy to a low earth orbit. The experimental vehicle will be deployed and retrieved by the Shuttle Orbiter. This paper reviews some of the challenges, problems, and solutions encountered to date during guidance system development, with emphasis on technology advances which will benefit an operational Orbit Transfer Vehicle (OTV). Key factors to be discussed include guidance alternatives, aerodynamic modeling, navigation requirements, the impact of atmospheric uncertainties, and flight profile alternatives considered during initial planning.
Hunter, J. E.
Results from an intensive FBW advanced development effort indicate significant improvements in overall flight control system performance, reliability, safety and maintainability. Additionally, the strong and credible FBW technology base developed as a result paved the way for further exploitation through the application of advanced concepts such as control configured vehicles and multi-mode controls.
Schmidt, David K.; Schierman, John D.
This report documents the activities and research results obtained under a grant (NAG3-998) from the NASA Lewis Research Center. The focus of the research was the investigation of dynamic interactions between airframe and engines for advanced ASTOVL aircraft configurations, and the analysis of the implications of these interactions on the stability and performance of the airframe and engine control systems. In addition, the need for integrated flight and propulsion control for such aircraft was addressed. The major contribution of this research was the exposition of the fact that airframe and engine interactions could be present, and their effects could include loss of stability and performance of the control systems. Also, the significance of two directional, as opposed to one-directional, coupling was identified and explained. A multi variable stability and performance analysis methodology was developed, and applied to several candidate aircraft configurations. Also exposed was the fact that with interactions present along with some integrated control approaches, the engine command/limiting logic (which represents an important non-linear component of the engine control system) can impact closed-loop airframe/engine system stability. Finally, a brief investigation of control-law synthesis techniques appropriate for the class of systems was pursued, and it was determined that multi variable techniques, included model-following formulations of LQG and/or H (infinity) methods showed promise. However, for practical reasons, decentralized control architectures are preferred, which is an architecture incompatible with these synthesis methods.
Mcruer, D. T.; Johnston, D. E.
This volume contains a delineation of fundamental and mechanization-specific flight control characteristics and problems gleaned from many sources and spanning a period of over two decades. It is organized to present and discuss first some fundamental, generic problems of closed-loop flight control systems involving numerator characteristics (quadratic dipoles, non-minimum phase roots, and intentionally introduced zeros). Next the principal elements of the largely mechanical primary flight control system are reviewed with particular emphasis on the influence of nonlinearities. The characteristics and problems of augmentation (damping, stability, and feel) system mechanizations are then dealt with. The particular idiosyncracies of automatic control actuation and command augmentation schemes are stressed, because they constitute the major interfaces with the primary flight control system and an often highly variable vehicle response.
Cooke, D. R.
A unique approach for obtaining vehicle aerodynamic characteristics during entry has been developed for the Space Shuttle. This is due to the high cost of Shuttle testing, the need to open constraints for operational flights, and the fact that all flight regimes are flown starting with the first flight. Because of uncertainties associated with predicted aerodynamic coefficients, nine flight conditions have been identified at which control problems could occur. A detailed test plan has been developed for testing at these conditions and is presented. Due to limited testing, precise computer initiated maneuvers are implemented. These maneuvers are designed to optimize the vehicle motion for determining aerodynamic coefficients. Special sensors and atmospheric measurements are required to provide stability and control flight data during an entire entry. The techniques employed in data reduction are proven programs developed and used at NASA/DFRC.
Hess, R. A.; Wells, S. R.; Bacon, Barton (Technical Monitor)
Sliding mode control is applied to the design of a flight control system capable of operating with limited bandwidth actuators and in the presence of significant damage to the airframe and/or control effector actuators. Although inherently robust, sliding mode control algorithms have been hampered by their sensitivity to the effects of parasitic unmodeled dynamics, such as those associated with actuators and structural modes. It is known that asymptotic observers can alleviate this sensitivity while still allowing the system to exhibit significant robustness. This approach is demonstrated. The selection of the sliding manifold as well as the interpretation of the linear design that results after introduction of a boundary layer is accomplished in the frequency domain. The design technique is exercised on a pitch-axis controller for a simple short-period model of the High Angle of Attack F-18 vehicle via computer simulation. Stability and performance is compared to that of a system incorporating a controller designed by classical loop-shaping techniques.
The production of the General Aviation industry has declined in the past 25 years. Ironically, however, the increasing demand for air travel as a fast, safe, and high-quality mode of transportation has been far from satisfied. Addressing this demand shortfall with personal air transportation necessitates advanced systems for navigation, guidance, control, flight management, and flight traffic control. Among them, an effective decoupling flight control system will not only improve flight quality, safety, and simplicity, and increase air space usage, but also reduce expenses on pilot initial and current training, and thus expand the current market and explore new markets. Because of the formidable difficulties encountered in the actual decoupling of non-linear, time-variant, and highly coupled flight control systems through traditional approaches, a new approach, which essentially converts the decoupling problem into a real-time trajectory synthesis and tracking problem, is employed. Then, the converted problem is solved and a virtual decoupling effect is achieved. In this approach, a trajectory in inertial space can be predefined and dynamically modified based on the flight mission and the pilot's commands. A feedforward-feedback control architecture is constructed to guide the airplane along the trajectory as precisely as possible. Through this approach, the pilot has much simpler, virtually decoupled control of the airplane in terms of speed, flight path angle and horizontal radius of curvature. To verify and evaluate this approach, extensive computer simulation is performed. A great deal of test cases are designed for the flight control under different flight conditions. The simulation results show that our decoupling strategy is satisfactory and promising, and therefore the research can serve as a consolidated foundation for future practical applications.
Stewart, James F.; Shuck, Thomas L.
Flight tests conducted with the self-repairing flight control system (SRFCS) installed on the NASA F-15 highly integrated digital electronic control aircraft are described. The development leading to the current SRFCS configuration is highlighted. Key objectives of the program are outlined: (1) to flight-evaluate a control reconfiguration strategy with three types of control surface failure; (2) to evaluate a cockpit display that will inform the pilot of the maneuvering capacity of the damage aircraft; and (3) to flight-evaluate the onboard expert system maintenance diagnostics process using representative faults set to occur only under maneuvering conditions. Preliminary flight results addressing the operation of the overall system, as well as the individual technologies, are included.
Stewart, James F.; Shuck, Thomas L.
Flight tests conducted with the self-repairing flight control system (SRFCS) installed on the NASA F-15 highly integrated digital electronic control aircraft are described. The development leading to the current SRFCS configuration is highlighted. Key objectives of the program are outlined: (1) to flight-evaluate a control reconfiguration strategy with three types of control surface failure; (2) to evaluate a cockpit display that will inform the pilot of the maneuvering capacity of the damaged aircraft; and (3) to flight-evaluate the onboard expert system maintenance diagnostics process using representative faults set to occur only under maneuvering conditions. Preliminary flight results addressing the operation of the overall system, as well as the individual technologies, are included.
Szalai, K. J.; Jarvis, C. R.; Krier, G. E.; Megna, V. A.; Brock, L. D.; Odonnell, R. N.
The experience gained in digital fly-by-wire technology through a flight test program being conducted by the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in an F-8C aircraft is described. The system requirements are outlined, along with the requirements for flight qualification. The system is described, including the hardware components, the aircraft installation, and the system operation. The flight qualification experience is emphasized. The qualification process included the theoretical validation of the basic design, laboratory testing of the hardware and software elements, systems level testing, and flight testing. The most productive testing was performed on an iron bird aircraft, which used the actual electronic and hydraulic hardware and a simulation of the F-8 characteristics to provide the flight environment. The iron bird was used for sensor and system redundancy management testing, failure modes and effects testing, and stress testing in many cases with the pilot in the loop. The flight test program confirmed the quality of the validation process by achieving 50 flights without a known undetected failure and with no false alarms.
Landis, K. H.; Aiken, E. W.
Several night nap-of-the-earth mission tasks were evaluated using a helmet-mounted display which provided a limited field-of-view image with superimposed flight control symbology. A wide range of stability and control augmentation designs was investigated. Variations in controller force-deflection characteristics and the number of axes controlled through an integrated side-stick controller were studied. In general, a small displacement controller is preferred over a stiffstick controller particularly for maneuvering flight. Higher levels of stability augmentation were required for IMC tasks to provide handling qualities comparable to those achieved for the same tasks conducted under simulated visual flight conditions. Previously announced in STAR as N82-23216
Hecht, H.; Hecht, M.
Software error data of major recent Digital Flight Control Systems Development Programs. The report summarizes the data, compare these data with similar data from previous surveys and identifies trends and disciplines to improve software reliability.
Smokey Bear celebrated his 68th birthday with a special visit to the International Space Station Flight Control Room at Johnson Space Center in Houston. On May 14, Smokey went where no bear had gon...
Schmidt, D. K.
A unified control synthesis methodology for complex and/or non-conventional flight vehicles are developed. Prediction techniques for the handling characteristics of such vehicles and pilot parameter identification from experimental data are addressed.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Maine, Trindel A.; Fullerton, C. Gordon; Webb, Lannie Dean
A propulsion-controlled aircraft (PCA) system for emergency flight control of aircraft with no flight controls was developed and flight tested on an F-15 aircraft at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. The airplane has been flown in a throttles-only manual mode and with an augmented system called PCA in which pilot thumbwheel commands and aircraft feedback parameters were used to drive the throttles. Results from a 36-flight evaluation showed that the PCA system can be used to safety land an airplane that has suffered a major flight control system failure. The PCA system was used to recover from a severe upset condition, descend, and land. Guest pilots have also evaluated the PCA system. This paper describes the principles of throttles-only flight control; a history of loss-of-control accidents; a description of the F-15 aircraft; the PCA system operation, simulation, and flight testing; and the pilot comments.
Schmidt, Phillip; Garg, Sanjay; Holowecky, Brian
A parameter optimization framework is presented to solve the problem of partitioning a centralized controller into a decentralized hierarchical structure suitable for integrated flight/propulsion control implementation. The controller partitioning problem is briefly discussed and a cost function to be minimized is formulated, such that the resulting 'optimal' partitioned subsystem controllers will closely match the performance (including robustness) properties of the closed-loop system with the centralized controller while maintaining the desired controller partitioning structure. The cost function is written in terms of parameters in a state-space representation of the partitioned sub-controllers. Analytical expressions are obtained for the gradient of this cost function with respect to parameters, and an optimization algorithm is developed using modern computer-aided control design and analysis software. The capabilities of the algorithm are demonstrated by application to partitioned integrated flight/propulsion control design for a modern fighter aircraft in the short approach to landing task. The partitioning optimization is shown to lead to reduced-order subcontrollers that match the closed-loop command tracking and decoupling performance achieved by a high-order centralized controller.
Garg, Sanjay; Mattern, Duane L.; Bright, Michelle M.; Ouzts, Peter J.
Results are presented from an application of H-infinity control design methodology to a centralized integrated flight/propulsion control (IFPC) system design for a supersonic Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) fighter aircraft in transition flight. The overall design methodology consists of a centralized IFPC controller design with controller partitioning. Only the feedback controller design portion of the methodology is addressed. Design and evaluation vehicle models are summarized, and insight is provided into formulating the H-infinity control problem such that it reflects the IFPC design objectives. The H-infinity controller is shown to provide decoupled command tracking for the design model. The controller order could be significantly reduced by modal residualization of the fast controller modes without any deterioration in performance. A discussion is presented of the areas in which the controller performance needs to be improved, and ways in which these improvements can be achieved within the framework of an H-infinity based linear control design.
Athans, M.; Willner, D.
A flight control system design is presented, that can be implemented by analog hardware, to be used to control an aircraft with uncertain parameters. The design is based upon the use of modern control theory. The ideas are illustrated by considering control of STOL longitudinal dynamics.
Azam, Mohammad; Pattipati, Krishna; Allanach, Jeffrey; Poll, Scott; Patterson-Hine, Ann
In this paper we consider the problem of test design for real-time fault detection and isolation (FDI) in the flight control system of fixed-wing aircraft. We focus on the faults that are manifested in the control surface elements (e.g., aileron, elevator, rudder and stabilizer) of an aircraft. For demonstration purposes, we restrict our focus on the faults belonging to nine basic fault classes. The diagnostic tests are performed on the features extracted from fifty monitored system parameters. The proposed tests are able to uniquely isolate each of the faults at almost all severity levels. A neural network-based flight control simulator, FLTZ(Registered TradeMark), is used for the simulation of various faults in fixed-wing aircraft flight control systems for the purpose of FDI.
White, Molly E.; Hyatt, Andrew J.
The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) Reaction Control System (RCS) is critical to guide the vehicle along the desired trajectory during re--entry. However, this system has a significant impact on the convective heating environment to the spacecraft. Heating augmentation from the jet interaction (JI) drives thermal protection system (TPS) material selection and thickness requirements for the spacecraft. This paper describes the heating environment from the RCS on the afterbody of the Orion MPCV during Orion's first flight test, Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1). These jet plumes interact with the wake of the crew capsule and cause an increase in the convective heating environment. Not only is there widespread influence from the jet banks, there may also be very localized effects. The firing history during EFT-1 will be summarized to assess which jet bank interaction was measured during flight. Heating augmentation factors derived from the reconstructed flight data will be presented. Furthermore, flight instrumentation across the afterbody provides the highest spatial resolution of the region of influence of the individual jet banks of any spacecraft yet flown. This distribution of heating augmentation across the afterbody will be derived from the flight data. Additionally, trends with possible correlating parameters will be investigated to assist future designs and ground testing programs. Finally, the challenges of measuring JI, applying this data to future flights and lessons learned will be discussed.
Endeavour, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 105, forward flight deck controls are documented during manufacture, assembly, and checkout at North American Rockwell facilities Building 150, Palmdale, California. Overall view looks from aft flight deck forward showing displays and controls with panel F7 CRT screens lit and window shades in place on W2, W3, W4, W5. OV-105 is undergoing final touches prior to rollout and a scheduled flight for STS-49. View was included as part of Rockwell International (RI) Submittal No. 40 (STS 87-0342-40) with alternate number A901207 R-16/NAS9-17800.
Kehoe, Michael W.; Bjarke, Lisa J.; Laurie, Edward J.
Many of today's high performance airplanes use high gain, digital flight control systems. These sytems are liable to couple with the aircraft's structural dynamics and aerodynamics to cause an aeroservoelastic interaction. These interactions can be stable or unstable depending upon damping and phase relationships within the system. The details of an aeroservoelastic interaction experienced in flight by the X-29A forward-swept wing airplane. A 26.5-Hz canard pitch mode response was aliased by the digital sampling rate in the canard position feedback loop of the flight control system, resulting in a 13.5-Hz signal being commanded to the longitudinal control surfaces. The amplitude of this commanded signal increased as the wear of the canard seals increased, as the feedback path gains were increased, and as the canard aerodynamic loading decreased. The resultant control surface deflections were of sufficient amplitude to excite the structure. The flight data presented shows the effect of each component (structural dynamics, aerodynamics, and flight control system) for this aeroservoelastic interaction.
Andrews, D. M.; Mahmood, A.; Mccluskey, E. J.
Assertions are used to dynamically test fault tolerant flight software. The experiment showed that 87% of typical errors introduced into the program would be detected by assertions. Detailed analysis of the test data showed that the number of assertions needed to detect those errors could be reduced to a minimal set. The analysis also revealed that the most effective assertions tested program parameters that provided greater indirect (collateral) testing of other parameters.
Andrews, D. M.; Mahmood, A.; Mccluskey, E. J.
An experiment in using assertions to dynamically test fault tolerant flight software is described. The experiment showed that 87% of typical errors introduced into the program would be detected by assertions. Detailed analysis of the test data showed that the number of assertions needed to detect those errors could be reduced to a minimal set. The analysis also revealed that the most effective assertions tested program parameters that provided greater indirect (collateral) testing of other parameters.
Schutte, Paul C.; Willshire, Kelli F.
It is widely accepted that human error is a major contributing factor in aircraft accidents. There has been a significant amount of research in why these errors occurred, and many reports state that the design of flight deck can actually dispose humans to err. This research has led to the call for changes in design according to human factors and human-centered principles. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Langley Research Center has initiated an effort to design a human-centered flight deck from a clean slate (i.e., without constraints of existing designs.) The effort will be based on recent research in human-centered design philosophy and mission management categories. This design will match the human's model of the mission and function of the aircraft to reduce unnatural or non-intuitive interfaces. The product of this effort will be a flight deck design description, including training and procedures, and a cross reference or paper trail back to design hypotheses, and an evaluation of the design. The present paper will discuss the philosophy, process, and status of this design effort.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Maine, Trindel A.
Flight tests of the propulsion controlled aircraft (PCA) system on the NASA F-15 airplane evolved as a result of a long series of simulation and flight tests. Initially, the simulation results were very optimistic. Early flight tests showed that manual throttles-only control was much more difficult than the simulation, and a flight investigation was flown to acquire data to resolve this discrepancy. The PCA system designed and developed by MDA evolved as these discrepancies were found and resolved, requiring redesign of the PCA software and modification of the flight test plan. Small throttle step inputs were flown to provide data for analysis, simulation update, and control logic modification. The PCA flight tests quickly revealed less than desired performance, but the extensive flexibility built into the flight PCA software allowed rapid evaluation of alternate gains, filters, and control logic, and within 2 weeks, the PCA system was functioning well. The initial objective of achieving adequate control for up-and-away flying and approaches was satisfied, and the option to continue to actual landings was achieved. After the PCA landings were accomplished, other PCA features were added, and additional maneuvers beyond those originally planned were flown. The PCA system was used to recover from extreme upset conditions, descend, and make approaches to landing. A heading mode was added, and a single engine plus rudder PCA mode was also added and flown. The PCA flight envelope was expanded far beyond that originally designed for. Guest pilots from the USAF, USN, NASA, and the contractor also flew the PCA system and were favorably impressed.
The F-16XL #1 (NASA 849) takes off for the first flight of the Digital Flight Control System (DFCS) on December 16, 1997. Like most first flight, the DFCS required months of preparations. During July 1997, crews worked on the engine, cockpit, canopy, seat, and instrumentation. By late August, the aircraft began combined systems tests and a flight readiness review. Although the Air Force Safety Review Board (AFSRB)- a group that provided double checks on all flight operations - approved the program in late November 1997, a problem with the aircraft flight computer delayed the functional check flight until mid-December.
Zinchiak, Andrew G.
Nearly all modern helicopters are designed with a swashplate-based system for control of the main rotor blades. However, the swashplate-based approach does not provide the level of redundancy necessary to cope with abnormal actuator conditions. For example, if an actuator fails (becomes locked) on the main rotor, the cyclic inputs are consequently fixed and the helicopter may become stuck in a flight maneuver. This can obviously be seen as a catastrophic failure, and would likely lead to a crash. These types of failures can be overcome with the application of individual blade control (IBC). IBC is achieved using the blade pitch control method, which provides complete authority of the aerodynamic characteristics of each rotor blade at any given time by replacing the normally rigid pitch links between the swashplate and the pitch horn of the blade with hydraulic or electronic actuators. Thus, IBC can provide the redundancy necessary for subsystem failure accommodation. In this research effort, a simulation environment is developed to investigate the potential of the IBC main rotor configuration for fault-tolerant control. To examine the applications of IBC to failure scenarios and fault-tolerant controls, a conventional, swashplate-based linear model is first developed for hover and forward flight scenarios based on the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The linear modeling techniques for the swashplate-based helicopter are then adapted and expanded to include IBC. Using these modified techniques, an IBC based mathematical model of the UH-60 helicopter is developed for the purposes of simulation and analysis. The methodology can be used to model and implement a different aircraft if geometric, gravimetric, and general aerodynamic data are available. Without the kinetic restrictions of the swashplate, the IBC model effectively decouples the cyclic control inputs between different blades. Simulations of the IBC model prove that the primary control functions can be manually
Shafer, M. F.
NASA's F-8 digital fly-by-wire aircraft has been subjected to stability and control derivative assessments, leading to the proposal of improved control inputs for more efficient control derivative estimation. This will reduce program costs by reducing flight test and data analysis requirements. Inputs were divided into sinusoidal types and cornered types. Those with corners produced the best set of stability and control derivatives for the unaugmented flight control system mode. Small inputs are noted to have provided worse derivatives than larger ones.
Bauer, Jeffrey E.; Clarke, Robert; Burken, John J.
The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center has flight tested two X-29A aircraft at low and high angles of attack. The high-angle-of-attack tests evaluate the feasibility of integrated X-29A technologies. More specific objectives focus on evaluating the high-angle-of-attack flying qualities, defining multiaxis controllability limits, and determining the maximum pitch-pointing capability. A pilot-selectable gain system allows examination of tradeoffs in airplane stability and maneuverability. Basic fighter maneuvers provide qualitative evaluation. Bank angle captures permit qualitative data analysis. This paper discusses the design goals and approach for high-angle-of-attack control laws and provides results from the envelope expansion and handling qualities testing at intermediate angles of attack. Comparisons of the flight test results to the predictions are made where appropriate. The pitch rate command structure of the longitudinal control system is shown to be a valid design for high-angle-of-attack control laws. Flight test results show that wing rock amplitude was overpredicted and aileron and rudder effectiveness were underpredicted. Flight tests show the X-29A airplane to be a good aircraft up to 40 deg angle of attack.
Michou, Aikaterini; Vansteenkiste, Maarten; Mouratidis, Athanasios; Lens, Willy
Background: The hierarchical model of achievement motivation presumes that achievement goals channel the achievement motives of need for achievement and fear of failure towards motivational outcomes. Yet, less is known whether autonomous and controlling reasons underlying the pursuit of achievement goals can serve as additional pathways between…
Harper, Sandy L.
The FOPMN is a fiber-optic signal collection system for primary flight control applications. An avionics bay protected electro-optic interface unit transmits light down fiber optic cable to an optical sensor housed in the harsh environment of a hydraulic actuator. The interface unit also receives the sensor's reflected pattern and calculates independent positions from the multiplexed signals. This paper discusses the FOPMN method for fiber-optically sensing and multiplexing two channels of position of a TEF actuator's main ram cylinder. Currently installed in NASA Dryden's SRA F/A-18, the FOPMN has accumulated approximately 15 hours of flight time. A performance comparison is made between the FOPMN positions and the flight control computer's feedback mechanism (the actuator LVDTs). Included is a discussion of some of the lessons learned as a result of testing the FOPMN in the lab and in flight. The FOPMN is well on its way to proving itself as a robust fiber optic system with the ability to multiplex numerous optical sensors for primary flight control. The success of the FOPMN leads to the second phase of the project--optical loop closure. Our goal for this phase is to have four FOPMN sensor channels on the main ram and/or the main control valve of the actuator to serve as the quad redundant feedback mechanism for flight control.
Mettler, Bernard; Tuschler, Mark B.; Kanade, Takeo
This paper presents a process of design and flight-test validation and flying qualities evaluation of a flight control system for a rotorcraft-based unmanned aerial vehicle (RUAV). The keystone of this process is an accurate flight-dynamic model of the aircraft, derived by using system identification modeling. The model captures the most relevant dynamic features of our unmanned rotorcraft, and explicitly accounts for the presence of a stabilizer bar. Using the identified model we were able to determine the performance margins of our original control system and identify limiting factors. The performance limitations were addressed and the attitude control system was 0ptimize.d for different three performance levels: slow, medium, fast. The optimized control laws will be implemented in our RUAV. We will first determine the validity of our control design approach by flight test validating our optimized controllers. Subsequently, we will fly a series of maneuvers with the three optimized controllers to determine the level of flying qualities that can be attained. The outcome enable us to draw important conclusions on the flying qualities requirements for small-scale RUAVs.
Landis, K. H.; Aiken, E. W.
Several night nap-of-the-earth mission tasks were evaluated using a helmet-mounted display which provided a limited field-of-view image with superimposed flight control symbology. A wide range of stability and control augmentation designs was investigated. Variations in controller force-deflection characteristics and the number of axes controlled through an integrated side-stick controller were studied. In general, a small displacement controller is preferred over a stiffstick controller particularly for maneuvering flight. Higher levels of stability augmentation were required for IMC tasks to provide handling qualities comparable to those achieved for the same tasks conducted under simulated visual flight conditions.
Forman, P.; Moses, K.
A brief description of a SIFT (Software Implemented Fault Tolerance) Flight Control Computer with emphasis on implementation is presented. A multiprocessor system that relies on software-implemented fault detection and reconfiguration algorithms is described. A high level reliability and fault tolerance is achieved by the replication of computing tasks among processing units.
Lina, Lindsay J.; Champine, Robert A.; Morris, Garland J.
A flight investigation of an automatic throttle control in landing approaches has been made. It was found that airspeed could be maintained satisfactorily by the automatic throttle control. Turbulent air caused undesirably large variations of engine power which were uncomfortable and disconcerting; nevertheless, the pilot felt that he could make approaches 5 knots slower with equal assurance when the automatic control was in operation.
Chou, Hwei-Lan; Biezad, Daniel J.
Longitudinal control system architectures are presented which directly couple flight stick motions to throttle commands for a multi-engine aircraft. This coupling enables positive attitude control with complete failure of the flight control system. The architectures chosen vary from simple feedback gains to classical lead-lag compensators with and without prefilters. Each architecture is reviewed for its appropriateness for piloted flight. The control systems are then analyzed with pilot-in-the-loop metrics related to bandwidth required for landing. Results indicate that current and proposed bandwidth requirements should be modified for throttles only flight control. Pilot ratings consistently showed better ratings than predicted by analysis. Recommendations are made for more robust design and implementation. The use of Quantitative Feedback Theory for compensator design is discussed. Although simple and effective augmented control can be achieved in a wide variety of failed configurations, a few configuration characteristics are dominant for pilot-in-the-loop control. These characteristics will be tested in a simulator study involving failed flight controls for a multi-engine aircraft.
Barfield, A. F.
A modified YF-16 aircraft was used to flight demonstrate decoupled modes under the USAF Fighter Control Configured Vehicle (CCV) Program. The direct force capabilities were used to implement seven manually controlled unconventional modes on the aircraft, allowing flat turns, decoupled normal acceleration control, independent longitudinal and lateral translations, uncoupled elevation and azimuth aiming, and blended direct lift. This paper describes the design, development, and flight testing of these control modes. The need for task-tailored mode authorities, gain-scheduling and selected closed-loop design is discussed.
Kennedy, Quinn; Taylor, Joy L.; Reade, Gordon; Yesavage, Jerome A.
Introduction Age (due to declines in cognitive abilities necessary for navigation) and level of aviation expertise are two factors that may affect aviation performance and decision making under adverse weather conditions. We examined the roles of age, expertise, and their relationship on aviation decision making and flight control performance during a flight simulator task. Methods Seventy-two IFR-rated general aviators, aged 19–79 yr, made multiple approach, holding pattern entry, and landing decisions while navigating under Instrument Flight Rules weather conditions. Over three trials in which the fog level varied, subjects decided whether or not to land the aircraft. They also completed two holding pattern entries. Subjects’ flight control during approaches and holding patterns was measured. Results Older pilots (41+ yr) were more likely than younger pilots to land when visibility was inadequate (older pilots’ mean false alarm rate: 0.44 vs 0.25). They also showed less precise flight control for components of the approach, performing 0.16 SD below mean approach scores. Expertise attenuated an age-related decline in flight control during holding patterns: older IFR/CFI performed 0.73 SD below mean score; younger IFR/CFI, younger CFII/ATP, older CFII/ATP: 0.32, 0.26, 0.03 SD above mean score. Additionally, pilots with faster processing speed (by median split) had a higher mean landing decision false alarm rate (0.42 vs 0.28), yet performed 0.14 SD above the mean approach control score. Conclusions Results have implications regarding specialized training for older pilots and for understanding processes involved in older adults’ real world decision making and performance. PMID:20464816
...; Electronic Flight Control System Mode Annunciation AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION... design features include an electronic flight control system. The applicable airworthiness regulations do... INFORMATION CONTACT: Joe Jacobsen, FAA, Airplane and Flight Crew Interface Branch, ANM-111,...
Taylor, Lawrence W., Jr.; Day, Richard E.
A simulator study and flight tests were performed to determine the levels of static stability and damping necessary to enable a pilot to control the longitudinal and lateral-directional dynamics of a vehicle for short periods of time. Although a basic set of aerodynamic characteristics was used, the study was conducted so that the results would be applicable to a wide range of flight conditions and configurations. Novel piloting techniques were found which enabled the pilot to control the vehicle at conditions that were otherwise uncontrollable. The influence of several critical factors in altering the controllability limits was also investigated. Several human transfer functions were used which gave fairly good representations of the controllability limits determined experimentally for the short-period longitudinal, directional, and lateral modes. A transfer function with approximately the same gain and phase angle as the pilot at the controlling frequencies along the controllability limits was also derived.
Jang, Jiann-Woei; Yang, Lee; Fritz, Mathew; Nguyen, Louis H.; Johnson, Wyatt R.; Hart, Jeremy J.
The Morpheus Lander is a vertical takeoff and landing test bed vehicle developed to demonstrate the system performance of the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) system capability for the integrated autonomous landing and hazard avoidance system hardware and software. The Morpheus flight control system design must be robust to various mission profiles. This paper presents a design methodology for employing numerical optimization to develop the Morpheus flight control system. The design objectives include attitude tracking accuracy and robust stability with respect to rigid body dynamics and propellant slosh. Under the assumption that the Morpheus time-varying dynamics and control system can be frozen over a short period of time, the flight controllers are designed to stabilize all selected frozen-time control systems in the presence of parametric uncertainty. Both control gains in the inner attitude control loop and guidance gains in the outer position control loop are designed to maximize the vehicle performance while ensuring robustness. The flight control system designs provided herein have been demonstrated to provide stable control systems in both Draper Ares Stability Analysis Tool (ASAT) and the NASA/JSC Trick-based Morpheus time domain simulation.
Geissler, W. H.
The results of a feasibility study of orbiter flight control experiments performed are summarized. Feasibility studies were performed on a group of 14 experiments selected from a candidate list of 35 submitted to the study contractor by the flight control community. Concepts and requirements were developed for the 14 selected experiments and they were ranked on a basis of technical value, feasibility, and cost. It was concluded that all the selected experiments can be considered as potential candidates for the Orbiter Experiment program, which is being formulated for the Orbiter Flight Tests and subsequent operational flights, regardless of the relative ranking established during the study. None of the selected experiments has significant safety implications and the cost of most was estimated to be less than $200K.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Maine, Trindel A.; Fullerton, C. Gordon; Wells, Edward A.
A multi-engine aircraft, with some or all of the flight control system inoperative, may use engine thrust for control. NASA Dryden has conducted a study of the capability and techniques for this emergency flight control method for the F-15 airplane. With an augmented control system, engine thrust, along with appropriate feedback parameters, is used to control flightpath and bank angle. Extensive simulation studies were followed by flight tests. The principles of throttles only control, the F-15 airplane, the augmented system, and the flight results including actual landings with throttles-only control are discussed.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Maine, Trindel A.; Fullerton, C. G.; Wells, Edward A.
A multi-engine aircraft, with some or all of the flight control system inoperative, may use engine thrust for control. NASA Dryden has conducted a study of the capability and techniques for this emergency flight control method for the F-15 airplane. With an augmented control system, engine thrust, along with appropriate feedback parameters, is used to control flightpath and bank angle. Extensive simulation studies have been followed by flight tests. This paper discusses the principles of throttles-only control, the F-15 airplane, the augmented system, and the flight results including landing approaches with throttles-only control to within 10 ft of the ground.
Sato, Hirotaka; Maharbiz, Michel M.
The continuing miniaturization of digital circuits and the development of low power radio systems coupled with continuing studies into the neurophysiology and dynamics of insect flight are enabling a new class of implantable interfaces capable of controlling insects in free flight for extended periods. We provide context for these developments, review the state-of-the-art and discuss future directions in this field. PMID:21629761
Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie
Although the visual flight control strategies of flying insects have evolved to cope with the complexity of the natural world, studies investigating this behaviour have typically been performed indoors using simplified two-dimensional artificial visual stimuli. How well do the results from these studies reflect the natural behaviour of flying insects considering the radical differences in contrast, spatial composition, colour and dimensionality between these visual environments? Here, we aim to answer this question by investigating the effect of three- and two-dimensional naturalistic and artificial scenes on bumblebee flight control in an outdoor setting and compare the results with those of similar experiments performed in an indoor setting. In particular, we focus on investigating the effect of axial (front-to-back) visual motion cues on ground speed and centring behaviour. Our results suggest that, in general, ground speed control and centring behaviour in bumblebees is not affected by whether the visual scene is two- or three dimensional, naturalistic or artificial, or whether the experiment is conducted indoors or outdoors. The only effect that we observe between naturalistic and artificial scenes on flight control is that when the visual scene is three-dimensional and the visual information on the floor is minimised, bumblebees fly further from the midline of the tunnel. The findings presented here have implications not only for understanding the mechanisms of visual flight control in bumblebees, but also for the results of past and future investigations into visually guided flight control in other insects. PMID:22983439
Cotting, M. Christopher; Burken, John J.
A reconfigurable control law for the full X-33 flight envelope has been designed to accommodate a failed control surface and redistribute the control effort among the remaining working surfaces to retain satisfactory stability and performance. An offline nonlinear constrained optimization approach has been used for the X-33 reconfigurable control design method. Using a nonlinear, six-degree-of-freedom simulation, three example failures are evaluated: ascent with a left body flap jammed at maximum deflection; entry with a right inboard elevon jammed at maximum deflection; and landing with a left rudder jammed at maximum deflection. Failure detection and identification are accomplished in the actuator controller. Failure response comparisons between the nominal control mixer and the reconfigurable control subsystem (mixer) show the benefits of reconfiguration. Single aerosurface jamming failures are considered. The cases evaluated are representative of the study conducted to prove the adequate and safe performance of the reconfigurable control mixer throughout the full flight envelope. The X-33 flight control system incorporates reconfigurable flight control in the existing baseline system.
Franklin, James A.; Engelland, Shawn A.
Integrated flight/propulsion control systems have been designed for operation of STOVL aircraft over the low speed powered-lift flight envelope. The control system employs command modes for attitude, flightpath angle and flightpath acceleration during transition, and translational velocity command for hover and vertical landing. The command modes and feedback control are implemented in the form of a state-rate feedback implicit model follower to achieve the desired flying qualities and to suppress the effects of external disturbances and variations in the aircraft characteristics over the low speed envelope. A nonlinear inverse system was used to translate the output from these commands and feedback control into commands for the various aerodynamic and propulsion control effectors that are employed in powered-lift flight. Piloted evaluations of these STOVL integrated control designs have been conducted on Ames Research Center's Vertical Motion Simulator to assess flying qualities over the low-speed flight envelope. Results indicate that Level 1 flying qualities are achieved with this control system concept for each of these low-speed operations over a wide range of wind, atmospheric turbulence, and visibility conditions.
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.
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.
Lefevre, Brian D.
For the purpose of maintaining dynamic stability and improving guidance command tracking performance under off-nominal flight conditions, a hybrid adaptive control scheme is selected and modified for use as a launch vehicle flight controller. This architecture merges a model reference adaptive approach, which utilizes both direct and indirect adaptive elements, with a classical dynamic inversion controller. This structure is chosen for a number of reasons: the properties of the reference model can be easily adjusted to tune the desired handling qualities of the spacecraft, the indirect adaptive element (which consists of an online parameter identification algorithm) continually refines the estimates of the evolving characteristic parameters utilized in the dynamic inversion, and the direct adaptive element (which consists of a neural network) augments the linear feedback signal to compensate for any nonlinearities in the vehicle dynamics. The combination of these elements enables the control system to retain the nonlinear capabilities of an adaptive network while relying heavily on the linear portion of the feedback signal to dictate the dynamic response under most operating conditions. To begin the analysis, the ascent dynamics of a launch vehicle with a single 1st stage rocket motor (typical of the Ares 1 spacecraft) are characterized. The dynamics are then linearized with assumptions that are appropriate for a launch vehicle, so that the resulting equations may be inverted by the flight controller in order to compute the control signals necessary to generate the desired response from the vehicle. Next, the development of the hybrid adaptive launch vehicle ascent flight control architecture is discussed in detail. Alterations of the generic hybrid adaptive control architecture include the incorporation of a command conversion operation which transforms guidance input from quaternion form (as provided by NASA) to the body-fixed angular rate commands needed by the
Mihaloew, James R.; Ballin, Mark G.; Ruttledge, D. C. G.
The NASA Ames and Lewis Research Centers, in conjunction with the Army Research and Technology Laboratories, have initiated and partially completed a joint research program focused on improving the performance, maneuverability, and operating characteristics of rotorcraft by integrating the flight and propulsion controls. The background of the program, its supporting programs, its goals and objectives, and an approach to accomplish them are discussed. Results of the modern control governor design of the General Electric T700 engine and the Rotorcraft Integrated Flight-Propulsion Control Study, which were key elements of the program, are also presented.
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.
Handelman, David A.
Artificial intelligence techniques were used along with statistical hpyothesis testing and modern control theory, to help the pilot cope with the issues of information, knowledge, and capability in the event of a failure. An intelligent flight control system is being developed which utilizes knowledge of cause and effect relationships between all aircraft components. It will screen the information available to the pilots, supplement his knowledge, and most importantly, utilize the remaining flight capability of the aircraft following a failure. The list of failure types the control system will accommodate includes sensor failures, actuator failures, and structural failures.
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.
Daniels, Lia M.; Perry, Raymond P.; Stupnisky, Robert H.; Stewart, Tara L.; Newall, Nancy E. G.; Clifton, Rodney A.
In the area of achievement motivation, students' beliefs pertaining to achievement goals and perceived control have separately guided a large amount theoretical and empirical research. However, limited research has considered the simultaneous effects of goals and control on achievement. The purpose of this study was to examine primary and…
An image of the F-16XL #1 during its functional flight check of the Digital Flight Control System (DFCS) on December 16, 1997. The mission was flown by NASA research pilot Dana Purifoy, and lasted 1 hour and 25 minutes. The tests included pilot familiarly, functional check, and handling qualities evaluation maneuvers to a speed of Mach 0.6 and 300 knots. Purifoy completed all the briefed data points with no problems, and reported that the DFCS handled as well, if not better than the analog computer system that it replaced.
Tischler, Mark B.; Colbourne, Jason D.; Morel, Mark R.; Biezad, Daniel J.; Levine, William S.; Moldoveanu, Veronica
A state-of-the-art computational facility for aircraft flight control design, evaluation, and integration called CONDUIT (Control Designer's Unified Interface) has been developed. This paper describes the CONDUIT tool and case study applications to complex rotary- and fixed-wing fly-by-wire flight control problems. Control system analysis and design optimization methods are presented, including definition of design specifications and system models within CONDUIT, and the multi-objective function optimization (CONSOL-OPTCAD) used to tune the selected design parameters. Design examples are based on flight test programs for which extensive data are available for validation. CONDUIT is used to analyze baseline control laws against pertinent military handling qualities and control system specifications. In both case studies, CONDUIT successfully exploits trade-offs between forward loop and feedback dynamics to significantly improve the expected handling, qualities and minimize the required actuator authority. The CONDUIT system provides a new environment for integrated control system analysis and design, and has potential for significantly reducing the time and cost of control system flight test optimization.
Broussard, J. R.
A new numerical algorithm is presented which determines a positive semi-definite state weighting matrix in the linear-quadratic optimal control design problem. The algorithm chooses the weighting matrix by placing closed-loop eigenvalues and eigenvectors near desired locations using optimal feedback gains. A simplified flight control design example is used to illustrate the algorithms capabilities.
Hess, R. A.; Jung, Y. C.
Generalized predictive control describes an algorithm for the control of dynamic systems in which a control input is generated that minimizes a quadratic cost function consisting of a weighted sum of errors between desired and predicted future system output and future predicted control increments. The output predictions are obtained from an internal model of the plant dynamics. A design technique is discussed for applying the single-input/single-output generalized predictive control algorithm to a problem of longitudinal/vertical terrain-following flight of a rotorcraft. By using the generalized predictive control technique to provide inputs to a classically designed stability and control augmentation system, it is demonstrated that a robust flight-path control system can be created that exhibits excellent tracking performance.
Belcastro, Celeste M.
ABSTRACT Closed-loop HIRF experiments were performed on a fault tolerant flight control computer (FCC) at the NASA Langley Research Center. The FCC used in the experiments was a quad-redundant flight control computer executing B737 Autoland control laws. The FCC was placed in one of the mode-stirred reverberation chambers in the HIRF Laboratory and interfaced to a computer simulation of the B737 flight dynamics, engines, sensors, actuators, and atmosphere in the Closed-Loop Systems Laboratory. Disturbances to the aircraft associated with wind gusts and turbulence were simulated during tests. Electrical isolation between the FCC under test and the simulation computer was achieved via a fiber optic interface for the analog and discrete signals. Closed-loop operation of the FCC enabled flight dynamics and atmospheric disturbances affecting the aircraft to be represented during tests. Upset was induced in the FCC as a result of exposure to HIRF, and the effect of upset on the simulated flight of the aircraft was observed and recorded. This paper presents a description of these closed- loop HIRF experiments, upset data obtained from the FCC during these experiments, and closed-loop effects on the simulated flight of the aircraft.
Jacklin, Stephen A.
Over the last five decades, extensive research has been performed to design and develop adaptive control systems for aerospace systems and other applications where the capability to change controller behavior at different operating conditions is highly desirable. Although adaptive flight control has been partially implemented through the use of gain-scheduled control, truly adaptive control systems using learning algorithms and on-line system identification methods have not seen commercial deployment. The reason is that the certification process for adaptive flight control software for use in national air space has not yet been decided. The purpose of this paper is to examine the gaps between the state-of-the-art methodologies used to certify conventional (i.e., non-adaptive) flight control system software and what will likely to be needed to satisfy FAA airworthiness requirements. These gaps include the lack of a certification plan or process guide, the need to develop verification and validation tools and methodologies to analyze adaptive controller stability and convergence, as well as the development of metrics to evaluate adaptive controller performance at off-nominal flight conditions. This paper presents the major certification gap areas, a description of the current state of the verification methodologies, and what further research efforts will likely be needed to close the gaps remaining in current certification practices. It is envisioned that closing the gap will require certain advances in simulation methods, comprehensive methods to determine learning algorithm stability and convergence rates, the development of performance metrics for adaptive controllers, the application of formal software assurance methods, the application of on-line software monitoring tools for adaptive controller health assessment, and the development of a certification case for adaptive system safety of flight.
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.
Stachowiak, Susan J.; Bosworth, John T.
In the early 1980s, two F-16 airplanes were modified to extend the fuselage length and incorporate a large area delta wing planform. These two airplanes, designated the F-16XL, were designed by the General Dynamics Corporation (now Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems) (Fort Worth, Texas) and were prototypes for a derivative fighter evaluation program conducted by the United States Air Force. Although the concept was never put into production, the F-16XL prototypes provided a unique planform for testing concepts in support of future high-speed supersonic transport aircraft. To extend the capabilities of this testbed vehicle the F-16XL ship 1 aircraft was upgraded with a digital flight control system. The added flexibility of a digital flight control system increases the versatility of this airplane as a testbed for aerodynamic research and investigation of advanced technologies. This report presents the handling qualities flight test results covering the envelope expansion of the F-16XL with the digital flight control system.
Aslam Butt, Waseem; Yan, Lin; Amezquita S., Kendrick
In this article, non-linear adaptive dynamic surface air speed and flight path angle control designs are presented for the longitudinal dynamics of a flexible hypersonic flight vehicle. The tracking performance of the control design is enhanced by introducing a novel integral term that caters to avoiding a large initial control signal. To ensure feasibility, the design scheme incorporates magnitude and rate constraints on the actuator commands. The uncertain non-linear functions are approximated by an efficient use of the neural networks to reduce the computational load. A detailed stability analysis shows that all closed-loop signals are uniformly ultimately bounded and the ? tracking performance is guaranteed. The robustness of the design scheme is verified through numerical simulations of the flexible flight vehicle model.
The objective of the integrated digital flight control system is to provide rotational and translational control of the space shuttle orbiter in all phases of flight: from launch ascent through orbit to entry and touchdown, and during powered horizontal flights. The program provides a versatile control system structure while maintaining uniform communications with other programs, sensors, and control effects by using an executive routine/function subroutine format. The program reads all external variables at a single point, copies them into its dedicated storage, and then calls the required subroutines in the proper sequence. As a result, the flight control program is largely independent of other programs in the GN and C computer complex and is equally insensitive to the characteristics of the processor configuration. The integrated structure of the control system and the DFCS executive routine which embodies that structure are described. The specific estimation and control algorithms used in the various mission phases are shown. Attitude maneuver routines that interface with the DFCS are also described.
The NASA Langley Research Center has been performing studies to address the feasibility of various single-stage to orbit concepts for use by NASA and the commercial launch industry to provide a lower cost access to space. Some work on the conceptual design of a typical lifting body concept vehicle, designated VentureStar(sup TM) has been conducted in cooperation with the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. This paper will address the results of a preliminary flight controls assessment of this vehicle concept during the atmospheric entry phase of flight. The work includes control analysis from hypersonic flight at the atmospheric entry through supersonic speeds to final approach and landing at subsonic conditions. The requirements of the flight control effectors are determined over the full range of entry vehicle Mach number conditions. The analysis was performed for a typical maximum crossrange entry trajectory utilizing angle of attack to limit entry heating and providing for energy management, and bank angle to modulation of the lift vector to provide downrange and crossrange capability to fly the vehicle to a specified landing site. Sensitivity of the vehicle open and closed loop characteristics to CG location, control surface mixing strategy and wind gusts are included in the results. An alternative control surface mixing strategy utilizing a reverse aileron technique demonstrated a significant reduction in RCS torque and fuel required to perform bank maneuvers during entry. The results of the control analysis revealed challenges for an early vehicle configuration in the areas of hypersonic pitch trim and subsonic longitudinal controllability.
Schmidt, David K.; Schierman, John D.
The major contribution of this research was the exposition of the fact that airframe and engine interactions could be present, and their effects could include loss of stability and performance of the control systems. Also, the significance of two directional, as opposed to one-directional, coupling was identified and explained. A multivariable stability and performance analysis methodology was developed, and applied to several candidate aircraft configurations. In these example evaluations, the significance of these interactions was underscored. Also exposed was the fact that with interactions present along with some integrated control approaches, the engine command/limiting logic (which represents an important nonlinear component of the engine control system) can impact closed-loop airframe/engine system stability. Finally, a brief investigation of control-law synthesis techniques appropriate for the class of systems was pursued, and it was determined that multivariable techniques, including model-following formulations of LQG and/or H infinity methods, showed promise. However, for practical reasons, decentralized control architectures are preferred, which is an architecture incompatible with these synthesis methods. The major contributions of the second phase of the grant was the development of conditions under which no decentralized controller could achieve closed loop system requirements on stability and/or performance. Sought were conditions that depended only on properties of the plant and the requirement, and independent of any particular control law or synthesis approach. Therefore, they could be applied a priori, before synthesis of a candidate control law. Under this grant, such conditions were found regarding stability, and encouraging initial results were obtained regarding performance.
Algorithms are presented for rotational and translational control of the space shuttle orbiter in the orbital mission phases, which are external tank separation, orbit insertion, on-orbit and de-orbit. The program provides a versatile control system structure while maintaining uniform communications with other programs, sensors, and control effectors by using an executive routine/functional subroutine format. Software functional requirements are described using block diagrams where feasible, and input--output tables, and the software implementation of each function is presented in equations and structured flow charts. Included are a glossary of all symbols used to define the requirements, and an appendix of supportive material.
... Model GVI Airplane; Electronic Flight Control System: Control Surface Position Awareness AGENCY: Federal... transport category airplanes. These design features include an electronic flight control system. The..., include with your comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which you have written the docket...
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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.
Dickinson, Michael H; Muijres, Florian T
A firm understanding of how fruit flies hover has emerged over the past two decades, and recent work has focused on the aerodynamic, biomechanical and neurobiological mechanisms that enable them to manoeuvre and resist perturbations. In this review, we describe how flies manipulate wing movement to control their body motion during active manoeuvres, and how these actions are regulated by sensory feedback. We also discuss how the application of control theory is providing new insight into the logic and structure of the circuitry that underlies flight stability.This article is part of the themed issue 'Moving in a moving medium: new perspectives on flight'. PMID:27528778
Rajan, N.; Defeo, P. V.; Saito, J.
A technique for dynamically testing digital flight-control system software on a module-by-module basis is described. Each test module is repetitively executed faster than real-time with an exhaustive input sequence. Outputs of the test module are compared with outputs generated by an alternate, simpler implementation for the same input data. Discrepancies between the two sets of output indicate the possible presence of a software error. The results of an implementation of this technique in the Digital Flight-Control System Software Verification Laboratory are discussed.
Chubb, W. B.; Kennel, H. F.; Rupp, C. C.; Seltzer, S. M.
The Skylab attitude and pointing control system (APCS) requirements are briefly reviewed and the way in which they became altered during the prelaunch phase of development is noted. The actual flight mission (including mission alterations during flight) is described. The serious hardware failures that occurred, beginning during ascent through the atmosphere, also are described. The APCS's ability to overcome these failures and meet mission changes are presented. The large around-the-clock support effort on the ground is discussed. Salient design points and software flexibility that should afford pertinent experience for future spacecraft attitude and pointing control system designs are included.
Smith, R. H.; Chisholm, J. D.; Stewart, J. F.
The Performance-Seeking Control (PSC) integrated flight/propulsion adaptive control algorithm presented was developed in order to optimize total aircraft performance during steady-state engine operation. The PSC multimode algorithm minimizes fuel consumption at cruise conditions, while maximizing excess thrust during aircraft accelerations, climbs, and dashes, and simultaneously extending engine service life through reduction of fan-driving turbine inlet temperature upon engagement of the extended-life mode. The engine models incorporated by the PSC are continually upgraded, using a Kalman filter to detect anomalous operations. The PSC algorithm will be flight-demonstrated by an F-15 at NASA-Dryden.
Neri, David F.; Oyung, Raymond L.; Colletti, Laura M.; Mallis, Melissa M.; Tam, Patricia Y.; Dinges, David F.
BACKGROUND: A major challenge for flight crews is the need to maintain vigilance during long, highly automated nighttime flights. No system currently exists to assist in managing alertness, and countermeasure options are limited. Surveys reveal many pilots use breaks as an in-flight countermeasure, but there have been no controlled studies of their effectiveness. HYPOTHESIS: We hypothesized that brief, regular breaks could improve alertness and performance during an overnight flight. METHOD: A 6-h, uneventful, nighttime flight in a Boeing 747-400 flight simulator was flown by fourteen two-man crews. The 14 subjects in the treatment group received 5 short breaks spaced hourly during cruise; the 14 subjects in the control group received 1 break in the middle of cruise. Continuous EEG/EOG, subjective sleepiness, and psychomotor vigilance performance data were collected. RESULTS: During the latter part of the night, the treatment group showed significant reductions for 15 min post-break in slow eye movements, theta-band activity, and unintended sleep episodes compared with the control group. The treatment group reported significantly greater subjective alertness for up to 25 min post-break, with strongest effects near the time of the circadian trough. There was no evidence of objective vigilance performance improvement at 15-25 min post-break, with expected performance deterioration occurring due to elevated sleep drive and circadian time. CONCLUSIONS: The physiological and subjective data indicate the breaks reduced nighttime sleepiness for at least 15 min post-break and may have masked sleepiness for up to 25 min, suggesting the potential usefulness of short-duration breaks as an in-flight fatigue countermeasure.
DeLaat, John C.; Southwick, Robert D.; Gallops, George W.; Orme, John S.
Future aircraft turbine engines, both commercial and military, must be able to accommodate expected increased levels of steady-state and dynamic engine-face distortion. The current approach of incorporating sufficient design stall margin to tolerate these increased levels of distortion would significantly reduce performance. The objective of the High Stability Engine Control (HISTEC) program is to design, develop, and flight-demonstrate an advanced, integrated engine control system that uses measurement-based estimates of distortion to enhance engine stability. The resulting distortion tolerant control reduces the required design stall margin, with a corresponding increase in performance and decrease in fuel burn. The HISTEC concept has been developed and was successfully flight demonstrated on the F-15 ACTIVE aircraft during the summer of 1997. The flight demonstration was planned and carried out in two phases, the first to show distortion estimation, and the second to show distortion accommodation. Post-flight analysis shows that the HISTEC technologies are able to successfully estimate and accommodate distortion, transiently setting the stall margin requirement on-line and in real-time. This allows the design stall margin requirement to be reduced, which in turn can be traded for significantly increased performance and/or decreased weight. Flight demonstration of the HISTEC technologies has significantly reduced the risk of transitioning the technology to tactical and commercial engines.
An electromechanical actuator was developed that will follow a proportional control command with minimum wasted energy to demonstrate the feasibility of meeting space vehicle actuator requirements using advanced electromechanical concepts. The approach was restricted to a four-channel redundant configuration. Each channel has independent drive and control electronics, a brushless electric motor with brake, and velocity and position feedback transducers. A differential gearbox sums the output velocities of the motors. Normally, two motors are active and the other two are braked.
Orme, John S.; Gilyard, Glenn B.
Digital flight and engine control, powerful onboard computers, and sophisticated controls techniques may improve aircraft performance by maximizing fuel efficiency, maximizing thrust, and extending engine life. An adaptive performance seeking control system for optimizing the quasi-steady state performance of an F-15 aircraft was developed and flight tested. This system has three optimization modes: minimum fuel, maximum thrust, and minimum fan turbine inlet temperature. Tests of the minimum fuel and fan turbine inlet temperature modes were performed at a constant thrust. Supersonic single-engine flight tests of the three modes were conducted using varied after burning power settings. At supersonic conditions, the performance seeking control law optimizes the integrated airframe, inlet, and engine. At subsonic conditions, only the engine is optimized. Supersonic flight tests showed improvements in thrust of 9 percent, increases in fuel savings of 8 percent, and reductions of up to 85 deg R in turbine temperatures for all three modes. The supersonic performance seeking control structure is described and preliminary results of supersonic performance seeking control tests are given. These findings have implications for improving performance of civilian and military aircraft.
Lu, Bei; Wu, Fen; Kim, Sung-Wan
In this paper, we propose a saturation control scheme for linear parameter-varying (LPV) systems from an antiwindup control perspective. The proposed control approach is advantageous because it can be thought of as an augmented control algorithm from the existing control system. Moreover, the synthesis condition for an antiwindup compensator is formulated as a linear matrix inequality (LMI) optimization problem and can be solved efficiently. We have applied the LPV antiwindup controller to an F-16 longitudinal autopilot control system design to enhance aircraft safety and improve flight quality in a high angle of attack region.
Pearce, W. E.; Mcnay, D. E.; Thelander, J. A.
A laminar flow control (LFC) flight test article was designed and fabricated to fit into the right leading edge of a JetStar aircraft. The article was designed to attach to the front spar and fill in approx. 70 inches of the leading edge that are normally occupied by the large slipper fuel tank. The outer contour of the test article was constrained to align with an external fairing aft of the front spar which provided a surface pressure distribution over the test region representative of an LFC airfoil. LFC is achieved by applying suction through a finely perforated surface, which removes a small fraction of the boundary layer. The LFC test article has a retractable high lift shield to protect the laminar surface from contamination by airborne debris during takeoff and low altitude operation. The shield is designed to intercept insects and other particles that could otherwise impact the leading edge. Because the shield will intercept freezing rain and ice, a oozing glycol ice protection system is installed on the shield leading edge. In addition to the shield, a liquid freezing point depressant can be sprayed on the back of the shield.
Mizukami, Masashi; Nakazono, Barry
The NASA Dawn spacecraft mission is studying conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch by investigating two protoplanets remaining intact since their formations, Ceres and Vesta. Launch was in 2007. Ion propulsion is used to fly to and enter orbit around Vesta, depart Vesta and fly to Ceres, and enter orbit around Ceres. A conventional blowdown hydrazine reaction control system (RCS) is used to provide external torques for attitude control. Reaction wheel assemblies were intended to provide attitude control in most cases. However, the spacecraft experienced one, then two apparent failures of reaction wheels. Also, similar thrusters experienced degradation in a long life application on another spacecraft. Those factors led to RCS being operated in ways completely different than anticipated prior to launch. Numerous mitigations and developments needed to be implemented. The Vesta mission was fully successful. Even with the compromises necessary due to those anomalies, the Ceres mission is also projected to be feasible.
Hindson, W. S.; Hardy, G. H.; Innis, R. C.
Flight tests were carried out to assess the feasibility of piloted steep curved, and decelerating approach profiles in powered lift STOL aircraft. Several STOL control concepts representative of a variety of aircraft were evaluated in conjunction with suitably designed flight directions. The tests were carried out in a real navigation environment, employed special electronic cockpit displays, and included the development of the performance achieved and the control utilization involved in flying 180 deg turning, descending, and decelerating approach profiles to landing. The results suggest that such moderately complex piloted instrument approaches may indeed be feasible from a pilot acceptance point of view, given an acceptable navigation environment. Systems with the capability of those used in this experiment can provide the potential of achieving instrument operations on curved, descending, and decelerating landing approaches to weather minima corresponding to CTOL Category 2 criteria, while also providing a means of realizing more efficient operations during visual flight conditions.
Wilkes, Donald R.; Hummer, Leigh L.
The thermal control surfaces experiment (TCSE) was the most complex hardware system aboard the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF). The TCSE system consists of a scanning spectroreflectometer that measured test samples mounted on a rotatable carousel assembly. A microprocessor based data system controlled all aspects of TCSE system operation. Power was provided by four primary batteries. Flight measurement and housekeeping data were stored on a tape recorder for postflight analysis. The TCSE is a microcosm of complex electro-optical payloads being developed by NASA, DoD, and the aerospace community. The TCSE provides valuable data on the performance of these systems in space. The TCSE flight system and its excellent performance on the LDEF mission are described. A few operational anomalies were encountered and are discussed. Initial post-flight tests show that the TCSE system remains functional although some degradation in the optical measurements were observed. The results of these tests are also presented.
stability under mal-function of the roll control system. The roll motion of the Ares-I Crew Launch Vehicle under nominal flight conditions is actively stabilized by its roll control system employing thrusters. This dissertation describes the ascent flight control design problem of Ares-I in the event of disabled or failed roll control. A simple pitch/yaw control logic is developed for such a technically challenging problem by exploiting the inherent versatility of a quaternion-based attitude control system. The proposed scheme requires only the desired inertial attitude quaternion to be re-computed using the actual uncontrolled roll angle information to achieve an ascent flight trajectory identical to the nominal flight case with active roll control. Another approach that utilizes a simple adjustment of the proportional-derivative gains of the quaternion-based flight control system without active roll control is also presented. This approach doesn't require the re-computation of desired inertial attitude quaternion. A linear stability criterion is developed for proper adjustments of attitude and rate gains. The linear stability analysis results are validated by nonlinear simulations of the ascent flight phase. However, the first approach, requiring a simple modification of the desired attitude quaternion, is recommended for the Ares-I as well as other launch vehicles in the event of no active roll control. Finally, the method derived to stabilize a large flexible launch vehicle in the event of uncontrolled roll drift is generalized as a modified attitude quaternion feedback law. It is used to stabilize an axisymmetric rigid body by two independent control torques.
Meyer, G.; Cicolani, L. S.
Techniques were developed for the unified design of multimode, variable authority automatic flight-control systems for powered-lift STOL and VTOL aircraft. A structure for such systems is developed to deal with the strong nonlinearities inherent in this class of aircraft, to admit automatic coupling with advanced air traffic control, and to admit a variety of active control tasks. The aircraft being considered is the augmentor wing jet STOL research aircraft.
Kong, Fan-e.; Chen, Zongji
The advanced fighter should possess the performance such as super-sound cruising, stealth, agility, STOVL(Short Take-Off Vertical Landing),powerful communication and information processing. For this purpose, it is not enough only to improve the aerodynamic and propulsion system. More importantly, it is necessary to enhance the control system. A complete flight control system provides not only autopilot, auto-throttle and control augmentation, but also the given mission management. F-22 and JSF possess considerably outstanding flight control system on the basis of pave pillar and pave pace avionics architecture. But their control architecture is not enough integrated. The main purpose of this paper is to build a novel fighter control system architecture. The control system constructed on this architecture should be enough integrated, inexpensive, fault-tolerant, high safe, reliable and effective. And it will take charge of both the flight control and mission management. Starting from this purpose, this paper finishes the work as follows: First, based on the human nervous control, a three-leveled hierarchical control architecture is proposed. At the top of the architecture, decision level is in charge of decision-making works. In the middle, organization & coordination level will schedule resources, monitor the states of the fighter and switch the control modes etc. And the bottom is execution level which holds the concrete drive and measurement; then, according to their function and resources all the tasks involving flight control and mission management are sorted to individual level; at last, in order to validate the three-leveled architecture, a physical configuration is also showed. The configuration is distributed and applies some new advancement in information technology industry such line replaced module and cluster technology.
Halski, Don J.
The Fly-By-Light Advanced Systems Hardware (FLASH) program developed Fly-By-Light (FBL) and Power-By-Wire (PBW) technologies for military and commercial aircraft. FLASH consists of three tasks. Task 1 developed the fiber optic cable, connectors, testers and installation and maintenance procedures. Task 3 developed advanced smart, rotary thin wing and electro-hydrostatic (EHA) actuators. Task 2, which is the subject of this paper,l focused on integration of fiber optic sensors and data buses with cable plant components from Task 1 and actuators from Task 3 into centralized and distributed flight control systems. Both open loop and piloted hardware-in-the-loop demonstrations were conducted with centralized and distributed flight control architectures incorporating the AS-1773A optical bus, active hand controllers, optical sensors, optimal flight control laws in high speed 32-bit processors, and neural networks for EHA monitoring and fault diagnosis. This paper overviews the systems level testing conducted under the FLASH Flight Control task. Preliminary results are summarized. Companion papers provide additional information.
Takahashi, Mark; Fletcher, Jay; Aiken, Edwin W. (Technical Monitor)
The U.S. Army and NASA are currently developing the Rotorcraft Aircrew Systems Concepts Airborne Laboratory (RASCAL) at the Ames Research Center. RASCAL, shown in Figure 1, is a UH-60, which is being modified in a phased development program to have a research fly-by-wire flight control system, and an advanced navigation research platform. An important part of the flight controls and handling qualities research on RASCAL will be an FCS design for the aircraft to achieve high bandwidth control responses and disturbance rejection characteristics. Initially, body states will be used as feedbacks, but research into the use of rotor states will also be considered in later stages to maximize agility and maneuverability. In addition to supporting flight controls research, this FCS design will serve as the inflight simulation control law to support basic handling qualities, guidance, and displays research. Research in high bandwidth controls laws is motivated by the desire to improve the handling qualities in aggressive maneuvering and in severely degraded weather conditions. Naturally, these advantages will also improve the quality of the model following, thereby improving the inflight simulation capabilities of the research vehicle. High bandwidth in the control laws provides tighter tracking allowing for higher response bandwidths which can meet handling qualities requirements for aggressive maneuvering. System sensitivity is also reduced preventing variations in the response from the vehicle due to changing flight conditions. In addition, improved gust rejection will result from this reduced sensitivity. The gust rejection coupled with a highly stable system will make more precise maneuvering and pointing possible in severely degraded weather conditions. The difficulty in achieving higher bandwidths from the control laws in the feedback and in the responses arises from the complexity of the models that are needed to produce a satisfactory design. In this case, high
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Gatlin, Donald H.; Stewart, James F.
The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center has been conducting integrated flight-propulsion control flight research using the NASA F-15 airplane for the past 12 years. The research began with the digital electronic engine control (DEEC) project, followed by the F100 Engine Model Derivative (EMD). HIDEC (Highly Integrated Digital Electronic Control) became the umbrella name for a series of experiments including: the Advanced Digital Engine Controls System (ADECS), a twin jet acoustics flight experiment, self-repairing flight control system (SRFCS), performance-seeking control (PSC), and propulsion controlled aircraft (PCA). The upcoming F-15 project is ACTIVE (Advanced Control Technology for Integrated Vehicles). This paper provides a brief summary of these activities and provides background for the PCA and PSC papers, and includes a bibliography of all papers and reports from the NASA F-15 project.
Del Gobbo, Diego
Flight control systems are undergoing a rapid process of automation. The use of Fly-By-Wire digital flight control systems in commercial aviation (Airbus 320 and Boeing FBW-B777) is a clear sign of this trend. The increased automation goes in parallel with an increased complexity of flight control systems with obvious consequences on reliability and safety. Flight control systems must meet strict fault-tolerance requirements. The standard solution to achieving fault tolerance capability relies on multi-string architectures. On the other hand, multi-string architectures further increase the complexity of the system inducing a reduction of overall reliability. In the past two decades a variety of techniques based on analytical redundancy have been suggested for fault diagnosis purposes. While research on analytical redundancy has obtained desirable results, a design methodology involving requirements specification and feasibility analysis of analytical redundancy based fault tolerant flight control systems is missing. The main objective of this research work is to describe within a formal framework the implications of adopting analytical redundancy as a basis to achieve fault tolerance. The research activity involves analysis of the analytical redundancy approach, analysis of flight control system informal requirements, and re-engineering (modeling and specification) of the fault tolerance requirements. The USAF military specification MIL-F-9490D and supporting documents are adopted as source for the flight control informal requirements. The De Havilland DHC-2 general aviation aircraft equipped with standard autopilot control functions is adopted as pilot application. Relational algebra is adopted as formal framework for the specification of the requirements. The detailed analysis and formalization of the requirements resulted in a better definition of the fault tolerance problem in the framework of analytical redundancy. Fault tolerance requirements and related
Burgin, G. H.; Eggleston, D. M.
A flight control system for use in air-to-air combat simulation was designed. The input to the flight control system are commanded bank angle and angle of attack, the output are commands to the control surface actuators such that the commanded values will be achieved in near minimum time and sideslip is controlled to remain small. For the longitudinal direction, a conventional linear control system with gains scheduled as a function of dynamic pressure is employed. For the lateral direction, a novel control system, consisting of a linear portion for small bank angle errors and a bang-bang control system for large errors and error rates is employed.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Burken, John J.; Maine, Trindel A.; Fullerton, C. Gordon
An emergency flight control system that uses only engine thrust, called the propulsion-controlled aircraft (PCA) system, was developed and flight tested on an MD-11 airplane. The PCA system is a thrust-only control system, which augments pilot flightpath and track commands with aircraft feedback parameters to control engine thrust. The PCA system was implemented on the MD-11 airplane using only software modifications to existing computers. Results of a 25-hr flight test show that the PCA system can be used to fly to an airport and safely land a transport airplane with an inoperative flight control system. In up-and-away operation, the PCA system served as an acceptable autopilot capable of extended flight over a range of speeds, altitudes, and configurations. PCA approaches, go-arounds, and three landings without the use of any normal flight controls were demonstrated, including ILS-coupled hands-off landings. PCA operation was used to recover from an upset condition. The PCA system was also tested at altitude with all three hydraulic systems turned off. This paper reviews the principles of throttles-only flight control, a history of accidents or incidents in which some or all flight controls were lost, the MD-11 airplane and its systems, PCA system development, operation, flight testing, and pilot comments.
Windsor, Shane P.; Bomphrey, Richard J.; Taylor, Graham K.
Vision is a key sensory modality for flying insects, playing an important role in guidance, navigation and control. Here, we use a virtual-reality flight simulator to measure the optomotor responses of the hawkmoth Hyles lineata, and use a published linear-time invariant model of the flight dynamics to interpret the function of the measured responses in flight stabilization and control. We recorded the forces and moments produced during oscillation of the visual field in roll, pitch and yaw, varying the temporal frequency, amplitude or spatial frequency of the stimulus. The moths’ responses were strongly dependent upon contrast frequency, as expected if the optomotor system uses correlation-type motion detectors to sense self-motion. The flight dynamics model predicts that roll angle feedback is needed to stabilize the lateral dynamics, and that a combination of pitch angle and pitch rate feedback is most effective in stabilizing the longitudinal dynamics. The moths’ responses to roll and pitch stimuli coincided qualitatively with these functional predictions. The moths produced coupled roll and yaw moments in response to yaw stimuli, which could help to reduce the energetic cost of correcting heading. Our results emphasize the close relationship between physics and physiology in the stabilization of insect flight. PMID:24335557
Weisshaar, T. A.; Schmidt, D. K.
The potential benefits and costs of optimizing both the structural stiffness and the active control of aircraft in a rational manner are investigated. The ultimate goal is to arrive at a unified treatment of structural and active control design for the stability augmentation of flexible aircraft. An exhaustive literature evaluation in the area of passive tailoring for aircraft performance is undertaken. A mathematical technique to be used for aeroservoelastic tailoring studies is described. Two analytical models, one elementary, the other sophisticated, are developed to illustrate the potential for aeroservoelastic tailoring. Both models have essential features of real world hardware, yet the physical understanding is not buried in a myriad of detail. These models are also described.
Schematic diagrams are given for both the four-channel electromechanical actuator and the single-channel power electronics breadboard. Detailed design data is also given on the gears used in the differential gearbox and a copy of the operations manual for the system is included. Performance test results are given for the EMA motor and its current source indicator, the drive control electronics, and the overall system. The power converter waveform test results are also summarized.
Joshi, Amit S.
Wind shear is a dangerous condition where there is a sharp change in the direction and magnitude of the wind velocity over a short distance or time. This condition is especially dangerous to aircraft during landing and takeoff and can cause a sudden loss of lift and thereby height at a critical time. A numerical simulation showed the effective performance of the Linear Quadratic Regulator and the Nonlinear Inverse Dynamics controllers. The major conclusions are listed and discussed.
Berkhout, J.; Osgood, R.; Berry, D.
Data from decoupled flight maneuvers have been collected and analyzed for four AFTI-F-16 pilots operating this aircraft's highly augmented fly-by-wire control system, in order to obtain spectral density, cross spectra, and Bode amplitude data, as well as coherences and phase angles for the two longitudinal axis control functions of each of 50 20-sec epochs. The analysis of each epoch yielded five distinct plotted parameters for the left hand twist grip and right hand sidestick controller output time series. These two control devices allow the left hand to generate vertical translation, direct lift, or pitch-pointing commands that are decoupled from those of the right hand. Attention is given to the control patterns obtained for decoupled normal flight, air-to-air gun engagement decoupled maneuvering, and decoupled air-to-surface bombing run maneuvering.
Buschbacher, Mark; Bosworth, John
The Second Generation (Gen II) control system for the F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) program implements direct adaptive neural networks to demonstrate robust tolerance to faults and failures. The direct adaptive tracking controller integrates learning neural networks (NNs) with a dynamic inversion control law. The term direct adaptive is used because the error between the reference model and the aircraft response is being compensated or directly adapted to minimize error without regard to knowing the cause of the error. No parameter estimation is needed for this direct adaptive control system. In the Gen II design, the feedback errors are regulated with a proportional-plus-integral (PI) compensator. This basic compensator is augmented with an online NN that changes the system gains via an error-based adaptation law to improve aircraft performance at all times, including normal flight, system failures, mispredicted behavior, or changes in behavior resulting from damage.
... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Flight crewmembers at controls. 121.543 Section 121.543 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED) AIR CARRIERS AND OPERATORS FOR COMPENSATION OR HIRE: CERTIFICATION AND OPERATIONS OPERATING REQUIREMENTS: DOMESTIC, FLAG, AND...
Johnston, D. E.; Klein, R. H.; Hoh, R. H.
An analytical and experimental investigation of possible contributing factors in jet aircraft turbulence upsets was conducted. Major contributing factors identified included autopilot and display deficiencies, the large aircraft inertia and associated long response time, and excessive pilot workload. An integrated flight and thrust energy management director system was synthesized. The system was incorporated in a moving-base simulation and evaluated using highly experienced airline pilots. The evaluation included comparison of pilot workload and flight performance during severe turbulence penetration utilizing four control/display concepts: manual control with conventional full panel display, conventional autopilot (A/P-A) with conventional full panel display, improved autopilot (A/P-B) with conventional full panel display plus thrust director display, and longitudinal flight director with conventional full panel display plus thrust director display. Simulation results show improved performance, reduced pilot workload, and a pilot preference for the autopilot system controlling to the flight director command and manual control of thrust following the trim thrust director.
Schmidt, D. K.
Development of a unified control synthesis methodology for complex and/or non-conventional flight vehicles, and prediction techniques for the handling characteristics of such vehicles are reported. Identification of pilot dynamics and objectives, using time domain and frequency domain methods is proposed.
Barrett, Ron; Barnhart, Ryan; Bramlette, Richard
This paper outlines a new class of piezoelectric flight control actuators which are specifically intended for use in guided hard-launched munitions from under 5.56mm to 40mm in caliber. In March of 2011, US Pat. 7,898,153 was issued, describing this new class of actuators, how they are mounted, laminated, energized and used to control the flight of a wide variety of munitions. This paper is the technical conference paper companion to the Patent. A Low Net Passive Stiffness (LNPS) Post Buckled Precompressed (PBP) piezoelectric actuator element for a 0.40 caliber body, 0.50 caliber round was built and tested. Aerodynamic modeling of the flight control actuator showed that canard deflections of just +/-1° are more than sufficient to provide full flight control against 99% atmospherics to 2km of range while maintaining just 10cm of dispersion with lethal energy pressure levels upon terminal contact. Supersonic wind tunnel testing was conducted as well as a sweep of axial compression. The LNPS/PBP configuration exhibited an amplification factor of 3.8 while maintaining equivalent corner frequencies in excess of 100 Hz and deflection levels of +/-1°. The paper concludes with a fabrication and assembly cost analysis on a mass production scale.
Arthur, Jarvis J., III; Prinzel, Lawrence J., III; Kramer, Lynda J.; Parrish, Russell V.; Bailey, Randall E.
In commercial aviation, over 30-percent of all fatal accidents worldwide are categorized as Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) accidents, where a fully functioning airplane is inadvertently flown into the ground. The major hypothesis for a simulation experiment conducted at NASA Langley Research Center was that a Primary Flight Display (PFD) with synthetic terrain will improve pilots ability to detect and avoid potential CFITs compared to conventional instrumentation. All display conditions, including the baseline, contained a Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) and Vertical Situation Display (VSD) enhanced Navigation Display (ND). Each pilot flew twenty-two approach departure maneuvers in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) to the terrain challenged Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) in Colorado. For the final run, flight guidance cues were altered such that the departure path went into terrain. All pilots with a synthetic vision system (SVS) PFD (twelve of sixteen pilots) noticed and avoided the potential CFIT situation. The four pilots who flew the anomaly with the conventional baseline PFD configuration (which included a TAWS and VSD enhanced ND) had a CFIT event. Additionally, all the SVS display concepts enhanced the pilot s situational awareness, decreased workload and improved flight technical error (FTE) compared to the baseline configuration.
Enns, Russell James
This dissertation introduces a new rotorcraft flight control methodology based on a relatively new form of neural control, neural dynamic programming (NDP). NDP is an on-line learning control scheme that is in its infancy and has only been applied to simple systems, such as those possessing a single control and a handful of states. This dissertation builds on the existing NDP concept to provide a comprehensive control system framework that can perform well as a learning controller for more realistic and practical systems of higher dimension such as helicopters. To accommodate such complex systems, the dissertation introduces the concept of a trim network that is seamlessly integrated into the NDP control structure and is also trained using this structure. This is the first time that neural networks have been applied to the helicopter control problem as a direct form of control without using other controller methodologies to augment the neural controller and without using order reducing simplifications such as axes decoupling. The dissertation focuses on providing a viable alternative helicopter control system design approach rather than providing extensive comparisons among various available controllers. As such, results showing the system's ability to stabilize the helicopter and to perform command tracking, without explicit comparison to other methods, are presented. In this research, design robustness was addressed by performing simulations under various disturbance conditions. All designs were tested using FLYRT, a sophisticated, industrial-scale, nonlinear, validated model of the Apache helicopter. Though illustrated for helicopters, the NDP control system framework should be applicable to general purpose multi-input multi-output (MIMO) control. In addition, this dissertation tackles the helicopter reconfigurable flight control problem, finding control solutions when the aircraft, and in particular its control actuators, are damaged. Such solutions have
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Maine, Trindel A.; Burken, John J.; Pappas, Drew
An emergency flight control system using only engine thrust, called Propulsion-Controlled Aircraft (PCA), has been developed and flight tested on an MD-11 airplane. In this thrust-only control system, pilot flight path and track commands and aircraft feedback parameters are used to control the throttles. The PCA system was installed on the MD-11 airplane using software modifications to existing computers. Flight test results show that the PCA system can be used to fly to an airport and safely land a transport airplane with an inoperative flight control system. In up-and-away operation, the PCA system served as an acceptable autopilot capable of extended flight over a range of speeds and altitudes. The PCA approaches, go-arounds, and three landings without the use of any non-nal flight controls have been demonstrated, including instrument landing system-coupled hands-off landings. The PCA operation was used to recover from an upset condition. In addition, PCA was tested at altitude with all three hydraulic systems turned off. This paper reviews the principles of throttles-only flight control; describes the MD-11 airplane and systems; and discusses PCA system development, operation, flight testing, and pilot comments.
Mirab, H.; Tubb, F.
The use of rapid prototyping design methodologies for real time control systems development have become mnore accepted within production engineering organizations. We will use a case study of the Multiple Sensor Technology Integration (MSTI) Program (pro- nounced 'Misty') to consider some of the problems with tradi- tional design approaches and attempt to quantify some advantages of rapid prototyping. The MSTI team used rapid prototyping techniques to develop operational flight software for a spacecraft in under fourteen months. MSTI will be the first spacecraft launched which uses automatically generated real-time flight software.
Malekpour, Mahyar; Torres, Wilfredo
The design and development of a Closed-Loop System to study and evaluate the performance of the Honeywell Recoverable Computer System (RCS) in electromagnetic environments (EME) is presented. The development of a Windows-based software package to handle the time-critical communication of data and commands between the RCS and flight simulation code in real-time while meeting the stringent hard deadlines is also submitted. The performance results of the RCS and characteristics of its upset recovery scheme while exercising flight control laws under ideal conditions as well as in the presence of electromagnetic fields are also discussed.
Helmke, C. A.; Hasara, S. H.; Mount, F. E.
The software for the Backup Flight Control System Functional Evaluator (BFCSFE) on a Data General Corporation Nova 1200 computer consists of three programs: the ground support program, the operational flight program (OFP), and the ground pulse code modulation (PCM) program. The Nova OFP software is structurally as close as possible to the AP101 code; therefore, this document highlights and describes only those areas of the Nova OFP that are significantly different from the AP101. Since the Ground Support Program was developed to meet BFCSFE requirements and differs considerably from the AP101 code, it is described in detail.
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.
Williams, Alison; Fuchs, Heidi; Whitehead, Camilla Dunham
This paper performs a literature review and meta-analysis of water savings from several types of advanced irrigation controllers: rain sensors (RS), weather-based irrigation controllers (WBIC), and soil moisture sensors (SMS).The purpose of this work is to derive average water savings per controller type, based to the extent possible on all available data. After a preliminary data scrubbing, we utilized a series of analytical filters to develop our best estimate of average savings. We applied filters to remove data that might bias the sample such as data self-reported by manufacturers, data resulting from studies focusing on high-water users, or data presented in a non-comparable format such as based on total household water use instead of outdoor water use. Because the resulting number of studies was too small to be statistically significant when broken down by controller type, this paper represents a survey and synthesis of available data rather than a definitive statement regarding whether the estimated water savings are representative.
Ray, J. K.; Carlin, C. M.; Lambregts, A. A.
Technology advances required in the flight and propulsion control system disciplines to develop a high speed civil transport (HSCT) are identified. The mission and requirements of the transport and major flight and propulsion control technology issues are discussed. Each issue is ranked and, for each issue, a plan for technology readiness is given. Certain features are unique and dominate control system design. These features include the high temperature environment, large flexible aircraft, control-configured empennage, minimizing control margins, and high availability and excellent maintainability. The failure to resolve most high-priority issues can prevent the transport from achieving its goals. The flow-time for hardware may require stimulus, since market forces may be insufficient to ensure timely production. Flight and propulsion control technology will contribute to takeoff gross weight reduction. Similar technology advances are necessary also to ensure flight safety for the transport. The certification basis of the HSCT must be negotiated between airplane manufacturers and government regulators. Efficient, quality design of the transport will require an integrated set of design tools that support the entire engineering design team.
Powell, J. D.; Parsons, E.; Tashker, M. G.
Many variations in design methods for aircraft digital flight control have been proposed in the literature. In general, 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). This paper evaluates several variations of each category and compares them for various flight control modes of the Langley TCV Boeing 737 aircraft. 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.
Dunham, J. R.; Pierce, J. L.
The results of a laboratory experiment in flight control software reliability are reported. The experiment tests a small sample of implementations of a pitch axis control law for a PA28 aircraft with over 14 million pitch commands with varying levels of additive input and feedback noise. The testing which uses the method of n-version programming for error detection surfaced four software faults in one implementation of the control law. The small number of detected faults precluded the conduct of the error burst analyses. The pitch axis problem provides data for use in constructing a model in the prediction of the reliability of software in systems with feedback. The study is undertaken to find means to perform reliability evaluations of flight control software.
La Civita, Marco
Robotic helicopters have attracted a great deal of interest from the university, the industry, and the military world. They are versatile machines and there is a large number of important missions that they could accomplish. Nonetheless, there are only a handful of documented examples of robotic-helicopter applications in real-world scenarios. This situation is mainly due to the poor flight performance that can be achieved and---more important---guaranteed under automatic control. Given the maturity of control theory, and given the large body of knowledge in helicopter dynamics, it seems that the lack of success in flying high-performance controllers for robotic helicopters, especially by academic groups and by small industries, has nothing to do with helicopters or control theory as such. The problem lies instead in the large amount of time and resources needed to synthesize, test, and implement new control systems with the approach normally followed in the aeronautical industry. This thesis attempts to provide a solution by presenting a modeling and control framework that minimizes the time, cost, and both human and physical resources necessary to design high-performance flight controllers. The work is divided in two main parts. The first consists of the development of a modeling technique that allows the designer to obtain a high-fidelity model adequate for both real-time simulation and controller design, with few flight, ground, and wind-tunnel tests and a modest level of complexity in the dynamic equations. The second consists of the exploitation of the predictive capabilities of the model and of the robust stability and performance guarantees of the Hinfinity loop-shaping control theory to reduce the number of iterations of the design/simulated-evaluation/flight-test-evaluation procedure. The effectiveness of this strategy is demonstrated by designing and flight testing a wide-envelope high-performance controller for the Carnegie Mellon University robotic
Rynaski, E. G.; Weingarten, N. C.; Grantham, W.
The flying requirements of MIL-F-8785(C) are interpreted in terms of command/response configurations, and pilot preference for flight control systems configurations of angle of attack, or pitch rate command, specified independently for the short period and phugoid dynamics, is determined using the Total-In-Flight-Simulator aircraft. The results show that for either command configuration, the short term response applies to the angle of attack response of the vehicle, and that this response must satisfy the omega(n) vs n/alpha requirement. The preference in the long term for angle of attack command indicates that the pilot wants the aircraft to fly in the direction it is pointing, and an attitude hold system is not found to be preferred unless attitude hold results in flight path angle hold.
Delaat, John C.; Southwick, Robert D.; Gallops, George W.; Orme, John S.
Future aircraft turbine engines, both commercial and military, must be able to accommodate expected increased levels of steady-state and dynamic engine-face distortion. The current approach of incorporating sufficient design stall margin to tolerate these increased levels of distortion would significantly reduce performance. The High Stability Engine Control (HISTEC) program has developed technologies for an advanced, integrated engine control system that uses measurement- based estimates of distortion to enhance engine stability. The resulting distortion tolerant control reduces the required design stall margin, with a corresponding increase in performance and/or decrease in fuel burn. The HISTEC concept was successfully flight demonstrated on the F-15 ACTIVE aircraft during the summer of 1997. The flight demonstration was planned and carried out in two parts, the first to show distortion estimation, and the second to show distortion accommodation. Post-flight analysis shows that the HISTEC technologies are able to successfully estimate and accommodate distortion, transiently setting the stall margin requirement on-line and in real-time. Flight demonstration of the HISTEC technologies has significantly reduced the risk of transitioning the technology to tactical and commercial engines.
Ruttledge, D. G. C.
An eclectic approach was taken to a study of the integration of digital flight and propulsion controls for helicopters. The basis of the evaluation was the current Gen Hel simulation of the UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter with a model of the GE T700 engine. A list of flight maneuver segments to be used in evaluating the effectiveness of such an integrated control system was composed, based on past experience and an extensive survey of the U.S. Army Air-to-Air Combat Test data. A number of possible features of an integrated system were examined and screened. Those that survived the screening were combined into a design that replaced the T700 fuel control and part of the control system in the UH-60A Gen Hel simulation. This design included portions of an existing pragmatic adaptive fuel control designed by the Chandler-Evans Company and an linear quadratic regulator (LQR) based N(p) governor designed by the GE company, combined with changes in the basic Sikorsky Aircraft designed control system. The integrated system exhibited improved total performance in many areas of the flight envelope.
Colbourne, Jason D.; Frost, Chad R.; Tischler, Mark B.; Ciolani, Luigi; Sahai, Ranjana; Tomoshofski, Chris; LaMontagne, Troy; Rutkowski, Michael (Technical Monitor)
Developing autonomous flying vehicles has been a growing field in aeronautical research within the last decade and will continue into the next century. With concerns about safety, size, and cost of manned aircraft, several autonomous vehicle projects are currently being developed; uninhabited rotorcraft offer solutions to requirements for hover, vertical take-off and landing, as well as slung load transportation capabilities. The newness of the technology requires flight control engineers to question what design approaches, control law architectures, and performance criteria apply to control law development and handling quality evaluation. To help answer these questions, this paper documents the control law design process for Kaman Aerospace BURRO project. This paper will describe the approach taken to design control laws and develop math models which will be used to convert the manned K-MAX into the BURRO autonomous rotorcraft. With the ability of the K-MAX to lift its own weight (6000 lb) the load significantly affects the dynamics of the system; the paper addresses the additional design requirements for slung load autonomous flight. The approach taken in this design was to: 1) generate accurate math models of the K-MAX helicopter with and without slung loads, 2) select design specifications that would deliver good performance as well as satisfy mission criteria, and 3) develop and tune the control system architecture to meet the design specs and mission criteria. An accurate math model was desired for control system development. The Comprehensive Identification from Frequency Responses (CIFER(R)) software package was used to identify a linear math model for unloaded and loaded flight at hover, 50 kts, and 100 kts. The results of an eight degree-of-freedom CIFER(R)-identified linear model for the unloaded hover flight condition are presented herein, and the identification of the two-body slung-load configuration is in progress.
Levy, D. W.; Roskam, J.; Finn, P. D.
A feasibility study has been performed to evaluate the performance of a system whereby a control surface is positioned with differential pressure as the feedback variable. Analogous to a position command system, the control surface is commanded to move until a certain differential pressure is achieved at a given point on the surface. Frequency response tests and theoretical considerations indicate that the pressure feedback transfer function is first order, with a break frequency up to 50 rad/sec. There exist applications to the outer loops of flight control systems as well. Stability augmentation, gust alleviation, and stall prevention appear to be possible by feeding back differential pressure across lifting and control surfaces.
Calise, A. J.; Rysdyk, R. T.; Leonhardt, B. K.
The initial design and demonstration of an Intelligent Flight Propulsion and Control System (IFPCS) is documented. The design is based on the implementation of a nonlinear adaptive flight control architecture. This initial design of the IFPCS enhances flight safety by using propulsion sources to provide redundancy in flight control. The IFPCS enhances the conventional gain scheduled approach in significant ways: (1) The IFPCS provides a back up flight control system that results in consistent responses over a wide range of unanticipated failures. (2) The IFPCS is applicable to a variety of aircraft models without redesign and,(3) significantly reduces the laborious research and design necessary in a gain scheduled approach. The control augmentation is detailed within an approximate Input-Output Linearization setting. The availability of propulsion only provides two control inputs, symmetric and differential thrust. Earlier Propulsion Control Augmentation (PCA) work performed by NASA provided for a trajectory controller with pilot command input of glidepath and heading. This work is aimed at demonstrating the flexibility of the IFPCS in providing consistency in flying qualities under a variety of failure scenarios. This report documents the initial design phase where propulsion only is used. Results confirm that the engine dynamics and associated hard nonlineaaities result in poor handling qualities at best. However, as demonstrated in simulation, the IFPCS is capable of results similar to the gain scheduled designs of the NASA PCA work. The IFPCS design uses crude estimates of aircraft behaviour. The adaptive control architecture demonstrates robust stability and provides robust performance. In this work, robust stability means that all states, errors, and adaptive parameters remain bounded under a wide class of uncertainties and input and output disturbances. Robust performance is measured in the quality of the tracking. The results demonstrate the flexibility of
Curtiss, H. C., Jr.; Sumantran, V.
The stability and control characteristics of an airship equipped with lifting rotors to provide a modest VTOL capability are discussed. The rotors are used for control and maneuvering in near-hovering flight. Configurations with two, three, and four lifting rotors are examined and compared with respect to control capabilities and dynamic response characteristics. Linearized models of the dynamics are employed for this study. A new approach to the prediction of rotor derivatives for operation near zero thrust in hover is presented. It is found that all three configurations have similar control and response characteristics. The responses are characterized by long time constants and low levels of angular damping.
Snell, S. A.; Hess, R. A.
Techniques for the design of control systems for manually controlled, high-performance aircraft must provide the following: (1) multi-input, multi-output (MIMO) solutions, (2) acceptable handling qualities including no tendencies for pilot-induced oscillations, (3) a tractable approach for compensator design, (4) performance and stability robustness in the presence of significant plant uncertainty, and (5) performance and stability robustness in the presence actuator saturation (particularly rate saturation). A design technique built upon Quantitative Feedback Theory is offered as a candidate methodology which can provide flight control systems meeting these requirements, and do so over a considerable part of the flight envelope. An example utilizing a simplified model of a supermaneuverable fighter aircraft demonstrates the proposed design methodology.
Yonke, W. A.; Landy, R. J.; Stewart, J. F.
An integrated flight propulsion control mode, the Adaptive Engine Control System (ADECS), has been developed and flight tested on an F-15 aircraft as part of the NASA Highly Integrated Digital Electronic Control program. The ADECS system realizes additional engine thrust by increasing the engine pressure ratio (EPR) at intermediate and afterburning power, with the amount of EPR uptrim modulated using a predictor scheme for angle-of-attack and sideslip angle. Substantial improvement in aircraft and engine performance was demonstrated, with a 16 percent rate of climb increase, a 14 percent reduction in time to climb, and a 15 percent reduction in time to accelerate. Significant EPR uptrim capability was found with angles-of-attack up to 20 degrees.
Gilson, Richard D.; Abbott, David W.
Advanced avionics through flight management systems (FMS) coupled with autopilots can now precisely control aircraft from takeoff to landing. Clearly, this has been the most important improvement in aircraft since the jet engine. Regardless of the eventual capabilities of this technology, it is doubtful that society will soon accept pilotless airliners with the same aplomb they accept driverless passenger trains. Flight crews are still needed to deal with inputing clearances, taxiing, in-flight rerouting, unexpected weather decisions, and emergencies; yet it is well known that the contribution of human errors far exceed those of current hardware or software systems. Thus human errors remain, and are even increasing in percentage as the largest contributor to total system error. Currently, the flight crew is regulated by a layered system of certification: by operation, e.g., airline transport pilot versus private pilot; by category, e.g., airplane versus helicopter; by class, e.g., single engine land versus multi-engine land; and by type (for larger aircraft and jet powered aircraft), e.g., Boeing 767 or Airbus A320. Nothing in the certification process now requires an in-depth proficiency with specific types of avionics systems despite their prominent role in aircraft control and guidance.
Painter, John H.
The purpose is to develop algorithms and architectures for embedding artificial intelligence in aircraft guidance and control systems. With the approach adopted, AI-computing is used to create an outer guidance loop for driving the usual aircraft autopilot. That is, a symbolic processor monitors the operation and performance of the aircraft. Then, based on rules and other stored knowledge, commands are automatically formulated for driving the autopilot so as to accomplish desired flight operations. The focus is on developing a software system which can respond to linguistic instructions, input in a standard format, so as to formulate a sequence of simple commands to the autopilot. The instructions might be a fairly complex flight clearance, input either manually or by data-link. Emphasis is on a software system which responds much like a pilot would, employing not only precise computations, but, also, knowledge which is less precise, but more like common-sense. The approach is based on prior work to develop a generic 'shell' architecture for an AI-processor, which may be tailored to many applications by describing the application in appropriate processor data bases (libraries). Such descriptions include numerical models of the aircraft and flight control system, as well as symbolic (linguistic) descriptions of flight operations, rules, and tactics.
Guinn, Wiley A.; Willey, Craig S.; Chong, Michael G.
Fuel savings can be achieved by moving the center of gravity of an aircraft aft which reduces the static stability margin and consequently the trim drag. However, flying qualities of an aircraft with relaxed static stability can be significantly degraded. The flying qualities can be restored by using a pitch active control system (PACS). This report documents the work accomplished during a follow-on program (see NASA CR-165951 for initial program report) to perform extended flight tests of a near-term PACS. The program included flying qualities analyses, piloted flight simulation tests, aircraft preparation and flight tests to demonstrate that the near-term PACS provided good flying qualities within the linear static stability envelope to a negative 3% static stability margin.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and industry are moving towards a more flexible, user oriented air traffic control system. The question is: does this point to a natural evolution or revolution in the world of the air traffic controllers? The National Airspace System is by all accounts the safest in the world. How will we sustain this record of performance with increased flexibility and user involvement? How will controllers and pilots react to a new more dynamic paradigm? Is the current state of automation, modeling, and analysis what is needed to make Free Flight a reality? How will the FAA insure that all human factors questions are answered before implementation? How will we quantify the impact of unanswered questions and their influence on safety? These, and many more questions need to be answered to ensure that the benefits promised by Free Flight are realized by all parties. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association supports the new concept. Yet, we are seriously concerned about the actual implementation of Free Flight's various components.
Gardiner, James D.; Dimitriadis, Grigorios; Codd, Jonathan R.; Nudds, Robert L.
Wind tunnel tests conducted on a model based on the long-eared bat Plecotus auritus indicated that the positioning of the tail membrane (uropatagium) can significantly influence flight control. Adjusting tail position by increasing the angle of the legs ventrally relative to the body has a two-fold effect; increasing leg-induced wing camber (i.e., locally increased camber of the inner wing surface) and increasing the angle of attack of the tail membrane. We also used our model to examine the effects of flying with and without a tail membrane. For the bat model with a tail membrane increasing leg angle increased the lift, drag and pitching moment (nose-down) produced. However, removing the tail membrane significantly reduced the change in pitching moment with increasing leg angle, but it had no significant effect on the level of lift produced. The drag on the model also significantly increased with the removal of the tail membrane. The tail membrane, therefore, is potentially important for controlling the level of pitching moment produced by bats and an aid to flight control, specifically improving agility and manoeuvrability. Although the tail of bats is different from that of birds, in that it is only divided from the wings by the legs, it nonetheless, may, in addition to its prey capturing function, fulfil a similar role in aiding flight control. PMID:21479137
Gregory, Irene M.; Xargay, Enric; Cao, Chengyu; Hovakimyan, Naira
This paper presents results of a flight test of the L-1 adaptive control architecture designed to directly compensate for significant uncertain cross-coupling in nonlinear systems. The flight test was conducted on the subscale turbine powered Generic Transport Model that is an integral part of the Airborne Subscale Transport Aircraft Research system at the NASA Langley Research Center. The results presented are for piloted tasks performed during the flight test.
The Mission Control Center Shuttle (MCC) Shuttle Orbital Flight Test (OFT) Data System (OFTDS) provides facilities for flight control and data systems personnel to monitor and control the Shuttle flights from launch (tower clear) to rollout (wheels stopped on runway). It also supports the preparation for flight (flight planning, flight controller and crew training, and integrated vehicle and network testing activities). The MCC Shuttle OFTDS is described in detail. Three major support systems of the OFTDS and the data types and sources of data entering or exiting the MCC were illustrated. These systems are the communication interface system, the data computation complex, and the display and control system.
Berry, P.; Kaufman, H.
Digital adaptive controllers have been proposed as a means for retaining uniform handling qualities over the flight envelope of a high-performance aircraft. Towards such an implementation, an explicit adaptive controller, which makes direct use of online parameter identification, has been developed and applied to the linearized lateral equations of motion for a typical fighter aircraft. The system is composed of an online weighted least-squares parameter identifier, a Kalman state filter, and a model following control law designed using optimal linear regulator theory. Simulation experiments with realistic measurement noise indicate that the proposed adaptive system has the potential for onboard implementation.
Burcham, Jr., Frank W. (Inventor); Burken, John J. (Inventor); Le, Jeanette (Inventor)
A system for emergency aircraft control uses at least one engine and lateral fuel transfer that allows a pilot to regain control over an aircraft under emergency conditions. Where aircraft propulsion is available only through engines on one side of the aircraft, lateral fuel transfer provides means by which the center of gravity of the aircraft can be moved over to the wing associated with the operating engine, thus inducing a moment that balances the moment from the remaining engine, allowing the pilot to regain control over the aircraft. By implementing the present invention in flight control programming associated with a flight control computer (FCC), control of the aircraft under emergency conditions can be linked to the yoke or autopilot knob of the aircraft. Additionally, the center of gravity of the aircraft can be shifted in order to effect maneuvers and turns by spacing such center of gravity either closer to or farther away from the propelling engine or engines. In an alternative embodiment, aircraft having a third engine associated with the tail section or otherwise are accommodated and implemented by the present invention by appropriately shifting the center of gravity of the aircraft. Alternatively, where a four-engine aircraft has suffered loss of engine control on one side of the plane, the lateral fuel transfer may deliver the center of gravity closer to the two remaining engines. Differential thrust between the two can then control the pitch and roll of the aircraft in conjunction with lateral fuel transfer.
Stepanyan, Vahram; Krishnakumar, Kalmanje; Nguyen, Nhan; VanEykeren, Luarens
This paper addresses the problem of verifying adaptive control techniques for enabling safe flight in the presence of adverse conditions. Since the adaptive systems are non-linear by design, the existing control verification metrics are not applicable to adaptive controllers. Moreover, these systems are in general highly uncertain. Hence, the system's characteristics cannot be evaluated by relying on the available dynamical models. This necessitates the development of control verification metrics based on the system's input-output information. For this point of view, a set of metrics is introduced that compares the uncertain aircraft's input-output behavior under the action of an adaptive controller to that of a closed-loop linear reference model to be followed by the aircraft. This reference model is constructed for each specific maneuver using the exact aerodynamic and mass properties of the aircraft to meet the stability and performance requirements commonly accepted in flight control. The proposed metrics are unified in the sense that they are model independent and not restricted to any specific adaptive control methods. As an example, we present simulation results for a wing damaged generic transport aircraft with several existing adaptive controllers.
Ravi, Sridhar; Crall, James D; McNeilly, Lucas; Gagliardi, Susan F; Biewener, Andrew A; Combes, Stacey A
Airflow conditions close to the Earth's surface are often complex, posing challenges to flight stability and control for volant taxa. Relatively little is known about how well flying animals can contend with complex, adverse air flows, or about the flight control mechanisms used by animals to mitigate wind disturbances. Several recent studies have examined flight in the unsteady von Kármán vortex streets that form behind cylinders, generating flow disturbances that are predictable in space and time; these structures are relatively rare in nature, because they occur only the immediate, downstream vicinity of an object. In contrast, freestream turbulence is characterized by rapid, unpredictable flow disturbances across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, and is nearly ubiquitous in natural habitats. Hummingbirds are ideal organisms for studying the influence of freestream turbulence on flight, as they forage in a variety of aerial conditions and are powerful flyers. We filmed ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) maintaining position at a feeder in laminar and strongly turbulent (intensity ∼15%) airflow environments within a wind tunnel and compared their mean kinematics of the head, body, tail and wing, as well as variability in these parameters. Hummingbirds exhibited remarkably stable head position and orientation in both smooth and turbulent flow while maintaining position at the feeder. However, the hummingbird's body was less stable in turbulent flow and appeared to be most sensitive to disturbances along the mediolateral axis, displaying large lateral accelerations, translations and rolling motions during flight. The hummingbirds mitigated these disturbances by increasing mean wing stroke amplitude and stroke plane angle, and by varying these parameters asymmetrically between the wings and from one stroke to the next. They also actively varied the orientation and fan angle of the tail, maintaining a larger mean fan angle when flying in
Hanson, Curt; Schaefer, Jacob; Burken, John J.; Larson, David; Johnson, Marcus
Flight research has shown the effectiveness of adaptive flight controls for improving aircraft safety and performance in the presence of uncertainties. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA)'s Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control (IRAC) project designed and conducted a series of flight experiments to study the impact of variations in adaptive controller design complexity on performance and handling qualities. A novel complexity metric was devised to compare the degrees of simplicity achieved in three variations of a model reference adaptive controller (MRAC) for NASA's F-18 (McDonnell Douglas, now The Boeing Company, Chicago, Illinois) Full-Scale Advanced Systems Testbed (Gen-2A) aircraft. The complexity measures of these controllers are also compared to that of an earlier MRAC design for NASA's Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) project and flown on a highly modified F-15 aircraft (McDonnell Douglas, now The Boeing Company, Chicago, Illinois). Pilot comments during the IRAC research flights pointed to the importance of workload on handling qualities ratings for failure and damage scenarios. Modifications to existing pilot aggressiveness and duty cycle metrics are presented and applied to the IRAC controllers. Finally, while adaptive controllers may alleviate the effects of failures or damage on an aircraft's handling qualities, they also have the potential to introduce annoying changes to the flight dynamics or to the operation of aircraft systems. A nuisance rating scale is presented for the categorization of nuisance side-effects of adaptive controllers.
Mooij, H. A.
Flight tests have been performed with a variable pitch-rate-command/attitude-hold flight control system in a Beechoraft Queen air-80 aircraft. Some results of in-flight measured runs for two pilots controlling typical easy and difficult dynamics are presented together with the initial results of the same tracking experiment performed on a ground-based flight simulator. Results are compared with results of other investigators using fixed-base flight simulators.
Smith, Irene Skupniewicz; Shi, Nija; Webster, Christopher
Flight controllers in NASA s mission control centers work day and night to ensure that missions succeed and crews are safe. The IT goals of NASA mission control centers are similar to those of most businesses: to evolve IT infrastructure from basic to dynamic. This paper describes Mission Control Technologies (MCT), an application platform that is powering mission control today and is designed to meet the needs of future NASA control centers. MCT is an extensible platform that provides GUI components and a runtime environment. The platform enables NASA s IT goals through its use of lightweight interfaces and configurable components, which promote standardization and incorporate useful solution patterns. The MCT architecture positions mission control centers to reach the goal of dynamic IT, leading to lower cost of ownership, and treating software as a strategic investment.
Xu, Ming; Liang, Yuying; Tan, Tian; Wei, Lixin
This paper deals with the stabilization of cluster flight on an elliptic reference orbit by the Hamiltonian structure-preserving control using the relative position measurement only. The linearized Melton's relative equation is utilized to derive the controller and then the full nonlinear relative dynamics are employed to numerically evaluate the controller's performance. In this paper, the hyperbolic and elliptic eigenvalues and their manifolds are treated without distinction notations. This new treatment not only contributes to solving the difficulty in feedback of the unfixed-dimensional manifolds, but also allows more opportunities to set the controlled frequencies of foundational motions or to optimize control gains. Any initial condition can be stabilized on a Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser torus near a controlled elliptic equilibrium. The motions are stabilized around the natural relative trajectories rather than track a reference relative configuration. In addition, the bounded quasi-periodic trajectories generated by the controller have advantages in rapid reconfiguration and unpredictable evolution.
Xu, Ming; Liang, Yuying; Tan, Tian; Wei, Lixin
This paper deals with the stabilization of cluster flight on an elliptic reference orbit by the Hamiltonian structure-preserving control using the relative position measurement only. The linearized Melton's relative equation is utilized to derive the controller and then the full nonlinear relative dynamics are employed to numerically evaluate the controller's performance. In this paper, the hyperbolic and elliptic eigenvalues and their manifolds are treated without distinction notations. This new treatment not only contributes to solving the difficulty in feedback of the unfixed-dimensional manifolds, but also allows more opportunities to set the controlled frequencies of foundational motions or to optimize control gains. Any initial condition can be stabilized on a Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser torus near a controlled elliptic equilibrium. The motions are stabilized around the natural relative trajectories rather than track a reference relative configuration. In addition, the bounded quasi-periodic trajectories generated by the controller have advantages in rapid reconfiguration and unpredictable evolution.
Olcer, Fahri Ersel
Recent developments on individual blade control (IBC) and physics based reduced order models of various on-blade control (OBC) actuation concepts are opening up opportunities to explore innovative rotor control strategies for improved rotor aerodynamic performance, reduced vibration and BVI noise, and improved rotor stability, etc. Further, recent developments in computationally efficient algorithms for the extraction of Linear Time Invariant (LTI) models are providing a convenient framework for exploring integrated flight and rotor control, while accounting for the important couplings that exist between body and low frequency rotor response and high frequency rotor response. Formulation of linear time invariant (LTI) models of a nonlinear system about a periodic equilibrium using the harmonic domain representation of LTI model states has been studied in the literature. This thesis presents an alternative method and a computationally efficient scheme for implementation of the developed method for extraction of linear time invariant (LTI) models from a helicopter nonlinear model in forward flight. The fidelity of the extracted LTI models is evaluated using response comparisons between the extracted LTI models and the nonlinear model in both time and frequency domains. Moreover, the fidelity of stability properties is studied through the eigenvalue and eigenvector comparisons between LTI and LTP models by making use of the Floquet Transition Matrix. For time domain evaluations, individual blade control (IBC) and On-Blade Control (OBC) inputs that have been tried in the literature for vibration and noise control studies are used. For frequency domain evaluations, frequency sweep inputs are used to obtain frequency responses of fixed system hub loads to a single blade IBC input. The evaluation results demonstrate the fidelity of the extracted LTI models, and thus, establish the validity of the LTI model extraction process for use in integrated flight and rotor control
Schmidt, D. K.
The topics of research in this program include pilot/vehicle analysis techniques, identification of pilot dynamics, and control and display synthesis techniques for optimizing aircraft handling qualities. The project activities are discussed. The current technical activity is directed at extending and validating the active display synthesis procedure, and the pilot/vehicle analysis of the NLR rate-command flight configurations in the landing task. Two papers published by the researchers are attached as appendices.
Throndsen, E. O.
The Lockheed L-1011 automatic flight control systems - yaw stability augmentation and automatic landing - are described in terms of their redundancies. The reliability objectives for these systems are discussed and related to in-service experience. In general, the availability of the stability augmentation system is higher than the original design requirement, but is commensurate with early estimates. The in-service experience with automatic landing is not sufficient to provide verification of Category 3 automatic landing system estimated availability.
Barrett, Ronald M.; Brozoski, Fred
This study outlines active flight control materials, structural arrangements, and several new active flight control methods for rotorcraft, airplanes and missiles. A system-level comparison shows that flight control actuator systems using materials like piezoceramics have approximately double the mass-specific energy and 4 to 6 times the volume specific energy of conventional actuators. New fabrication techniques centered on the principal of directional attachment allow wings and rotor blades to become twist active. Using these new methods, directionally attached piezoelectric (DAP) actuator elements were built into graphite-epoxy sandwich structures. When compared to conventionally attached piezoelectric (CAP) elements, twist deflections (important for flight control) of DAP plates were an order of magnitude greater. By using such twist-active elements in a torque-plate configuration, an active helicopter rotor was built. This Froude-scaled solid state rotor was whirl-stand tested and showed steady blade pitch deflections in excess of plus or minus 8 degrees with good correlation between theory and experiment rates up to 42 Hz (which corresponded to 2.5/rev) and no degradation in deflection as RPM was increased. DAP elements were also used in high aspect ratio subsonic and supersonic wings, demonstrating static twist deflections of plus or minus 2 degrees and plus or minus 6 degrees respectively, with good correlation between experiment and finite element results. The final section compares all-moving active stabilator structural arrangements and pitch deflections, which range up to plus or minus 12 degrees, generating lift coefficient changes in excess of plus or minus 0.8.
Report proposes use of shape-memory-alloy actuators, instead of hydraulic actuators, for aerodynamic flight-control surfaces. Actuator made of shape-memory alloy converts thermal energy into mechanical work by changing shape as it makes transitions between martensitic and austenitic crystalline phase states of alloy. Because both hot exhaust gases and cryogenic propellant liquids available aboard launch rockets, shape-memory-alloy actuators exceptionally suited for use aboard such rockets.
Schmitt, Sara A.; Finders, Jennifer K.; McClelland, Megan M.
Research Findings: The present study investigated the direct effects of residential mobility on children's inhibitory control and academic achievement during the preschool year. It also explored fall inhibitory control and academic skills as mediators linking residential mobility and spring achievement. Participants included 359 preschool…
Schmitt, Sara A.; Finders, Jennifer K.; McClelland, Megan M.
The present study investigated the direct effects of residential mobility on children's inhibitory control and academic achievement during the preschool year. It also explored fall inhibitory control and academic skills as mediators linking residential mobility and spring achievement. Participants included 359 preschool children (49% female)…
You, Sukkyung; Hong, Sehee; Ho, Hsiu-Zu
It is well established that perceived control plays an important role in student academic achievement, but little is known about its longitudinal stability, ethnic variation, and developmental effects on subsequent achievement during adolescence. Findings from this study indicated (a) perceived control remains stable during adolescence for each of…
Battiste, Vernol; Lawton, George; Lachter, Joel; Brandt, Summer; Koteskey, Robert; Dao, Arik-Quang; Kraut, Josh; Ligda, Sarah; Johnson, Walter W.
Managing the interval between arrival aircraft is a major part of the en route and TRACON controller s job. In an effort to reduce controller workload and low altitude vectoring, algorithms have been developed to allow pilots to take responsibility for, achieve and maintain proper spacing. Additionally, algorithms have been developed to create dynamic weather-free arrival routes in the presence of convective weather. In a recent study we examined an algorithm to handle dynamic re-routing in the presence of convective weather and two distinct spacing algorithms. The spacing algorithms originated from different core algorithms; both were enhanced with trajectory intent data for the study. These two algorithms were used simultaneously in a human-in-the-loop (HITL) simulation where pilots performed weather-impacted arrival operations into Louisville International Airport while also performing interval management (IM) on some trials. The controllers retained responsibility for separation and for managing the en route airspace and some trials managing IM. The goal was a stress test of dynamic arrival algorithms with ground and airborne spacing concepts. The flight deck spacing algorithms or controller managed spacing not only had to be robust to the dynamic nature of aircraft re-routing around weather but also had to be compatible with two alternative algorithms for achieving the spacing goal. Flight deck interval management spacing in this simulation provided a clear reduction in controller workload relative to when controllers were responsible for spacing the aircraft. At the same time, spacing was much less variable with the flight deck automated spacing. Even though the approaches taken by the two spacing algorithms to achieve the interval management goals were slightly different they seem to be simpatico in achieving the interval management goal of 130 sec by the TRACON boundary.
Siddiqui, Bilal Ahmed
In this work we studied Reconfigurable Flight Control Systems to achieve acceptable performance of a fighter aircraft, even in the event of wing damage to the aircraft at low speeds and high angle of attack, which is typical of many combat maneuvers. Equations of motion for the damaged aircraft were derived, which helped in building simulators. A new methodology combining experimental and numerical aerodynamic prediction was proposed and implemented. For this a wind-tunnel study of a similar configuration was carried out to study the aerodynamics at low speeds and high angle of attack. A baseline control system for undamaged aircraft was developed, and finally a reconfigurable flight control scheme was implemented to keep the aircraft flyable even after the damage.
Brown, Nelson A.
This viewgraph presentation reviews the F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System and Aeronautics including Autonomous Aerial Refueling Demonstrations, X-48B Blended Wing Body, F-15 Quiet Spike, and NF-15 Intelligent Flight Controls.
This publication presents the control requirements, the details of the designed Flight Control Augmentor's (FCA's), the static stability and dynamic stability wind tunnel test programs, the static stability and control analyses, the dynamic stability characteristics of the experimental Launch Vehicle (LV) with the designed FCA's, and a consideration of the elastic vehicle. Dramatic improvements in flight stability have been realized with all the FCA designs; these ranged from 41 percent to 72 percent achieved by the blunt TE design. The control analysis showed that control increased 110 percent with only 3 degrees of FCA deflection. The dynamic stability results showed improvements with all FCA designs tested at all Mach numbers tested. The blunt TE FCA's had the best overall dynamic stability results. Since the lowest elastic vehicle frequency must be well separated from that of the control system, the significant frequencies and modes of vibration have been identified, and the response spectra compared for the experimental LV in both the conventional and the aft cg configuration. Although the dynamic response was 150 percent greater in the aft cg configuration, the lowest bending mode frequency decreased by only 2.8 percent.
Beckers, F.; Verheyden, B.; Morukov, B.; Aubert, Ae
baseline condition. Mean systolic blood pressure did not differ significantly before during and after space flight. In space both LF and HF were decreased compared the standing measurements pre- and post-flight. No evolution was present in BPV after return to Earth. Conclusion: During space flight autonomic modulation is characterised by a vagal predominance. Immediately after return to Earth overall autonomic modulation is extremely depressed. Vasomotor autonomic control is restored rather quickly after space flight, while the restoration of autonomic modulation of heart rate is very slow.
In the mid-1950s -- after the X-1 had exceeded the speed of sound, the D-558-II had doubled that speed, and the X-2 had flown to a speed of Mach 3.2 (3.2 times the speed of sound) -- the problem of maintaining control of a vehicle at the low dynamic pressures found at high altitudes became real. As the development of larger rocket engines than those used in the X-1, X-2, and D-558-II became a virtual certainty, travel to near-orbital and orbital velocities lay on the horizon. It became natural to investigate alternative means to control an aircraft for low dynamic pressures where aerodynamic controls would be inadequate (even absent for orbital flight outside the atmosphere). Consequently, the High-Speed Flight Station (HSFS--predecessor of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center) began pioneering work on simulating and then flying with reaction controls in the last years of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and the first years of its successor, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The HSFS began a two-phase study. One phase involved a fixed-base effort with an analog computer to solve the equations of motion needed for simulation; the other used a mechanical simulator in which the 'pilot' actually experienced the motions produced by the reaction-control jets. The 'pilot' operated the simulator through a single control stick that -- unusually for the time -- controlled three axes with one device. The stick controlled pitch by fore and aft movements, roll by lateral movements, and yaw through thumb movements. The simulator, shown in the video clip, was known as the 'Iron Cross.' It simulated the X-1B, which was equipped with reaction controls. Although the X-1B flew three missions with reaction controls, it developed fatigue cracks in a propellant tank and had to be retired from flight status. Subsequently, an F-104 equipped with reaction controls flew at relatively low dynamic pressures. Between the simulation studies with
Carter, John F.
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) is working with the United States Navy to complete ground testing and initiate flight testing of a modified set of F/A-18 flight control computers. The Production Support Flight Control Computers (PSFCC) can give any fleet F/A-18 airplane an in-flight, pilot-selectable research control law capability. NASA DFRC can efficiently flight test the PSFCC for the following four reasons: (1) Six F/A-18 chase aircraft are available which could be used with the PSFCC; (2) An F/A-18 processor-in-the-loop simulation exists for validation testing; (3) The expertise has been developed in programming the research processor in the PSFCC; and (4) A well-defined process has been established for clearing flight control research projects for flight. This report presents a functional description of the PSFCC. Descriptions of the NASA DFRC facilities, PSFCC verification and validation process, and planned PSFCC projects are also provided.
Csank, Jeffrey T.; Chin, Jeffrey C.; May, Ryan D.; Litt, Jonathan S.; Guo, Ten-Huei
Aircraft engines can be effective actuators to help pilots avert or recover from emergency situations. Emergency control modes are being developed to enhance the engines performance to increase the probability of recovery under these circumstances. This paper discusses a proposed implementation of an architecture that requests emergency propulsion control modes, allowing the engines to deliver additional performance in emergency situations while still ensuring a specified safety level. In order to determine the appropriate level of engine performance enhancement, information regarding the current emergency scenario (including severity) and current engine health must be known. This enables the engine to operate beyond its nominal range while minimizing overall risk to the aircraft. In this architecture, the flight controller is responsible for determining the severity of the event and the level of engine risk that is acceptable, while the engine controller is responsible for delivering the desired performance within the specified risk range. A control mode selector specifies an appropriate situation-specific enhanced mode, which the engine controller then implements. The enhanced control modes described in this paper provide additional engine thrust or response capabilities through the modification of gains, limits, and the control algorithm, but increase the risk of engine failure. The modifications made to the engine controller to enable the use of the enhanced control modes are described, as are the interaction between the various subsystems and importantly, the interaction between the flight controller/pilot and the propulsion control system. Simulation results demonstrate how the system responds to requests for enhanced operation and the corresponding increase in performance.
Dennehy, Cornelius J.; VanZwieten, Tannen S.; Hanson, Curtis E.; Wall, John H.; Miller, Chris J.; Gilligan, Eric T.; Orr, Jeb S.
The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Flight Mechanics and Analysis Division developed an adaptive augmenting control (AAC) algorithm for launch vehicles that improves robustness and performance on an as-needed basis by adapting a classical control algorithm to unexpected environments or variations in vehicle dynamics. This was baselined as part of the Space Launch System (SLS) flight control system. The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) was asked to partner with the SLS Program and the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) Game Changing Development Program (GCDP) to flight test the AAC algorithm on a manned aircraft that can achieve a high level of dynamic similarity to a launch vehicle and raise the technology readiness of the algorithm early in the program. This document reports the outcome of the NESC assessment.
Garg, Sanjay; Mattern, Duane L.; Bright, Michelle; Ouzts, Peter
This paper presents results from an application of H(infinity) control design methodology to a centralized integrated flight/propulsion control (IFPC) system design for a supersonic STOVL fighter aircraft in transition flight. The overall design methodology consists of a centralized IFPC design with controller partitioning. Design and evaluation vehicle models are summarized, and insight is provided into formulating the H(infinity) control problem such that it reflects the IFPC design objective. The H(infinity) controller is shown to provide decoupled command tracking for the design model. The controller order could be significantly reduced by modal residualization of the fast controller modes without any deterioration in performance.
Plumer, J. A.; Malloy, W. A.; Craft, J. B.
Present practices in lightning protection of aircraft deal primarily with the direct effects of lightning, such as structural damage and ignition of fuel vapors. There is increasing evidence of troublesome electromagnetic effects, however, in aircraft employing solid-state microelectronics in critical navigation, instrumentation and control functions. The potential impact of these indirect effects on critical systems such as digital fly by wire (DFBW) flight controls was studied. The results indicate a need for positive steps to be taken during the design of future fly by wire systems to minimize the possibility of hazardous effects from lightning.
Slemp, Wayne S.; Young, Philip R.
The NASA Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) provided a unique flight opportunity for conducting experiments in space and return of these experiments to Earth for laboratory evaluation. The results of one of these experiments, S0010, Exposure of Spacecraft Coatings, in which selected spacecraft thermal control coatings were exposed to the low-Earth orbital (LEO) environment on LDEF are reported. The objective of the experiment is to evaluate the response of thermal control coatings to LEO exposure, which includes atomic oxygen, ultraviolet and particulate radiation, meteoroid and debris, vacuum, and temperature cycling.
Knudson, Matthew D.; Colby, Mitchell; Tumer, Kagan
Dynamic flight environments in which objectives and environmental features change with respect to time pose a difficult problem with regards to planning optimal flight paths. Path planning methods are typically computationally expensive, and are often difficult to implement in real time if system objectives are changed. This computational problem is compounded when multiple agents are present in the system, as the state and action space grows exponentially. In this work, we use cooperative coevolutionary algorithms in order to develop policies which control agent motion in a dynamic multiagent unmanned aerial system environment such that goals and perceptions change, while ensuring safety constraints are not violated. Rather than replanning new paths when the environment changes, we develop a policy which can map the new environmental features to a trajectory for the agent while ensuring safe and reliable operation, while providing 92% of the theoretically optimal performance
Morello, S. A.
With the advent of airline deregulation and increased competition, the need for cost efficient airline operations is critical. This paper summarizes past research efforts and planned research thrusts toward the development of compatible flight management and air traffic control systems that promise increased operational effectiveness and efficiency. Potential capacity improvements resulting from a time-based ATC simulation (fast-time) are presented. Advanced display concepts with time guidance and velocity vector information to allow the flight crew to play an important role in the future ATC environment are discussed. Results of parametric sensitivity analyses are also presented that quantify the fuel/cost penalties for idle-thrust mismodeling and wind-modeling errors.
Stevens, Richard; Burcham, Frank W., Jr.
If normal aircraft flight controls are lost, emergency flight control may be attempted using only the thrust of engines. Collective thrust is used to control flightpath, and differential thrust is used to control bank angle. One issue is whether a total loss of hydraulics (TLOH) leaves an airplane in a recoverable condition. Recoverability is a function of airspeed, altitude, flight phase, and configuration. If the airplane can be recovered, flight test and simulation results on several transport-class airplanes have shown that throttles-only control (TOC) is usually adequate to maintain up-and-away flight, but executing a safe landing is very difficult. There are favorable aircraft configurations, and also techniques that will improve recoverability and control and increase the chances of a survivable landing. The DHS and NASA have recently conducted a flight and simulator study to determine the effectivity of manual throttles-only control as a way to recover and safely land a range of transport airplanes. This paper discusses TLOH recoverability as a function of conditions, and TOC landability results for a range of transport airplanes, and some key techniques for flying with throttles and making a survivable landing. Airplanes evaluated include the B-747, B-767, B-777, B-757, A320, and B-737 airplanes.
Moua, Cheng; McWherter, Shaun H.; Cox, Timothy H.; Gera, Joseph
The Quiet Spike (QS) flight research program was an aerodynamic and structural proof-of-concept of a telescoping sonic-boom suppressing nose boom on an F-15 B aircraft. The program goal was to collect flight data for model validation up to 1.8 Mach. The primary test philosophy was maintaining safety of flight. In the area of stability and controls the primary concerns were to assess the potential destabilizing effect of the spike on the stability, controllability, and handling qualities of the aircraft and to ensure adequate stability margins across the entire QS flight envelop. This paper reports on the stability and control methods used for flight envelope clearance and flight test results of the F-15B Quiet Spike. Also discussed are the flight test approach, the criteria to proceed to the next flight condition, brief pilot commentary on typical piloting tasks, approach and landing, and refueling task, and air data sensitivity to the flight control system.
Formation flight is the primary movement technique for teams of helicopters. However, the potential for accidents is greatly increased when helicopter teams are required to fly in tight formations and under harsh conditions. This dissertation proposes that the automation of helicopter formations is a realistic solution capable of alleviating risks. Helicopter formation flight operations in battlefield situations are highly dynamic and dangerous, and, therefore, we maintain that both a high-level formation management system and a distributed coordinated control algorithm should be implemented to help ensure safe formations. The starting point for safe autonomous formation flights is to design a distributed control law attenuating external disturbances coming into a formation, so that each vehicle can safely maintain sufficient clearance between it and all other vehicles. While conventional methods are limited to homogeneous formations, our decentralized model predictive control (MPC) approach allows for heterogeneity in a formation. In order to avoid the conservative nature inherent in distributed MPC algorithms, we begin by designing a stable MPC for individual vehicles, and then introducing carefully designed inter-agent coupling terms in a performance index. Thus the proposed algorithm works in a decentralized manner, and can be applied to the problem of helicopter formations comprised of heterogenous vehicles. Individual vehicles in a team may be confronted by various emerging situations that will require the capability for in-flight reconfiguration. We propose the concept of a formation manager to manage separation, join, and synchronization of flight course changes. The formation manager accepts an operator's commands, information from neighboring vehicles, and its own vehicle states. Inside the formation manager, there are multiple modes and complex mode switchings represented as a finite state machine (FSM). Based on the current mode and collected
The application was investigated of control theoretic ideas to the design of flight control systems for the F-8 aircraft. The design of an adaptive control system based upon the so-called multiple model adaptive control (MMAC) method is considered. Progress is reported.
This concept allows control of high-performance stepper motors with minimal parts count and minimal flight software complexity. Although it uses a small number of common flight-qualified parts and simple control algorithms, it is capable enough to meet demanding system requirements. Its programmable nature makes it trivial to implement changes to control algorithms both during integration & test and in flight. Enhancements such as microstepping, half stepping, back-emf compensation, and jitter reduction can be tailored to the requirements of a large variety of stepper motor based applications including filter wheels, focus mechanisms, antenna tracking subsystems, pointing and mobility. The hardware design (using an H-bridge motor controller IC) was adapted from JPL's MER mission, still operating on Mars. This concept has been fully developed and incorporated into the MCS instrument on MRO, currently operating in Mars orbit. It has been incorporated into the filter wheel mechanism and linear stage (focus) mechanism for the AMT instrument. On MCS/MRO, two of these circuits control the elevation and azimuth of the MCS telescope/radiometer assembly, allowing the instrument to continuously monitor the limb of the Martian atmosphere. Implementation on MCS/MRO resulted in a 4:1 reduction in the volume and mass required for the motor driver electronics (100:25 square inches of PCB space), producing a very compact instrument. In fact, all of the electronics for the MCS instrument are packaged within the movable instrument structure. It also saved approximately 3 Watts of power. Most importantly, the design enabled MCS to meet very its stringent maximum allowable torque disturbance requirements.
Frost, Chad R.; Hindson, William S.; Moralez. Ernesto, III; Tucker, George E.; Dryfoos, James B.
Two unique sets of flight control laws were designed, tested and flown on the Army/NASA Rotorcraft Aircrew Systems Concepts Airborne Laboratory (RASCAL) JUH-60A Black Hawk helicopter. The first set of control laws used a simple rate feedback scheme, intended to facilitate the first flight and subsequent flight qualification of the RASCAL research flight control system. The second set of control laws comprised a more sophisticated model-following architecture. Both sets of flight control laws were developed and tested extensively using desktop-to-flight modeling, analysis, and simulation tools. Flight test data matched the model predicted responses well, providing both evidence and confidence that future flight control development for RASCAL will be efficient and accurate.
Dobrokhodov, Vladimir; Kitsios, Ioannis; Kaminer, Isaac; Jones, Kevin D.; Xargay, Enric; Hovakimyan, Naira; Cao, Chengyu; Lizarraga, Mariano I.; Gregory, Irene M.
The paper addresses initial steps involved in the development and flight implementation of new metrics driven L1 adaptive flight control system. The work concentrates on (i) definition of appropriate control driven metrics that account for the control surface failures; (ii) tailoring recently developed L1 adaptive controller to the design of adaptive flight control systems that explicitly address these metrics in the presence of control surface failures and dynamic changes under adverse flight conditions; (iii) development of a flight control system for implementation of the resulting algorithms onboard of small UAV; and (iv) conducting a comprehensive flight test program that demonstrates performance of the developed adaptive control algorithms in the presence of failures. As the initial milestone the paper concentrates on the adaptive flight system setup and initial efforts addressing the ability of a commercial off-the-shelf AP with and without adaptive augmentation to recover from control surface failures.
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.
Paloski, William H.; Reschke, Millard F.; Black, F. Owen; Dow, R. S.
DSO 605 represents the first large study of balance control following spaceflight. Data collected during DSO 605 confirm the theory that postural ataxia following short duration spaceflight is of vestibular origin. We used the computerized dynamic posturography technique developed by Nashner et al. to study the role of the vestibular system in balance control in astronauts during quiet stance before and after spaceflight. Our results demonstrate unequivocally that balance control is disrupted in all astronauts immediately after return from space. The most severely affected returning crew members performed in the same way as vestibular deficient patients exposed to this test battery. We conclude that otolith mediated spatial reference provided by the terrestrial gravitational force vector is not used by the astronauts balance control systems immediately after spaceflight. Because the postflight ataxia appears to be mediated primarily by CNS adaptation to the altered vestibular inputs caused by loss of gravitational stimulation, we believe that intermittent periods of exposure to artificial gravity may provide an effective in-flight countermeasure. Specifically, we propose that in-flight centrifugation will allow crew members to retain their terrestrial sensory-motor adapted states while simultaneously developing microgravity adapted states. The dual-adapted astronaut should be able to make the transition from microgravity to unit gravity with minimal sensory-motor effects. We have begun a ground based program aimed at developing short arm centrifuge prescriptions designed to optimize adaptation to altered gravitational environments. Results from these experiments are expected to lead directly to in-flight evaluation of the proposed centrifuge countermeasure. Because our computerized dynamic posturography system was able to (1) quantify the postflight postural ataxia reported by crew members and observed by flight surgeons and scientists, (2) track the recovery of
In this dissertation, the modern control techniques of feedback linearization, mu synthesis, and neural network based adaptation are used to design novel control laws for two specific applications: F/A-18 flight control and reusable launch vehicle (an X-33 derivative) entry guidance. For both applications, the performance of the controllers is assessed. As a part of a NASA Dryden program to develop and flight test experimental controllers for an F/A-18 aircraft, a novel method of combining mu synthesis and feedback linearization is developed to design longitudinal and lateral-directional controllers. First of all, the open-loop and closed-loop dynamics of F/A-18 are investigated. The production F/A-18 controller as well as the control distribution mechanism are studied. The open-loop and closed-loop handling qualities of the F/A-18 are evaluated using low order transfer functions. Based on this information, a blend of robust mu synthesis and feedback linearization is used to design controllers for a low dynamic pressure envelope of flight conditions. For both the longitudinal and the lateral-directional axes, a robust linear controller is designed for a trim point in the center of the envelope. Then by including terms to cancel kinematic nonlinearities and variations in the aerodynamic forces and moments over the flight envelope, a complete nonlinear controller is developed. In addition, to compensate for the model uncertainty, linearization error and variations between operating points, neural network based adaptation is added to the designed longitudinal controller. The nonlinear simulations, robustness and handling qualities analysis indicate that the performance is similar to or better than that for the production F/A-18 controllers. When the dynamic pressure is very low, the performance of both the experimental and the production flight controllers is degraded, but Level I handling qualities are still achieved. A new generation of Reusable Launch Vehicles
Bosworth, John T.
Adaptive flight control systems have the potential to be resilient to extreme changes in airplane behavior. Extreme changes could be a result of a system failure or of damage to the airplane. The goal for the adaptive system is to provide an increase in survivability in the event that these extreme changes occur. A direct adaptive neural-network-based flight control system was developed for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration NF-15B Intelligent Flight Control System airplane. The adaptive element was incorporated into a dynamic inversion controller with explicit reference model-following. As a test the system was subjected to an abrupt change in plant stability simulating a destabilizing failure. Flight evaluations were performed with and without neural network adaptation. The results of these flight tests are presented. Comparison with simulation predictions and analysis of the performance of the adaptation system are discussed. The performance of the adaptation system is assessed in terms of its ability to stabilize the vehicle and reestablish good onboard reference model-following. Flight evaluation with the simulated destabilizing failure and adaptation engaged showed improvement in the vehicle stability margins. The convergent properties of this initial system warrant additional improvement since continued maneuvering caused continued adaptation change. Compared to the non-adaptive system the adaptive system provided better closed-loop behavior with improved matching of the onboard reference model. A detailed discussion of the flight results is presented.
Levison, W. H.
A new technique for designing flight directors is discussed. This technique uses the optimal-control pilot/vehicle model to determine the appropriate control strategy. The dynamics of this control strategy are then incorporated into the director control laws, thereby enabling the pilot to operate at a significantly lower workload. A preliminary design of a control director for maintaining a STOL vehicle on the approach path in the presence of random air turbulence is evaluated. By selecting model parameters in terms of allowable path deviations and pilot workload levels, a set of director laws is achieved which allows improved system performance at reduced workload levels. The pilot acts essentially as a proportional controller with regard to the director signals, and control motions are compatible with those appropriate to status-only displays.
Ömürlü, Vasfi; Yildiz, İbrahim
A variety of flight control units have been put into realization for navigational purposes of spatially moving vehicles (SMV), which is mostly manipulated by 2 or 3 degrees-of-freedom (DOF) joysticks. Since motion in space consists of three translational motions in forward, side and vertical directions and three rotational motions about these axis; with present joystick interfaces, spatial vehicles has to employ more than one navigational control unit to be able to navigate on all required directions. In this study, a 3 × 3 Stewart-Platform-based FBW (Fly-By-Wire) flight control unit with force feedback is presented which will provide single point manipulation of any SMVs along three translational and about three rotational axis. Within the frame of this paper, design, capability and the advantages of the novel system is mentioned. Kinematics of a Stewart Platform (SP) mechanism employed and its motion potentials is presented by simulations and workspace of the system is evaluated. Dynamic analysis by Bond-Graph approach will be mentioned. Mechatronic design of the complete structure is discussed and force reflection capability of the system with simulations is pointed out using stiffness control. Finally, the possible future work of the subject is discussed which may include the feasible solutions of the SP in terms of size and safety when implementing inside a cockpit.
Goller, Benjamin; Altshuler, Douglas L
Relatively little is known about how sensory information is used for controlling flight in birds. A powerful method is to immerse an animal in a dynamic virtual reality environment to examine behavioral responses. Here, we investigated the role of vision during free-flight hovering in hummingbirds to determine how optic flow--image movement across the retina--is used to control body position. We filmed hummingbirds hovering in front of a projection screen with the prediction that projecting moving patterns would disrupt hovering stability but stationary patterns would allow the hummingbird to stabilize position. When hovering in the presence of moving gratings and spirals, hummingbirds lost positional stability and responded to the specific orientation of the moving visual stimulus. There was no loss of stability with stationary versions of the same stimulus patterns. When exposed to a single stimulus many times or to a weakened stimulus that combined a moving spiral with a stationary checkerboard, the response to looming motion declined. However, even minimal visual motion was sufficient to cause a loss of positional stability despite prominent stationary features. Collectively, these experiments demonstrate that hummingbirds control hovering position by stabilizing motions in their visual field. The high sensitivity and persistence of this disruptive response is surprising, given that the hummingbird brain is highly specialized for sensory processing and spatial mapping, providing other potential mechanisms for controlling position. PMID:25489117
Hess, R. A.; Snell, S. A.
Actuator rate saturation is an important factor adversely affecting the stability and performance of aircraft flight control systems. It has been identified as a catalyst in pilot-induced oscillations, some of which have been catastrophic. A simple design technique is described that utilizes software rate limiters to improve the performance of control systems operating in the presence of actuator rate saturation. As described, the technique requires control effectors to be ganged such that any effector is driven by only a single compensated error signal. Using an analysis of the steady-state behavior of the system, requirements are placed upon the type of the loop transmissions and compensators in the proposed technique. Application of the technique to the design of a multi-input/multi-output, lateral-directional control system for a simple model of a high-performance fighter is demonstrated as are the stability and performance improvements that can accrue with the technique.
An adaptive augmenting control algorithm for the Space Launch System has been developed at the Marshall Space Flight Center as part of the launch vehicles baseline flight control system. A prototype version of the SLS flight control software was hosted on a piloted aircraft at the Armstrong Flight Research Center to demonstrate the adaptive controller on a full-scale realistic application in a relevant flight environment. Concerns regarding adverse interactions between the adaptive controller and a proposed manual steering mode were investigated by giving the pilot trajectory deviation cues and pitch rate command authority.
Flight evaluation in an F-15 aircraft by digital electronic engine control (DEEC) was investigated. Topics discussed include: system description, F100 engine tests, effects of inlet distortion on static pressure probe, flight tests, digital electronic engine control fault detection and accommodation flight evaluation, flight evaluation of a hydromechanical backup control, augmentor transient capability of an F100 engine, investigation of nozzle instability, real time in flight thrust calculation, and control technology for future aircraft propulsion systems. It is shown that the DEEC system is a powerful and flexible controller for the F100 engine.
Garg, Sanjay; Schmidt, Phillip H.
A parameter optimization framework has earlier been developed to solve the problem of partitioning a centralized controller into a decentralized, hierarchical structure suitable for integrated flight/propulsion control implementation. This paper presents results from the application of the controller partitioning optimization procedure to IFPC design for a Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft in transition flight. The controller partitioning problem and the parameter optimization algorithm are briefly described. Insight is provided into choosing various 'user' selected parameters in the optimization cost function such that the resulting optimized subcontrollers will meet the characteristics of the centralized controller that are crucial to achieving the desired closed-loop performance and robustness, while maintaining the desired subcontroller structure constraints that are crucial for IFPC implementation. The optimization procedure is shown to improve upon the initial partitioned subcontrollers and lead to performance comparable to that achieved with the centralized controller. This application also provides insight into the issues that should be addressed at the centralized control design level in order to obtain implementable partitioned subcontrollers.
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Musick, R. O.; Wagner, C. A.
Control systems are required in flight simulators to provide representative stick and rudder pedal characteristics. A system has been developed that uses electric dc torque motors instead of the more common hydraulic actuators. The torque motor system overcomes certain disadvantages of hydraulic systems, such as high cost, high power consumption, noise, oil leaks, and safety problems. A description of the torque motor system is presented, including both electrical and mechanical design as well as performance characteristics. The system develops forces sufficiently high for most simulations, and is physically small and light enough to be used in most motion-base cockpits.
Williams, David; Colonius, Tim; Tadmor, Gilead; Rowley, Clancy
Time varying control of CL is necessary for integrating AFC and Flight Control (Biasing allows for +/- changes in lift) Time delays associated with actuation are long (APPROX.5.8 c/U) and must be included in controllers. Convolution of input signal with single pulse kernel gives reasonable prediction of lift response.
Rediess, H. A.; Buckley, E. C.
The survey covers the various optical elements that are considered in a fly-by-light flight control system including optical sensors and transducers, optical data links, so-called optical actuators, and optical/electro-optical processing. It also addresses airframe installation, maintenance, and repair issues. Rather than an in-depth treatment of optical technology, the survey concentrates on technology readiness and the potential advantages/disadvantages of applying the technology. The information was assembled from open literature, personal interviews, and responses to a questionnaire distributed specifically for this survey. Not all of the information obtained was consistent, particularly with respect to technology readiness. The synthesis of information into the perception of the state-of-technology is presented.
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).
Molinari, Giulio; Arrieta, Andres F.; Ermanni, Paolo
Tailless airplanes with swept wings rely on variations of the spanwise lift distribution to provide controllability in roll, pitch and yaw. Conventionally, this is achieved utilizing multiple control surfaces, such as elevons, on the wing trailing edge. As every flight condition requires different control moments (e.g. to provide pitching moment equilibrium), these surfaces are practically permanently displaced. Due to their nature, causing discontinuities, corners and gaps, they bear aerodynamic penalties, mostly in terms of shape drag. Shape adaptation, by means of chordwise morphing, has the potential of varying the lift of a wing section by deforming its profile in a way that minimizes the resulting drag. Furthermore, as the shape can be varied differently along the wingspan, the lift distribution can be tailored to each specific flight condition. For this reason, tailless aircraft appear as a prime choice to apply morphing techniques, as the attainable benefits are potentially significant. In this work, we present a methodology to determine the optimal planform, profile shape, and morphing structure for a tailless aircraft. The employed morphing concept is based on a distributed compliance structure, actuated by Macro Fiber Composite (MFC) piezoelectric elements. The multidisciplinary optimization is performed considering the static and dynamic aeroelastic behavior of the resulting structure. The goal is the maximization of the aerodynamic efficiency while guaranteeing the controllability of the plane, by means of morphing, in a set of flight conditions.
On forward flight deck, Commander Brand and Pilot Overmyer operate controls from commanders and pilots seats. Overall view taken from the aft flight deck looking forward shows Overmyer pointing to data on Panel 7 (F7) CRT 1 screen.
On forward flight deck, Commander Brand and Pilot Overmyer operate controls from commanders and pilots seats. Overall view taken from the aft flight deck looking forward shows both astronauts reviewing procedures and checking CRT screen data.
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.
Hess, Ronald A.; McLean, C.
A methodology is presented for the design of flight control systems that exhibit stability and performance-robustness in the presence of actuator failures. The design is based upon two elements. The first element consists of a control law that will ensure at least stability in the presence of a class of actuator failures. This law is created by inner-loop, reduced-order, linear dynamic inversion, and outer-loop compensation based upon Quantitative Feedback Theory. The second element consists of adaptive compensators obtained from simple and approximate time-domain identification of the dynamics of the 'effective vehicle' with failed actuator(s). An example involving the lateral-directional control of a fighter aircraft is employed both to introduce the proposed methodology and to demonstrate its effectiveness and limitations.
Takahashi, Marc D.
Rate-command and attitude-command flight-control designs for a UH-60 helicopter in hover are presented and were synthesized using an H(2) method. Using weight functions, this method allows the direct shaping of the singular values of the sensitivity, complementary sensitivity, and control input transfer-function matrices to give acceptable feedback properties. The designs were implemented on the Vertical Motion Simulator, and four low-speed hover tasks were used to evaluate the control system characteristics. The pilot comments from the accel-decel, bob-up, hovering turn, and side-step tasks indicated good decoupling and quick response characteristics. However, an underlying roll PIO tendency was found to exist away from the hover condition, which was caused by a flap regressing mode with insufficient damping.
Lee, Jungil; Lee, Hansol; Kim, Woojin; Choi, Haecheon
In a ski jumping competition, it is essential to analyze the effect of various posture parameters of a ski jumper to achieve a longer flight distance. For this purpose, we conduct a large eddy simulation (LES) of turbulent flow past a model ski jumper which is obtained by 3D scanning a ski jumper's body (Mr. Chil-Ku Kang, member of the Korean national team). The angle of attack of the jump ski is 30° and the Reynolds number based on the length of the jump ski is 540,000. The flow statistics including the drag and lift coefficients in flight are in good agreements with our own experimental data. We investigate the flow characteristics such as the flow separation and three-dimensional vortical structures and their effects on the drag and lift. In addition to LES, we construct a simple geometric model of a ski jumper where each part of the ski jumper is modeled as a canonical bluff body such as the sphere, cylinder and flat plate, to find its optimal posture. The results from this approach will be compared with those by LES and discussed. Supported by NRF program (2014M3C1B1033848, 2014R1A1A1002671).
Jung, Daehan; Bang, Kyeongtae; Kim, Heesu; Ahn, Eunhye; Choi, Haecheon
In a ski jumping competition, it is essential to analyze the effect of various posture parameters of a ski jumper to achieve a longer flight distance. For this purpose, we construct a model of a ski jumper by using three-dimensional surface data obtained by scanning a ski jumper's body (Mr. Chil-Ku Kang, member of the Korean national team). An experiment on this model is conducted in a wind tunnel. We consider four posture parameters (forward leaning angle, ski opening angle, ski rolling angle, and ski spacing) and measure the drag and lift forces for various flight postures at various angles of attack (α = 0° - 40°) and Reynolds numbers (Re = 5.4 × 105 - 1.6 × 106) based on the length of the jump ski. Then, we derive optimum values of posture parameters for maximum lift-to-drag ratio using a response surface method. We also conduct a full-scale wind tunnel experiment with members of the Korean national team and confirm the results obtained from the experiment on the model. Supported by the NRF program (2014M3C1B1033848).
Daşkɪran, O.; Kavsaoğlu, M. Ş.
After a structural damage or component failure during any flight mode, aircraft dynamics are dramatically altered. A quick and adequate stabilization effort is crucial. Flight dynamics for several failure scenarios are analyzed. Necessary amounts of control deflections for postfailure trim are calculated. These trim values are used as control input in an open loop manner and validity of this approach is tested via flight simulations. Alternatively, a closed loop flight control system, which does not need the postfailure trim values, is also designed. This closed loop controller is based on a linearized aircraft model whereas flight simulations are based on nonlinear aircraft dynamics.
Vonbaumgarten, R. J.; Shillinger, G. L., Jr.; Baldright, G.
Blind fish, during parabolic flight, display a measurable and consistent behavior. The most spectacular new behavioral response is the forward looping of blind fish in or near weightlessness. This response shows no measurable adaptation during the entire period of weightlessness of about 30 sec. During the entrance and exit of weightless parabolas (pushover and pullout) respectively, the fish assumes a forward tilted diving position. Parabolic flight with negative g in the range between 0g and -1g causes similar diving responses of the fish with the only difference being that the dive is directed toward the top of the fish tank. When the response to a g value less than 1g is compared to the response to increased g load on the ground (escape of darting response) an essential difference is seen: higher horizontal acceleration or jerk on the ground causes fish to swim, or even dart, against the direction of inertial force; fish during weightless parabolas move into the direction of the inertial or gravitational force. Since the vestibular system of fish is homologous to that of man, the observed behavior of fish in weightless flight could help to better understand human performance and sensations in comparable situations.
Holleman, E. C. (Compiler)
The first four flights of a remotely piloted airplane model showed that a flight envelope can be expanded rapidly and that hazardous flight tests can be conducted safely with good results. The flights also showed that aerodynamic data can be obtained quickly and effectively over a wide range of flight conditions, clear and useful impressions of handling and controllability of configurations can be obtained, and present computer and electronic technology provide the capability to close flight control loops on the ground, thus providing a new method of design and flight test for advanced aircraft.
Gadzella, Bernadette M.; And Others
The study investigated (a) relationships between measures on study habits and attitudes, locus of control, achieving tendency, and semester grade-point averages (SGPA), (b) differences between the sexes on the above mentioned variables, and (c) best predictor of SGPA. The subjects were 39 males and 81 females. There were a number of significant…
Gilyard, Glenn B. (Inventor)
Practical application of real-time (or near real-time) Adaptive Performance Optimization (APO) is provided for a transport aircraft in steady climb, cruise, turn descent or other flight conditions based on measurements and calculations of incremental drag from a forced response maneuver of one or more redundant control effectors defined as those in excess of the minimum set of control effectors required to maintain the steady flight condition in progress. The method comprises the steps of applying excitation in a raised-cosine form over an interval of from 100 to 500 sec. at the rate of 1 to 10 sets/sec of excitation, and data for analysis is gathered in sets of measurements made during the excitation to calculate lift and drag coefficients C.sub.L and C.sub.D from two equations, one for each coefficient. A third equation is an expansion of C.sub.D as a function of parasitic drag, induced drag, Mach and altitude drag effects, and control effector drag, and assumes a quadratic variation of drag with positions .delta..sub.i of redundant control effectors i=1 to n. The third equation is then solved for .delta..sub.iopt the optimal position of redundant control effector i, which is then used to set the control effector i for optimum performance during the remainder of said steady flight or until monitored flight conditions change by some predetermined amount as determined automatically or a predetermined minimum flight time has elapsed.
Kalinowski, Kevin F.; Tucker, George E.; Moralez, Ernesto, III
Engineering development and qualification of a Research Flight Control System (RFCS) for the Rotorcraft Aircrew Systems Concepts Airborne Laboratory (RASCAL) JUH-60A has motivated the development of a pilot rating scale for evaluating failure transients in fly-by-wire flight control systems. The RASCAL RFCS includes a highly-reliable, dual-channel Servo Control Unit (SCU) to command and monitor the performance of the fly-by-wire actuators and protect against the effects of erroneous commands from the flexible, but single-thread Flight Control Computer. During the design phase of the RFCS, two piloted simulations were conducted on the Ames Research Center Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) to help define the required performance characteristics of the safety monitoring algorithms in the SCU. Simulated failures, including hard-over and slow-over commands, were injected into the command path, and the aircraft response and safety monitor performance were evaluated. A subjective Failure/Recovery Rating (F/RR) scale was developed as a means of quantifying the effects of the injected failures on the aircraft state and the degree of pilot effort required to safely recover the aircraft. A brief evaluation of the rating scale was also conducted on the Army/NASA CH-47B variable stability helicopter to confirm that the rating scale was likely to be equally applicable to in-flight evaluations. Following the initial research flight qualification of the RFCS in 2002, a flight test effort was begun to validate the performance of the safety monitors and to validate their design for the safe conduct of research flight testing. Simulated failures were injected into the SCU, and the F/RR scale was applied to assess the results. The results validate the performance of the monitors, and indicate that the Failure/Recovery Rating scale is a very useful tool for evaluating failure transients in fly-by-wire flight control systems.
Kelly, Sean M.; Rosekind, Mark R.; Dinges, David F.; Miller, Donna L.; Gillen, Kelly A.; Gregory, Kevin B.; Aguilar, Ronald D.; Smith, Roy M.
Decreased alertness and performance associated with fatigue, sleep loss, and circadian disruption are issues faced by a diverse range of shiftwork operations. During STS operations, MOD personnel provide 24 hr. coverage of critical tasks. A joint JSC and ARC project was undertaken to examine these issues in flight controllers during MOD shiftwork operations. An initial operational test of procedures and measures was conducted during STS-53 in Dec. 1992. The study measures included a background questionnaire, a subjective daily logbook completed on a 24 hr. basis (to report sleep patterns, work periods, etc.), and an 8 minute performance and mood test battery administered at the beginning, middle, and end of each shift period. Seventeen Flight controllers representing the 3 Orbit shifts participated. The initial results clearly support further data collection during other STS missions to document baseline levels of alertness and performance during MOD shiftwork operations. These issues are especially pertinent for the night shift operations and the acute phase advance required for the transition of day shift personnel into the night for shuttle launch. Implementation and evaluation of the countermeasure strategies to maximize alertness and performance is planned. As STS missions extend to further extended duration orbiters, timelines and planning for 24 circadian disruption will remain highly relevant in the MOD environment.
Allen, Michael J.; Ryan, Jack; Hanson, Curtis E.; Parle, James F.
String stability analysis of an autonomous formation flight system was performed using linear and nonlinear simulations. String stability is a measure of how position errors propagate from one vehicle to another in a cascaded system. In the formation flight system considered here, each i(sup th) aircraft uses information from itself and the preceding ((i-1)(sup th)) aircraft to track a commanded relative position. A possible solution for meeting performance requirements with such a system is to allow string instability. This paper explores two results of string instability and outlines analysis techniques for string unstable systems. The three analysis techniques presented here are: linear, nonlinear formation performance, and ride quality. The linear technique was developed from a worst-case scenario and could be applied to the design of a string unstable controller. The nonlinear formation performance and ride quality analysis techniques both use nonlinear formation simulation. Three of the four formation-controller gain-sets analyzed in this paper were limited more by ride quality than by performance. Formations of up to seven aircraft in a cascaded formation could be used in the presence of light gusts with this string unstable system.
A report discusses the Lift and Nozzle Change Effects on Tail Shock (LaNCETS) test to investigate the effects of lift distribution and nozzle-area ratio changes on tail shock strength of an F-15 aircraft. Specific research objectives are to obtain inflight shock strength for multiple combinations of nozzle-area ratio and lift distribution; compare results with preflight prediction tools; and update predictive tools with flight results. The objectives from a stability and control perspective are to ensure adequate aircraft stability for the changes in lift distribution and plume shape, and ensure manageable transient from engaging and disengaging the ILTV research control laws. In order to change the lift distribution and plume shape of the F-15 aircraft, a decade-old Inner Loop Thrust Vectoring (ILTV) research control law was used. Flight envelope expansion was performed for the test configuration and flight conditions prior to the probing test points. The approach for achieving the research objectives was to utilize the unique capabilities of NASA's NF-15B-837 aircraft to allow the adjustment of the nozzle-area ratio and/or canard positions by engaging the ILTV research control laws. The ILTV control laws provide the ability to add trim command biases to canard positions, nozzle area ratios, and thrust vectoring through the use of datasets. Datasets consist of programmed test inputs (PTIs) that define trims to change the nozzle-area ratio and/or canard positions. The trims are applied as increments to the normally commanded positions. A LaNCETS non-linear, six-degrees-of-freedom simulation capable of realtime pilot-in-the-loop, hardware-in-the-loop, and non-real-time batch support was developed and validated. Prior to first flight, extensive simulation analyses were performed to show adequate stability margins with the changes in lift distribution and plume shape. Additionally, engagement/disengagement transient analysis was also performed to show manageable
Nodoushan, Mohammad Ali Salmani
This study hypothesized that students' loci of control affected their language achievement. 198 (N = 198) EFL students took the Rotter's (1966) locus of control test and were classified as locus-internal (ni = 78), and locus-external (ne = 120). They then took their ordinary courses and at the end of the semester, they were given their exams.…
Newman, Brett A.
This report describes the activities and findings conducted under contract with NASA Langley Research Center. Subject matter is the investigation of suitable multivariable flight control design methodologies and solutions for large, flexible high-speed vehicles. Specifically, methodologies are to address the inner control loops used for stabilization and augmentation of a highly coupled airframe system possibly involving rigid-body motion, structural vibrations, unsteady aerodynamics, and actuator dynamics. Design and analysis techniques considered in this body of work are both conventional-based and contemporary-based, and the vehicle of interest is the High-Speed Civil Transport (HSCT). Major findings include: (1) control architectures based on aft tail only are not well suited for highly flexible, high-speed vehicles, (2) theoretical underpinnings of the Wykes structural mode control logic is based on several assumptions concerning vehicle dynamic characteristics, and if not satisfied, the control logic can break down leading to mode destabilization, (3) two-loop control architectures that utilize small forward vanes with the aft tail provide highly attractive and feasible solutions to the longitudinal axis control challenges, and (4) closed-loop simulation sizing analyses indicate the baseline vane model utilized in this report is most likely oversized for normal loading conditions.
Painter, John H.; Glass, Emily; Economides, Gregory; Russell, Paul
This Contractor Report documents research in Intelligent Control using knowledge-based processing in a manner dual to methods found in the classic stochastic decision, estimation, and control discipline. Such knowledge-based control has also been called Declarative, and Hybid. Software architectures were sought, employing the parallelism inherent in modern object-oriented modeling and programming. The viewpoint adopted was that Intelligent Control employs a class of domain-specific software architectures having features common over a broad variety of implementations, such as management of aircraft flight, power distribution, etc. As much attention was paid to software engineering issues as to artificial intelligence and control issues. This research considered that particular processing methods from the stochastic and knowledge-based worlds are duals, that is, similar in a broad context. They provide architectural design concepts which serve as bridges between the disparate disciplines of decision, estimation, control, and artificial intelligence. This research was applied to the control of a subsonic transport aircraft in the airport terminal area.
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.
Bode-Oke, Ayodeji; Zeyghami, Samane; Dong, Haibo; FSRG Team
Flying insects execute aerial maneuvers through fine modulations in their wing kinematics. It's yet not known that to what extend the wing kinematics can be controlled and altered by the insect. To investigate the question, we recorded a yaw turn maneuver of a dragonfly in free flight. Our measurements show that this flight consists of two kinematically and dynamically distinct phases; acceleration and deceleration. In a systematic study, we first clipped the left forewing and then the right forewing of the same dragonfly and recorded its yaw turn maneuver. The signatures (in kinematics and dynamics) of the two identified phases stay unchanged by wing damage but the duration of both phases extends. The rotational velocity of the body drops dramatically by wing damage which implies the dragonfly is incapable of controlling the wing kinematics to achieve similar performance as in the intact wing. Our results suggest that the wing kinematics control is tightly influenced by the wing shapes and the aerodynamics of flapping flight. This work was supported by NSF Grant Number CEBT-1313217 and REU program.
Plumer, J. A.; Malloy, W. A.; Craft, J. B.
Present practices in lightning protection of aircraft deal primarily with the direct effects of lightning, such as structural damage and ignition of fuel vapors. There is increasing evidence of troublesome electromagnetic effects, however, in aircraft employing solid-state microelectronics in critical navigation, instrumentation and control functions. The potential impact of these indirect effects on critical systems such as digital fly-by-wire (DFBW) flight controls has been studied by several recent research programs, including an experimental study of lightning-induced voltages in the NASA F8 DFBW airplane. The results indicate a need for positive steps to be taken during the design of future fly-by-wire systems to minimize the possibility of hazardous effects from lightning.
Myers, T. T.; Mcruer, D. T.; Johnston, D. E.
This paper reviews issues, data, and analyses relevant to the longitudinal flying qualities of the Space Shuttle in approach and landing. The manual control of attitude and path are first examined theoretically to demonstrate the unconventional nature of the Shuttle's augmented pitch and path response characteristics. The time domain pitch rate transient response criterion used for design of the Shuttle flight control system is examined in context with data from recent flying qualities experiments and operational aircraft. Questions arising from this examination are addressed through comparisons with MIL-F-8785C and other proposed flying qualities criteria which indicate potential longitudinal flying qualities problems. However, it is shown that these criteria, based largely on data from conventional aircraft, may be inappropriate for assessing the Shuttle.
Schroeder, J. A.; Merrick, V. K.
Several control and display concepts were evaluated on a variable-stability helicopter prior to future evaluations on a modified Harrier. The control and display concepts had been developed to enable precise hover maneuvers, station keeping, and vertical landings in simulated zero-visibility conditions and had been evaluated extensively in previous piloted simulations. Flight evaluations early in the program revealed several inadequacies in the display drive laws that were later corrected using an alternative design approach that integrated the control and display characteristics with the desired guidance law. While hooded, three pilots performed landing-pad captures followed by vertical landings with attitude-rate, attitude, and translation-velocity-command control systems. The latter control system incorporated a modified version of state-rate-feedback implicit-model following. Precise landing within 2 ft of the desired touchdown point were achieved.
Reveley, Mary s.; Briggs, Jeffrey L.; Leone, Karen M.; Kurtoglu, Tolga; Withrow, Colleen A.
Literature from academia, industry, and other Government agencies was surveyed to assess the state of the art in current Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control (IRAC) aircraft technologies. Over 100 papers from 25 conferences from the time period 2004 to 2009 were reviewed. An assessment of the general state of the art in adaptive flight control is summarized first, followed by an assessment of the state of the art as applicable to 13 identified adverse conditions. Specific areas addressed in the general assessment include flight control when compensating for damage or reduced performance, retrofit software upgrades to flight controllers, flight control through engine response, and finally test and validation of new adaptive controllers. The state-of-the-art assessment applicable to the adverse conditions include technologies not specifically related to flight control, but may serve as inputs to a future flight control algorithm. This study illustrates existing gaps and opportunities for additional research by the NASA IRAC Project
Kelley, W. W.
A piloted simulator was used to evaluate the flight path angle control capabilities of a system that employs spoiler direct lift control. The system was designated the velocity vector control system and was compared with a baseline flight path angle control system which used elevator for control. The simulated airplane was a medium jet transport. Research pilots flew a manual instrument landing system glide slope tracking task and a variable flight path angle task in the landing configuration to obtain comparative performance data.
Tsuchiya, Takeshi; Ishii, Hirokazu; Uchida, Junichi; Gomi, Hiromi; Matayoshi, Naoki; Okuno, Yoshinori
This study aims to obtain the optimal flights of a helicopter that reduce ground noise during landing approach with an optimization technique, and to conduct flight tests for confirming the effectiveness of the optimal solutions. Past experiments of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) show that the noise of a helicopter varies significantly according to its flight conditions, especially depending on the flight path angle. We therefore build a simple noise model for a helicopter, in which the level of the noise generated from a point sound source is a function only of the flight path angle. Using equations of motion for flight in a vertical plane, we define optimal control problems for minimizing noise levels measured at points on the ground surface, and obtain optimal controls for specified initial altitudes, flight constraints, and wind conditions. The obtained optimal flights avoid the flight path angle which generates large noise and decrease the flight time, which are different from conventional flight. Finally, we verify the validity of the optimal flight patterns through flight experiments. The actual flights following the optimal paths resulted in noise reduction, which shows the effectiveness of the optimization.
Rynaski, E. G.
An experimental flight test program was designed for the Total In Flight Simulator (TIFS) directed toward the interface between flying qualities requirements and flight control system design criteria. The eventual goal is to provide an interpretation or translation of flying qualities requirements for use by the flight control system designer. Specifically, an angle of attack and pitch rate command system matrix involving both short term and long term dynamics are specified for evaluation. Flying qualities criteria and flight control system configuration or architecture can be independent was demonstrated. Finally, additional configurations are proposed to evaluate the efficacy of dynamic decoupling.
Pahle, Joseph W.; Powers, Bruce; Regenie, Victoria; Chacon, Vince; Degroote, Steve; Murnyak, Steven
The F-18 high alpha research vehicle was recently modified by adding a thrust vectoring control system. A key element in the modification was the development of a research flight control system integrated with the basic F-18 flight control system. Discussed here are design requirements, system development, and research utility of the resulting configuration as an embedded system for flight research in the high angle of attack regime. Particular emphasis is given to control system modifications and control law features required for high angle of attack flight. Simulation results are used to illustrate some of the thrust vectoring control system capabilities and predicted maneuvering improvements.
August, James A.
Advances in aerodynamic flight controls can increase performance and lower the cost of guided weapons. Research at The University of Texas at Arlington has focused on using active materials to produce a lightweight, low-cost, missile fin that can be used on subsonic and supersonic weapons. This dissertation describes the design, construction, and testing of one such aerodynamic control device, consisting of a circular arc spoiler integrated with a piezoelectric bimorph actuator. As part of this dissertation, an examination of state-of-the-art active materials technology was conducted to select an actuator material compatible with guided weapon operating conditions. An examination of state-of-the-art aerodynamic "active structures" research was also conducted to identify aerodynamic control schemes suitable for integration with guided weapon control fins. The aerodynamic controls schemes examined include: the all-moving wing, wing twist, discrete flaps, continuous flaps, jet spoilers, and mechanical spoilers. After determining the advantages and disadvantages of each control device the combination of a mechanical spoiler and piezoelectric bimorph was selected for further research. A missile fin model using an integrated piezoelectric circular-arc spoiler was designed, built, and tested in a subsonic wind tunnel at speeds up to 210 ft/s (64 m/s). Aerodynamic quantities presented include CL, CL/CD, and C M as functions of spoiler displacement. Actuator related quantities presented include displacement vs. input voltage, force vs. input voltage, and spoiler bandwidth.
Primary and automatic flight controls are combined for a total flight control reliability and maintenance cost data base using information from two previous reports and additional cost data gathered from a major airline. A comparison of the current B-747 flight control system effects on reliability and operating cost with that of a B-747 designed for an active control wing load alleviation system is provided.
Bäumker, M.; Przybilla, H.-J.; Zurhorst, A.
The acquisition of photogrammetric image data by means of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has developed in recent years to an interesting new measurement method especially for small to medium sizes of objects. In addition the latest developments in the field of navigation systems (GNSS), of inertial sensors and other sensors in combination with powerful and easy to program microcontrollers have made a major contribution to this. In particular, the development of MEMS sensors has triggered the boom of the UAV and has given decisively influence and it is still going on. The integration of sensors on a single board not only enables a cost-effective manufacturing and mass production, but also the use in accordance with small, lightweight UAV. The latest developments on a 50 mm × 50 mm-sized circuit board combine the sensors and the microcontroller for the flight control and flight navigation. Both the board and the microcontroller are easy to program and maintain several interfaces for connecting additional sensors, such as GNSS, ultrasonic sensors and telemetry. This article presents the UAV system of the Bochum University of Applied Sciences, the used sensors and the obtained results for accurate georeferencing.
Pizzolato, Jane Elizabeth; Brown, Elizabeth Levine; Kanny, Mary Allison
Research in the past decade suggests that a persistent achievement gap between students from low-income minority backgrounds and higher-income white backgrounds may be rooted in theories of student motivation and youth purpose. Yet limited research exists regarding the role of purpose on positive youth development as it pertains to academic achievement. Using a sample of 209 high school students, this study examines the effectiveness of an intervention designed to promote purpose development and internal control over academic success in high school students from a low-socioeconomic-status community. Findings reveal that a short-term intervention was effective in significantly increasing internal control over academic success and purpose in life for students participating in the intervention group. In addition, analysis of academic achievement for students who experienced positive gains in internal control and purpose demonstrates significant gains in academic achievement as measured by grade point average. Implications are made for further study of internal control and life purpose as a means of academic intervention in the effort to address the achievement gap. PMID:22275280
... Federal Aviation Administration Eleventh Meeting: RTCA Special Committee 220: Automatic Flight Guidance... Special Committee 220 meeting: Automatic Flight Guidance and Control. SUMMARY: The FAA is issuing this notice to advise the public of a meeting of RTCA Special Committee 220: Automatic Flight Guidance...
Mackall, D. A.; Ishmael, S. D.; Regenie, V. A.
Qualification considerations for assuring the safety of a life-critical digital flight control system include four major areas: systems interactions, verification, validation, and configuration control. The AFTI/F-16 design, development, and qualification illustrate these considerations. In this paper, qualification concepts, procedures, and methodologies are discussed and illustrated through specific examples.
Debellis, W. B.
A data base on multiaxis side-arm flight controls was generated. The rapid advances in fly-by-light technology, automatic stability systems, and onboard computers have combined to create flexible flight control systems which could reduce the workload imposed on the operator by complex new equipment. This side-arm flight controller combines four controls into one unit and should simplify the pilot's task. However, the use of a multiaxis side-arm flight controller without complete cockpit integration may tend to increase the pilot's workload.
Budd, Gerald D.; Gilman, Ronald L.; Eichstedt, David
The operational and research aspects of a subscale, radio-controlled model flight test program are presented. By using low-cost free-flying models, an approach was developed for obtaining research-quality vehicle performance and aerodynamic information. The advantages and limitations learned by applying this approach to a specific flight test program are described. The research quality of the data acquired shows that model flight testing is practical for obtaining consistent repeatable flight data.
Budd, Gerald D.; Gilman, Ronald L.; Eichstedt, David
The operational and research aspects of a subscale, radio-controlled model flight test program are presented. By using low-cost free-flying models, an approach was developed for obtaining research-quality vehicle performance and aerodynamic information. The advantages and limitations learned by applying this approach to a specific flight test program are described. The research quality of the data acquired shows that model flight testing is practical for obtaining consistent and repeatable flight data.
The Marshall Space Flight Center has a rich heritage of launch vehicles that have used aerodynamic surfaces for flight stability such as the Saturn vehicles and flight control such as on the Redstone. Recently, due to aft center-of-gravity locations on launch vehicles currently being studied, the need has arisen for the vehicle control augmentation that is provided by these flight controls. Aerodynamic flight control can also reduce engine gimbaling requirements, provide actuator failure protection, enhance crew safety, and increase vehicle reliability, and payload capability. In the Saturn era, NASA went to the Moon with 300 sq ft of aerodynamic surfaces on the Saturn V. Since those days, the wealth of smart materials and advanced composites that have been developed allow for the design of very lightweight, strong, and innovative launch vehicle flight control surfaces. This paper presents an overview of the advanced composites and smart materials that are directly applicable to launch vehicle control surfaces.
Doyle, Stacy A.; Dugan, Joanne B.; Patterson-Hine, Ann
This paper presents an informal quantitative analysis of the F18 flight control system (FCS). The analysis technique combines a coverage model with a fault tree model. To demonstrate the method's extensive capabilities, we replace the fault tree with a digraph model of the F18 FCS, the only model available to us. The substitution shows that while digraphs have primarily been used for qualitative analysis, they can also be used for quantitative analysis. Based on our assumptions and the particular failure rates assigned to the F18 FCS components, we show that coverage does have a significant effect on the system's reliability and thus it is important to include coverage in the reliability analysis.
Finckenor, Miria; Pippin, H. Gary; Frey, George
Many different passive thermal control materials were flown as part of the Materials on International Space Station Experiment (MISSE), including inorganic coatings, anodized aluminum, and multi-layer insulation materials. These and other material samples were exposed to the low Earth orbital environment of atomic oxygen, ultraviolet radiation, thermal cycling, and hard vacuum, though atomic oxygen exposure was limited for some samples. Materials flown on MISSE-1 and MISSE-2 were exposed to the space environment for nearly four years. Materials flown on MISSE-3, MISSE-4, and MISSE-5 were exposed to the space environment for one year. Solar absorptance, infrared emittance, and mass measurements indicate the durability of these materials to withstand the space environment. Effects of short duration versus long duration exposure on ISS are explored, as well as comparable data from previous flight experiments, such as the Passive Optical Sample Assembly (POSA), Optical Properties Monitor (OPM), and Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF).
Ando, Noriyasu; Kanzaki, Ryohei
The interaction between neuromuscular systems and body mechanics plays an important role in the production of coordinated movements in animals. Lepidopteran insects move their wings by distortion of the thorax structure via the indirect flight muscles (IFMs), which are activated by neural signals at every stroke. However, how the action of these muscles affects thorax deformation and wing kinematics is poorly understood. We measured the deformation of the dorsal thorax (mesonotum) of tethered flying hawkmoths, Agrius convolvuli, using a high-speed laser profilometer combined with simultaneous recordings of electromyograms and wing kinematics. We observed that locally amplified mesonotum deformation near the wing hinges ensures sufficient wing movement. Furthermore, phase asymmetry in IFM activity leads to phase asymmetry in mesonotum oscillations and wingbeats. Our results revealed the flexibility and controllability of the single structure of the mesonotum by neurogenic action of the IFMs. PMID:26740560
Ebner, R. E.; Mark, J. G.
A redundant strapdown inertial navigation system for integrated flight control/navigation use is described. Design of the system, which consists of four tuned-gimbal gyros, eight accelerometers, and four processors, is discussed, with emphasis on its compact configuration (13 by 13 by 14 in.), based on symmetry properties of an octahedron. A matrix operator for least-squares combination of data from an arbitrary number of two-degree-of-freedom gyros is derived, and general parity equations for error analysis are given. Self-contained detection and isolation of a two-axis gyro failure is considered; system failure probability, which depends on component failure rates and self-correction capacities, is analyzed. Test data, including typical parity equation responses during motion and simulated gyro and accelerometer failures, are also presented.
Jones, R. E.
The state of the art analytical techniques for the development and verification of digital flight control software is studied and a practical designer oriented development and verification methodology is produced. The effectiveness of the analytic techniques chosen for the development and verification methodology are assessed both technically and financially. Technical assessments analyze the error preventing and detecting capabilities of the chosen technique in all of the pertinent software development phases. Financial assessments describe the cost impact of using the techniques, specifically, the cost of implementing and applying the techniques as well as the relizable cost savings. Both the technical and financial assessment are quantitative where possible. In the case of techniques which cannot be quantitatively assessed, qualitative judgements are expressed about the effectiveness and cost of the techniques. The reasons why quantitative assessments are not possible will be documented.
Porter, R. F.; Loomis, J. P.
Some 258 reports from more than 23,000 documents in the files of the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) were found to be to the hazard of flight into terrain with no prior awareness by the crew of impending disaster. Examination of the reports indicate that human error was a casual factor in 64% of the incidents in which some threat of terrain conflict was experienced. Approximately two-thirds of the human errors were attributed to controllers, the most common discrepancy being a radar vector below the Minimum Vector Altitude (MVA). Errors by pilots were of a much diverse nature and include a few instances of gross deviations from their assigned altitudes. The ground proximity warning system and the minimum safe altitude warning equipment were the initial recovery factor in some 18 serious incidents and were apparently the sole warning in six reported instances which otherwise would most probably have ended in disaster.
Mcgough, John; Reibman, Andrew; Trivedi, Kishor
The reliability of digital flight control systems can often be accurately predicted using Markov chain models. The cost of numerical solution depends on a model's size and stiffness. Acyclic Markov models, a useful special case, are particularly amenable to efficient numerical solution. Even in the general case, instantaneous coverage approximation allows the reduction of some cyclic models to more readily solvable acyclic models. After considering the solution of single-phase models, the discussion is extended to phased-mission models. Phased-mission reliability models are classified based on the state restoration behavior that occurs between mission phases. As an economical approach for the solution of such models, the mean failure rate solution method is introduced. A numerical example is used to show the influence of fault-model parameters and interphase behavior on system unreliability.
Chakravarty, A.; Berwick, J. W.; Griffith, D. M.; Marston, S. E.; Norton, R. L.
The results of a four-month, phased effort to develop a Fly-by-Light Technology Development Plan are documented. The technical shortfalls for each phase were identified and a development plan to bridge the technical gap was developed. The production configuration was defined for a 757-type airplane, but it is suggested that the demonstration flight be conducted on the NASA Transport Systems Research Vehicle. The modifications required and verification and validation issues are delineated in this report. A detailed schedule for the phased introduction of fly-by-light system components has been generated. It is concluded that a fiber-optics program would contribute significantly toward developing the required state of readiness that will make a fly-by-light control system not only cost effective but reliable without mitigating the weight and high-energy radio frequency related benefits.
Raney, David L.; Montgomery, Raymond C.; Green, Lawrence I.; Park, Michael A.
Recent discoveries in material science and fluidics have been used to create a variety of novel effector devices that offer great potential to enable new approaches to aerospace vehicle flight control. Examples include small inflatable blisters, shape-memory alloy diaphragms, and piezoelectric patches that may be used to produce distortions or bumps on the surface of an airfoil to generate control moments. Small jets have also been used to produce a virtual shape-change through fluidic means by creating a recirculation bubble on the surface of an airfoil. An advanced aerospace vehicle might use distributed arrays of hundreds of such devices to generate moments for stabilization and maneuver control, either augmenting or replacing conventional ailerons, flaps or rudders. This research demonstrates the design and use of shape-change device arrays for a tailless aircraft in a low-rate maneuvering application. A methodology for assessing the control authority of the device arrays is described, and a suite of arrays is used in a dynamic simulation to illustrate allocation and deployment methodologies. Although the authority of the preliminary shape-change array designs studied in this paper appeared quite low, the simulation results indicate that the effector suite possessed sufficient authority to stabilize and maneuver the vehicle in mild turbulence.
Wykes, J. H.; Kelpl, M. J.; Brosnan, M. J.
A practical structural mode control system (SMCS) that could be turned on at takeoff and be left on for the entire flight was demonstrated. The SMCS appears to be more effective in damping the key fuselage bending modes at supersonic speeds than at the design point of Mach 0.85 (for fixed gains). The SMCS has an adverse effect on high frequency symmetric modes; however, this adverse effect did not make the system unstable and does not appear to affect ride quality performance. The vertical ride quality analyses indicate that the basic configuration without active systems is satisfactory for long term exposure. If clear air turbulence were to be encountered, indications are that the SMCS would be very effective in reducing the adverse accelerations. On the other hand, lateral ride quality analyses indicate that the aircraft with the SMCS on does not quite meet the long term exposure criteria, but would be satisfactory for shot term exposure at altitude. Again, the lateral SMCS was shown to be very effective in reducing peak lateral accelerations.
Schiess, James R.
Flight data taken from six flights of the Space Transportation System shuttle Challenger (STS-6, 7, 8, 11, 13 and 17) during atmospheric entry are analyzed to determine the shuttle lateral aerodynamic characteristics. Maximum likelihood estimation is applied to data derived from accelerometer and rate gyro measurements and trajectory, meteorological and control surface data to estimate lateral-directional stability and control derivatives. The vehicle stability and control surface effectiveness are compared across the flights and to preflight predicted values.
Valiente, Carlos; Eisenberg, Nancy; Haugen, Rg; Spinrad, Tracy L.; Hofer, Claire; Liew, Jeffrey; Kupfer, Anne
Research Findings: The purpose of this study was to test the premise that children's effortful control (EC) is prospectively related to their academic achievement and to specify mechanisms through which EC is related to academic success. We used data from 214 children (M age at Time 1 [T1] = 73 months) to test whether social functioning (e.g.,…
Shy, Karla S.; Hageman, Jacob J.; Le, Jeanette H.; Sitz, Joel (Technical Monitor)
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center uses its six-degrees-of-freedom (6-DOF) fixed-base simulations for mission control room training to improve flight safety and operations. This concept is applied to numerous flight projects such as the F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV), the F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS), the X-38 Actuator Control Test (XACT), and X-43A (Hyper-X). The Dryden 6-DOF simulations are typically used through various stages of a project, from design to ground tests. The roles of these simulations have expanded to support control room training, reinforcing flight safety by building control room staff proficiency. Real-time telemetry, radar, and video data are generated from flight vehicle simulation models. These data are used to drive the control room displays. Nominal static values are used to complete information where appropriate. Audio communication is also an integral part of training sessions. This simulation capability is used to train control room personnel and flight crew for nominal missions and emergency situations. Such training sessions are also opportunities to refine flight cards and control room display pages, exercise emergency procedures, and practice control room setup for the day of flight. This paper describes this technology as it is used in the X-43A and F-15 IFCS and XACT projects.
Cunningham, Kevin; Cox, David E.; Murri, Daniel G.; Riddick, Stephen E.
Toward the goal of reducing the fatal accident rate of large transport airplanes due to loss of control, the NASA Aviation Safety Program has conducted research into flight control technologies that can provide resilient control of airplanes under adverse flight conditions, including damage and failure. As part of the safety program s Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control Project, the NASA Airborne Subscale Transport Aircraft Research system was designed to address the challenges associated with the safe and efficient subscale flight testing of research control laws under adverse flight conditions. This paper presents the results of a series of pilot evaluations of several flight control algorithms used during an offset-to-landing task conducted at altitude. The purpose of this investigation was to assess the ability of various flight control technologies to prevent loss of control as stability and control characteristics were degraded. During the course of 8 research flights, data were recorded while one task was repeatedly executed by a single evaluation pilot. Two generic failures, which degraded stability and control characteristics, were simulated inflight for each of the 9 different flight control laws that were tested. The flight control laws included three different adaptive control methodologies, several linear multivariable designs, a linear robust design, a linear stability augmentation system, and a direct open-loop control mode. Based on pilot Cooper-Harper Ratings obtained for this test, the adaptive flight control laws provided the greatest overall benefit for the stability and control degradation scenarios that were considered. Also, all controllers tested provided a significant improvement in handling qualities over the direct open-loop control mode.
Huning, Therese; Barshi, Immanuel; Schmidt, Lacey
The Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) of the Johnson Space Center is responsible for providing continuous operations support for the International Space Station (ISS). Operations support requires flight controllers who are skilled in team performance as well as the technical operations of the ISS. Space Flight Resource Management (SFRM), a NASA adapted variant of Crew Resource Management (CRM), is the competency model used in the MOD. ISS flight controller certification has evolved to include a balanced focus on development of SFRM and technical expertise. The latest challenge the MOD faces is how to certify an ISS flight controller (Operator) to a basic level of effectiveness in 1 year. SFRM training uses a twopronged approach to expediting operator certification: 1) imbed SFRM skills training into all Operator technical training and 2) use senior flight controllers as mentors. This paper focuses on how the MOD uses senior flight controllers as mentors to train SFRM skills.
Chacon, Vince; Mcbride, David
In the past few years many flight control systems have been implemented as full-authority, full-time digital systems. The digital design has allowed flight control systems to make use of many enhanced elements that are generally considered too complex to implement in an analog system. Examples of these elements are redundant information exchanged between channels to allow for continued operation after multiple failures and multiple variable gain schedules to optimize control of the aircraft throughout its flight envelope and in all flight modes. The introduction of the digital system for flight control also created the problem of obtaining information from the system in an understandable and useful format. This paper presents how the X-29A was dealt with during its operations at NASA Ames-Dryden Flight Research Facility. A brief description of the X-29A control system, a discussion of the tools developed to aid in daily operations, and the troubleshooting of the aircraft are included.
Mallory, Nicolas Joseph
The design of robust automated flight control systems for aircraft of varying size and complexity is a topic of continuing interest for both military and civilian industries. By merging the benefits of robustness from sliding mode control (SMC) with the familiarity and transparency of design tradeoff offered by frequency domain approaches, this thesis presents pseudo-sliding mode control as a viable option for designing automated flight control systems for complex six degree-of-freedom aircraft. The infinite frequency control switching of SMC is replaced, by necessity, with control inputs that are continuous in nature. An introduction to SMC theory is presented, followed by a detailed design of a pseudo-sliding mode control and automated flight control system for a six degree-of-freedom model of a Hughes OH6 helicopter. This model is then controlled through three different waypoint missions that demonstrate the stability of the system and the aircraft's ability to follow certain maneuvers despite time delays, large changes in model parameters and vehicle dynamics, actuator dynamics, sensor noise, and atmospheric disturbances.
Cunningham, Kevin; Foster, John V.; Morelli, Eugene A.; Murch, Austin M.
Over the past decade, the goal of reducing the fatal accident rate of large transport aircraft has resulted in research aimed at the problem of aircraft loss-of-control. Starting in 1999, the NASA Aviation Safety Program initiated research that included vehicle dynamics modeling, system health monitoring, and reconfigurable control systems focused on flight regimes beyond the normal flight envelope. In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on adaptive control technologies for recovery from control upsets or failures including damage scenarios. As part of these efforts, NASA has developed the Airborne Subscale Transport Aircraft Research (AirSTAR) flight facility to allow flight research and validation, and system testing for flight regimes that are considered too risky for full-scale manned transport airplane testing. The AirSTAR facility utilizes dynamically-scaled vehicles that enable the application of subscale flight test results to full scale vehicles. This paper describes the modeling and simulation approach used for AirSTAR vehicles that supports the goals of efficient, low-cost and safe flight research in abnormal flight conditions. Modeling of aerodynamics, controls, and propulsion will be discussed as well as the application of simulation to flight control system development, test planning, risk mitigation, and flight research.
Heinsheimer, Thomas F.; Friend, Robyn C.; Siegel, Neil G.
Balloons operating as airborne rovers have been suggested as ideal candidates for early exploration of the Martian surface. An international study team composed of scientists from the U.S.S.R., France, and the U.S.A. is planning the launching in 1994 of a balloon system to fly on Mars. The current likely design is a dual thermal/gas balloon that consists of a gas balloon suspended above a solar-heated thermal balloon. At night, the thermal balloon provides no lift, and the balloon system drifts just above the Martian surface; the lift of the gas balloon is just sufficient to prevent the science payload from hitting the ground. During the day, the balloon system flies at an altitude of 4 to 5 kilometers, rising due to the added lift provided by the thermal balloon. Over the course of a single Martian day, there may be winds in several directions, and in fact it can be expected that there will be winds simultaneously in different directions at different altitudes. Therefore, a balloon system capable of controlling its own altitude, via an autonomous flight control system, can take advantage of these different winds to control its direction, thereby greatly increasing both its mission utility and its longevity.
Agarwal, A. K.
The coupling of expert systems and control design and analysis techniques are documented to provide a realizable self repairing flight control system. Key features of such a flight control system are identified and a limited set of rules for a simple aircraft model are presented.
The NASA Ames Research Center (Thermal Protection Materials and Systems Branch) is investigating new ceramic materials for the thermal protection of atmospheric entry vehicles. An incremental approach to proving the capabilities of these materials calls for a lifting entry flight test of a sharp leading edge component on the proposed SHARP (Slender Hypervelocity Aerothermodynamic Research Probe) vehicle. This flight test will establish the aerothermal performance constraint under real lifting entry conditions. NASA Ames has been developing the SHARP test flight with SSDL (responsible for the SHARP S I vehicle avionics), Montana State University (responsible for the SHARP S I vehicle airframe), the Wickman Spacecraft and Propulsion Company (responsible for the sounding rocket and launch operations), and with the SCU Intelligent Robotics Program, The SCU team was added well after the rest of the development team had formed. The SCU role was to assist with the development of a real-time video broadcast system which would relay onboard flight video to a communication groundstation. The SCU team would also assist with general vehicle preparation as well as flight operations. At the time of the submission of the original SCU proposal, a test flight in Wyoming was originally targeted for September 2000. This date was moved several times into the Fall of 2000. It was then postponed until the Spring of 2001, and later pushed into late Summer 2001. To date, the flight has still not taken place. These project delays resulted in SCU requesting several no-cost extensions to the project. Based on the most recent conversations with the project technical lead, Paul Kolodjiez, the current plan is for the overall SHARP team to assemble what exists of the vehicle, to document the system, and to 'mothball' the vehicle in anticipation of future flight and funding opportunities.
Nye, T. W.; Manning, R. A.; Qassim, K.
This paper discusses the development and results of two intelligent structures space-flight experiments, each of which could affect architecture designs of future spacecraft. The first, the advanced controls technology experiment I (ACTEX I), is a variable stiffness tripod structure riding as a secondary payload on a classified spacecraft. It has been operating well past its expected life since becoming operational in 1996. Over 60 on-orbit experiments have been run on the ACTEX I flight experiment. These experiments form the basis for in-space controller design problems and for concluding lifetime/reliability data on the active control components. Transfer functions taken during the life of ACTEX I have shown consistent predictability and stability in structural behavior, including consistency with those measurements taken on the ground prior to a three year storage period and the launch event. ACTEX I can change its modal characteristics by employing its dynamic change mechanism that varies preloads in portions of its structure. Active control experiments have demonstrated maximum vibration reductions of 29 dB and 16 dB in the first two variable modes of the system, while operating over a remarkable on-orbit temperature range of -80 °C to 129 °C. The second experiment, ACTEX II, was successfully designed, ground-tested, and integrated on an experimental Department of Defense satellite prior to its loss during a launch vehicle failure in 1995. ACTEX II also had variable modal behavior by virtue of a two-axis gimbal and added challenges of structural flexibility by being a large deployable appendage. Although the loss of ACTEX II did not provide space environment experience, ground testing resulted in space qualifying the hardware and demonstrated 21 dB, 14 dB, and 8 dB reductions in amplitude of the first three primary structural modes. ACTEX II could use either active and/or passive techniques to affect vibration suppression. Both experiments trailblazed
Arms control purposes include strengthening the framework of deterrence and reducing the threat of the use of nuclear weapons, reducing the dangers of attack and accidental nuclear war, and allowing more resources for the civilian economy. The paper briefly describes achievements in arms control since World War II. These include the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABMT)-SALT I, SALT II, Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT), Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty (PNET), and Nuclear-Free Zones treaties. The author also discusses his views on what the priorities of arms control activities should be. (ACR)
Landis, K. H.; Dunford, P. J.; Aiken, E. W.; Hilbert, K. B.
A piloted simulator experiment was conducted to assess the effects of side-stick controller characteristics and level of stability and control augmentation on handling qualities for several low-altitude control tasks. Visual flight tasks were simulated using four-window computer-generated imagery depicting either a nap-of-the-earth course or a runway with obstacles positioned to provide a slalom course. Both low speed and forward flight control laws were implemented, and a method for automatically switching control modes was developed. Variations in force-deflection characteristics and the number of axes controlled through an integrated side-stick were investigated. With high levels of stability and control augmentation, a four-axis controller with small-deflection in all four axes achieved satisfactory handling qualities for low-speed tasks.
Thakoor, Sarita; Stange, G.; Srinivasan, M.; Chahl, Javaan; Hine, Butler; Zornetzer, Steven
Flight-control and navigation systems inspired by the structure and function of the visual system and brain of insects have been proposed for a class of developmental miniature robotic aircraft called "biomorphic flyers" described earlier in "Development of Biomorphic Flyers" (NPO-30554), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 28, No. 11 (November 2004), page 54. These form a subset of biomorphic explorers, which, as reported in several articles in past issues of NASA Tech Briefs ["Biomorphic Explorers" (NPO-20142), Vol. 22, No. 9 (September 1998), page 71; "Bio-Inspired Engineering of Exploration Systems" (NPO-21142), Vol. 27, No. 5 (May 2003), page 54; and "Cooperative Lander-Surface/Aerial Microflyer Missions for Mars Exploration" (NPO-30286), Vol. 28, No. 5 (May 2004), page 36], are proposed small robots, equipped with microsensors and communication systems, that would incorporate crucial functions of mobility, adaptability, and even cooperative behavior. These functions are inherent to biological organisms but are challenging frontiers for technical systems. Biomorphic flyers could be used on Earth or remote planets to explore otherwise difficult or impossible to reach sites. An example of an exploratory task of search/surveillance functions currently being tested is to obtain high-resolution aerial imagery, using a variety of miniaturized electronic cameras. The control functions to be implemented by the systems in development include holding altitude, avoiding hazards, following terrain, navigation by reference to recognizable terrain features, stabilization of flight, and smooth landing. Flying insects perform these and other functions remarkably well, even though insect brains contains fewer than 10(exp -4) as many neurons as does the human brain. Although most insects have immobile, fixed-focus eyes and lack stereoscopy (and hence cannot perceive depth directly), they utilize a number of ingenious strategies for perceiving, and navigating in, three dimensions. Despite
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.
VanZwieten, Tannen; Zhu, J. Jim; Adami, Tony; Berry, Kyle; Grammar, Alex; Orr, Jeb S.; Best, Eric A.
Recently, a robust and practical adaptive control scheme for launch vehicles [  has been introduced. It augments a classical controller with a real-time loop-gain adaptation, and it is therefore called Adaptive Augmentation Control (AAC). The loop-gain will be increased from the nominal design when the tracking error between the (filtered) output and the (filtered) command trajectory is large; whereas it will be decreased when excitation of flex or sloshing modes are detected. There is a need to determine the range and rate of the loop-gain adaptation in order to retain (exponential) stability, which is critical in vehicle operation, and to develop some theoretically based heuristic tuning methods for the adaptive law gain parameters. The classical launch vehicle flight controller design technics are based on gain-scheduling, whereby the launch vehicle dynamics model is linearized at selected operating points along the nominal tracking command trajectory, and Linear Time-Invariant (LTI) controller design techniques are employed to ensure asymptotic stability of the tracking error dynamics, typically by meeting some prescribed Gain Margin (GM) and Phase Margin (PM) specifications. The controller gains at the design points are then scheduled, tuned and sometimes interpolated to achieve good performance and stability robustness under external disturbances (e.g. winds) and structural perturbations (e.g. vehicle modeling errors). While the GM does give a bound for loop-gain variation without losing stability, it is for constant dispersions of the loop-gain because the GM is based on frequency-domain analysis, which is applicable only for LTI systems. The real-time adaptive loop-gain variation of the AAC effectively renders the closed-loop system a time-varying system, for which it is well-known that the LTI system stability criterion is neither necessary nor sufficient when applying to a Linear Time-Varying (LTV) system in a frozen-time fashion. Therefore, a
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Maine, Trindel A.; Burken, John J.; Bull, John
With modern digital control systems, using engine thrust for emergency flight control to supplement or replace failed aircraft normal flight controls has become a practical consideration. The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center has developed a propulsion-controlled aircraft (PCA) system in which computer-controlled engine thrust provides emergency flight control. An F-15 and an MD-11 airplane have been landed without using any flight control surfaces. Preliminary studies have also been conducted that show that engines on only one wing can provide some flight control capability if the lateral center of gravity can be shifted toward the side of the airplane that has the operating engine(s). Simulator tests of several airplanes with no flight control surfaces operating and all engines out on the left wing have all shown positive control capability within the available range of lateral center-of-gravity offset. Propulsion-controlled aircraft systems that can operate without modifications to engine control systems, thus allowing PCA technology to be installed on less capable airplanes or at low cost, are also desirable. Further studies have examined simplified 'PCA Lite' and 'PCA Ultralite' concepts in which thrust control is provided by existing systems such as auto-throttles or a combination of existing systems and manual pilot control.
Rowe, Chad; Panter, Donna
The Oxygen Generation System Laptop Bus Controller Flight Software was developed to allow the International Space Station (ISS) program to activate specific components of the Oxygen Generation System (OGS) to perform a checkout of key hardware operation in a microgravity environment, as well as to perform preventative maintenance operations of system valves during a long period of what would otherwise be hardware dormancy. The software provides direct connectivity to the OGS Firmware Controller with pre-programmed tasks operated by on-orbit astronauts to exercise OGS valves and motors. The software is used to manipulate the pump, separator, and valves to alleviate the concerns of hardware problems due to long-term inactivity and to allow for operational verification of microgravity-sensitive components early enough so that, if problems are found, they can be addressed before the hardware is required for operation on-orbit. The decision was made to use existing on-orbit IBM ThinkPad A31p laptops and MIL-STD-1553B interface cards as the hardware configuration. The software at the time of this reporting was developed and tested for use under the Windows 2000 Professional operating system to ensure compatibility with the existing on-orbit computer systems.
Simpson, M. A.; Druez, P. M.; Kimbrough, A. J.; Brock, M. P.; Burge, P. L.; Mathur, G. P.; Cannon, M. R.; Tran, B. N.
The measurement and analysis of MD-UHB (McDonnell Douglas Ultra High Bypass) Demonstrator noise and vibration flight test data are described as they relate to passenger cabin noise. The analyses were done to investigate the interior noise characteristics of advanced turboprop aircraft with aft-mounted engines, and to study the effectiveness of selected noise control treatments in reducing passenger cabin noise. The UHB Demonstrator is an MD-80 test aircraft with the left JT8D engine replaced with a prototype UHB engine. For these tests, the UHB engine was a General Electric Unducted Fan, with either 8x8 or 10x8 counter-rotating propeller configurations. Interior noise level characteristics were studied for several altitudes and speeds, with emphasis on high altitude (35,000 ft), high speed (0.75 Mach) cruise conditions. The effectiveness of several noise control treatments was evaluated based on cabin noise measurements. The important airborne and structureborne transmission paths were identified for both tonal and broadband sources using the results of a sound intensity survey, exterior and interior noise and vibration data, and partial coherence analysis techniques. Estimates of the turbulent boundary layer pressure wavenumber-frequency spectrum were made, based on measured fuselage noise levels.
Andrews, S. F.; ODonnell, J. R.; Bauer, Frank H. (Technical Monitor)
The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) is a follow-on to the Differential Microwave Radiometer (DMR) instrument on the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) spacecraft. To make a full-sky map of cosmic microwave background fluctuations, a combination fast spin and slow precession motion will be used that will cover the entire celestial sphere in six months. The spin rate should be an order of magnitude higher than the precession rate, and each rate should be tightly controlled. The sunline angle should be 22.5 +/- 0.25 deg. Sufficient attitude knowledge must be provided to yield instrument pointing to a standard deviation of 1.3 arc-minutes RSS three axes. In addition, the spacecraft must be able to acquire and hold the sunline at initial acquisition, and in the event of a failure. Finally. the spacecraft must be able to slew to the proper burn orientations and to the proper off-sunline attitude to start the compound spin. The design and flight performance of the Attitude Control System on MAP that meets these requirements will be discussed.
Simpson, M. A.; Druez, P. M.; Kimbrough, A. J.; Brock, M. P.; Burge, P. L.; Mathur, G. P.; Cannon, M. R.; Tran, B. N.
The measurement and analysis of MD-UHB (McDonnell Douglas Ultra High Bypass) Demonstrator noise and vibration flight test data are described as they relate to passenger cabin noise. The analyses were done to investigate the interior noise characteristics of advanced turboprop aircraft with aft-mounted engines, and to study the effectiveness of selected noise control treatments in reducing passenger cabin noise. The UHB Demonstrator is an MD-80 test aircraft with the left JT8D engine replaced with a prototype UHB engine. For these tests, the UHB engine was a General Electric Unducted Fan, with either 8x8 or 10x8 counter-rotating propeller configurations. Interior noise level characteristics were studied for several altitudes and speeds, with emphasis on high altitude (35,000 ft), high speed (0.75 Mach) cruise conditions. The effectiveness of several noise control treatments was evaluated based on cabin noise measurements. The important airborne and structureborne transmission paths were identified for both tonal and broadband sources using the results of a sound intensity survey, exterior and interior noise and vibration data, and partial coherence analysis techniques. Estimates of the turbulent boundary layer pressure wavenumber-frequency spectrum were made, based on measured fuselage noise levels.
Results are presented from an application of H-infinity control design methodology to a centralized integrated flight/propulsion control (IFPC) system design for a supersonic STOVL fighter aircraft in transition flight. The emphasis is on formulating the H-infinity optimal control synthesis problem such that the critical requirements for the flight and propulsion systems are adequately reflected within the linear, centralized control problem formulation and the resulting controller provides robustness to modeling uncertainties and model parameter variations with flight condition. Detailed evaluation results are presented for a reduced order controller obtained from the improved H-infinity control design showing that the control design meets the specified nominal performance objective as well as provides stability robustness for variations in plant system dynamics with changes in aircraft trim speed within the transition flight envelope.
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.
Bienert, W. B.
The development and characteristics of electrical feedback controlled heat pipes (FCHP) are discussed. An analytical model was produced to describe the performance of the FCHP under steady state and transient conditions. An advanced thermal control flight experiment was designed to demonstrate the performance of the thermal control component in a space environment. The thermal control equipment was evaluated on the ATS-F satellite to provide performance data for the components and to act as a thermal control system which can be used to provide temperature stability of spacecraft components in future applications.
Lutsky, D. A.; Bjorkman, W. S.; Uphoff, C.
A description is given of the development for the Mission Analysis Evaluation and Space Trajectory Operations (MAESTRO) program to be used for the in-flight decision making process during the translunar and lunar orbit adjustment phases of the flight of the Radio Astronomy Explorer-B. THe program serves two functions: performance and evaluation of preflight mission analysis, and in-flight support for the midcourse and lunar insertion command decisions that must be made by the flight director. The topics discussed include: analysis of program and midcourse guidance capabilities; methods for on-line control; printed displays of the MAESTRO program; and in-flight operational logistics and testing.
ONeill, John; Shalin, Valerie L.
The Orbital Flight Dynamics group in Shuttle Mission Control is investigating new user interfaces in a project called RIOTS [RIOTS 2000]. Traditionally, the individual functions of hardware and software guide the design of displays, which results in an aggregated, if not integrated interface. The human work system has then been designed and trained to navigate, operate and integrate the processors and displays. The aim of RIOTS is to reduce the cognitive demands of the flight controllers by redesigning the user interface to support the work of the flight controller. This document supports the RIOTS project by defining a preliminary data model for Orbital Flight Dynamics. Section 2 defines an information-centric perspective. An information-centric approach aims to reduce the cognitive workload of the flight controllers by reducing the need for manual integration of information across processors and displays. Section 3 describes the Orbital Flight Dynamics domain. Section 4 defines the preliminary data model for Orbital Flight Dynamics. Section 5 examines the implications of mapping the data model to Orbital Flight Dynamics current information systems. Two recurring patterns are identified in the Orbital Flight Dynamics work the iteration/rework cycle and the decision-making/information integration/mirroring role relationship. Section 6 identifies new requirements on Orbital Flight Dynamics work and makes recommendations based on changing the information environment, changing the implementation of the data model, and changing the two recurring patterns.
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.
NASA researchers monitor equipment in the mission control Gold room at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, during a flight of an F-15 Highly Integrated Digital Electronic Control (HIDEC) research aircraft. The system was developed on the F-15 to investigate and demonstrate methods of obtaining optimum aircraft performance. The major elements of HIDEC were a Digital Electronic Flight Control System (DEFCS), a Digital Electronic Engine Control (DEEC), an on-board general purpose computer, and an integrated architecture to allow all components to 'talk to each other.' Unlike standard F-15s, which have a mechanical and analog electronic flight control system, the HIDEC F-15 also had a dual-channel, fail-safe digital flight control system programmed in Pascal. It was linked to the Military Standard 1553B and a H009 data bus which tied all the other electronic systems together.
Maine, Trindel; Burken, John; Burcham, Frank; Schaefer, Peter
The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center conducted flight tests of a propulsion-controlled aircraft system on an F-15 airplane. This system was designed to explore the feasibility of providing safe emergency landing capability using only the engines to provide flight control in the event of a catastrophic loss of conventional flight controls. Control laws were designed to control the flightpath and bank angle using only commands to the throttles. Although the program was highly successful, this paper highlights some of the challenges associated with using engine thrust as a control effector. These challenges include slow engine response time, poorly modeled nonlinear engine dynamics, unmodeled inlet-airframe interactions, and difficulties with ground effect and gust rejection. Flight and simulation data illustrate these difficulties.
Good, Donald I.
Formal methods research begins to produce methods which will enable mathematic modeling of the physical behavior of digital hardware and software systems. The development of these methods directly supports the NASA mission of increasing the scope and effectiveness of flight system modeling capabilities. The conventional, continuous mathematics that is used extensively in modeling flight systems is not adequate for accurate modeling of digital systems. Therefore, the current practice of digital flight control system design has not had the benefits of extensive mathematical modeling which are common in other parts of flight system engineering. Formal methods research shows that by using discrete mathematics, very accurate modeling of digital systems is possible. These discrete modeling methods will bring the traditional benefits of modeling to digital hardware and hardware design. Sound reasoning about accurate mathematical models of flight control systems can be an important part of reducing risk of unsafe flight control.
... December 13, 2010 (75 FR 77569). Only one comment was received. Clarification of Conditions That Should Be...; Electronic Flight Control System Mode Annunciation. AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT... electronic flight control system. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate...
Gregory, Irene M.; Gadient, ROss; Lavretsky, Eugene
This paper presents flight test results of a robust linear baseline controller with and without composite adaptive control augmentation. The flight testing was conducted using the NASA Generic Transport Model as part of the Airborne Subscale Transport Aircraft Research system at NASA Langley Research Center.
Reber, Therese; Vähäkainu, Antti; Baird, Emily; Weckström, Matti; Warrant, Eric; Dacke, Marie
To control flight, insects rely on the pattern of visual motion generated on the retina as they move through the environment. When light levels fall, vision becomes less reliable and flight control thus becomes more challenging. Here, we investigated the effect of light intensity on flight control by filming the trajectories of free-flying bumblebees (Bombus terrestris, Linnaeus 1758) in an experimental tunnel at different light levels. As light levels fell, flight speed decreased and the flight trajectories became more tortuous but the bees were still remarkably good at centring their flight about the tunnel's midline. To investigate whether this robust flight performance can be explained by visual adaptations in the bumblebee retina, we also examined the response speed of the green-sensitive photoreceptors at the same light intensities. We found that the response speed of the photoreceptors significantly decreased as light levels fell. This indicates that bumblebees have both behavioural (reduction in flight speed) and retinal (reduction in response speed of the photoreceptors) adaptations to allow them to fly in dim light. However, the more tortuous flight paths recorded in dim light suggest that these adaptations do not support flight with the same precision during the twilight hours of the day. PMID:25750416
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.
Hsu, David K.; Barnard, Daniel J.; Dayal, Vinay
Flight control surfaces on an aircraft, such as ailerons, flaps, spoilers and rudders, are typically adhesively bonded composite or aluminum honeycomb sandwich structures. These components can suffer from damage caused by hail stone, runway debris, or dropped tools during maintenance. On composites, low velocity impact damages can escape visual inspection, whereas on aluminum honeycomb sandwich, budding failure of the honeycomb core may or may not be accompanied by a disbond. This paper reports a study of the damage morphology in such structures and the NDE methods for detecting and characterizing them. Impact damages or overload failures in composite sandwiches with Nomex or fiberglass core tend to be a fracture or crinkle or the honeycomb cell wall located a distance below the facesheet-to-core bondline. The damage in aluminum honeycomb is usually a buckling failure, propagating from the top skin downward. The NDE methods used in this work for mapping out these damages were: air-coupled ultrasonic scan, and imaging by computer aided tap tester. Representative results obtained from the field will be shown.
Shen, Jin-Wei; Chopra, Inderjit
The objective of present study is to evaluate the rotor performance, trailing-edge deflections and actuation requirement of a helicopter rotor with trailing-edge flap system for primary flight control. The swashplateless design is implemented by modifying a two-bladed teetering rotor of an production ultralight helicopter through the use of plain flaps on the blades, and by replacing the pitch link to fixed system control system assembly with a root spring. A comprehensive rotorcraft analysis based on UMARC is carried out to obtain the results for both the swashplateless and a conventional baseline rotor configuration. The predictions show swashplateless configuration achieve superior performance than the conventional rotor attributed from reduction of parasite drag by eliminating swashplate mechanic system. It is indicated that optimal selection of blade pitch index angle, flap location, length, and chord ratio reduces flap deflections and actuation requirements, however, has virtually no effect on rotor performance.
Litt, Jonathan, S; Sowers, T.; Owen, A., Karl; Fulton, Christopher, E.; Chicatelli, Amy, K.
This paper describes piloted evaluation of enhanced propulsion control modes for emergency operation of aircraft. Fast Response and Overthrust modes were implemented to assess their ability to help avoid or mitigate potentially catastrophic situations, both on the ground and in flight. Tests were conducted to determine the reduction in takeoff distance achievable using the Overthrust mode. Also, improvements in Dutch roll damping, enabled by using yaw rate feedback to the engines to replace the function of a stuck rudder, were investigated. Finally, pilot workload and ability to handle the impaired aircraft on approach and landing were studied. The results showed that improvement in all aspects is possible with these enhanced propulsion control modes, but the way in which they are initiated and incorporated is important for pilot comfort and perceived benefit.
Fay, Stanley; Gates, Stephen; Henderson, Timothy; Sackett, Lester; Kirchwey, Kim; Stoddard, Isaac; Storch, Joel
The second Control Of Flexible Structures Flight Experiment (COFS-2) includes a long mast as in the first flight experiment, but with the Langley 15-m hoop column antenna attached via a gimbal system to the top of the mast. The mast is to be mounted in the Space Shuttle cargo bay. The servo-driven gimbal system could be used to point the antenna relative to the mast. The dynamic interaction of the Shuttle Orbiter/COFS-2 system with the Orbiter on-orbit Flight Control System (FCS) and the gimbal pointing control system has been studied using analysis and simulation. The Orbiter pointing requirements have been assessed for their impact on allowable free drift time for COFS experiments. Three fixed antenna configurations were investigated. Also simulated was Orbiter attitude control behavior with active vernier jets during antenna slewing. The effect of experiment mast dampers was included. Control system stability and performance and loads on various portions of the COFS-2 structure were investigated. The study indicates possible undesirable interaction between the Orbiter FCS and the flexible, articulated COFS-2 mast/antenna system, even when restricted to vernier reaction jets.
Nechval, Nicholas A.; Rozite, Kristine; Strelchonok, Vladimir F.
In this paper, the problem of determining optimal booking policy for multiple fare classes in a pool of identical seats for multi-leg flights is considered. For large commercial airlines, efficiently setting and updating seat allocation targets for each passenger category on each multi-leg flight is an extremely difficult problem. This paper presents static and dynamic policies of allocation of airline seats for multi-leg flights with multiple fare classes, which allow one to maximize an expected contribution to profit. The dynamic policy uses the most recent demand and capacity information and allows one to allocate seats dynamically with anticipation over time. A numerical example is given.
Wiener, E. L.
Consideration is given to some of the negative aspects of the trend toward increased automation of aircraft flight decks. The history of automated devices for navigation, communications and detection on board aircraft is reviewed. Instances of automatic system failure are identified which have led to accidents, and the events surrounding the downing of Korean Airlines Flight 747 are reexamined within the context of a computer-based system failure. Finally, new software and interactive systems to reduce navigational error due to inadequate computer-assisted flight instruction (CAI) are described, with emphasis given to speech processing and intelligent CAI systems.
Chamitoff, Gregory Errol
Intelligent optimization methods are applied to the problem of real-time flight control for a class of airbreathing hypersonic vehicles (AHSV). The extreme flight conditions that will be encountered by single-stage-to-orbit vehicles, such as the National Aerospace Plane, present a tremendous challenge to the entire spectrum of aerospace technologies. Flight control for these vehicles is particularly difficult due to the combination of nonlinear dynamics, complex constraints, and parametric uncertainty. An approach that utilizes all available a priori and in-flight information to perform robust, real time, short-term trajectory planning is presented.
Several tasks pertinent to flight control in parameter uncertainty and wind-gust loading were successfully completed. Identification algorithms for extracting stability and control derivatives from flight data taking gust loading into account were developed. They were verified by simulation and evaluated throughly on actual flight data taken on a Lockheed Jet Star flying in turbulence. In particular the need for automatically generated dither-like inputs was studied. Criteria for performance evaluation using stochastic models were developed for gust alleviation as well as handling quantities. Algorithms for assessing degradation in performance due to parameter uncertainty were developed and evaluated using flight test data.
Bosworth, John T.
Flight control system design and analysis for aircraft rely on mathematical models of the vehicle dynamics. In addition to a six degree of freedom nonlinear simulation, the X-29A flight controls group developed a set of programs that calculate linear perturbation models throughout the X-29A flight envelope. The models include the aerodynamics as well as flight control system dynamics and were used for stability, controllability, and handling qualities analysis. These linear models were compared to flight test results to help provide a safe flight envelope expansion. A description is given of the linear models at three flight conditions and two flight control system modes. The models are presented with a level of detail that would allow the reader to reproduce the linear results if desired. Comparison between the response of the linear model and flight measured responses are presented to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the linear models' ability to predict flight dynamics.
Kempel, R. W.; Horton, T. W.
A controlled impact demonstration (CID) program using a large, four engine, remotely piloted transport airplane was conducted. Closed loop primary flight control was performed from a ground based cockpit and digital computer in conjunction with an up/down telemetry link. Uplink commands were received aboard the airplane and transferred through uplink interface systems to a highly modified Bendix PB-20D autopilot. Both proportional and discrete commands were generated by the ground pilot. Prior to flight tests, extensive simulation was conducted during the development of ground based digital control laws. The control laws included primary control, secondary control, and racetrack and final approach guidance. Extensive ground checks were performed on all remotely piloted systems. However, manned flight tests were the primary method of verification and validation of control law concepts developed from simulation. The design, development, and flight testing of control laws and the systems required to accomplish the remotely piloted mission are discussed.
Mulgund, Sandeep S.
The most recent results in an ongoing research effort at Princeton in the area of flight dynamics in wind shear are described. The first undertaking in this project was a trajectory optimization study. The flight path of a medium-haul twin-jet transport aircraft was optimized during microburst encounters on final approach. The assumed goal was to track a reference climb rate during an aborted landing, subject to a minimum airspeed constraint. The results demonstrated that the energy loss through the microburst significantly affected the qualitative nature of the optimal flight path. In microbursts of light to moderate strength, the aircraft was able to track the reference climb rate successfully. In severe microbursts, the minimum airspeed constraint in the optimization forced the aircraft to settle on a climb rate smaller than the target. A tradeoff was forced between the objectives of flight path tracking and stall prevention.
Jordan, Thomas L.; Bailey, Roger M.
As part of the Airborne Subscale Transport Aircraft Research (AirSTAR) project, NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) has developed a subscaled flying testbed in order to conduct research experiments in support of the goals of NASA s Aviation Safety Program. This research capability consists of three distinct components. The first of these is the research aircraft, of which there are several in the AirSTAR stable. These aircraft range from a dynamically-scaled, twin turbine vehicle to a propeller driven, off-the-shelf airframe. Each of these airframes carves out its own niche in the research test program. All of the airplanes have sophisticated on-board data acquisition and actuation systems, recording, telemetering, processing, and/or receiving data from research control systems. The second piece of the testbed is the ground facilities, which encompass the hardware and software infrastructure necessary to provide comprehensive support services for conducting flight research using the subscale aircraft, including: subsystem development, integrated testing, remote piloting of the subscale aircraft, telemetry processing, experimental flight control law implementation and evaluation, flight simulation, data recording/archiving, and communications. The ground facilities are comprised of two major components: (1) The Base Research Station (BRS), a LaRC laboratory facility for system development, testing and data analysis, and (2) The Mobile Operations Station (MOS), a self-contained, motorized vehicle serving as a mobile research command/operations center, functionally equivalent to the BRS, capable of deployment to remote sites for supporting flight tests. The third piece of the testbed is the test facility itself. Research flights carried out by the AirSTAR team are conducted at NASA Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The UAV Island runway is a 50 x 1500 paved runway that lies within restricted airspace at Wallops Flight Facility. The
Rudy, K. M.
A regenerable CO2 and humidity control system is presently being developed for potential use on shuttle as an alternative to the baseline lithium hydroxide system. The system utilizes a sorbent material (designated HS-C) to adsorb CO2 and the latent heat load from the cabin atmosphere and desorb the CO2 and water vapor overboard when exposed to a space vacuum, thus reducing the overall vehicle heat rejection load. Continuous operation is achieved by utilizing two beds which are alternatively cycled between adsorption and desorption. The HS-C material process was verified. Design concepts for the auxiliary components for the HS-C prototype system were generated. Performance testing verified system effectiveness in controlling CO2 partial pressure and humidity.
Larson, Richard R.; Burken, John J.; Butler, Bradley S.; Yokum, Steve
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Dryden Flight Research Center (Edwards, California) is conducting ongoing flight research using adaptive controller algorithms. A highly modified McDonnell-Douglas NF-15B airplane called the F-15 Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) is used to test and develop these algorithms. Modifications to this airplane include adding canards and changing the flight control systems to interface a single-string research controller processor for neural network algorithms. Research goals include demonstration of revolutionary control approaches that can efficiently optimize aircraft performance in both normal and failure conditions and advancement of neural-network-based flight control technology for new aerospace system designs. This report presents an overview of the processes utilized to develop adaptive controller algorithms during a flight-test program, including a description of initial adaptive controller concepts and a discussion of modeling formulation and performance testing. Design finalization led to integration with the system interfaces, verification of the software, validation of the hardware to the requirements, design of failure detection, development of safety limiters to minimize the effect of erroneous neural network commands, and creation of flight test control room displays to maximize human situational awareness; these are also discussed.
Duffy, Keith S.; Hoza, Bradley J.
The objective was to analyze the baseline flight control system of the Transport Systems Research Vehicle (TSRV) and to develop a system specification that offers high visibility of the essential system requirements in order to facilitate the future development of alternate, more advanced software architectures. The flight control system is defined to be the baseline software for the TSRV research flight deck, including all navigation, guidance, and control functions, and primary pilot displays. The Object Oriented Analysis (OOA) methodology developed is used to develop a system requirement definition. The scope of the requirements definition contained herein is limited to a portion of the Flight Management/Flight Control computer functionality. The development of a partial system requirements definition is documented, and includes a discussion of the tasks required to increase the scope of the requirements definition and recommendations for follow-on research.
Burcham, F. W., Jr.; Fullerton, C. Gordon; Gilyard, Glenn B.; Wolf, Thomas D.; Stewart, James F.
A preliminary investigation was conducted regarding the use of throttles for emergency flight control of a multiengine aircraft. Several airplanes including a light twin-engine piston-powered airplane, jet transports, and a high performance fighter were studied during flight and piloted simulations. Simulation studies used the B-720, B-727, MD-11, and F-15 aircraft. Flight studies used the Lear 24, Piper PA-30, and F-15 airplanes. Based on simulator and flight results, all the airplanes exhibited some control capability with throttles. With piloted simulators, landings using manual throttles-only control were extremely difficult. An augmented control system was developed that converts conventional pilot stick inputs into appropriate throttle commands. With the augmented system, the B-720 and F-15 simulations were evaluated and could be landed successfully. Flight and simulation data were compared for the F-15 airplane.
Stoliker, Patrick C.; Carter, John
In March of 1999, five pilots performed flight tests to evaluate the handling qualities of an F/A-18 research airplane equipped with a small-displacement center stick (ministick) controller that had been developed for the JAS 39 Gripen airplane (a fighter/attack/ reconnaissance airplane used by the Swedish air force). For these tests, the ministick was installed in the aft cockpit (see figure) and production support flight control computers (PSFCCs) were used as interfaces between the controller hardware and the standard F/A-18 flight-control laws. The primary objective of the flight tests was to assess any changes in handling qualities of the F/A-18 airplane attributable to the mechanical characteristics of the ministick. The secondary objective was to demonstrate the capability of the PSFCCs to support flight-test experiments.