Lisoski, Derek L. (Inventor); Kendall, Greg T. (Inventor)
A solar rechargeable, long-duration, span-loaded flying wing, having no fuselage or rudder. Having a two-hundred foot wingspan that mounts photovoltaic cells on most all of the wing's top surface, the aircraft uses only differential thrust of its eight propellers to turn, pitch and yaw. The wing is configured to deform under flight loads to position the propellers such that the control can be achieved. Each of five segments of the wing has one or more motors and photovoltaic arrays, and produces its own lift independent of the other segments, to avoid loading them. Five two-sided photovoltaic arrays, in all, are mounted on the wing, and receive photovoltaic energy both incident on top of the wing, and which is incident also from below, through a bottom, transparent surface.
Kendall, Greg T. (Inventor); Morgan, Walter R. (Inventor)
A span-loaded, highly flexible flying wing, having horizontal control surfaces mounted aft of the wing on extended beams to form local pitch-control devices. Each of five spanwise wing segments of the wing has one or more motors and photovoltaic arrays, and produces its own lift independent of the other wing segments, to minimize inter-segment loads. Wing dihedral is controlled by separately controlling the local pitch-control devices consisting of a control surface on a boom, such that inboard and outboard wing segment pitch changes relative to each other, and thus relative inboard and outboard lift is varied.
Kulkarni, Nilesh V. (Inventor); Kaneshige, John T. (Inventor); Krishnakumar, Kalmanje S. (Inventor); Burken, John J. (Inventor)
A method for modeling error-driven adaptive control of an aircraft. Normal aircraft plant dynamics is modeled, using an original plant description in which a controller responds to a tracking error e(k) to drive the component to a normal reference value according to an asymptote curve. Where the system senses that (1) at least one aircraft plant component is experiencing an excursion and (2) the return of this component value toward its reference value is not proceeding according to the expected controller characteristics, neural network (NN) modeling of aircraft plant operation may be changed. However, if (1) is satisfied but the error component is returning toward its reference value according to expected controller characteristics, the NN will continue to model operation of the aircraft plant according to an original description.
Padula, Sharon L.; Rogers, James L.; Raney, David L.
The Aircraft Morphing Program at NASA Langley Research Center explores opportunities to improve airframe designs with smart technologies. Two elements of this basic research program are multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) and advanced flow control. This paper describes examples where MDO techniques such as sensitivity analysis, automatic differentiation, and genetic algorithms contribute to the design of novel control systems. In the test case, the design and use of distributed shapechange devices to provide low-rate maneuvering capability for a tailless aircraft is considered. The ability of MDO to add value to control system development is illustrated using results from several years of research funded by the Aircraft Morphing Program.
Padula, Sharon L.; Rogers, James L.; Raney, David L.
The Aircraft Morphing Program at NASA Langley Research Center explores opportunities to improve airframe designs with smart technologies. Two elements of this basic research program are multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) and advanced flow control. This paper describes examples where MDO techniques such as sensitivity analysis, automatic differentiation, and genetic algorithms contribute to the design of novel control systems. In the test case, the design and use of distributed shape-change devices to provide low-rate maneuvering capability for a tailless aircraft is considered. The ability of MDO to add value to control system development is illustrated using results from several years of research funded by the Aircraft Morphing Program.
Wakayama, Sean R. (Inventor)
Independently deflectable control surfaces are located on the trailing edge of the wing of a blended wing-body aircraft. The reconfiguration control system of the present invention controls the deflection of each control surface to optimize the spanwise lift distribution across the wing for each of several flight conditions, e.g., cruise, pitch maneuver, and high lift at low speed. The control surfaces are deflected and reconfigured to their predetermined optimal positions when the aircraft is in each of the aforementioned flight conditions. With respect to cruise, the reconfiguration control system will maximize the lift to drag ratio and keep the aircraft trimmed at a stable angle of attack. In a pitch maneuver, the control surfaces are deflected to pitch the aircraft and increase lift. Moreover, this increased lift has its spanwise center of pressure shifted inboard relative to its location for cruise. This inboard shifting reduces the increased bending moment about the aircraft's x-axis occasioned by the increased pitch force acting normal to the wing. To optimize high lift at low speed, during take-off and landing for example, the control surfaces are reconfigured to increase the local maximum coefficient of lift at stall-critical spanwise locations while providing pitch trim with control surfaces that are not stall critical.
Zeller, J. R.; Szuch, J. R.; Merrill, W. C.; Lehtinen, B.; Soeder, J. F.
The need for a more sophisticated engine control system is discussed. The improvements in better thrust-to-weight ratios demand the manipulation of more control inputs. New technological solutions to the engine control problem are practiced. The digital electronic engine control (DEEC) system is a step in the evolution to digital electronic engine control. Technology issues are addressed to ensure a growth in confidence in sophisticated electronic controls for aircraft turbine engines. The need of a control system architecture which permits propulsion controls to be functionally integrated with other aircraft systems is established. Areas of technology studied include: (1) control design methodology; (2) improved modeling and simulation methods; and (3) implementation technologies. Objectives, results and future thrusts are summarized.
Mekel, R.; Nachmias, S.
A learning control system is developed which blends the gain scheduling and adaptive control into a single learning system that has the advantages of both. An important feature of the developed learning control system is its capability to adjust the gain schedule in a prescribed manner to account for changing aircraft operating characteristics. Furthermore, if tests performed by the criteria of the learning system preclude any possible change in the gain schedule, then the overall system becomes an ordinary gain scheduling system. Examples are discussed.
Burken, John J. (Inventor); Burcham, Frank W., Jr. (Inventor)
A digital longitudinal Aircraft Propulsion Control (APC system of a multiengine aircraft is provided by engine thrust modulation in response to comparing an input flightpath angle signal (gamma)c from a pilot thumbwheel. or an ILS system with a sensed flightpath angle y to produce an error signal (gamma)e that is then integrated (with reasonable limits) to generate a drift correction signal to be added to the error signal (gamma)e after first subtracting a lowpass filtered velocity signal Vel(sub f) for phugoid damping. The output error signal is multiplied by a constant to produce an aircraft thrust control signal ATC of suitable amplitude to drive a throttle servo for all engines. each of which includes its own full-authority digital engine control (FADEC) computer. An alternative APC system omits sensed flightpath angle feedback and instead controls the flightpath angle by feedback of the lowpass filtered velocity signal Vel(sub f) which also inherently provides phugoid damping. The feature of drift compensation is retained.
Mekel, R.; Nachmias, S.
A learning control system and its utilization as a flight control system for F-8 Digital Fly-By-Wire (DFBW) research aircraft is studied. The system has the ability to adjust a gain schedule to account for changing plant characteristics and to improve its performance and the plant's performance in the course of its own operation. Three subsystems are detailed: (1) the information acquisition subsystem which identifies the plant's parameters at a given operating condition; (2) the learning algorithm subsystem which relates the identified parameters to predetermined analytical expressions describing the behavior of the parameters over a range of operating conditions; and (3) the memory and control process subsystem which consists of the collection of updated coefficients (memory) and the derived control laws. Simulation experiments indicate that the learning control system is effective in compensating for parameter variations caused by changes in flight conditions.
Thomas, Russell H. (Inventor); Czech, Michael J (Inventor); Elmiligui, Alaa A. (Inventor)
An active pylon noise control system for an aircraft includes a pylon structure connecting an engine system with an airframe surface of the aircraft and having at least one aperture to supply a gas or fluid therethrough, an intake portion attached to the pylon structure to intake a gas or fluid, a regulator connected with the intake portion via a plurality of pipes, to regulate a pressure of the gas or fluid, a plenum chamber formed within the pylon structure and connected with the regulator, and configured to receive the gas or fluid as regulated by the regulator, and a plurality of injectors in communication with the plenum chamber to actively inject the gas or fluid through the plurality of apertures of the pylon structure.
Krauss, Timothy A. (Inventor); Roman, Stephan (Inventor); Beurer, Robert J. (Inventor)
A plenum for a circulation control rotor aircraft which surrounds the rotor drive shaft (18) and is so constructed that the top (32), outer (38) and bottom (36) walls through compressed air is admitted are fixed to aircraft structure and the inner wall (34) through which air passes to rotor blades (14) rotates with the drive shaft and rotor blades.
Linden, A. W.
Handling qualities of the RSRA (rotor systems research aircraft), a special test vehicle with optional configurations (forewings, removable horizontal tailplanes, main rotor, tail rotor, and twin engines for forward flight all removable), are described. The aircraft can be fitted to fly as a conventional rotary-wing aircraft, fixed-wing aircraft, or compound helicopter, and is designed for testing existing and future rotor systems in flight. Controls include full-authority fly-by-wire controls and mechanical controls for rotary wing and for fixed wing. Stability augmentation, rotor test measurement systems, variable center of gravity capability, and rotor loading potential of the RSRA are also described.
Sevart, F. D.; Patel, S. M.
Testing and evaluation of a stability augmentation system for aircraft flight control were performed. The flutter suppression system and synthesis conducted on a scale model of a supersonic wing for a transport aircraft are discussed. Mechanization and testing of the leading and trailing edge surface actuation systems are described. The ride control system analyses for a 375,000 pound gross weight B-52E aircraft are presented. Analyses of the B-52E aircraft maneuver load control system are included.
Betzina, Mark D. (Inventor); Nguyen, Khanh Q. (Inventor)
Methods and systems for reducing noise generated by rotating blades of a tiltrotor aircraft. A rotor-blade pitch angle associated with the tiltrotor aircraft can be controlled utilizing a swashplate connected to rotating blades of the tiltrotor aircraft. One or more Higher Harmonic Control (HHC) signals can be transmitted and input to a swashplate control actuator associated with the swashplate. A particular blade pitch oscillation (e.g., four cycles per revolution) is there-after produced in a rotating frame of reference associated with the rotating blades in response to input of an HHC signal to the swashplate control actuator associated with the swashplate to thereby reduce noise associated with the rotating blades of the tiltrotor aircraft. The HHC signal can be transmitted and input to the swashplate control actuator to reduce noise of the tiltrotor aircraft in response to a user input utilizing an open-loop configuration.
Myers, T. T.; Mcruer, D. T.; Johnston, D. E.
Aircraft-alone dynamics and superaugmented control system fundamental regulatory properties including stability and regulatory responses of the basic closed-loop systems; fundamental high and low frequency margins and governing factors; and sensitivity to aircraft and controller parameters are addressed. Alternative FCS mechanizations, and mechanizational side effects are also discussed. An overview of flying qualities considerations encompasses general pilot operations as a controller in unattended, intermittent and trim, and full-attention regulatory or command control; effective vehicle primary and secondary response properties to pilot inputs and disturbances; pilot control architectural possibilities; and comparison of superaugmented and conventional aircraft path responses for different forms of pilot control. Results of a simple experimental investigation into pilot dynamic behavior in attitude control of superaugmented aircraft configurations with high frequency time laps and time delays are presented.
Athans, M.; Willner, D.
A flight control system design is presented, that can be implemented by analog hardware, to be used to control an aircraft with uncertain parameters. The design is based upon the use of modern control theory. The ideas are illustrated by considering control of STOL longitudinal dynamics.
Estkowski, Regina I. (Inventor)
An unmanned vehicle management system includes an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) control station controlling one or more unmanned vehicles (UV), a collaborative routing system, and a communication network connecting the UAS and the collaborative routing system. The collaborative routing system being configured to receive flight parameters from an operator of the UAS control station and, based on the received flight parameters, automatically present the UAS control station with flight plan options to enable the operator to operate the UV in a defined airspace.
Wells, Edward A.; Urnes, James M., Sr.
This report describes the design, development and flight testing of the Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) flight control system performed at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA), St. Louis, Missouri and at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards Air Force Base, California. This research and development program was conducted by MDA and directed by NASA through the Dryden Flight Research Facility for the period beginning January 1991 and ending December 1993. A propulsion steering backup to the aircraft conventional flight control system has been developed and flight demonstrated on a NASA F-15 test aircraft. The Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) flight system utilizes collective and differential thrust changes to steer an aircraft that experiences partial or complete failure of the hydraulically actuated control surfaces. The PCA flight control research has shown that propulsion steering is a viable backup flight control mode and can assist the pilot in safe landing recovery of a fighter aircraft that has damage to or loss of the flight control surfaces. NASA, USAF and Navy evaluation test pilots stated that the F-15 PCA design provided the control necessary to land the aircraft. Moreover, the feasibility study showed that PCA technology can be directly applied to transport aircraft and provide a major improvement in the survivability of passengers and crew of controls damaged aircraft.
AHarrah, Ralph C.
Systems to provide improved tactile feedback to aircraft pilots are being developed to help the pilots maintain harmony between their control actions and the positions of aircraft control surfaces, thereby helping to prevent loss of control. A system of this type, denoted a loss-of-control-inhibitor system (LOCIS) can be implemented as a relatively simple addition to almost any pre-existing flight-control system. The LOCIS concept offers at least a partial solution to the problem of (1) keeping a pilot aware of the state of the control system and the aircraft and (2) maintaining sufficient control under conditions that, as described below, have been known to lead to loss of control. Current commercial aircraft exhibit uneven responses of primary flight-control surfaces to aggressive pilot control commands, leading to deterioration of pilots ability to control their aircraft. In severe cases, this phenomenon can result in loss of control and consequent loss of aircraft. For an older aircraft equipped with a purely mechanical control system, the loss of harmony between a pilot s command action and the control- surface response can be attributed to compliance in the control system (caused, for example, by stretching of control cables, flexing of push rods, or servo-valve distortion). In a newer aircraft equipped with a fly-by-wire control system, the major contributions to loss of harmony between the pilot and the control surfaces are delays attributable to computer cycle time, control shaping, filtering, aliasing, servo-valve distortion, and actuator rate limiting. In addition, a fly-by-wire control system provides no tactile feedback that would enable the pilot to sense such features of the control state as surface flutter, surface jam, position limiting, actuator rate limiting, and control limiting imposed by the aircraft operational envelope. Hence, for example, when a pilot is involved in aggressive closed-loop maneuvering, as when encountering a wake
Weske, Reid A.; Danek, George L.
Pseudo Aircraft Systems (PAS) is a computerized flight dynamics and piloting system designed to provide a high fidelity multi-aircraft real-time simulation environment to support Air Traffic Control research. PAS is composed of three major software components that run on a network of computer workstations. Functionality is distributed among these components to allow the system to execute fast enough to support real-time operation. PAS workstations are linked by an Ethernet Local Area Network, and standard UNIX socket protocol is used for data transfer. Each component of PAS is controlled and operated using a custom designed Graphical User Interface. Each of these is composed of multiple windows, and many of the windows and sub-windows are used in several of the components. Aircraft models and piloting logic are sophisticated and realistic and provide complex maneuvering and navigational capabilities. PAS will continually be enhanced with new features and improved capabilities to support ongoing and future Air Traffic Control system development.
Zhen, Ziyang; Jiang, Ju; Wang, Xinhua; Gao, Chen
Wind disturbance has a great influence on landing security of Large Civil Aircraft. Through simulation research and engineering experience, it can be found that PID control is not good enough to solve the problem of restraining the wind disturbance. This paper focuses on anti-wind attitude control for Large Civil Aircraft in landing phase. In order to improve the riding comfort and the flight security, an information fusion based optimal control strategy is presented to restrain the wind in landing phase for maintaining attitudes and airspeed. Data of Boeing707 is used to establish a nonlinear mode with total variables of Large Civil Aircraft, and then two linear models are obtained which are divided into longitudinal and lateral equations. Based on engineering experience, the longitudinal channel adopts PID control and C inner control to keep longitudinal attitude constant, and applies autothrottle system for keeping airspeed constant, while an information fusion based optimal regulator in the lateral control channel is designed to achieve lateral attitude holding. According to information fusion estimation, by fusing hard constraint information of system dynamic equations and the soft constraint information of performance index function, optimal estimation of the control sequence is derived. Based on this, an information fusion state regulator is deduced for discrete time linear system with disturbance. The simulation results of nonlinear model of aircraft indicate that the information fusion optimal control is better than traditional PID control, LQR control and LQR control with integral action, in anti-wind disturbance performance in the landing phase. PMID:25440950
Yasar, Murat; Tolani, Devendra; Ray, Asok; Shah, Neerav; Litt, Jonathan S.
This paper presents a hierarchical application of Discrete Event Supervisory (DES) control theory for intelligent decision and control of a twin-engine aircraft propulsion system. A dual layer hierarchical DES controller is designed to supervise and coordinate the operation of two engines of the propulsion system. The two engines are individually controlled to achieve enhanced performance and reliability, necessary for fulfilling the mission objectives. Each engine is operated under a continuously varying control system that maintains the specified performance and a local discrete-event supervisor for condition monitoring and life extending control. A global upper level DES controller is designed for load balancing and overall health management of the propulsion system.
Tischler, Mark B.
System-identification methods compose a mathematical model, or series of models, from measurements of inputs and outputs of dynamic systems. The extracted models allow the characterization of the response of the overall aircraft or component subsystem behavior, such as actuators and on-board signal processing algorithms. This paper discusses the use of frequency-domain system-identification methods for the development and integration of aircraft flight-control systems. The extraction and analysis of models of varying complexity from nonparametric frequency-responses to transfer-functions and high-order state-space representations is illustrated using the Comprehensive Identification from FrEquency Responses (CIFER) system-identification facility. Results are presented for test data of numerous flight and simulation programs at the Ames Research Center including rotorcraft, fixed-wing aircraft, advanced short takeoff and vertical landing (ASTOVL), vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL), tiltrotor aircraft, and rotor experiments in the wind tunnel. Excellent system characterization and dynamic response prediction is achieved for this wide class of systems. Examples illustrate the role of system-identification technology in providing an integrated flow of dynamic response data around the entire life-cycle of aircraft development from initial specifications, through simulation and bench testing, and into flight-test optimization.
Girwar-Nath, Jonathan Alejandro
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have been research in the past decade for a broad range of tasks and application domains such as search and rescue, reconnaissance, traffic control, pipe line inspections, surveillance, border patrol, and communication bridging. This work describes the design and implementation of a lightweight Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) semi-autonomous Fixed-Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Presented here is a methodology for System Identification utilizing the Box-Jenkins model estimator on recorded flight data to characterize the system and develop a mathematical model of the aircraft. Additionally, a novel microprocessor, the XMOS, is utilized to navigate and maneuver the aircraft utilizing a PD control system. In this thesis is a description of the aircraft and the sensor suite utilized, as well as the flight data and supporting videos for the benefit of the UAV research community.
Cogan, Bruce R. (Inventor)
A low-cost, easily retrofit Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) system for use on a wide range of commercial and military aircraft consists of an propulsion controlled aircraft computer that reads in aircraft data including aircraft state, pilot commands and other related data, calculates aircraft throttle position for a given maneuver commanded by the pilot, and then displays both current and calculated throttle position on a cockpit display to show the pilot where to move throttles to achieve the commanded maneuver, or is automatically sent digitally to command the engines directly.
Tabak, D.; Schy, A. A.; Johnson, K. G.; Giesy, D. P.
The design of an aircraft lateral control system, subject to several performance criteria and constraints, is considered. While in the previous studies of the same model a single criterion optimization, with other performance requirements expressed as constraints, has been pursued, the current approach involves a multiple criteria optimization. In particular, a Pareto optimal solution is sought.
Rising, J. J.; Davis, W. J; Grantham, W. D.
The use of modern control theory to develop a high-authority stability and control system for the next generation transport aircraft is described with examples taken from work performed on an advanced pitch active control system (PACS). The PACS was configured to have short-period and phugoid modes frequency and damping characteristics within the shaded S-plane areas, column force gradients with set bounds and with constant slope, and a blended normal-acceleration/pitch rate time history response to a step command. Details of the control law, feedback loop, and modal control syntheses are explored, as are compensation for the feedback gain, the deletion of the velocity signal, and the feed-forward compensation. Scheduling of the primary and secondary gains are discussed, together with control law mechanization, flying qualities analyses, and application on the L-1011 aircraft.
The application of separate surface control systems to general aviation aircraft is discussed. Block diagrams of a conventional control system with autopilot tie-in and of a separate surface control system are presented, and the advantages and disadvantages of the two systems are compared. Theoretical descriptions of pilot-in-the-loop operation and operation in the autopilot mode are presented. The application of separate surface stability augmentation in yaw dampers, wing levelers, and static longitudinal stability augmentation is examined. The state-of-the-art of separate control surface technology is summarized.
Lee, W. H.; Athans, M.; Castanon, D.; Bacchioloni, F.
A class of optimal linear time invariant tracking systems, both in continuous time and discrete time, of which the number of inputs (which are restricted to be step functions) is equal to the number of system outputs, is studied. Along with derivation of equations and design procedures, two discretization schemes are presented, constraining either the control or its time derivative, to be a constant over each sampling period. Descriptions are given for the linearized model of the F-8C aircraft longitudinal dynamics, and the C* handling qualities criterion, which then serve as an illustration of the applications of these linear tracking designs. A suboptimal reduced state design is also presented. Numerical results are given for both the continuous time and discrete time designs.
Concepts for software to implement real time aircraft control systems on a centralized digital computer were discussed. A fault tolerant software structure employing functionally redundant routines with concurrent error detection was proposed for critical control functions involving safety of flight and landing. A degraded recovery block concept was devised to allow collocation of critical and noncritical software modules within the same control structure. The additional computer resources required to implement the proposed software structure for a representative set of aircraft control functions were discussed. It was estimated that approximately 30 percent more memory space is required to implement the total set of control functions. A reliability model for the fault tolerant software was described and parametric estimates of failure rate were made.
Morrison, Brian D.; Robillard, Michael N.
Raytheon has developed and is certifying fault-tolerant low- cost distributed Control-By-LightTM technology for use in the next generation of Civil, Regional, and General Aviation aircraft. Distributed Control-By-LightTM holds significant promise when applied to complex sensor/actuator systems such as aircraft controls. CBLTM systems replace mechanical, hydraulic and electrical controls presently used to monitor, control and display flight, engine, and utility functions, and has substantial weight, cost, safety, and performance advantages over today's mechanical and Fly-By- Wire techniques. This paper describes the system concepts and outlines the formal certification program presently underway.
Palumbo, Dan; Cabell, Ran; Cline, John; Sullivan, Brenda
A flight test is described in which an active structural/acoustic control system reduces turboprop induced interior noise on a Raytheon Aircraft Company 1900D airliner. Control inputs to 21 inertial force actuators were computed adaptively using a transform domain version of the multichannel filtered-X LMS algorithm to minimize the mean square response of 32 microphones. A combinatorial search algorithm was employed to optimize placement of the force actuators on the aircraft frame. Both single frequency and multi-frequency results are presented. Reductions of up to 15 dB were obtained at the blade passage frequency (BPF) during single frequency control tests. Simultaneous reductions of the BPF and next 2 harmonics of 10 dB, 2.5 dB and 3.0 dB, were obtained in a multi-frequency test.
Lawrence, Thomas H. (Inventor); Gold, Phillip J. (Inventor)
Control law system for the collective axis, as well as pitch and roll axes, of an X-Wing aircraft and for the pneumatic valving controlling circulation control blowing for the rotor. As to the collective axis, the system gives the pilot single-lever direct lift control and insures that maximum cyclic blowing control power is available in transition. Angle-of-attach de-coupling is provided in rotary wing flight, and mechanical collective is used to augment pneumatic roll control when appropriate. Automatic gain variations with airspeed and rotor speed are provided, so a unitary set of control laws works in all three X-Wing flight modes. As to pitch and roll axes, the system produces essentially the same aircraft response regardless of flight mode or condition. Undesirable cross-couplings are compensated for in a manner unnoticeable to the pilot without requiring pilot action, as flight mode or condition is changed. A hub moment feedback scheme is implemented, utilizing a P+I controller, significantly improving bandwidth. Limits protect aircraft structure from inadvertent damage. As to pneumatic valving, the system automatically provides the pressure required at each valve azimuth location, as dictated by collective, cyclic and higher harmonic blowing commands. Variations in the required control phase angle are automatically introduced, and variations in plenum pressure are compensated for. The required switching for leading, trailing and dual edge blowing is automated, using a simple table look-up procedure. Non-linearities due to valve characteristics of circulation control lift are linearized by map look-ups.
Troudet, Terry; Garg, Sanjay; Merrill, Walter C.
The feasibility of using artificial neural network as control systems for modern, complex aerospace vehicles is investigated via an example aircraft control design study. The problem considered is that of designing a controller for an integrated airframe/propulsion longitudinal dynamics model of a modern fighter aircraft to provide independent control of pitch rate and airspeed responses to pilot command inputs. An explicit model following controller using H infinity control design techniques is first designed to gain insight into the control problem as well as to provide a baseline for evaluation of the neurocontroller. Using the model of the desired dynamics as a command generator, a multilayer feedforward neural network is trained to control the vehicle model within the physical limitations of the actuator dynamics. This is achieved by minimizing an objective function which is a weighted sum of tracking errors and control input commands and rates. To gain insight in the neurocontrol, linearized representations of the nonlinear neurocontroller are analyzed along a commanded trajectory. Linear robustness analysis tools are then applied to the linearized neurocontroller models and to the baseline H infinity based controller. Future areas of research identified to enhance the practical applicability of neural networks to flight control design.
Troudet, Terry; Garg, Sanjay; Merrill, Walter C.
The feasibility of using artificial neural networks as control systems for modern, complex aerospace vehicles is investigated via an example aircraft control design study. The problem considered is that of designing a controller for an integrated airframe/propulsion longitudinal dynamics model of a modern fighter aircraft to provide independent control of pitch rate and airspeed responses to pilot command inputs. An explicit model following controller using H infinity control design techniques is first designed to gain insight into the control problem as well as to provide a baseline for evaluation of the neurocontroller. Using the model of the desired dynamics as a command generator, a multilayer feedforward neural network is trained to control the vehicle model within the physical limitations of the actuator dynamics. This is achieved by minimizing an objective function which is a weighted sum of tracking errors and control input commands and rates. To gain insight in the neurocontrol, linearized representations of the nonlinear neurocontroller are analyzed along a commanded trajectory. Linear robustness analysis tools are then applied to the linearized neurocontroller models and to the baseline H infinity based controller. Future areas of research are identified to enhance the practical applicability of neural networks to flight control design.
Sevart, F. D.; Patel, S. M.; Wattman, W. J.
Testing and evaluation of stability augmentation systems for aircraft flight control were conducted. The flutter suppression system analysis of a scale supersonic transport wing model is described. Mechanization of the flutter suppression system is reported. The ride control synthesis for the B-52 aeroelastic model is discussed. Model analyses were conducted using equations of motion generated from generalized mass and stiffness data.
Whitaker, H. P.; Baram, Y.; Cheng, Y.
Theoretical development is reported for the parameter optimization design technique needed for digital flight control system design. The results of an example case study applying the optimization technique for continuous systems to an F-8 aircraft feedback control system are presented. The concept of evolving the simplest system configuration that is capable of meeting a specified set of performance requirements is illustrated in this work.
Lee, P. S. T.; Vanlandingham, H. F.
The optimal control theory of stochastic linear systems is discussed in terms of the advantages of distributed-control systems, and the control of randomly-sampled systems. An optimal solution to longitudinal control is derived and applied to the F-8 DFBW aircraft. A randomly-sampled linear process model with additive process and noise is developed.
Lapins, Maris; Jacobson, Ira D.
A critical review of past efforts in the design and testing of ride smoothing and gust alleviation systems is presented. Design trade-offs involving sensor types, choice of feedback loops, human comfort and aircraft handling-qualities criteria are discussed. Synthesis of a system designed to employ direct-lift and side-force producing surfaces is reported. Two STOL-class aircraft and an executive transport are considered. Theoretically-predicted system performance is compared with hybrid simulation and flight test data. Pilot opinion rating, pilot workload, and passenger comfort rating data for the basic and augmented aircraft are included.
Lapins, M.; Jacobson, I. D.
A critical review of past efforts in the design and testing of ride smoothing and gust alleviation systems is presented. Design trade offs involving sensor types, choice of feedback loops, human comfort, and aircraft handling-qualities criteria are discussed. Synthesis of a system designed to employ direct-lift and side-force producing surfaces is reported. Two STOL aircraft and an executive transport are considered. Theoretically predicted system performance is compared with hybrid simulation and flight test data. Pilot opinion rating, pilot workload, and passenger comfort rating data for the basic and augmented aircraft are included.
Yamane, Hideaki; Matsunaga, Yasushi; Kusakawa, Takeshi; Yasui, Hisako
The Integrated Flight and Propulsion Control (IFPC) for a highly maneuverable aircraft and a fighter-class engine with pitch/yaw thrust vectoring is described. Of the two IFPC functions the aircraft maneuver control utilizes the thrust vectoring based on aerodynamic control surfaces/thrust vectoring control allocation specified by the Integrated Control Unit (ICU) of a FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control) system. On the other hand in the Performance Seeking Control (PSC) the ICU identifies engine's various characteristic changes, optimizes manipulated variables and finally adjusts engine control parameters in cooperation with the Engine Control Unit (ECU). It is shown by hardware-in-the-loop simulation that the thrust vectoring can enhance aircraft maneuverability/agility and that the PSC can improve engine performance parameters such as SFC (specific fuel consumption), thrust and gas temperature.
Skira, C. A.
Hydromechanical control technology simply cannot compete against the performance benefits offered by electronics. Future military aircraft propulsion control systems will be full authority, digital electronic, microprocessor base systems. Anticipating the day when microprocessor technology will permit the integration and management of aircraft flight control, fire control and propulsion control systems, the Air Force Aero Propulsion Laboratory is developing control logic algorithms for a real time, adaptive control and diagnostic information system.
There are significant activities taking place to establish the procedures and requirements for safe and routine operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS). Among the barriers to overcome in achieving this goal is the lack of sufficient frequency spectrum necessary for the UAS control and air traffic control (ATC) communications links. This shortcoming is compounded by the fact that the UAS control communications links will likely be required to operate in protected frequency spectrum, just as ATC communications links are, because they relate to "safety and regularity of flight." To support future International Telecommunications Union (ITU) World Radio Conference (WRC) agenda items concerning new frequency allocations for UAS communications links, and to augment the Future Communications Study (FCS) Technology Evaluation Group efforts, NASA Glenn Research Center has sponsored a task to estimate the UAS control and ATC communications bandwidth requirements for safe, reliable, and routine operation of UAS in the NAS. This report describes the process and results of that task. The study focused on long-term bandwidth requirements for UAS approximately through 2030.
Mackall, Dale A.; Allen, James G.
Research aircraft have become increasingly dependent on advanced control systems to accomplish program goals. These aircraft are integrating multiple disciplines to improve performance and satisfy research objectives. This integration is being accomplished through electronic control systems. Because of the number of systems involved and the variety of engineering disciplines, systems design methods and information management have become essential to program success. The primary objective of the system design/information tool for aircraft flight control system is to help transfer flight control system design knowledge to the flight test community. By providing all of the design information and covering multiple disciplines in a structured, graphical manner, flight control systems can more easily be understood by the test engineers. This will provide the engineers with the information needed to thoroughly ground test the system and thereby reduce the likelihood of serious design errors surfacing in flight. The secondary objective is to apply structured design techniques to all of the design domains. By using the techniques in the top level system design down through the detailed hardware and software designs, it is hoped that fewer design anomalies will result. The flight test experiences of three highly complex, integrated aircraft programs are reviewed: the X-29 forward-swept wing, the advanced fighter technology integration (AFTI) F-16, and the highly maneuverable aircraft technology (HiMAT) program. Significant operating anomalies and the design errors which cause them, are examined to help identify what functions a system design/information tool should provide to assist designers in avoiding errors.
Belcastro, Christine M.; Jacobson, Steven r.
Loss of control remains one of the largest contributors to aircraft fatal accidents worldwide. Aircraft loss-of-control accidents are highly complex in that they can result from numerous causal and contributing factors acting alone or (more often) in combination. Hence, there is no single intervention strategy to prevent these accidents. This paper presents future system concepts and research directions for preventing aircraft loss-of-control accidents.
Mackall, Dale A.; Allen, James G.
Research aircraft have become increasingly dependent on advanced electronic control systems to accomplish program goals. These aircraft are integrating multiple disciplines to improve performance and satisfy research objective. This integration is being accomplished through electronic control systems. Systems design methods and information management have become essential to program success. The primary objective of the system design/information tool for aircraft flight control is to help transfer flight control system design knowledge to the flight test community. By providing all of the design information and covering multiple disciplines in a structured, graphical manner, flight control systems can more easily be understood by the test engineers. This will provide the engineers with the information needed to thoroughly ground test the system and thereby reduce the likelihood of serious design errors surfacing in flight. The secondary object is to apply structured design techniques to all of the design domains. By using the techniques in the top level system design down through the detailed hardware and software designs, it is hoped that fewer design anomalies will result. The flight test experiences are reviewed of three highly complex, integrated aircraft programs: the X-29 forward swept wing; the advanced fighter technology integration (AFTI) F-16; and the highly maneuverable aircraft technology (HiMAT) program. Significant operating technologies, and the design errors which cause them, is examined to help identify what functions a system design/informatin tool should provide to assist designers in avoiding errors.
An invention to be used for controlling aircraft flaps is described. It is applicable to control systems with two coaxial output units which pivot simultaneously with respect to two fixed units and which are activated by two opposed, straight coaxial jacks.
Burken, John J. (Inventor); Burcham, Frank W., Jr. (Inventor); Bull, John (Inventor)
Development of an emergency flight control system is disclosed for lateral control using only differential engine thrust modulation of multiengine aircraft is currently underway. The multiengine has at least two engines laterally displaced to the left and right from the axis of the aircraft. In response to a heading angle command psi(sub c) is to be tracked. By continually sensing the heading angle psi of the aircraft and computing a heading error signal psi(sub e) as a function of the difference between the heading angle command psi(sub c) and the sensed heading angle psi, a track control signal is developed with compensation as a function of sensed bank angle phi. Bank angle rate phi, or roll rate p, yaw rate tau, and true velocity produce an aircraft thrust control signal ATC(sub psi(L,R)). The thrust control signal is differentially applied to the left and right engines, with equal amplitude and opposite sign, such that a negative sign is applied to the control signal on the side of the aircraft. A turn is required to reduce the error signal until the heading feedback reduces the error to zero.
Harrington, W. W.
An optimal control frequency response problem is defined within the context of the optimal pilot model. The problem is designed to specify pilot model control frequencies reflective of important aircraft system properties, such as control feel system dynamics, airframe dynamics, and gust environment, as well as man machine properties, such as task and attention allocation. This is accomplished by determining a bounded set of control frequencies which minimize the total control cost. The bounds are given by zero and the neuromuscular control frequency response for each control actuator. This approach is fully adaptive, i.e., does not depend upon user entered estimates. An algorithm is developed to solve this optimal control frequency response problem. The algorithm is then applied to an attitude hold task for a bare airframe fighter aircraft case with interesting dynamic properties.
Yamane, Hideaki; Matsunaga, Yasushi; Kusakawa, Takeshi
A flyable FADEC system engineering model incorporating Integrated Flight and Propulsion Control (IFPC) concept is developed for a highly maneuverable aircraft and a fighter-class engine. An overview of the FADEC system and functional assignments for its components such as the Engine Control Unit (ECU) and the Integrated Control Unit (ICU) are described. Overall system reliability analysis, convex analysis and multivariable controller design for the engine, fault detection/redundancy management, and response characteristics of a fuel system are addressed. The engine control performance of the FADEC is demonstrated by hardware-in-the-loop simulation for fast acceleration and thrust transient characteristics.
Schenk, F. L.; Mcmaster, J. R.
The F-12 series aircraft control system design philosophy is reviewed as it pertains to functional reliability. The basic control system, i.e., cables, mixer, feel system, trim devices, and hydraulic systems are described and discussed. In addition, the implementation of the redundant stability augmentation system in the F-12 aircraft is described. Finally, the functional reliability record that has been achieved is presented.
This document provides guidance to the FAA on important human factors considerations that can be used to support the certification of a UAS Aircraft Control Station (ACS). This document provides a synopsis of the human factors analysis, design and test activities to be performed to provide a basis for FAA certification. The data from these analyses, design activities, and tests, along with data from certification/qualification tests of other key components should be used to establish the ACS certification basis. It is expected that this information will be useful to manufacturers in developing the ACS Certification Plan,, and in supporting the design of their ACS.
Hauser, John; Sastry, Shankar; Meyer, George
The paper describes the application of techniques of exact I/O linearization of nonlinear control systems to the flight control of V/STOL aircraft. It is seen that the application of the theory to this example is not straightforward; in particular, the direct application of the theory yielded an undesirable controller. The situation was remedied by neglecting the coupling between the rolling moment input to the aircraft dynamics and the dynamics along the y-axis. An approximate I/O linearization procedure developed for slightly nonminimum phase nonlinear systems is shown to be effective for V/STOL aircraft.
Galvin, James J., Jr.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is leading a research effort to develop a Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) that will expand air transportation capabilities to hundreds of underutilized airports in the United States. Most of the research effort addresses the technological development of the small aircraft as well as the systems to manage airspace usage and surface activities at airports. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will also play a major role in the successful implementation of SATS, however, the administration is reluctant to embrace the unproven concept. The purpose of the research presented in this dissertation is to determine if the FAA can pursue a resource management strategy that will support the current radar-based Air Traffic Control (ATC) system as well as a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS)-based ATC system required by the SATS. The research centered around the use of the System Dynamics modeling methodology to determine the future behavior of the principle components of the ATC system over time. The research included a model of the ATC system consisting of people, facilities, equipment, airports, aircraft, the FAA budget, and the Airport and Airways Trust Fund. The model generated system performance behavior used to evaluate three scenarios. The first scenario depicted the base case behavior of the system if the FAA continued its current resource management practices. The second scenario depicted the behavior of the system if the FAA emphasized development of GPS-based ATC systems. The third scenario depicted a combined resource management strategy that supplemented radar systems with GPS systems. The findings of the research were that the FAA must pursue a resource management strategy that primarily funds a radar-based ATC system and directs lesser funding toward a GPS-based supplemental ATC system. The most significant contribution of this research was the insight and understanding gained of how
Urnes, James M.; Hoy, Stephen E.; Ladage, Robert N.; Stewart, James
A flight control concept that can identify aircraft stability properties and continually optimize the aircraft flying qualities has been developed by McDonnell Aircraft Company under a contract with the NASA-Dryden Flight Research Facility. This flight concept, termed the Intelligent Flight Control System, utilizes Neural Network technology to identify the host aircraft stability and control properties during flight, and use this information to design on-line the control system feedback gains to provide continuous optimum flight response. This self-repairing capability can provide high performance flight maneuvering response throughout large flight envelopes, such as needed for the National Aerospace Plane. Moreover, achieving this response early in the vehicle's development schedule will save cost.
Nguyen, L. T.; Gilbert, W. P.; Ogburn, M. E.
Some fundamental information on control system effects on controllability of highly maneuverable aircraft at high angles of attack are summarized as well as techniques for enhancing fighter aircraft departure/spin resistance using control system design. The discussion includes: (1) a brief review of pertinent high angle of attack phenomena including aerodynamics, inertia coupling, and kinematic coupling; (2) effects of conventional stability augmentation systems at high angles of attack; (3) high angle of attack control system concepts designed to enhance departure/spin resistance; and (4) the outlook for applications of these concepts to future fighters, particularly those designs which incorporate relaxed static stability.
Ringland, R. F.; Craig, S. J.
Flight control system design factors involved for pilot workload relief are identified. Major contributors to pilot workload include configuration management and control and aircraft stability and response qualities. A digital fly by wire stability augmentation, configuration management, and configuration control system is suggested for reduction of pilot workload during takeoff, hovering, and approach.
A joint NASA/NAVY program, called FOCSI, is reviewed which is aimed at designing optical sensor systems to fit the installation and environmentally test passive optical sensors and electrooptic architectures. These optical sensor systems will be flown on an F18 aircraft to collect data on the operability and maintainability of these systems in a flight environment. The NASA F-18 aircraft will be equipped with a 1773 optical databus to transfer the optical sensor information to the aircraft data collection location.
Pearce, W. E.
An evaluation was made of laminar flow control (LFC) system concepts for subsonic commercial transport aircraft. Configuration design studies, performance analyses, fabrication development, structural testing, wind tunnel testing, and contamination-avoidance techniques were included. As a result of trade studies, a configuration with LFC on the upper wing surface only, utilizing an electron beam-perforated suction surface, and employing a retractable high-lift shield for contamination avoidance, was selected as the most practical LFC system. The LFC aircraft was then compared with an advanced turbulent aircraft designed for the same mission. This comparison indicated significant fuel savings.
Pearce, W. E.
An evaluation was made of laminar flow control (LFC) system concepts for subsonic commercial transport aircraft. Configuration design studies, performance analyses, fabrication development, structural testing, wind tunnel testing, and contamination-avoidance techniques were included. As a result of trade studies, a configuration with LFC on the upper wing surface only, utilizing an electron beam-perforated suction surface, and employing a retractable high-lift shield for contamination avoidance, was selected as the most practical LFC system. The LFC aircraft was then compared with an advanced turbulent aircraft designed for the same mission. This comparison indicated significant fuel savings and reduced direct operating cost benefits would result from using LFC.
Burcham, F. W., Jr.; Burken, John; Maine, Trindel A.
Flight tests of a propulsion-controlled aircraft (PCA) system on an F-15 airplane have been conducted at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. The airplane was flown with all flight control surfaces locked both in the manual throttles-only mode and in an augmented system mode. In the latter mode, pilot thumbwheel commands and aircraft feedback parameters were used to position the throttles. Flight evaluation results showed that the PCA system can be used to land an airplane that has suffered a major flight control system failure safely. The PCA system was used to recover the F-15 airplane from a severe upset condition, descend, and land. Pilots from NASA, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and McDonnell Douglas Aerospace evaluated the PCA system and were favorably impressed with its capability. Manual throttles-only approaches were unsuccessful. This paper describes the PCA system operation and testing. It also presents flight test results and pilot comments.
Gerren, Donna S.
A review of accidents that involved the loss of hydraulic flight control systems serves as an introduction to this project. In each of the accidents--involving transport aircraft such as the DC-10, the C-5A, the L-1011, and the Boeing 747--the flight crew attempted to control the aircraft by means of thrust control. Although these incidents had tragic endings, in the absence of control power due to primary control system failure, control power generated by selective application of engine thrust has proven to be a viable alternative. NASA Dryden has demonstrated the feasibility of controlling an aircraft during level flight, approach, and landing conditions using an augmented throttles-only control system. This system has been successfully flown in the flight test simulator for the B-720 passenger transport and the F-15 air superiority fighter and in actual flight tests for the F-15 aircraft. The Douglas Aircraft Company is developing a similar system for the MD-11 aircraft. The project's ultimate goal is to provide data for the development of thrust control systems for mega-transports (600+ passengers).
Hynes, Charles S.; Hardy, Gordon H.; Sherry, Lance
Volume I of this report presents a new method for synthesizing hybrid systems directly from desi gn requirements, and applies the method to design of a hybrid system for longitudinal control of transport aircraft. The resulting system satisfies general requirement for safety and effectiveness specified a priori, enabling formal validation to be achieved. Volume II contains seven appendices intended to make the report accessible to readers with backgrounds in human factors, flight dynamics and control, and formal logic. Major design goals are (1) system design integrity based on proof of correctness at the design level, (2) significant simplification and cost reduction in system development and certification, and (3) improved operational efficiency, with significant alleviation of human-factors problems encountered by pilots in current transport aircraft. This report provides for the first time a firm technical basis for criteria governing design and certification of avionic systems for transport aircraft. It should be of primary interest to designers of next-generation avionic systems.
Azam, Mohammad; Pattipati, Krishna; Allanach, Jeffrey; Poll, Scott; Patterson-Hine, Ann
In this paper we consider the problem of test design for real-time fault detection and isolation (FDI) in the flight control system of fixed-wing aircraft. We focus on the faults that are manifested in the control surface elements (e.g., aileron, elevator, rudder and stabilizer) of an aircraft. For demonstration purposes, we restrict our focus on the faults belonging to nine basic fault classes. The diagnostic tests are performed on the features extracted from fifty monitored system parameters. The proposed tests are able to uniquely isolate each of the faults at almost all severity levels. A neural network-based flight control simulator, FLTZ(Registered TradeMark), is used for the simulation of various faults in fixed-wing aircraft flight control systems for the purpose of FDI.
Broussard, J. R.; Berry, P. W.; Stengel, R. F.
Methods for and results from the design and evaluation of a digital flight control system (DFCS) for a CH-47B helicopter are presented. The DFCS employed proportional-integral control logic to provide rapid, precise response to automatic or manual guidance commands while following conventional or spiral-descent approach paths. It contained altitude- and velocity-command modes, and it adapted to varying flight conditions through gain scheduling. Extensive use was made of linear systems analysis techniques. The DFCS was designed, using linear-optimal estimation and control theory, and the effects of gain scheduling are assessed by examination of closed-loop eigenvalues and time responses.
Calise, A. J.; Kadushin, I.; Kramer, F.
The current status of research on the application of variable structure system (VSS) theory to design aircraft flight control systems is summarized. Two aircraft types are currently being investigated: the Augmentor Wing Jet STOL Research Aircraft (AWJSRA), and AV-8A Harrier. The AWJSRA design considers automatic control of longitudinal dynamics during the landing phase. The main task for the AWJSRA is to design an automatic landing system that captures and tracks a localizer beam. The control task for the AV-8A is to track velocity commands in a hovering flight configuration. Much effort was devoted to developing computer programs that are needed to carry out VSS design in a multivariable frame work, and in becoming familiar with the dynamics and control problems associated with the aircraft types under investigation. Numerous VSS design schemes were explored, particularly for the AWJSRA. The approaches that appear best suited for these aircraft types are presented. Examples are given of the numerical results currently being generated.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Kaneshige, John; Bull, John; Maine, Trindel A.
With the advent of digital engine control systems, considering the use of engine thrust for emergency flight control has become feasible. Many incidents have occurred in which engine thrust supplemented or replaced normal aircraft flight controls. In most of these cases, a crash has resulted, and more than 1100 lives have been lost. The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center has developed a propulsion-controlled aircraft (PCA) system in which computer-controlled engine thrust provides emergency flight control capability. Using this PCA system, an F-15 and an MD-11 airplane have been landed without using any flight controls. In simulations, C-17, B-757, and B-747 PCA systems have also been evaluated successfully. These tests used full-authority digital electronic control systems on the engines. Developing simpler PCA systems that can operate without full-authority engine control, thus allowing PCA technology to be installed on less capable airplanes or at lower cost, is also a desire. Studies have examined simplified ?PCA Ultralite? concepts in which thrust control is provided using an autothrottle system supplemented by manual differential throttle control. Some of these concepts have worked well. The PCA Ultralite study results are presented for simulation tests of MD-11, B-757, C-17, and B-747 aircraft.
Horne, W. B.
Aircraft stopping and directional control performance on wet runways is discussed. The major elements affecting tire/ground traction developed by jet transport aircraft are identified and described in terms of atmospheric, pavement, tire, aircraft system and pilot performance factors or parameters. Research results are summarized, and means for improving or restoring tire traction/aircraft performance on wet runways are discussed.
Franklin, James A.
As part of NASA's program to develop technology for short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) fighter aircraft, control system designs have been developed for a conceptual STOVL aircraft. This aircraft is representative of the class of mixed-flow remote-lift concepts that was identified as the preferred design approach by the U.S./U.K. STOVL Joint Assessment and Ranking Team. The control system designs have been evaluated throughout the powered-lift flight envelope on the Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) at Ames Research Center. Items assessed in the control system evaluation were: maximum control power used in transition and vertical flight, control system dynamic response associated with thrust transfer for attitude control, thrust margin in the presence of ground effect and hot-gas ingestion, and dynamic thrust response for the engine core. Effects of wind, turbulence, and ship airwake disturbances are incorporated in the evaluation. Results provide the basis for a reassessment of existing flying-qualities design criteria applied to STOVL aircraft.
Mccurdy, David A.; Grandle, Robert E.
A second-generation Aircraft Noise Synthesis System has been developed to provide test stimuli for studies of community annoyance to aircraft flyover noise. The computer-based system generates realistic, time-varying, audio simulations of aircraft flyover noise at a specified observer location on the ground. The synthesis takes into account the time-varying aircraft position relative to the observer; specified reference spectra consisting of broadband, narrowband, and pure-tone components; directivity patterns; Doppler shift; atmospheric effects; and ground effects. These parameters can be specified and controlled in such a way as to generate stimuli in which certain noise characteristics, such as duration or tonal content, are independently varied, while the remaining characteristics, such as broadband content, are held constant. The system can also generate simulations of the predicted noise characteristics of future aircraft. A description of the synthesis system and a discussion of the algorithms and methods used to generate the simulations are provided. An appendix describing the input data and providing user instructions is also included.
Rao, D. M. (Inventor)
Traditional roll control systems such as ailerons, elevons or spoilers are least effective at high angles of attack due to boundary layer separation over the wing. This invention uses independently deployed leading edge flaps on the upper surfaces of vortex stabilized wings to shift the center of lift outboard. A rolling moment is created that is used to control roll in flight at high angles of attack. The effectiveness of the rolling moment increases linearly with angle of attack. No adverse yaw effects are induced. In an alternate mode of operation, both leading edge flaps are deployed together at cruise speeds to create a very effective airbrake without appreciable modification in pitching moment. Little trim change is required.
Hariharapura Ramesh, Shashank
This thesis presents a framework for developing automatic carrier landing systems for aircraft with vertical or short take-off and landing capability using two different control strategies---gain-scheduled linear optimal control, and L1 adaptive control. The carrier landing sequence of V/STOL aircraft involves large variations in dynamic pressure and aerodynamic coefficients arising because of the transition from aerodynamic-supported to jet-borne flight, descent to the touchdown altitude, and turns performed to align with the runway. Consequently, the dynamics of the aircraft exhibit a highly non-linear dynamical behavior with variations in flight conditions prior to touchdown. Therefore, the implication is the need for non-linear control techniques to achieve automatic landing. Gain-scheduling has been one of the most widely employed techniques for control of aircraft, which involves designing linear controllers for numerous trimmed flight conditions, and interpolating them to achieve a global non-linear control. Adaptive control technique, on the other hand, eliminates the need to schedule the controller parameters as they adapt to changing flight conditions.
Bundick, W. Thomas
A methodology for designing a failure detection and identification (FDI) system to detect and isolate control element failures in aircraft control systems is reviewed. An FDI system design for a modified B-737 aircraft resulting from this methodology is also reviewed, and the results of evaluating this system via simulation are presented. The FDI system performed well in a no-turbulence environment, but it experienced an unacceptable number of false alarms in atmospheric turbulence. An adaptive FDI system, which adjusts thresholds and other system parameters based on the estimated turbulence level, was developed and evaluated. The adaptive system performed well over all turbulence levels simulated, reliably detecting all but the smallest magnitude partially-missing-surface failures.
Sturgeon, R. F.
Alternatives in the design of laminar flow control (LFC) subsonic commerical transport aircraft for opeation in the 1980's period were studied. Analyses were conducted to select mission parameters and define optimum aircraft configurational parameters for the selected mission, defined by a passenger payload of 400 and a design range of 12, 038 km (6500 n mi). The baseline aircraft developed for this mission was used as a vehicle for the evaluation and development of alternative LFC system concepts. Alternatices in the areas of aerodynamics, structures and materials, LFC systems, leading-edge region cleaning, and integration of auxiliary systems were studied. Relative to a similarly-optimized advanced technology turbulent transport, the final LFC configuration is approximately equal in DOC but provides descreases of 8.2% in gross weight and 21.7% in fuel consumption.
Seal, D. W.
This report describes the results of a 10 month program sponsored by NASA. The objective of this program was to evaluate various optical sensor modulation technologies and to design an optimal Electro-Optic Architecture (EOA) for servicing remote clusters of sensors and actuators in advanced aircraft flight control systems. The EOA's supply optical power to remote sensors and actuators, process the modulated optical signals returned from the sensors, and produce conditioned electrical signals acceptable for use by a digital flight control computer or Vehicle Management System (VMS) computer. This study was part of a multi-year initiative under the Fiber Optic Control System Integration (FOCSI) program to design, develop, and test a totally integrated fiber optic flight/propulsion control system for application to advanced aircraft. Unlike earlier FOCSI studies, this program concentrated on the design of the EOA interface rather than the optical transducer technology itself.
Harvey, C. A.; Pope, R. E.
Insensitive flight control system design criteria was defined in terms of maximizing performance (handling qualities, RMS gust response, transient response, stability margins) over a defined parameter range. Wing load alleviation for the C-5A was chosen as a design problem. The C-5A model was a 79-state, two-control structure with uncertainties assumed to exist in dynamic pressure, structural damping and frequency, and the stability derivative, M sub w. Five new techniques (mismatch estimation, uncertainty weighting, finite dimensional inverse, maximum difficulty, dual Lyapunov) were developed. Six existing techniques (additive noise, minimax, multiplant, sensitivity vector augmentation, state dependent noise, residualization) and the mismatch estimation and uncertainty weighting techniques were synthesized and evaluated on the design example. Evaluation and comparison of these six techniques indicated that the minimax and the uncertainty weighting techniques were superior to the other six, and of these two, uncertainty weighting has lower computational requirements. Techniques based on the three remaining new concepts appear promising and are recommended for further research.
Dunn, H. J.; Montgomery, R. C.
This paper describes the moving window parameter adaptive control system developed for the NASA F8-DFBW aircraft. The control system employs a parameter identification process that, iteratively, adjusts parameters of a model of the aircraft motions in a batch-processing manner so that responses generated from the model fit the outputs of sensors stored in a finite record referred to as the moving window. Tests are made on the validity of the parameter estimates before using the parameters in an on-line design process. The on-line design process is an algebraic mapping of the parameters of the model into primary control system feedback and feedforward gains. The mapping was selected to satisfy specific flying quality characteristics over the range of parameter variations expected. Results are presented from simulation studies on the identification algorithm made during the development of the system.
Dennis, Dale V. (Inventor)
An aircraft control position indicator was provided that displayed the degree of deflection of the primary flight control surfaces and the manner in which the aircraft responded. The display included a vertical elevator dot/bar graph meter display for indication whether the aircraft will pitch up or down, a horizontal aileron dot/bar graph meter display for indicating whether the aircraft will roll to the left or to the right, and a horizontal dot/bar graph meter display for indicating whether the aircraft will turn left or right. The vertical and horizontal display or displays intersect to form an up/down, left/right type display. Internal electronic display driver means received signals from transducers measuring the control surface deflections and determined the position of the meter indicators on each dot/bar graph meter display. The device allows readability at a glance, easy visual perception in sunlight or shade, near-zero lag in displaying flight control position, and is not affected by gravitational or centrifugal forces.
Montgomery, R. C.; Dunn, H. J.
This paper describes the moving-window parameter adaptive control system developed for the NASA F8-DFBW aircraft. The control system employs a parameter identification process that, iteratively, adjusts parameters of a model of the aircraft motions in a batch processing manner so that responses generated from the model fit the outputs of sensors stored in a finite record referred to as the moving window. Tests are made on the validity of the parameter estimates before using the parameters in an on-line design process. The on-line design process is an algebraic mapping of the parameters of the model into primary control system feedback and feedforward gains. The mapping was selected to satisfy specific flying quality characteristics over the range of parameter variations expected. Results are presented from simulation studies on the identification algorithm, tests for parameter validity, and the on-line design process.
Wangermann, John P.
Projections of future air traffic predict at least a doubling of the number of revenue passenger miles flown by the year 2025. To meet this demand, an Intelligent Aircraft/Airspace System (IAAS) has been proposed. The IAAS operates on the basis of principled negotiation between intelligent agents. The aircraft/airspace system today consists of many agents, such as airlines, control facilities, and aircraft. All the agents are becoming increasingly capable as technology develops. These capabilities should be exploited to create an Intelligent Aircraft/Airspace System (IAAS) that would meet the predicted traffic levels of 2005.
Garrard, William L.; Balas, Gary J.; Litt, Jonathan (Technical Monitor)
This is the final report on the research performed under NASA Glen grant NASA/NAG-3-1975 concerning feedback control of the Pratt & Whitney (PW) STF 952, a twin spool, mixed flow, after burning turbofan engine. The research focussed on the design of linear and gain-scheduled, multivariable inner-loop controllers for the PW turbofan engine using H-infinity and linear, parameter-varying (LPV) control techniques. The nonlinear turbofan engine simulation was provided by PW within the NASA Rocket Engine Transient Simulator (ROCETS) simulation software environment. ROCETS was used to generate linearized models of the turbofan engine for control design and analysis as well as the simulation environment to evaluate the performance and robustness of the controllers. Comparison between the H-infinity, and LPV controllers are made with the baseline multivariable controller and developed by Pratt & Whitney engineers included in the ROCETS simulation. Simulation results indicate that H-infinity and LPV techniques effectively achieve desired response characteristics with minimal cross coupling between commanded values and are very robust to unmodeled dynamics and sensor noise.
Modern high-performance aircraft demand advanced fault-tolerant flight control strategies. Not only the control effector failures, but the aerodynamic type failures like wing-body damages often result in substantially deteriorate performance because of low available redundancy. As a result the remaining control actuators may yield substantially lower maneuvering capabilities which do not authorize the accomplishment of the air-craft's original specified mission. The problem is to solve the control reconfiguration on available control redundancies when the mission modification is urged to save the aircraft. The proposed robust adaptive fault-tolerant control (RAFTC) system consists of a multi-layer reconfigurable flight controller architecture. It contains three layers accounting for different types and levels of failures including sensor, actuator, and fuselage damages. In case of the nominal operation with possible minor failure(s) a standard adaptive controller stands to achieve the control allocation. This is referred to as the first layer, the controller layer. The performance adjustment is accounted for in the second layer, the reference layer, whose role is to adjust the reference model in the controller design with a degraded transit performance. The upmost mission adjust is in the third layer, the mission layer, when the original mission is not feasible with greatly restricted control capabilities. The modified mission is achieved through the optimization of the command signal which guarantees the boundedness of the closed-loop signals. The main distinguishing feature of this layer is the the mission decision property based on the current available resources. The contribution of the research is the multi-layer fault-tolerant architecture that can address the complete failure scenarios and their accommodations in realities. Moreover, the emphasis is on the mission design capabilities which may guarantee the stability of the aircraft with restricted post
Myers, Thomas T.; Mcruer, Duane T.
The development of a comprehensive and electric methodology for conceptual and preliminary design of flight control systems is presented and illustrated. The methodology is focused on the design states starting with the layout of system requirements and ending when some viable competing system architectures (feedback control structures) are defined. The approach is centered on the human pilot and the aircraft as both the sources of, and the keys to the solution of, many flight control problems. The methodology relies heavily on computational procedures which are highly interactive with the design engineer. To maximize effectiveness, these techniques, as selected and modified to be used together in the methodology, form a cadre of computational tools specifically tailored for integrated flight control system preliminary design purposes. The FCX expert system as presently developed is only a limited prototype capable of supporting basic lateral-directional FCS design activities related to the design example used. FCX presently supports design of only one FCS architecture (yaw damper plus roll damper) and the rules are largely focused on Class IV (highly maneuverable) aircraft. Despite this limited scope, the major elements which appear necessary for application of knowledge-based software concepts to flight control design were assembled and thus FCX represents a prototype which can be tested, critiqued and evolved in an ongoing process of development.
Unmanned platforms have become increasingly more common in recent years for acquiring remotely sensed data. These aircraft are referred to as Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAV), Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPV), or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), the official term used...
Bomben, Craig R.; Smolka, James W.; Bosworth, John T.; Silliams-Hayes, Peggy S.; Burken, John J.; Larson, Richard R.; Buschbacher, Mark J.; Maliska, Heather A.
The Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) project at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, CA, has been investigating the use of neural network based adaptive control on a unique NF-15B test aircraft. The IFCS neural network is a software processor that stores measured aircraft response information to dynamically alter flight control gains. In 2006, the neural network was engaged and allowed to learn in real time to dynamically alter the aircraft handling qualities characteristics in the presence of actual aerodynamic failure conditions injected into the aircraft through the flight control system. The use of neural network and similar adaptive technologies in the design of highly fault and damage tolerant flight control systems shows promise in making future aircraft far more survivable than current technology allows. This paper will present the results of the IFCS flight test program conducted at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in 2006, with emphasis on challenges encountered and lessons learned.
Holloway, C. M.; Johnson, C. W.
This paper describes five loss of control accidents involving commercial aircraft, and derives from those accidents three principles to consider when developing a potential safety case for an advanced flight control system for commercial aircraft. One, among the foundational evidence needed to support a safety case is the availability to the control system of accurate and timely information about the status and health of relevant systems and components. Two, an essential argument to be sustained in the safety case is that pilots are provided with adequate information about the control system to enable them to understand the capabilities that it provides. Three, another essential argument is that the advanced control system will not perform less safely than a good pilot.
Corrigan, Jack; Jones, Jack E.; Shaw, Brad
Requirements for future advanced tactical aircraft identify the need for flight control system architectures that provide a higher degree of performance with regard to electromagnetic interference immunity, communication bus data rate, propulsion/utility subsystem integration, and affordability. Evolution of highly centralized, digital, fly-by-wire flight/propulsion/utility control system is achieved as modular functions are implemented and integrated by serial, digital, fiber optics communication links. These adaptable architectures allow the user to configure the fly-by-light system to meet unique safety requirements, system performance, and design to cost targets.
Decrisantis, Angelo A. (Inventor); O'Coin, James R. (Inventor); Taddey, Edmund P. (Inventor)
An ECS system includes an ACM mounted adjacent an air-liquid heat exchanger through a diffuser that contains a diffuser plate. The diffuser plate receives airflow from the ACM which strikes the diffuser plate and flows radially outward and around the diffuser plate and into the air-liquid heat exchanger to provide minimal pressure loss and proper flow distribution into the air-liquid heat exchanger with significantly less packaging space.
Hynes, Charles S.; Hardy, Gordon H.; Sherry, Lance
Volume I of this report presents a new method for synthesizing hybrid systems directly from design requirements, and applies the method to design of a hybrid system for longitudinal control of transport aircraft. The resulting system satisfies general requirement for safety and effectiveness specified a priori, enabling formal validation to be achieved. Volume II contains seven appendices intended to make the report accessible to readers with backgrounds in human factors, fli ght dynamics and control. and formal logic. Major design goals are (1) system desi g n integrity based on proof of correctness at the design level, (2), significant simplification and cost reduction in system development and certification, and (3) improved operational efficiency, with significant alleviation of human-factors problems encountered by pilots in current transport aircraft. This report provides for the first time a firm technical basis for criteria governing design and certification of avionic systems for transport aircraft. It should be of primary interest to designers of next-generation avionic systems.
Joslin, Ronald D.
Aircraft laminar flow control (LFC) from the 1930's through the 1990's is reviewed and the current status of the technology is assessed. Examples are provided to demonstrate the benefits of LFC for subsonic and supersonic aircraft. Early studies related to the laminar boundary-layer flow physics, manufacturing tolerances for laminar flow, and insect-contamination avoidance are discussed. LFC concept studies in wind-tunnel and flight experiments are the major focus of the paper. LFC design tools are briefly outlined for completeness.
A study was conducted to evaluate alternatives in the design of laminar flow control (LFC) subsonic commercial transport aircraft for operation in the 1980's period. Analyses were conducted to select mission parameters and define optimum aircraft configurational parameters for the selected mission, defined by a passenger payload of 400 and a design range of 12,038 km (6500 n mi). The baseline aircraft developed for this mission was used as a vehicle for the evaluation and development of alternative LFC system concepts. Alternatives were evaluated in the areas of aerodynamics structures, materials, LFC systems, leading-edge region cleaning and integration of auxiliary systems. Based on these evaluations, concept in each area were selected for further development and testing and ultimate incorporation in the final study aircraft. Relative to a similarly-optimized advanced technology turbulent transport, the final LFC configuration is approximately equal in direct operating cost but provides decreases of 8.2% in gross weight and 21.7% in fuel consumption.
Manoharan, Vignesh; Kim, Daewon
The conventional feel system in aircraft occupies large space in the cockpit and has complicated designs. The primary objective of this research is to develop an artificial feel force system that can overcome some drawbacks of the current system. A novel feel system using magneto-rheological (MR) fluid is constructed to precisely control the shear stress under the magnetic field. To validate the functionality of the MR artificial feel system, the final system is fabricated and multiple tests are performed to acquire force-velocity characteristics that are compared to the mathematical model derived. In addition, the PID closed loop control algorithm is developed to simulate the dynamic system model. Both experimental and simulation results are compared to validate the derived system model. The system response time and sampling rates are evaluated and compared to the conventional system at the end. It is concluded that the developed artificial feel system can precisely control and acts as a fail proof system when incorporated with a modern fly-by-wire aircraft system.
Johnson, P. R.; Bardusch, R. E.
A hydraulic control loading system for aircraft simulation was analyzed to find the causes of undesirable low frequency oscillations and loading effects in the output. The hypothesis of mechanical compliance in the control linkage was substantiated by comparing the behavior of a mathematical model of the system with previously obtained experimental data. A compensation scheme based on the minimum integral of the squared difference between desired and actual output was shown to be effective in reducing the undesirable output effects. The structure of the proposed compensation was computed by use of a dynamic programing algorithm and a linear state space model of the fixed elements in the system.
Wykes, J. H.; Byar, T. R.; Macmiller, C. J.; Greek, D. C.
Analyses and flight tests of the B-1 structural mode control system (SMCS) are presented. Improvements in the total dynamic response of a flexible aircraft and the benefits to ride qualities, handling qualities, crew efficiency, and reduced dynamic loads on the primary structures, were investigated. The effectiveness and the performance of the SMCS, which uses small aerodynamic surfaces at the vehicle nose to provide damping to the structural modes, were evaluated.
Pasha, M. A.; Dazzo, J. J.; Silverthorn, J. T.
An investigation of approach and landing longitudinal flying qualities, based on data generated using a variable stability NT-33 aircraft combined with significant control system dynamics is described. An optimum pilot lead time for pitch tracking, flight path angle tracking, and combined pitch and flight path angle tracking tasks is determined from a closed loop simulation using integral squared error (ISE) as a performance measure. Pilot gain and lead time were varied in the closed loop simulation of the pilot and aircraft to obtain the best performance for different control system configurations. The results lead to the selection of an optimum lead time using ISE as a performance criterion. Using this value of optimum lead time, a correlation is then found between pilot rating and performance with changes in the control system and in the aircraft dynamics. It is also shown that pilot rating is closely related to pilot workload which, in turn, is related to the amount of lead which the pilot must generate to obtain satisfactory response. The results also indicate that the pilot may use pitch angle tracking for the approach task and then add flight path angle tracking for the flare and touchdown.
Voracek, David F.; Clarke, Robert
High angle-of-attack flight regime research is currently being conducted for modern fighter aircraft at the NASA Ames Research Center's Dryden Flight Research Facility. This flight regime provides enhanced maneuverability to fighter pilots in combat situations. Flight research data are being acquired to compare and validate advanced computational fluid dynamic solutions and wind-tunnel models. High angle-of-attack flight creates unique aerodynamic phenomena including wing rock and buffet on the airframe. These phenomena increase the level of excitation of the structural modes, especially on the vertical and horizontal stabilizers. With high gain digital flight-control systems, this structural response may result in an aeroservoelastic interaction. A structural interaction on the X-29A aircraft was observed during high angle-of-attack flight testing. The roll and yaw rate gyros sensed the aircraft's structural modes at 11, 13, and 16 Hz. The rate gyro output signals were then amplified through the flight-control laws and sent as commands to the flaperons and rudder. The flight data indicated that as the angle of attack increased, the amplitude of the buffet on the vertical stabilizer increased, which resulted in more excitation to the structural modes. The flight-control system sensors and command signals showed this increase in modal power at the structural frequencies up to a 30 degree angle-of-attack. Beyond a 30 degree angle-of-attack, the vertical stabilizer response, the feedback sensor amplitude, and control surface command signal amplitude remained relatively constant. Data are presented that show the increased modal power in the aircraft structural accelerometers, the feedback sensors, and the command signals as a function of angle of attack. This structural interaction is traced from the aerodynamic buffet to the flight-control surfaces.
Larson, R. R.
The wing on the NASA F-111 transonic aircraft technology airplane was modified to provide flexible leading and trailing edge flaps. This wing is known as the mission adaptive wing (MAW) because aerodynamic efficiency can be maintained at all speeds. Unlike a conventional wing, the MAW has no spoilers, external flap hinges, or fairings to break the smooth contour. The leading edge flaps and three-segment trailing edge flaps are controlled by a redundant fly-by-wire control system that features a dual digital primary system architecture providing roll and symmetric commands to the MAW control surfaces. A segregated analog backup system is provided in the event of a primary system failure. This paper discusses the design, development, testing, qualification, and flight test experience of the MAW primary and backup flight control systems.
Shen, H; Xu, Y; Dickinson, B T
Inspired by sensing strategies observed in birds and bats, a new attitude control concept of directly using real-time pressure and shear stresses has recently been studied. It was shown that with an array of onboard airflow sensors, small unmanned aircraft systems can promptly respond to airflow changes and improve flight performances. In this paper, a mapping function is proposed to compute aerodynamic moments from the real-time pressure and shear data in a practical and computationally tractable formulation. Since many microscale airflow sensors are embedded on the small unmanned aircraft system surface, it is highly possible that certain sensors may fail. Here, an adaptive control system is developed that is robust to sensor failure as well as other numerical mismatches in calculating real-time aerodynamic moments. The advantages of the proposed method are shown in the following simulation cases: (i) feedback pressure and wall shear data from a distributed array of 45 airflow sensors; (ii) 50% failure of the symmetrically distributed airflow sensor array; and (iii) failure of all the airflow sensors on one wing. It is shown that even if 50% of the airflow sensors have failures, the aircraft is still stable and able to track the attitude commands. PMID:25405953
Mcruer, Duane T.; Myers, Thomas T.
The development of a comprehensive and electric methodology for conceptual and preliminary design of flight control systems is presented and illustrated. The methodology is focused on the design stages starting with the layout of system requirements and ending when some viable competing system architectures (feedback control structures) are defined. The approach is centered on the human pilot and the aircraft as both the sources of, and the keys to the solution of, many flight control problems. The methodology relies heavily on computational procedures which are highly interactive with the design engineer. To maximize effectiveness, these techniques, as selected and modified to be used together in the methodology, form a cadre of computational tools specifically tailored for integrated flight control system preliminary design purposes. While theory and associated computational means are an important aspect of the design methodology, the lore, knowledge and experience elements, which guide and govern applications are critical features. This material is presented as summary tables, outlines, recipes, empirical data, lists, etc., which encapsulate a great deal of expert knowledge. Much of this is presented in topical knowledge summaries which are attached as Supplements. The composite of the supplements and the main body elements constitutes a first cut at a a Mark 1 Knowledge Base for manned-aircraft flight control.
Voracek, David F.; Clarke, Robert
High-alpha flight creates unique aerodynamic phenomena which increase the level of structural mode excitation; in conjunction with high-gain digital control systems, this structural response may result in an aeroservoelastic interaction. One such interaction has been observed during high-alpha flight testing of the X-29A. Data are presented which demonstrate the enhanced modal power in this aircraft's structural accelerometers, the feedback sensors, and the command signals as a function of alpha value. The structural interaction is traced from the aerodynamic buffet to the flight-control surfaces.
Store-induced limit cycle oscillations (LCO) affect several fighter aircraft and is expected to remain an issue for next generation fighters. LCO arises from the interaction of aerodynamic and structural forces, however the primary contributor to the phenomenon is still unclear. The practical concerns regarding this phenomenon include whether or not ordnance can be safely released and the ability of the aircrew to perform mission-related tasks while in an LCO condition. The focus of this dissertation is the development of control strategies to suppress LCO in aircraft systems. The first contribution of this work (Chapter 2) is the development of a controller consisting of a continuous Robust Integral of the Sign of the Error (RISE) feedback term with a neural network (NN) feedforward term to suppress LCO behavior in an uncertain airfoil system. The second contribution of this work (Chapter 3) is the extension of the development in Chapter 2 to include actuator saturation. Suppression of LCO behavior is achieved through the implementation of an auxiliary error system that features hyperbolic functions and a saturated RISE feedback control structure. Due to the lack of clarity regarding the driving mechanism behind LCO, common practice in literature and in Chapters 2 and 3 is to replicate the symptoms of LCO by including nonlinearities in the wing structure, typically a nonlinear torsional stiffness. To improve the accuracy of the system model a partial differential equation (PDE) model of a flexible wing is derived (see Appendix F) using Hamilton's principle. Chapters 4 and 5 are focused on developing boundary control strategies for regulating the bending and twisting deformations of the derived model. The contribution of Chapter 4 is the construction of a backstepping-based boundary control strategy for a linear PDE model of an aircraft wing. The backstepping-based strategy transforms the original system to a exponentially stable system. A Lyapunov-based stability
Li, Aijun; Lv, Yang; Wang, Changqing
Design method of eigenvalue assignment based on standard characteristic polynomial, as well as mathematical solving process of the method, is proposed in this paper so as to resolve the uncertainty of ideal eigenvalue choice in modern control theory and the difficultly in engineering implementation of modern control system design methods. Longitudinal stability holding control system of an aircraft was designed and simulated by employing proposed method. Dynamic character and robust performance simulation of the system are given. Simulation results show that the method achieves the control quality and has better robustness than another method. There is only one design parameter which is easy to calculate. So, the method is characterized as simple design, logical structure, easy programming and convenient for engineering implementation.
Corrigan, Jack; Shaw, Brad; Jones, Jack E.
Requirements for future advanced tactical aircraft identify the need for flight control system architectures that provide a higher degree of performance with regard to electromagnetic interference immunity, communication bus data rate, propulsion/utility subsystem integration, and affordability. Evolution for highly centralized, digital, fly-by-light flight/propulsion/utility control system is achieved as modular functions are implemented and integrated by serial digital fiberoptic communication links. These adaptable architectures allow the user to configure the fly- by-light system to meet unique safety requirements, system performance, and design-to-cost targets. This paper presents results of the open and closed loop system demonstrations of Fly-By-Light Advanced System Hardware architecture building blocks integrated with SAE AS-1773 communication bus at MDA.
Litt, Jonathan S.; Simon, Donald L.; Garg, Sanjay; Guo, Ten-Heui; Mercer, Carolyn; Behbahani, Alireza; Bajwa, Anupa; Jensen, Daniel T.
Intelligent Control and Health Management technology for aircraft propulsion systems is much more developed in the laboratory than in practice. With a renewed emphasis on reducing engine life cycle costs, improving fuel efficiency, increasing durability and life, etc., driven by various government programs, there is a strong push to move these technologies out of the laboratory and onto the engine. This paper describes the existing state of engine control and on-board health management, and surveys some specific technologies under development that will enable an aircraft propulsion system to operate in an intelligent way--defined as self-diagnostic, self-prognostic, self-optimizing, and mission adaptable. These technologies offer the potential for creating extremely safe, highly reliable systems. The technologies will help to enable a level of performance that far exceeds that of today s propulsion systems in terms of reduction of harmful emissions, maximization of fuel efficiency, and minimization of noise, while improving system affordability and safety. Technologies that are discussed include various aspects of propulsion control, diagnostics, prognostics, and their integration. The paper focuses on the improvements that can be achieved through innovative software and algorithms. It concentrates on those areas that do not require significant advances in sensors and actuators to make them achievable, while acknowledging the additional benefit that can be realized when those technologies become available. The paper also discusses issues associated with the introduction of some of the technologies.
Zhou, Guilin; Zhang, Huawei
Based on the desire of aircraft maintenance, combined with the situation in work, this paper present the design and implementation of aircraft maintenance system based dot Net. For a partial page refresh object, AJAX is used through the system. New technology is used in a creative way and will promote innovation and transformation of the business.
Franklin, James A.
This report describes revisions to a simulation model that was developed for use in piloted evaluations of takeoff, transition, hover, and landing characteristics of an advanced short takeoff and vertical landing lift fan fighter aircraft. These revisions have been made to the flight/propulsion control system, head-up display, and propulsion system to reflect recent flight and simulation experience with short takeoff and vertical landing operations. They include nonlinear inverse control laws in all axes (eliminating earlier versions with state rate feedback), throttle scaling laws for flightpath and thrust command, control selector commands apportioned based on relative effectiveness of the individual controls, lateral guidance algorithms that provide more flexibility for terminal area operations, and a simpler representation of the propulsion system. The model includes modes tailored to the phases of the aircraft's operation, with several response types which are coupled to the aircraft's aerodynamic and propulsion system effectors through a control selector tailored to the propulsion system. Head-up display modes for approach and hover are integrated with the corresponding control modes. Propulsion system components modeled include a remote lift fan and a lift-cruise engine. Their static performance and dynamic responses are represented by the model. A separate report describes the subsonic, power-off aerodynamics and jet induced aerodynamics in hover and forward flight, including ground effects.
Chung, W. Y. William; Borchers, Paul F.; Franklin, James A.
A simulation model has been developed for use in piloted evaluations of takeoff, transition, hover, and landing characteristics of an advanced, short takeoff, vertical landing lift fan fighter aircraft. The flight/propulsion control system includes modes for several response types which are coupled to the aircraft's aerodynamic and propulsion system effectors through a control selector tailored to the lift fan propulsion system. Head-up display modes for approach and hover, tailored to their corresponding control modes are provided in the simulation. Propulsion system components modeled include a remote lift and a lift/cruise engine. Their static performance and dynamic response are represented by the model. A separate report describes the subsonic, power-off aerodynamics and jet induced aerodynamics in hover and forward flight, including ground effects.
Hess, R. A.; Mcnally, B. D.
The increasing reliance of state-of-the art, high performance aircraft on high authority stability and command augmentation systems, in order to obtain satisfactory performance and handling qualities, has made critical the achievement of a better understanding of human capabilities, limitations, and preferences during interactions with complex dynamic systems that involve task allocation between man and machine. An analytical and experimental study has been undertaken to investigate human interaction with a simple, multiloop dynamic system in which human activity was systematically varied by changing the levels of automation. Task definition has led to a control loop structure which parallels that for any multiloop manual control system, and may therefore be considered a stereotype.
Glende, W. L. B.
The design, fabrication and flight testing of a powered elevator system for the Augmentor Wing Jet STOL Research Aircraft (AWJSRA or Mod C-8A) are discussed. The system replaces a manual spring tab elevator control system that was unsatisfactory in the STOL flight regime. Pitch control in the AWJSRA is by means of a single elevator control surface. The elevator is used for both maneuver and trim control as the stabilizer is fixed. A fully powered, irreversible flight control system powered by dual hydraulic sources was designed. The existing control columns and single mechanical cable system of the AWJSRA have been retained as has been the basic elevator surface, except that the elevator spring tab is modified into a geared balance tab. The control surface is directly actuated by a dual tandem moving body actuator. Control signals are transmitted from the elevator aft quadrant to the actuator by a linkage system that includes a limited authority series servo actuator.
Despite being referred to as unmanned some of the major challenges confronting unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) relate to human factors. NASA is conducting research to address the human factors relevant to UAS access to non-segregated airspace. This work covers the issues of pilot performance, interaction with ATC, and control station design. A major outcome of this research will be recommendations for human factors design guidelines for UAS control stations to support routine beyond-line-of-sight operations in the US national airspace system (NAS). To be effective, guidelines must be relevant to a wide range of systems, must not be overly prescriptive, and must not impose premature standardization on evolving technologies. In developing guidelines, we recognize that existing regulatory and guidance material may already provide adequate coverage of certain issues. In other cases suitable guidelines may be found in existing military or industry human factors standards. In cases where appropriate existing standards cannot be identified, original guidelines will be proposed.
It is pointed out that the long-range antiship standoff missile is emerging as the foremost threat on the seas. Delivered by high speed bombers, surface ships, and submarines, a missile attack can be mounted against selected targets from any point on the compass. An investigation is conducted regarding the configuration of a system which could most efficiently identify and destroy standoff threats before they launch their weapons. It is found that by using ships for carrying and launching missiles, and employing aircraft with a powerful radar only for search and missile directing operations, aircraft cost and weight can be greatly reduced. The employment of V/STOL aircraft in preference to other types of aircraft makes it possible to use ships of smaller size for carrying the aircraft. However, in order to obtain an all-weather operational capability for the system, ships are selected which are still big enough to display the required stability in heavy seas.
Chavez, Carlos; Hammel, Bruce; Hammel, Allan; Moore, John R.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) represent a new capability that will provide a variety of services in the government (public) and commercial (civil) aviation sectors. The growth of this potential industry has not yet been realized due to the lack of a common understanding of what is required to safely operate UAS in the National Airspace System (NAS). To address this deficiency, NASA has established a project called UAS Integration in the NAS (UAS in the NAS), under the Integrated Systems Research Program (ISRP) of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD). This project provides an opportunity to transition concepts, technology, algorithms, and knowledge to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other stakeholders to help them define the requirements, regulations, and issues for routine UAS access to the NAS. The safe, routine, and efficient integration of UAS into the NAS requires new radio frequency (RF) spectrum allocations and a new data communications system which is both secure and scalable with increasing UAS traffic without adversely impacting the Air Traffic Control (ATC) communication system. These data communications, referred to as Control and Non-Payload Communications (CNPC), whose purpose is to exchange information between the unmanned aircraft and the ground control station to ensure safe, reliable, and effective unmanned aircraft flight operation. A Communications Subproject within the UAS in the NAS Project has been established to address issues related to CNPC development, certification and fielding. The focus of the Communications Subproject is on validating and allocating new RF spectrum and data link communications to enable civil UAS integration into the NAS. The goal is to validate secure, robust data links within the allocated frequency spectrum for UAS. A vision, architectural concepts, and seed requirements for the future commercial UAS CNPC system have been developed by RTCA Special Committee 203 (SC-203) in the process
The topics covered include fly by wire, digital control, control configured vehicles, applications to advanced flight vehicles, advanced propulsion control systems, and active control technology for transport aircraft.
Reiner, Jacob; Balas, Gary J.; Garrard, William L.
This paper presents a methodology for the design of longitudinal controllers for high performance aircraft operating over large ranges of angle of attack. The technique used for controller design is structured singular value or mu synthesis. The controller is designed to minimize the weighted H-infinity norm of the error between the aircraft response and the desired handling quality specifications without saturating the control actuators. The mu synthesis procedure ensures that the stability and performance of the aircraft is robust to parameter variations and modeling uncertainties included in the design model. Nonlinear simulations demonstrate that the controller satisfies handling quality requirements and provides excellent tracking of pilot inputs over a wide range of transient angles of attack and Mach number.
Belcastro, Christine M.
Validation of technologies developed for loss of control (LOC) prevention and recovery poses significant challenges. Aircraft LOC can result from a wide spectrum of hazards, often occurring in combination, which cannot be fully replicated during evaluation. Technologies developed for LOC prevention and recovery must therefore be effective under a wide variety of hazardous and uncertain conditions, and the validation framework must provide some measure of assurance that the new vehicle safety technologies do no harm (i.e., that they themselves do not introduce new safety risks). This paper summarizes a proposed validation framework for safety-critical systems, provides an overview of validation methods and tools developed by NASA to date within the Vehicle Systems Safety Project, and develops a preliminary set of test scenarios for the validation of technologies for LOC prevention and recovery
Seacord, C. L.; Vaughn, D. K.
The design of a fly-by-wire control system having a mission failure probability of less than one millionth failures per flight hour is examined. Emphasis was placed on developing actuator configurations that would improve the system performance, and consideration of the practical aspects of sensor/computer and computer/actuator interface implementation. Five basic configurations were defined as appropriate candidates for the F-8C research aircraft. Options on the basic configurations were included to cover variations in flight sensors, redundancy levels, data transmission techniques, processor input/output methods, and servo actuator arrangements. The study results can be applied to fly by wire systems for transport aircraft in general and the space shuttle.
Olcott, J. W.; Seckel, E.; Ellis, D. R. (Inventor)
A system for altering the lift/drag characteristics of powered aircraft to provide a safe means of glide path control includes a control device integrated for coordination action with the aircraft throttle. Such lift/drag alteration devices as spoilers, dive brakes, and the like are actuated by manual operation of a single lever coupled with the throttle for integrating, blending or coordinating power control. Improper operation of the controller is inhibited by safety mechanisms.
Beasley, G. P. (Compiler)
The workshop consisted of 24 technical presentations on various aspects of aircraft controls, ranging from the theoretical development of control laws to the evaluation of new controls technology in flight test vehicles. A special report on the status of foreign aircraft technology and a panel session with seven representatives from organizations which use aircraft controls technology were also included. The controls research needs and opportunities for the future as well as the role envisioned for NASA in that research were addressed. Input from the panel and response to the workshop presentations will be used by NASA in developing future programs.
Johnson, Eric N.; Davidson, John B.; Murphy, Patrick C.
When using eigenspace assignment to design an aircraft flight control system, one must first develop a model of the plant. Certain questions arise when creating this model as to which dynamics of the plant need to be included in the model and which dynamics can be left out or approximated. The answers to these questions are important because a poor choice can lead to closed-loop dynamics that are unpredicted by the design model. To alleviate this problem, a method has been developed for predicting the effect of not including certain dynamics in the design model on the final closed-loop eigenspace. This development provides insight as to which characteristics of unmodeled dynamics will ultimately affect the closed-loop rigid-body dynamics. What results from this insight is a guide for eigenstructure control law designers to aid them in determining which dynamics need or do not need to be included and a new way to include these dynamics in the flight control system design model to achieve a required accuracy in the closed-loop rigid-body dynamics. The method is illustrated for a lateral-directional flight control system design using eigenspace assignment for the NASA High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV).
Harlow, Charles; Zhu, Weihong
Accurate data is important in the aviation planning process. In this project we consider systems for measuring aircraft activity at airports. This would include determining the type of aircraft such as jet, helicopter, single engine, and multiengine propeller. Some of the issues involved in deploying technologies for monitoring aircraft operations are cost, reliability, and accuracy. In addition, the system must be field portable and acceptable at airports. A comparison of technologies was conducted and it was decided that an aircraft monitoring system should be based upon acoustic technology. A multimedia relational database was established for the study. The information contained in the database consists of airport information, runway information, acoustic records, photographic records, a description of the event (takeoff, landing), aircraft type, and environmental information. We extracted features from the time signal and the frequency content of the signal. A multi-layer feed-forward neural network was chosen as the classifier. Training and testing results were obtained. We were able to obtain classification results of over 90 percent for training and testing for takeoff events.
Korte, John J.
A numerical simulation of the actuation system for the propulsion control valve (PCV) of the NASA Langley Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility was developed during the preliminary design of the PCV and used throughout the entire project. The simulation is based on a predictive model of the PCV which is used to evaluate and design the actuation system. The PCV controls a 1.7 million-pound thrust water jet used in propelling a 108,000-pound test carriage. The PCV can open and close in 0.300 second and deliver over 9,000 gallons of water per sec at pressures up to 3150 psi. The numerical simulation results are used to predict transient performance and valve opening characteristics, specify the hydraulic control system, define transient loadings on components, and evaluate failure modes. The mathematical model used for numerically simulating the mechanical fluid power system is described, and numerical results are demonstrated for a typical opening and closing cycle of the PCV. A summary is then given on how the model is used in the design process.
Nelson, W. E., Jr.
The evolution of fighter aircraft flight control technology is briefly surveyed. Systems engineering, battle damage considerations for adaptive flutter suppression, in-flight simulation, and artificial intelligence are briefly discussed.
Kun, David William
Unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) are gaining popularity in civil and commercial applications as their lightweight on-board computers become more powerful and affordable, their power storage devices improve, and the Federal Aviation Administration addresses the legal and safety concerns of integrating UASs in the national airspace. Consequently, many researchers are pursuing novel methods to control UASs in order to improve their capabilities, dependability, and safety assurance. The nonlinear control approach is a common choice as it offers several benefits for these highly nonlinear aerospace systems (e.g., the quadrotor). First, the controller design is physically intuitive and is derived from well known dynamic equations. Second, the final control law is valid in a larger region of operation, including far from the equilibrium states. And third, the procedure is largely methodical, requiring less expertise with gain tuning, which can be arduous for a novice engineer. Considering these facts, this thesis proposes a nonlinear controller design method that combines the advantages of adaptive robust control (ARC) with the powerful design tools of linear matrix inequalities (LMI). The ARC-LMI controller is designed with a discontinuous projection-based adaptation law, and guarantees a prescribed transient and steady state tracking performance for uncertain systems in the presence of matched disturbances. The norm of the tracking error is bounded by a known function that depends on the controller design parameters in a known form. Furthermore, the LMI-based part of the controller ensures the stability of the system while overcoming polytopic uncertainties, and minimizes the control effort. This can reduce the number of parameters that require adaptation, and helps to avoid control input saturation. These desirable characteristics make the ARC-LMI control algorithm well suited for the quadrotor UAS, which may have unknown parameters and may encounter external
Jones, D. R.; Parrish, R. V.; Person, L. H., Jr.; Old, J. L.
With the advent of digital avionics, the workload of the pilot in a moderen transport aircraft is increasing significantly. This situation makes it necessary to reduce pilot workload with the aid of new advanced technologies. As part of an effort to improve information management systems, NASA has, therefore, studied an advanced concept for managing the navigational tasks of a modern transport aircraft. This concept is mainly concerned with the simplification of the pilot interface. The advanced navigational system provides a simple method for a pilot to enter new waypoints to change his flight plan because of heavy traffic, adverse weather conditions, or other reasons. The navigational system was implemented and evaluated in a flight simulator representative of a modern transport aircraft. Attention is given to the simulator, flight simulation, multimode devices, and the navigational system.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Maine, Trindel A.
Flight tests of the propulsion controlled aircraft (PCA) system on the NASA F-15 airplane evolved as a result of a long series of simulation and flight tests. Initially, the simulation results were very optimistic. Early flight tests showed that manual throttles-only control was much more difficult than the simulation, and a flight investigation was flown to acquire data to resolve this discrepancy. The PCA system designed and developed by MDA evolved as these discrepancies were found and resolved, requiring redesign of the PCA software and modification of the flight test plan. Small throttle step inputs were flown to provide data for analysis, simulation update, and control logic modification. The PCA flight tests quickly revealed less than desired performance, but the extensive flexibility built into the flight PCA software allowed rapid evaluation of alternate gains, filters, and control logic, and within 2 weeks, the PCA system was functioning well. The initial objective of achieving adequate control for up-and-away flying and approaches was satisfied, and the option to continue to actual landings was achieved. After the PCA landings were accomplished, other PCA features were added, and additional maneuvers beyond those originally planned were flown. The PCA system was used to recover from extreme upset conditions, descend, and make approaches to landing. A heading mode was added, and a single engine plus rudder PCA mode was also added and flown. The PCA flight envelope was expanded far beyond that originally designed for. Guest pilots from the USAF, USN, NASA, and the contractor also flew the PCA system and were favorably impressed.
Beard, B. B.; Foley, W. H.
Attention is given to a short takeoff vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft reaction control system (RCS) design study. The STOVL fighter/attack aircraft employs an existing turbofan engine, and its hover requirement places a premium on weight reduction, which eliminates prospective nonairbreathing RCSs. A simple engine compressor bleed RCS degrades overall performance to an unacceptable degree, and the supersonic requirement precludes the large volume alternatives of thermal or ejector thrust augmentation systems as well as the ducting of engine exhaust gases and the use of a dedicated turbojet. The only system which addressed performance criteria without requiring major engine modifications was a dedicated load compressor driven by an auxilliary power unit.
Calloway, Raymond S.; Knight, Vernie H., Jr.
NASA Langley's Crash Response Data System (CRDS) which is designed to acquire aircraft structural and anthropomorphic dummy responses during the full-scale transport CID test is described. Included in the discussion are the system design approach, details on key instrumentation subsystems and operations, overall instrumentation crash performance, and data recovery results. Two autonomous high-environment digital flight instrumentation systems, DAS 1 and DAS 2, were employed to obtain research data from various strain gage, accelerometer, and tensiometric sensors installed in the B-720 test aircraft. The CRDS successfully acquired 343 out of 352 measurements of dynamic crash data.
Calloway, Raymond S.; Knight, Vernie H., Jr.
NASA Langley's Crash Response Data System (CRDS) which is designed to acquire aircraft structural and anthropomorphic dummy responses during the full-scale transport CID test is described. Included in the discussion are the system design approach, details on key instrumentation subsystems and operations, overall instrumentation crash performance, and data recovery results. Two autonomous high-environment digital flight instrumentation systems, DAS 1 and DAS 2, were employed to obtain research data from various strain gage, accelerometer, and tensiometric sensors installed in the B-720 test aircraft. The CRDS successfully acquired 343 out of 352 measurements of dynamic crash data.
This research set out to investigate flight control of aircraft which has sustained damage in regular flight control effectors, due to jammed control surfaces or complete loss of hydraulic power. It is recognized that in such an extremely difficult situation unconventional measures may need to be taken to regain control and stability of the aircraft. Propulsion controlled aircraft (PCA) concept, initiated at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. represents a ground-breaking effort in this direction. In this approach, the engine is used as the only flight control effector in the rare event of complete loss of normal flight control system. Studies and flight testing conducted at NASA Dryden have confirmed the feasibility of the PCA concept. During the course of this research (March 98, 1997 to November 30, 1997), a comparative study has been done using the full nonlinear model of an F-18 aircraft. Linear controllers and nonlinear controllers based on a nonlinear predictive control method have been designed for normal flight control system and propulsion controlled aircraft. For the healthy aircraft with normal flight control, the study shows that an appropriately designed linear controller can perform as well as a nonlinear controller. On the other hand. when the normal flight control is lost and the engine is the only available means of flight control, a nonlinear PCA controller can significantly increase the size of the recoverable region in which the stability of the unstable aircraft can be attained by using only thrust modulation. The findings and controller design methods have been summarized in an invited paper entitled.
Seal, Daniel W.; Weaver, Thomas L.; Kessler, Bradley L.; Bedoya, Carlos A.; Mattes, Robert E.
This report describes the design, development, and testing of passive fiber optic sensors and a multiplexing electro-optic architecture (EOA) for installation and flight test on a NASA-owned F-18 aircraft. This hardware was developed under the Fiber Optic Control Systems for Advanced Aircraft program, part of a multiyear NASA initiative to design, develop, and demonstrate through flight test 'fly-by-light' systems for application to advanced aircraft flight and propulsion control. This development included the design and production of 10 passive optical sensors and associated multiplexed EOA hardware based on wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) technology. A variety of sensor types (rotary position, linear position, temperature, and pressure) incorporating a broad range of sensor technologies (WDM analog, WDM digital, analog microbend, and fluorescent time rate of decay) were obtained from different manufacturers and functionally integrated with an independently designed EOA. The sensors were built for installation in a variety of aircraft locations, placing the sensors in a variety of harsh environments. The sensors and EOA were designed and built to have the resulting devices be as close as practical to a production system. The integrated system was delivered to NASA for flight testing on a NASA-owned F-18 aircraft. Development and integration testing of the system provided valuable information as to which sensor types were simplest to design and build for a military aircraft environment and which types were simplest to operate with a multiplexed EOA. Not all sensor types met the full range of performance and environmental requirements. EOA development problems provided information on directions to pursue in future fly-by-light flight control development programs. Lessons learned in the development of the EOA and sensor hardware are summarized.
Liberty, S. R.; Mielke, R. R.; Tung, L. J.
Applied research in the area of spectral assignment in multivariable systems is reported. A frequency domain technique for determining the set of all stabilizing controllers for a single feedback loop multivariable system is described. It is shown that decoupling and tracking are achievable using this procedure. The technique is illustrated with a simple example.
Dade County Public Schools, Miami, FL.
This document presents an outline for a 135-hour course designed to familiarize the student with manipulative skills and theoretical knowledge concerning aircraft instrument systems like major flight and engine instruments; fire protection and fire fighting systems; warning systems and navigation systems; aircraft cabin control systems, such as…
Davis, D. J.; Linse, D. J.; Suikat, R.; Entz, D. P.
The continued investigation of the design of Ride Quality Augmentation Systems (RQAS) for commuter aircraft is described. The purpose of these RQAS is the reduction of the vertical and lateral acceleration response of the aircraft due to atmospheric turbulence by the application of active control. The current investigations include the refinement of the sample data feedback control laws based on the control-rate-weighting and output-weighting optimal control design techniqes. These control designs were evaluated using aircraft time simulations driven by Dryden spectra turbulence. Fixed gain controllers were tested throughout the aircrft operating envelope. The preliminary design of the hardware modifications necessary to implement and test the RQAS on a commuter aircraft is included. These include a separate surface elevator and the flap modifications to provide both direct lift and roll control. A preliminary failure mode investigation was made for the proposed configuration. The results indicate that vertical acceleration reductions of 45% and lateral reductions of more than 50% are possible. A fixed gain controller appears to be feasible with only minor response degradation.
Dade County Public Schools, Miami, FL.
This document presents an outline for a 135-hour course designed to familiarize the student with operation, inspection, troubleshooting, and repair of aircraft landing gear, ice and rain control systems. It is designed to help the trainee master the knowledge and skills necessary to become an aviation airframe mechanic. The aviation airframe…
Garren, J. F., Jr.; Niessen, F. R.; Abbott, T. S.; Yenni, K. R.
A modified complementary filtering technique for estimating aircraft roll rate was developed and flown in a research helicopter to determine whether higher gains could be achieved. Use of this technique did, in fact, permit a substantial increase in system frequency bandwidth because, in comparison with first-order filtering, it reduced both noise amplification and control limit-cycle tendencies.
The main motivation for the work under the present grant was to use nonlinear feedback linearization methods to further enhance performance capabilities of the aircraft, and robustify its response throughout its operating envelope. The idea was to use these methods in lieu of standard Taylor series linearization, in order to obtain a well behaved linearized plant, in its entire operational regime. Thus, feedback linearization was going to constitute an 'inner loop', which would then define a 'design plant model' to be compensated for robustness and guaranteed performance in an 'outer loop' application of modern linear control methods. The motivation for this was twofold; first, earlier work had shown that by appropriately conditioning the plant through conventional, simple feedback in an 'inner loop', the resulting overall compensated plant design enjoyed considerable enhancement of performance robustness in the presence of parametric uncertainty. Second, the nonlinear techniques did not have any proven robustness properties in the presence of unstructured uncertainty; a definition of robustness (and performance) is very difficult to achieve outside the frequency domain; to date, none is available for the purposes of control system design. Thus, by proper design of the outer loop, such properties could still be 'injected' in the overall system.
Current research in Artificial Neural Networks indicates that networks offer some potential advantages in adaptation and fault tolerance. This research is directed at determining the possible applicability of neural networks to aircraft control. The first application will be to aircraft trim. Neural network node characteristics, network topology and operation, neural network learning and example histories using neighboring optimal control with a neural net are discussed.
Caglayan, A. K.; Lancraft, R. E.
The design of a sensor fault tolerant system which uses analytical redundancy for the Terminal Configured Vehicle (TCV) research aircraft in a Microwave Landing System (MLS) environment was studied. The fault tolerant system provides reliable estimates for aircraft position, velocity, and attitude in the presence of possible failures in navigation aid instruments and onboard sensors. The estimates, provided by the fault tolerant system, are used by the automated guidance and control system to land the aircraft along a prescribed path. Sensor failures are identified by utilizing the analytic relationship between the various sensor outputs arising from the aircraft equations of motion.
For the low speed operation of aircraft, during STOL-take off or STOL-landing and for windshear situations a precise measurement of the state of the aerodynamic flow is required. Normally the dynamic pressure is used to assess the state of flow, thus defining the stall margin in terms of a speed factor. However, flying at higher lift coefficients, a precise maintainence of a given lift coefficient by controlling the speed is no longer feasible. Instead, controlling the angle of attack or controlling the lift coefficient directly should be used. Some methods for the measurement and the control of the state of the aerodynamical flow including wing tap pressure measurements are discussed. Wind tunnel results are presented, that show the pressure distribution of a slotted STOL-wing and the typical relationship between the tap pressure, angle of attack and flap angle. Wing tape pressure measurements taken with the STOL-aircraft Do 28 aircraft are then discussed showing the feasibility of the method described to sense the state of flow.
Fuller, Chris R.
Previous work has demonstrated the large potential for hybrid active-passive systems for attenuating interior noise in aircraft fuselages. The main advantage of an active-passive system is, by utilizing the natural dynamics of the actuator system, the control actuator power and weight is markedly reduced and stability/robustness is enhanced. Three different active-passive approaches were studied in the past year. The first technique utilizes multiple tunable vibration absorbers (ATVA) for reducing narrow band sound radiated from panels and transmitted through fuselage structures. The focus is on reducing interior noise due to propeller or turbo fan harmonic excitation. Two types of tunable vibration absorbers were investigated; a solid state system based upon a piezoelectric mechanical exciter and an electromechanical system based upon a Motran shaker. Both of these systems utilize a mass-spring dynamic effect to maximize tile output force near resonance of the shaker system and so can also be used as vibration absorbers. The dynamic properties of the absorbers (i.e. resonance frequency) were modified using a feedback signal from an accelerometer mounted on the active mass, passed through a compensator and fed into the drive component of the shaker system (piezoelectric element or voice coil respectively). The feedback loop consisted of a two coefficient FIR filter, implemented on a DSP, where the input is acceleration of tile ATVA mass and the output is a force acting in parallel with the stiffness of the absorber. By separating the feedback signal into real and imaginary components, the effective natural frequency and damping of the ATVA can be altered independently. This approach gave control of the resonance frequencies while also allowing the simultaneous removal of damping from the ATVA, thus increasing the ease of controllability and effectiveness. In order to obtain a "tuned" vibration absorber the chosen resonant frequency was set to the excitation
Hoffman, W. C.; Curry, R. E.; Kleinman, D. L.; Hollister, W. M.; Young, L. R.
Quantative metrics were determined for system control performance, workload for control, monitoring performance, and workload for monitoring. Pilot tasks were allocated for navigation and guidance of automated commercial V/STOL aircraft in all weather conditions using an optimal control model of the human operator to determine display elements and design.
Schmidt, David K.
Results from the synthesis of control laws for an advanced short takeoff aircraft in a low-speed approach flight condition are given. Two of four candidate synthesis techniques are reported: direct eigenspace assignment and explicit model following via a linear quadratic regulator (LQR) formulation. A fundamental objective of this work is to obtain low-order feedback compensators, synthesized via the above techniques, and the judicious use of state estimation, thus allowing the use of a reasonable number of sensors for feedback.
Lambregts, Antonius A. (Inventor)
Disclosed is a vertical flight path angle steering system for aircraft, utilizing a digital flight control computer which processes pilot control inputs and aircraft response parameters into suitable elevator commands and control information for display to the pilot on a cathode ray tube. The system yields desirable airplane control handling qualities and responses as well as improvements in pilot workload and safety during airplane operation in the terminal area and under windshear conditions.
Phatak, A. V.; Kessler, K. M.
The selection of the structure of optimal control type models for the human gunner in an anti aircraft artillery system is considered. Several structures within the LQG framework may be formulated. Two basic types are considered: (1) kth derivative controllers; and (2) proportional integral derivative (P-I-D) controllers. It is shown that a suitable criterion for model structure determination can be based on the ensemble statistics of the tracking error. In the case when the ensemble tracking steady state error is zero, it is suggested that a P-I-D controller formulation be used in preference to the kth derivative controller.
Tashker, M. G.; Powell, J. D.
Investigations were conducted in two main areas: the first area is control system design, and the goals were to define the limits of 'digitized S-Plane design techniques' vs. sample rate, to show the results of a 'direct digital design technique', and to compare the two methods; the second area was to evaluate the roughness of autopilot designs parametrically versus sample rate. Goals of the first area were addressed by (1) an analysis of a 2nd order example using both design methods, (2) a linear analysis of the complete 737 aircraft with an autoland obtained using the digitized S-plane technique, (3) linear analysis of a high frequency 737 approximation with the autoland from a direct digital design technique, and (4) development of a simulation for evaluation of the autopilots with disturbances and nonlinearities included. Roughness evaluation was studied by defining an experiment to be carried out on the Langley motion simulator and coordinated with analysis at Stanford.
Murphy, Patrick C.
This paper highlights some of the results and issues associated with estimating models to evaluate control law design methods and design criteria for advanced high performance aircraft. Experimental fighter aircraft such as the NASA-High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV) have the capability to maneuver at very high angles of attack where nonlinear aerodynamics often predominate. HARV is an experimental F/A-18, configured with thrust vectoring and conformal actuated nose strakes. Identifying closed-loop models for this type of aircraft can be made difficult by nonlinearities and high order characteristics of the system. In this paper, only lateral-directional axes are considered since the lateral-directional control law was specifically designed to produce classical airplane responses normally expected with low-order, rigid-body systems. Evaluation of the control design methodology was made using low-order equivalent systems determined from flight and simulation. This allowed comparison of the closed-loop rigid-body dynamics achieved in flight with that designed in simulation. In flight, the On Board Excitation System was used to apply optimal inputs to lateral stick and pedals at five angles at attack : 5, 20, 30, 45, and 60 degrees. Data analysis and closed-loop model identification were done using frequency domain maximum likelihood. The structure of identified models was a linear state-space model reflecting classical 4th-order airplane dynamics. Input time delays associated with the high-order controller and aircraft system were accounted for in data preprocessing. A comparison of flight estimated models with small perturbation linear design models highlighted nonlinearities in the system and indicated that the closed-loop rigid-body dynamics were sensitive to input amplitudes at 20 and 30 degrees angle of attack.
Murphy, Patrick C.
This paper highlights some of the results and issues associated with estimating models to evaluate control law design methods and design criteria for advanced high performance aircraft. Experimental fighter aircraft such as the NASA High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV) have the capability to maneuver at very high angles of attack where nonlinear aerodynamics often predominate. HARV is an experimental F/A-18, configured with thrust vectoring and conformal actuated nose strakes. Identifying closed-loop models for this type of aircraft can be made difficult by nonlinearities and high-order characteristics of the system. In this paper only lateral-directional axes are considered since the lateral-directional control law was specifically designed to produce classical airplane responses normally expected with low-order, rigid-body systems. Evaluation of the control design methodology was made using low-order equivalent systems determined from flight and simulation. This allowed comparison of the closed-loop rigid-body dynamics achieved in flight with that designed in simulation. In flight, the On Board Excitation System was used to apply optimal inputs to lateral stick and pedals at five angles of attack: 5, 20, 30, 45, and 60 degrees. Data analysis and closed-loop model identification were done using frequency domain maximum likelihood. The structure of the identified models was a linear state-space model reflecting classical 4th-order airplane dynamics. Input time delays associated with the high-order controller and aircraft system were accounted for in data preprocessing. A comparison of flight estimated models with small perturbation linear design models highlighted nonlinearities in the system and indicated that the estimated closed-loop rigid-body dynamics were sensitive to input amplitudes at 20 and 30 degrees angle of attack.
Muehlbauer, J. C.; Hewell, J. G., Jr.; Lindenbaum, S. P.; Randall, C. C.; Searle, N.; Stone, R. G., Jr.
The effects of using advanced turboprop propulsion systems to reduce the fuel consumption and direct operating costs of cargo aircraft were studied, and the impact of these systems on aircraft noise and noise prints around a terminal area was determined. Parametric variations of aircraft and propeller characteristics were investigated to determine their effects on noiseprint areas, fuel consumption, and direct operating costs. From these results, three aircraft designs were selected and subjected to design refinements and sensitivity analyses. Three competitive turbofan aircraft were also defined from parametric studies to provide a basis for comparing the two types of propulsion.
Mukherjee, Jason S.
This dissertation concerns the study of radio-operated control of an aircraft using fixed gain and adaptive controllers. The real-time feedback control system is developed to enhance the flying qualities of an experimental model aircraft. The non-conventional flight dynamics of the Outboard Horizontal Stabilizer (OHS) aircraft cause significant differences in the piloting of the aircraft. The control system was added to augment stability as well as to adjust the flight characteristics so that the OHS aircraft handles similar to a conventional aircraft. The control system design process, as applied to recent innovations in aircraft design, is followed. The Outboard Horizontal Stabilizer concept is a non-conventional aircraft, designed to take advantage of the normally wasted energy developed by the wing tip vortices. The research is based on a remotely-controlled OHS aircraft fitted with various sensors and telemetry as part of a real time feedback control system. Fixed gain Linear Quadratic controllers are first applied to the aircraft and result in a dramatic increase in performance at a nominal operating condition. Non-linearities in the OHS aircraft behavior and a wide operating range demanded the development of a variable gain adaptive controller utilizing a parameter estimation scheme to model the plant. The adaptive LQR gain-scheduled controller that emerged gave good performance over a wide flight envelope.
Hopkins, A. L.; Martin, J. H.; Brock, L. D.; Jansson, D. G.; Serben, S.; Smith, T. B.; Hanley, L. D.
The application of communication structures to advanced transport aircraft are addressed. First, a set of avionic functional requirements is established, and a baseline set of avionics equipment is defined that will meet the requirements. Three alternative configurations for this equipment are then identified that represent the evolution toward more dispersed systems. Candidate communication structures are proposed for each system configuration, and these are compared using trade off analyses; these analyses emphasize reliability but also address complexity. Multiplex buses are recognized as the likely near term choice with mesh networks being desirable for advanced, highly dispersed systems.
Menon, P. K. A.; Walker, R. A.
Two control law design techniques are compared and the performance of the resulting controllers evaluated. The design requirement is for a flight test trajectory controller (FTTC) capable of closed-loop, outer-loop control of an F-15 aircraft performing high-quality research flight test maneuvers. The maneuver modeling, linearization, and design methodologies utilized in this research, are detailed. The results of applying these FTTCs to a nonlinear F-15 simulation are presented.
Phillips, James D.
A linear modal control algorithm is applied to the NASA Oblique Wing Research Aircraft (OWRA). The control law is evaluated using a detailed nonlinear flight simulation. It is shown that the modal control law attenuates the coupling and nonlinear aerodynamics of the oblique wing and remains stable during control saturation caused by large command inputs or large external disturbances. The technique controls each natural mode independently allowing single-input/single-output techniques to be applied to multiple-input/multiple-output systems.
Burcham, Frank W., Jr.; Fullerton, C. Gordon
A multiengine crippled aircraft, with most or all of the flight control system inoperative, may use engine thrust for control. A study was conducted of the capability and techniques for emergency flight control. Included were light twin engine piston powered airplanes, an executive jet transport, commercial jet transports, and a high performance fighter. Piloted simulations of the B-720, B-747, B-727, MD-11, C-402, and F-15 airplanes were studied, and the Lear 24, PA-30, and F-15 airplanes were flight tested. All aircraft showed some control capability with throttles and could be kept under control in up-and-away flight for an extended period of time. Using piloted simulators, landings with manual throttles-only control were extremely difficult. However, there are techniques that improve the chances of making a survivable landing. In addition, augmented control systems provide major improvements in control capability and make repeatable landings possible. Control capabilities and techniques are discussed.
Yedavalli, R. K.
The aspect of controller design for improving the ride quality of aircraft in terms of damping ratio and natural frequency specifications on the short period dynamics is addressed. The controller is designed to be robust with respect to uncertainties in the real parameters of the control design model such as uncertainties in the dimensional stability derivatives, imperfections in actuator/sensor locations and possibly variations in flight conditions, etc. The design is based on a new robust root clustering theory developed by the author by extending the nominal root clustering theory of Gutman and Jury to perturbed matrices. The proposed methodology allows to get an explicit relationship between the parameters of the root clustering region and the uncertainty radius of the parameter space. The current literature available for robust stability becomes a special case of this unified theory. The bounds derived on the parameter perturbation for robust root clustering are then used in selecting the robust controller.
Tanner, John A. (Editor)
Topics presented include the laboratory simulation of landing gear pitch-plane dynamics, a summary of recent aircraft/ground vehicle friction measurement tests, some recent aircraft tire thermal studies, and an evaluation of critical speeds in high-speed aircraft. Also presented are a review of NASA antiskid braking research, titanium matrix composite landing gear development, the current methods and perspective of aircraft flotation analysis, the flow rate and trajectory of water spray produced by an aircraft tire, and spin-up studies of the Space Shuttle Orbiter main gear tire.
Dennis, D. V.
Aircraft control-position indicator cockpit-mounted instrument that displays positions of elevator and ailerons to pilot. Display is cruciform array of lights: horizontal row of amber lights and vertical row of green lights representing aileron and elevator positions, respectively. Display used extensively in spin testing and has been trouble-free, with no maintenance required after about 30 hours of operation.
Menon, P. K. A.; Walker, R. A.
Two design techniques for linear flight test trajectory controllers (FTTCs) are described: Eigenstructure assignment and the minimum error excitation technique. The two techniques are used to design FTTCs for an F-15 aircraft model for eight different maneuvers at thirty different flight conditions. An evaluation of the FTTCs is presented.
Su, Shanwei; Lin, Yan
In this article, we study the output tracking control of a class of MIMO nonlinear non-minimum phase systems in the presence of input disturbances. In order to attenuate the effects of disturbances, the method of uncertainty and disturbance estimator (UDE) is extended to the controller design for non-minimum phase systems. Due to the fact that the accumulated disturbances is composed of internal states and external disturbances, a different stability analysis is given, and the overall closed-loop system is proved to be semi-globally stable. The proposed state-feedback controller not only forces system outputs to asymptotically track desired trajectories, but also drives the unstable internal dynamics to follow bounded and causal ideal internal dynamics (IID) solved via stable system centre (SSC) method. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed controller achieves excellent tracking and disturbance rejection performance via the example of VTOL aircraft which has been the benchmark of nonlinear non-minimum phase systems.
Shin, Jong-Yeob; Belcastro, Christine
Formal robustness analysis of aircraft control upset prevention and recovery systems could play an important role in their validation and ultimate certification. As a part of the validation process, this paper describes an analysis method for determining a reliable flight regime in the flight envelope within which an integrated resilent control system can achieve the desired performance of tracking command signals and detecting additive faults in the presence of parameter uncertainty and unmodeled dynamics. To calculate a reliable flight regime, a structured singular value analysis method is applied to analyze the closed-loop system over the entire flight envelope. To use the structured singular value analysis method, a linear fractional transform (LFT) model of a transport aircraft longitudinal dynamics is developed over the flight envelope by using a preliminary LFT modeling software tool developed at the NASA Langley Research Center, which utilizes a matrix-based computational approach. The developed LFT model can capture original nonlinear dynamics over the flight envelope with the ! block which contains key varying parameters: angle of attack and velocity, and real parameter uncertainty: aerodynamic coefficient uncertainty and moment of inertia uncertainty. Using the developed LFT model and a formal robustness analysis method, a reliable flight regime is calculated for a transport aircraft closed-loop system.
A document consisting mostly of lecture slides presents overviews of artificial-intelligence-based control methods now under development for application to robotic aircraft [called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the paper] and spacecraft and to the next generation of flight controllers for piloted aircraft. Following brief introductory remarks, the paper presents background information on intelligent control, including basic characteristics defining intelligent systems and intelligent control and the concept of levels of intelligent control. Next, the paper addresses several concepts in intelligent flight control. The document ends with some concluding remarks, including statements to the effect that (1) intelligent control architectures can guarantee stability of inner control loops and (2) for UAVs, intelligent control provides a robust way to accommodate an outer-loop control architecture for planning and/or related purposes.
Hewes, D. E.; Stewart, E. C.
Some exploratory wind tunnel and radio-controlled free-flight tests were made with a small high-wing airplane model (1.23m wing span) to study the concept of a simple aero mechanical system intended to alleviate gust loads and improve ride comfort of lightly loaded aircraft. The system consisted essentially of the outer portions of each wing being hinged in the chordwise direction and connected directly to the wing flaps using internal counter weights to provide neutral mass balance. When the wing experienced a change in velocity or angle of attack, the movable wing panels, acting as sensors and flap actuators, deflected in response to the changes in lift on the wing. The corresponding movements of the interconnected flaps tended to reduce the changes in the wing lift.
Hoffman, A. C.; Hansen, I. G.; Beach, R. F.; Plencner, R. M.; Dengler, R. P.; Jefferies, K. S.; Frye, R. J.
A concept for an advanced aircraft power system was identified that uses 20-kHz, 440-V, sin-wave power distribution. This system was integrated with an electrically powered flight control system and with other aircraft systems requiring secondary power. The resulting all-electric secondary power configuration reduced the empty weight of a modern 200-passenger, twin-engine transport by 10 percent and the mission fuel by 9 percent.
This report outlines the detailed simulation of Aircraft Turbofan Engine. The objectives were to develop a detailed flow model of a full turbofan engine that runs on parallel workstation clusters overnight and to develop an integrated system of codes for combustor design and analysis to enable significant reduction in design time and cost. The model will initially simulate the 3-D flow in the primary flow path including the flow and chemistry in the combustor, and ultimately result in a multidisciplinary model of the engine. The overnight 3-D simulation capability of the primary flow path in a complete engine will enable significant reduction in the design and development time of gas turbine engines. In addition, the NPSS (Numerical Propulsion System Simulation) multidisciplinary integration and analysis are discussed.
This thesis represents a step forward to bring geometry parameterization and control on par with the disciplinary analyses involved in shape optimization, particularly high-fidelity aerodynamic shape optimization. Central to the proposed methodology is the non-uniform rational B-spline, used here to develop a new geometry generator and geometry control system applicable to the aerodynamic design of both conventional and unconventional aircraft. The geometry generator adopts a component-based approach, where any number of predefined but modifiable (parametric) wing, fuselage, junction, etc., components can be arbitrarily assembled to generate the outer mold line of aircraft geometry. A unique Python-based user interface incorporating an interactive OpenGL windowing system is proposed. Together, these tools allow for the generation of high-quality, C2 continuous (or higher), and customized aircraft geometry with fast turnaround. The geometry control system tightly integrates shape parameterization with volume mesh movement using a two-level free-form deformation approach. The framework is augmented with axial curves, which are shown to be flexible and efficient at parameterizing wing systems of arbitrary topology. A key aspect of this methodology is that very large shape deformations can be achieved with only a few, intuitive control parameters. Shape deformation consumes a few tenths of a second on a single processor and surface sensitivities are machine accurate. The geometry control system is implemented within an existing aerodynamic optimizer comprising a flow solver for the Euler equations and a sequential quadratic programming optimizer. Gradients are evaluated exactly with discrete-adjoint variables. The algorithm is first validated by recovering an elliptical lift distribution on a rectangular wing, and then demonstrated through the exploratory shape optimization of a three-pronged feathered winglet leading to a span efficiency of 1.22 under a height
Scaffidi, C. A.; Stocklin, F. J.; Feldman, M. B.
An L-band telemetry system designed to provide the capability of near-real-time processing of calibration data is described. The system also provides the capability of performing computerized spacecraft simulations, with the aircraft as a data source, and evaluating the network response. The salient characteristics of a telemetry analysis and simulation program (TASP) are discussed, together with the results of TASP testing. The results of the L-band system testing have successfully demonstrated the capability of near-real-time processing of telemetry test data, the control of the ground-received signal to within + or - 0.5 db, and the computer generation of test signals.
Powell, J. D.; Parsons, E.; Tashker, M. G.
Variations in design methods for aircraft digital flight control are evaluated and compared. The methods fall into two categories; those where the design is done in the continuous domain (or s plane) and those where the design is done in the discrete domain (or z plane). Design method fidelity is evaluated by examining closed loop root movement and the frequency response of the discretely controlled continuous aircraft. It was found that all methods provided acceptable performance for sample rates greater than 10 cps except the uncompensated s plane design method which was acceptable above 20 cps. A design procedure based on optimal control methods was proposed that provided the best fidelity at very slow sample rates and required no design iterations for changing sample rates.
Jarvis, C. R.; Szalai, K. J.
A triplex digital fly by wire flight control system was developed and installed in an F-8C aircraft to provide fail operative, full authority control. Hardware and software redundancy management techniques were designed to detect and identify failures in the system. Control functions typical of those projected for future actively controlled vehicles were implemented.
Yen, J. G.; Viswanathan, S.; Matthys, C. G.
A flight flutter testing technique is described in which the rotor controls are oscillated by series actuators to excite the rotor and airframe modes of interest, which are then allowed to decay. The moving block technique is then used to determine the damped frequency and damping variation with rotor speed. The method proved useful for tracking the stability of relatively well damped modes. The results of recently completed flight tests of an experimental soft-in-plane rotor are used to illustrate the technique. Included is a discussion of the application of this technique to investigation of the propeller whirl flutter stability characteristics of the NASA/Army XV-15 VTOL tilt rotor research aircraft.
Fuller, Chris R.; Palumbo, Dan (Technical Monitor)
It was proposed to continue with development and application in the two active-passive areas of Active Tuned Vibration Absorbers (ATVA) and smart foam applied to the reduction of interior noise in aircraft. In general the work was focused on making both techniques more efficient, practical and robust thus increasing their application potential. The work was also concerned with demonstrating the potential of these two technologies under realistic implementations as well as understanding the fundamental physics of the systems. The proposed work consisted of a three-year program and was tightly coordinated with related work being carried out in the Structural Acoustics Branch at NASA LaRC. The work was supervised and coordinated through all phases by Prof Chris Fuller of Va Tech.
Jacobson, Steven R.
Loss of control has become the leading cause of jet fatalities worldwide. Aside from their frequency of occurrence, accidents resulting from loss of aircraft control seize the public s attention by yielding large numbers of fatalities in a single event. In response to the rising threat to aviation safety, NASA's Aviation Safety Program has conducted a study of the loss of control problem. This study gathered four types of information pertaining to loss of control accidents: (1) statistical data; (2) individual accident reports that cite loss of control as a contributing factor; (3) previous meta-analyses of loss of control accidents; and (4) inputs solicited from aircraft manufacturers, air carriers, researchers, and other industry stakeholders. Using these information resources, the study team identified causal factors that were cited in the greatest number of loss of control accidents, and which were emphasized most by industry stakeholders. For each causal factor that was linked to loss of control, the team solicited ideas about what solutions are required and future research efforts that could potentially help avoid their occurrence or mitigate their consequences when they occurred in flight.
The F-15 PCA (Propulsion Controlled Aircraft) simulation was used from 1990 to 1993. It was used for the development of propulsion algorithms and piloting techniques (using throttles only) to be used for emergency flight control in the advent of a major flight control system failure on a multi-engine aircraft. Following this program with the Dryden F-15, similiar capabilities were developed for other aircraft, such as the B-720, Lear 24, B-727, C-402, and B-747.
Guinn, Wiley A.; Rising, Jerry J.; Davis, Walt J.
An advanced PACS control law was developed for a commercial wide-body transport (Lockheed L-1011) by using modern control theory. Validity of the control law was demonstrated by piloted flight simulation tests on the NASA Langley visual motion simulator. The PACS design objective was to develop a PACS that would provide good flying qualities to negative 10 percent static stability margins that were equivalent to those of the baseline aircraft at a 15 percent static stability margin which is normal for the L-1011. Also, the PACS was to compensate for high-Mach/high-g instabilities that degrade flying qualities during upset recoveries and maneuvers. The piloted flight simulation tests showed that the PACS met the design objectives. The simulation demonstrated good flying qualities to negative 20 percent static stability margins for hold, cruise and high-speed flight conditions. Analysis and wind tunnel tests performed on other Lockheed programs indicate that the PACS could be used on an advanced transport configuration to provide a 4 percent fuel savings which results from reduced trim drag by flying at negative static stability margins.
Alexander, H. R.; Smith, K. E.; Mcveigh, M. A.; Dixon, P. G.; Mcmanus, B. L.
Composite structures technology is applied in a preliminary design study of advanced technology blades and hubs for the XV-15 tilt rotor research demonstrator aircraft. Significant improvements in XV-15 hover and cruise performance are available using blades designed for compatibility with the existing aircraft, i.e., blade installation would not require modification of the airframe, hub or upper controls. Provision of a low risk nonmechanical control system was also studied, and a development specification is given.
Baer-Riedhart, Jennifer L.; Landy, Robert J.
The highly integrated digital electronic control (HIDEC) program at NASA Ames Research Center, Dryden Flight Research Facility is a multiphase flight research program to quantify the benefits of promising integrated control systems. McDonnell Aircraft Company is the prime contractor, with United Technologies Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, and Lear Siegler Incorporated as major subcontractors. The NASA F-15A testbed aircraft was modified by the HIDEC program by installing a digital electronic flight control system (DEFCS) and replacing the standard F100 (Arab 3) engines with F100 engine model derivative (EMD) engines equipped with digital electronic engine controls (DEEC), and integrating the DEEC's and DEFCS. The modified aircraft provides the capability for testing many integrated control modes involving the flight controls, engine controls, and inlet controls. This paper focuses on the first two phases of the HIDEC program, which are the digital flight control system/aircraft model identification (DEFCS/AMI) phase and the adaptive engine control system (ADECS) phase.
Neal, Bradford; Sengupta, Upal
During some flight programs, researchers have encountered problems in the throttle response characteristics of high-performance aircraft. To study and to help solve these problems, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Ames Research Center's Dryden Flight Research Facility (Ames-Dryden) conducted a study using a TF-104G airplane modified with a variable-response electronic throttle control system. Ames-Dryden investigated the effects of different variables on engine response and handling qualities. The system provided transport delay, lead and lag filters, second-order lags, command rate and position limits, and variable gain between the pilot's throttle command and the engine fuel controller. These variables could be tested individually or in combination. Ten research flights were flown to gather data on engine response and to obtain pilot ratings of the various system configurations. The results should provide design criteria for engine-response characteristics. The variable-response throttle components and how they were installed in the TF-104G aircraft are described. How the variable-response throttle was used in flight and some of the results of using this system are discussed.
Chung, W. W.; Mcneill, W. E.; Stortz, M. W.
The nonlinear inverse transformation flight control system design method is applied to the Lockheed Ft. Worth Company's E-7D short takeoff and vertical land (STOVL) supersonic fighter/attack aircraft design with a modified General Electric F110 engine which has augmented propulsive lift capability. The system is fully augmented to provide flight path control and velocity control, and rate command attitude hold for angular axes during the transition and hover operations. In cruise mode, the flight control system is configured to provide direct thrust command, rate command attitude hold for pitch and roll axes, and sideslip command with turn coordination. A control selector based on the nonlinear inverse transformation method is designed specifically to be compatible with the propulsion system's physical configuration which has a two dimensional convergent-divergent aft nozzle, a vectorable ventral nozzle, and a thrust augmented ejector. The nonlinear inverse transformation is used to determine the propulsive forces and nozzle deflections, which in combination with the aerodynamic forces and moments (including propulsive induced contributions), and gravitational force, are required to achieve the longitudinal and vertical acceleration commands. The longitudinal control axes are fully decoupled within the propulsion system's performance envelope. A piloted motion-base flight simulation was conducted on the Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) at NASA Ames Research Center to examine the handling qualities of this design. Based on results of the simulation, refinements to the control system have been made and will also be covered in the report.
Schutte, Paul; Goodrich, Kenneth; Williams, Ralph
The control automation and interaction paradigm (e.g., manual, autopilot, flight management system) used on virtually all large highly automated aircraft has long been an exemplar of breakdowns in human factors and human-centered design. An alternative paradigm is the Haptic Flight Control System (HFCS) that is part of NASA Langley Research Center s Naturalistic Flight Deck Concept. The HFCS uses only stick and throttle for easily and intuitively controlling the actual flight of the aircraft without losing any of the efficiency and operational benefits of the current paradigm. Initial prototypes of the HFCS are being evaluated and this paper describes one such evaluation. In this evaluation we examined claims regarding improved situation awareness, appropriate workload, graceful degradation, and improved pilot acceptance. Twenty-four instrument-rated pilots were instructed to plan and fly four different flights in a fictitious airspace using a moderate fidelity desktop simulation. Three different flight control paradigms were tested: Manual control, Full Automation control, and a simplified version of the HFCS. Dependent variables included both subjective (questionnaire) and objective (SAGAT) measures of situation awareness, workload (NASA-TLX), secondary task performance, time to recognize automation failures, and pilot preference (questionnaire). The results showed a statistically significant advantage for the HFCS in a number of measures. Results that were not statistically significant still favored the HFCS. The results suggest that the HFCS does offer an attractive and viable alternative to the tactical components of today s FMS/autopilot control system. The paper describes further studies that are planned to continue to evaluate the HFCS.
Hartmann, G. L.; Stein, G.
Honeywell has designed a digital self-adaptive flight control system for flight test in the VALT Research Aircraft (a modified CH-47). The final design resulted from a comparison of two different adaptive concepts: one based on explicit parameter estimates from a real-time maximum likelihood estimation algorithm and the other based on an implicit model reference adaptive system. The two designs are compared on the basis of performance and complexity.
Tanner, J. A.; Stubbs, S. M.; Smith, E. G.
The investigation utilized one main gear wheel, brake, and tire assembly of a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 series 10 airplane. The landing-gear strut was replaced by a dynamometer. During maximum braking, average braking behavior indexes based upon brake pressure, brake torque, and drag-force friction coefficient developed by the antiskid system were generally higher on dry surfaces than on wet surfaces. The three braking behavior indexes gave similar results but should not be used interchangeably as a measure of the braking of this antiskid sytem. During the transition from a dry to a flooded surface under heavy braking, the wheel entered into a deep skid but the antiskid system reacted quickly by reducing brake pressure and performed normally during the remainder of the run on the flooded surface. The brake-pressure recovery following transition from a flooded to a dry surface was shown to be a function of the antiskid modulating orifice.
Wells, Edward A.; Urnes, James M., Sr.
This paper describes the design, development, and ground testing of the propulsion controlled aircraft (PCA) flight control system. A backup flight control system which uses only engine thrust, the PCA system utilizes collective and differential thrust changes to steer an aircraft that experiences partial or complete failure of the hydraulically actuated control surfaces. The objective of the program was to investigate, in flight, the throttles-only control capability of the F-15, using manual control, and also an augmented PCA mode in which computer-controlled thrust was used for flight control. The objective included PCA operation in up-and-away flight and, if performance was adequate, a secondary objective to make actual PCA landings. The PCA design began with a feasibility study which evaluated many control law designs. The study was done using off-line control analysis, simulation, and on-line manned flight simulator tests. Control laws, cockpit displays, and cockpit controls were evaluated by NASA test pilots. A flight test baseline configuration was selected based on projected flight performance, applicability to transport and fighter aircraft, and funding costs. During the PCA software and hardware development, the initial design was updated as data became available from throttle-only flight experiments conducted by NASA on the F-15. This information showed basic airframe characteristics that were not observed in the F-15 flight simulator and resulted in several design changes. After the primary objectives of the PCA flight testing were accomplished, additional PCA modes of operation were developed and implemented. The evolution of the PCA system from the initial feasibility study, control law design, simulation, hardware-in-the-loop tests, pilot-in-the-loop tests, and ground tests is presented.
Davenport, Otha B.; Leggett, David B.
The Aircraft Digital Flight Control Technical Review was initiated by two pilot induced oscillation (PIO) incidents in the spring and summer of 1992. Maj. Gen. Franklin (PEO) wondered why the Air Force development process for digital flight control systems was not preventing PIO problems. Consequently, a technical review team was formed to examine the development process and determine why PIO problems continued to occur. The team was also to identify the 'best practices' used in the various programs. The charter of the team was to focus on the PIO problem, assess the current development process, and document the 'best practices.' The team reviewed all major USAF aircraft programs with digital flight controls, specifically, the F-15E, F-16C/D, F-22, F-111, C-17, and B-2. The team interviewed contractor, System Program Office (SPO), and Combined Test Force (CTF) personnel on these programs. The team also went to NAS Patuxent River to interview USN personnel about the F/A-18 program. The team also reviewed experimental USAF and NASA systems with digital flight control systems: X-29, X-31, F-15 STOL and Maneuver Technology Demonstrator (SMTD), and the Variable In-Flight Stability Test Aircraft (VISTA). The team also discussed the problem with other experts in the field including Ralph Smith and personnel from Calspan. The major conclusions and recommendations from the review are presented.
Mcneill, Walter, E.; Chung, William W.; Stortz, Michael W.
A piloted motion simulator evaluation, using the NASA Ames Vertical Motion Simulator, was conducted in support of a NASA Lewis Contractual study of the integration of flight and propulsion systems of a STOVL aircraft. Objectives of the study were to validate the Design Methods for Integrated Control Systems (DMICS) concept, to evaluate the handling qualities, and to assess control power usage. The E-7D ejector-augmentor STOVL fighter design served as the basis for the simulation. Handling-qualities ratings were obtained during precision hover and shipboard landing tasks. Handling-qualities ratings for these tasks ranged from satisfactory to adequate. Further improvement of the design process to fully validate the DMICS concept appears to be warranted.
Project planning data for a rotor and control system procurement and testing program for modifications to the XV-15 tilt-rotor research demonstrator aircraft is presented. The design, fabrication, and installation of advanced composite blades compatible with the existing hub, an advanced composite hub, and a nonmechanical control system are required.
Kwatny, Harry G.; Dongmo, Jean-Etienne T.; Chang, Bor-Chin; Bajpai, Guarav; Yasar, Murat; Belcastro, Christine M.
The majority of fatal aircraft accidents are associated with loss-of-control . Yet the notion of loss-of-control is not well-defined in terms suitable for rigorous control systems analysis. Loss-of-control is generally associated with flight outside of the normal flight envelope, with nonlinear influences, and with an inability of the pilot to control the aircraft. The two primary sources of nonlinearity are the intrinsic nonlinear dynamics of the aircraft and the state and control constraints within which the aircraft must operate. In this paper we examine how these nonlinearities affect the ability to control the aircraft and how they may contribute to loss-of-control. Examples are provided using NASA s Generic Transport Model.
Aircraft control systems are usually very reliable because of redundancy and multiple control surfaces. However, there are rare occasions when potentially disastrous flight control system failures do occur. At such times, the use of appropriate modulation of engine thrust to stabilize the aircraft may be the only chance of survival for the people aboard. In several cases where complete loss of control systems has occurred in multi-engine aircraft, pilots used the propulsion system to regain limited control of the aircraft with various degrees of success. In order to evaluate the feasibility of using only engine thrust modulation for emergency backup flight control, the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center has been conducting a series of analytical studies and flight tests on several different types of aircraft in a propulsion controlled aircraft (PCA) program. Simulation studies have included B-720, B-727, MD-11, C-402, C-17, F-18, and F-15, and flight tests have included B-747, B-777, MD-11, T-39, Lear 24, F-18, F-15, T-38, and PA-30. One objective was to determine the degree of control available with manual manipulation (open-loop) of the engine throttles. Flight tests and simulations soon showed that a closed loop controller could improve the chances of making a safe runway landing. The major work to date has concentrated on three aircraft (F-15, F-18, and the MD-11). Successful landings using PCA controllers were performed on the F-15 and MD-11 without the use of control surfaces. During the course of the research, some unique challenges have been identified. Compared to the conventional flight control surfaces, the engines are slow and have limited control effectiveness. Hence the ability of the system to promptly respond to aerodynamic changes is limited. Consequently, many nonlinear effects, which are easily accommodated by a conventional flight control system, become significant issues in the design of an effective controller when the engines are used as the
Ma, Jian; Lu, Chen; Liu, Hongmei
The aircraft environmental control system (ECS) is a critical aircraft system, which provides the appropriate environmental conditions to ensure the safe transport of air passengers and equipment. The functionality and reliability of ECS have received increasing attention in recent years. The heat exchanger is a particularly significant component of the ECS, because its failure decreases the system's efficiency, which can lead to catastrophic consequences. Fault diagnosis of the heat exchanger is necessary to prevent risks. However, two problems hinder the implementation of the heat exchanger fault diagnosis in practice. First, the actual measured parameter of the heat exchanger cannot effectively reflect the fault occurrence, whereas the heat exchanger faults are usually depicted by utilizing the corresponding fault-related state parameters that cannot be measured directly. Second, both the traditional Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) and the EKF-based Double Model Filter have certain disadvantages, such as sensitivity to modeling errors and difficulties in selection of initialization values. To solve the aforementioned problems, this paper presents a fault-related parameter adaptive estimation method based on strong tracking filter (STF) and Modified Bayes classification algorithm for fault detection and failure mode classification of the heat exchanger, respectively. Heat exchanger fault simulation is conducted to generate fault data, through which the proposed methods are validated. The results demonstrate that the proposed methods are capable of providing accurate, stable, and rapid fault diagnosis of the heat exchanger. PMID:25823010
A detailed description is presented of the simulation philosophy and process used in the development of a Separate Surface Attitude Command control system (SSAC) for a Beech Model 99 Airliner. The intent of this system is to provide complete three axes stability augmentation at low cost and without the need for system redundancy. The system, although aimed at the general aviation market, also has applications to certain military airplanes as well as to miniature submarines.
Wensley, J. H.; Lamport, L.; Goldberg, J.; Green, M. W.; Levitt, K. N.; Melliar-Smith, P. M.; Shostak, R. E.; Weinstock, C. B.
SIFT (Software Implemented Fault Tolerance) is an ultrareliable computer for critical aircraft control applications that achieves fault tolerance by the replication of tasks among processing units. The main processing units are off-the-shelf minicomputers, with standard microcomputers serving as the interface to the I/O system. Fault isolation is achieved by using a specially designed redundant bus system to interconnect the processing units. Error detection and analysis and system reconfiguration are performed by software. Iterative tasks are redundantly executed, and the results of each iteration are voted upon before being used. Thus, any single failure in a processing unit or bus can be tolerated with triplication of tasks, and subsequent failures can be tolerated after reconfiguration. Independent execution by separate processors means that the processors need only be loosely synchronized, and a novel fault-tolerant synchronization method is described.
Baheti, R. S.
The magnetic suspension and balance system for an airplane model in a large wind tunnel is considered. In this system, superconducting coils generate magnetic forces and torques on the magnetized soft iron core of the airplane model. The control system is a position servo where the airplane model, with six degrees of feedom, follows the reference static or dynamic input commands. The controller design, based on the characteristic loci method, minimizes the effects of aerodynamic and inertial cross-couplings, and provides the specified dynamic response.
The current Fiber Optic Control System Integration (FOCSI) program is reviewed and the potential role of IOCs in FOCSI applications is described. The program is intended for building, environmentally testing, and demonstrating operation in piggyback flight tests (no active control with optical sensors) of a representative sensor system for propulsion and flight control. The optical sensor systems are to be designed to fit alongside the bill-of-materials sensors for comparison. The sensors are to be connected to electrooptic architecture cards which will contain the optical sources and detectors to recover and process the modulated optical signals. The FOCSI program is to collect data on the behavior of passive optical sensor systems in a flight environment and provide valuable information on installation amd maintenance problems for this technology, as well as component survivability (light sources, connectors, optical fibers, etc.).
Ma, Jian; Lu, Chen; Liu, Hongmei
The aircraft environmental control system (ECS) is a critical aircraft system, which provides the appropriate environmental conditions to ensure the safe transport of air passengers and equipment. The functionality and reliability of ECS have received increasing attention in recent years. The heat exchanger is a particularly significant component of the ECS, because its failure decreases the system’s efficiency, which can lead to catastrophic consequences. Fault diagnosis of the heat exchanger is necessary to prevent risks. However, two problems hinder the implementation of the heat exchanger fault diagnosis in practice. First, the actual measured parameter of the heat exchanger cannot effectively reflect the fault occurrence, whereas the heat exchanger faults are usually depicted by utilizing the corresponding fault-related state parameters that cannot be measured directly. Second, both the traditional Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) and the EKF-based Double Model Filter have certain disadvantages, such as sensitivity to modeling errors and difficulties in selection of initialization values. To solve the aforementioned problems, this paper presents a fault-related parameter adaptive estimation method based on strong tracking filter (STF) and Modified Bayes classification algorithm for fault detection and failure mode classification of the heat exchanger, respectively. Heat exchanger fault simulation is conducted to generate fault data, through which the proposed methods are validated. The results demonstrate that the proposed methods are capable of providing accurate, stable, and rapid fault diagnosis of the heat exchanger. PMID:25823010
Riedel, S. A.
A method by which modern and classical control theory techniques may be integrated in a synergistic fashion and used in the design of practical flight control systems is presented. A general procedure is developed, and several illustrative examples are included. Emphasis is placed not only on the synthesis of the design, but on the assessment of the results as well. The first step is to establish the differences, distinguishing characteristics and connections between the modern and classical control theory approaches. Ultimately, this uncovers a relationship between bandwidth goals familiar in classical control and cost function weights in the equivalent optimal system. In order to obtain a practical optimal solution, it is also necessary to formulate the problem very carefully, and each choice of state, measurement and output variable must be judiciously considered. Once design goals are established and problem formulation completed, the control system is synthesized in a straightforward manner. Three steps are involved: filter-observer solution, regulator solution, and the combination of those two into the controller. Assessment of the controller permits and examination and expansion of the synthesis results.
Belcastro, Christine M.
Loss of control remains one of the largest contributors to fatal aircraft accidents worldwide. Aircraft loss-of-control accidents are complex, resulting from numerous causal and contributing factors acting alone or more often in combination. Hence, there is no single intervention strategy to prevent these accidents. This paper summarizes recent analysis results in identifying worst-case combinations of loss-of-control accident precursors and their time sequences, a holistic approach to preventing loss-of-control accidents in the future, and key requirements for validating the associated technologies.
Wagner, R. D.
The incorporation of laminar flow control into transport aircraft is discussed. Design concepts for the wing surface panel of laminar flow control transport aircraft are described. The development of small amounts of laminar flow on small commercial transports with natural or hybrid flow control is examined. Techniques for eliminating the insect contamination problem in the leading-edge region are proposed.
Atwell, William; Koontz, Steve; Normand, Eugene
In this paper we review the discovery of cosmic ray effects on the performance and reliability of microelectronic systems as well as on human health and safety, as well as the development of the engineering and health science tools used to evaluate and mitigate cosmic ray effects in earth surface, atmospheric flight, and space flight environments. Three twentieth century technological developments, 1) high altitude commercial and military aircraft; 2) manned and unmanned spacecraft; and 3) increasingly complex and sensitive solid state micro-electronics systems, have driven an ongoing evolution of basic cosmic ray science into a set of practical engineering tools (e.g. ground based test methods as well as high energy particle transport and reaction codes) needed to design, test, and verify the safety and reliability of modern complex electronic systems as well as effects on human health and safety. The effects of primary cosmic ray particles, and secondary particle showers produced by nuclear reactions with spacecraft materials, can determine the design and verification processes (as well as the total dollar cost) for manned and unmanned spacecraft avionics systems. Similar considerations apply to commercial and military aircraft operating at high latitudes and altitudes near the atmospheric Pfotzer maximum. Even ground based computational and controls systems can be negatively affected by secondary particle showers at the Earth's surface, especially if the net target area of the sensitive electronic system components is large. Accumulation of both primary cosmic ray and secondary cosmic ray induced particle shower radiation dose is an important health and safety consideration for commercial or military air crews operating at high altitude/latitude and is also one of the most important factors presently limiting manned space flight operations beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO).
Pauli, F. A.
Systems consist of single duct system with two sets of reaction control nozzles, one linked mechanically to pilot's controls, and other set driven by electric servomotors commanded by preselected combinations of electrical signals.
Hofmann, L. G.; Riedel, S. A.; Mcruer, D.
A method by which modern and classical theory techniques may be integrated in a synergistic fashion and used in the design of practical flight control systems is presented. A general procedure is developed, and several illustrative examples are included. Emphasis is placed not only on the synthesis of the design, but on the assessment of the results as well.
Gorham, J. A.
Answers to specific study questions are used to ascertain the data requirements associated with a guidance, navigation and control system for a future civil STOL airplane. Results of the study were used to recommend changes for improving the outputs of the STOLAND flight experiments program.
Athans, M. (Editor); Willsky, A. S. (Editor)
The analysis and design of complex multivariable reliable control systems are considered. High performance and fault tolerant aircraft systems are the objectives. A preliminary feasibility study of the design of a lateral control system for a VTOL aircraft that is to land on a DD963 class destroyer under high sea state conditions is provided. Progress in the following areas is summarized: (1) VTOL control system design studies; (2) robust multivariable control system synthesis; (3) adaptive control systems; (4) failure detection algorithms; and (5) fault tolerant optimal control theory.
Zverev, A. Ya.
World trends in the development of methods and approaches to noise reduction in aircraft cabins are reviewed. The paper discusses the mechanisms of passive and active noise and vibration control, application of "smart" and innovative materials, new approaches to creating all fuselage-design elements, and other promising directions of noise control inside aircraft.
Dudley, Michael R.
An overview of electric aircraft propulsion technology performance thresholds for key power system components is presented. A weight comparison of electric drive systems with equivalent total delivered energy is made to help identify component performance requirements, and promising research and development opportunities.
Garrard, William L.; Balas, Gary J.
The results of a study of the application of H infinity and mu synthesis techniques to the design of feedback control laws for the longitudinal dynamics of the High Angle of Attack Research Vehicle (HARV) are presented. The objective of this study is to develop methods for the design of feedback control laws which cause the closed loop longitudinal dynamics of the HARV to meet handling quality specifications over the entire flight envelope. Control law designs are based on models of the HARV linearized at various flight conditions. The control laws are evaluated by both linear and nonlinear simulations of typical maneuvers. The fixed gain control laws resulting from both the H infinity and mu synthesis techniques result in excellent performance even when the aircraft performs maneuvers in which the system states vary significantly from their equilibrium design values. Both the H infinity and mu synthesis control laws result in performance which compares favorably with an existing baseline longitudinal control law.
Nguyen, Nhan T.; Gregory, Irene M.; Joshi, Suresh M.
This poster presents the current adaptive control research being conducted at NASA ARC and LaRC in support of the Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control (IRAC) project. The technique "Approximate Stability Margin Analysis of Hybrid Direct-Indirect Adaptive Control" has been developed at NASA ARC to address the needs for stability margin metrics for adaptive control that potentially enables future V&V of adaptive systems. The technique "Direct Adaptive Control With Unknown Actuator Failures" is developed at NASA LaRC to deal with unknown actuator failures. The technique "Adaptive Control with Adaptive Pilot Element" is being researched at NASA LaRC to investigate the effects of pilot interactions with adaptive flight control that can have implications of stability and performance.
Lan, C. Edward; Ge, Fuying
Control system design for general nonlinear flight dynamic models is considered through numerical simulation. The design is accomplished through a numerical optimizer coupled with analysis of flight dynamic equations. The general flight dynamic equations are numerically integrated and dynamic characteristics are then identified from the dynamic response. The design variables are determined iteratively by the optimizer to optimize a prescribed objective function which is related to desired dynamic characteristics. Generality of the method allows nonlinear effects to aerodynamics and dynamic coupling to be considered in the design process. To demonstrate the method, nonlinear simulation models for an F-5A and an F-16 configurations are used to design dampers to satisfy specifications on flying qualities and control systems to prevent departure. The results indicate that the present method is simple in formulation and effective in satisfying the design objectives.
Morrison, J. A.
To provide a background for evaluating advanced STOL systems concepts, a number of short haul and STOL airline operations in the United States and one operation in Canada were studied. A study of flight director operational procedures for an advanced STOL research airplane, the Augmented Wing Jet STOL Research Airplane, was conducted using the STOLAND simulation facility located at the Ames Changes to the advanced digital flight control system (STOLAND) installed in the Augmentor Wing Airplane are proposed to improve the mode sequencing to simplify pilot procedures and reduce pilot workload.
Franklin, James A.; Stortz, Michael W.; Borchers, Paul F.; Moralez, Ernesto, III
Flight experiments were conducted on Ames Research Center's V/STOL Systems Research Aircraft (VSRA) to assess the influence of advanced control modes and head-up displays (HUD's) on flying qualities for precision approach and landing operations. Evaluations were made for decelerating approaches to hover followed by a vertical landing and for slow landings for four control/display mode combinations: the basic YAV-8B stability augmentation system; attitude command for pitch, roll, and yaw; flightpath/acceleration command with translational rate command in the hover; and height-rate damping with translational-rate command. Head-up displays used in conjunction with these control modes provided flightpath tracking/pursuit guidance and deceleration commands for the decelerating approach and a mixed horizontal and vertical presentation for precision hover and landing. Flying qualities were established and control usage and bandwidth were documented for candidate control modes and displays for the approach and vertical landing. Minimally satisfactory bandwidths were determined for the translational-rate command system. Test pilot and engineer teams from the Naval Air Warfare Center, the Boeing Military Airplane Group, Lockheed Martin, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, Northrop Grumman, Rolls-Royce, and the British Defense Research Agency participated in the program along with NASA research pilots from the Ames and Lewis Research Centers. The results, in conjunction with related ground-based simulation data, indicate that the flightpath/longitudinal acceleration command response type in conjunction with pursuit tracking and deceleration guidance on the HUD would be essential for operation to instrument minimums significantly lower than the minimums for the AV-8B. It would also be a superior mode for performing slow landings where precise control to an austere landing area such as a narrow road is demanded. The translational-rate command system would reduce pilot workload for
Walker, S. A.
The benefits that accrue from using control configured vehicle (CCV) concepts were examined along with the techniques for applying these concepts to an advanced tanker aircraft design. Reduced static stability (RSS) and flutter mode control (FMC) were the two primary CCV concepts used in the design. The CCV tanker was designed to the same mission requirements specified for a conventional tanker design. A seven degree of freedom mathematical model of the flexible aircraft was derived and used to synthesize a lateral stability augmentation system (SAS), a longitudinal control augmentation system (CAS), and a FMC system. Fatigue life and cost analyses followed the control system synthesis, after which a comparative evaluation of the CCV and conventional tankers was made. This comparison indicated that the CCV weight and cost were lower but that, for this design iteration, the CCV fatigue life was shorter. Also, the CCV crew station acceleration was lower, but the acceleration at the boom operator station was higher relative to the corresponding conventional tanker. Comparison of the design processes used in the CCV and conventional design studies revealed that they were basically the same.
Lan, C. Edward; Ge, Fu-Ying
Control system design for general nonlinear flight dynamic models is considered through numerical simulation. The design is accomplished through a numerical optimizer coupled with analysis of flight dynamic equations. In the analysis, the general nonlinear flight dynamic equations with nonlinear aerodynamics are numerically integrated; and the dynamic characteristics needed in the optimization process are then identified from the dynamic response. To assure a reasonable solution, the initial input values of the design variables are estimated through a sensitivity analysis. To demonstrate the method, the pitch departure prevention for an F-16 configuration is demonstrated.
Results of a 2-year study are reported which were carried out to extend the development of laminar flow control (LFC) technology and evaluate LFC systems concepts. The overall objective of the LFC program is to provide a sound basis for industry decisions on the application of LFC to future commercial transports. The study was organized into major tasks to support the stated objectives through application of LFC systems concepts to a baseline LFC transport initially generated for the study. Based on competitive evaluation of these concepts, a final selection was made for incorporation into the final design of an LFC transport which also included other advanced technology elements appropriate to the 1990 time period.
Belcastro, Christine M.; Foster, John V.
Loss of control remains one of the largest contributors to fatal aircraft accidents worldwide. Aircraft loss-of-control accidents are complex in that they can result from numerous causal and contributing factors acting alone or (more often) in combination. Hence, there is no single intervention strategy to prevent these accidents. To gain a better understanding into aircraft loss-of-control events and possible intervention strategies, this paper presents a detailed analysis of loss-of-control accident data (predominantly from Part 121), including worst case combinations of causal and contributing factors and their sequencing. Future potential risks are also considered.
Jorgensen, Charles; Wheeler, Kevin; Stepniewski, Slawomir; Norvig, Peter (Technical Monitor)
This paper presents results of a recent experiment in fine grain Electromyographic (EMG) signal recognition, We demonstrate bioelectric flight control of 757 class simulation aircraft landing at San Francisco International Airport. The physical instrumentality of a pilot control stick is not used. A pilot closes a fist in empty air and performs control movements which are captured by a dry electrode array on the arm, analyzed and routed through a flight director permitting full pilot outer loop control of the simulation. A Vision Dome immersive display is used to create a VR world for the aircraft body mechanics and flight changes to pilot movements. Inner loop surfaces and differential aircraft thrust is controlled using a hybrid neural network architecture that combines a damage adaptive controller (Jorgensen 1998, Totah 1998) with a propulsion only based control system (Bull & Kaneshige 1997). Thus the 757 aircraft is not only being flown bioelectrically at the pilot level but also demonstrates damage adaptive neural network control permitting adaptation to severe changes in the physical flight characteristics of the aircraft at the inner loop level. To compensate for accident scenarios, the aircraft uses remaining control surface authority and differential thrust from the engines. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time real time bioelectric fine-grained control, differential thrust based control, and neural network damage adaptive control have been integrated into a single flight demonstration. The paper describes the EMG pattern recognition system and the bioelectric pattern recognition methodology.
Richards, Zach D.
The thesis project proposes analytical and theoretical algorithms for a networked swarm of autonomous vehicles, such as those used in planet exploration, and to be used in target location determination and convergence, an algorithm of this type could be used in an Autonomous Stratospheric Aircraft (ASA), thus having the possibility of being used for the exploration of a planet as well as many other applications. Upon locating an unknown location of a specified target, the algorithm would then swarm and eventually converge upon the location. There are two similar, but fundamentally different algorithms proposed in this project. These algorithms are capable of locating and converging upon multiple targeted locations simultaneously. This project is inspired by the current thought of NASA in the search of life on Mars, which is "Follow the Water" , where the targeted location would be the targeted source of water. These algorithms make use of combining a modified Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm with fuzzy variables for increased intelligence.
Atwell, William; Koontz, Steve; Normand, Eugene
Three twentieth century technological developments, 1) high altitude commercial and military aircraft; 2) manned and unmanned spacecraft; and 3) increasingly complex and sensitive solid state micro-electronics systems, have driven an ongoing evolution of basic cosmic ray science into a set of practical engineering tools needed to design, test, and verify the safety and reliability of modern complex technological systems. The effects of primary cosmic ray particles and secondary particle showers produced by nuclear reactions with the atmosphere, can determine the design and verification processes (as well as the total dollar cost) for manned and unmanned spacecraft avionics systems. Similar considerations apply to commercial and military aircraft operating at high latitudes and altitudes near the atmospheric Pfotzer maximum. Even ground based computational and controls systems can be negatively affected by secondary particle showers at the Earth s surface, especially if the net target area of the sensitive electronic system components is large. Finally, accumulation of both primary cosmic ray and secondary cosmic ray induced particle shower radiation dose is an important health and safety consideration for commercial or military air crews operating at high altitude/latitude and is also one of the most important factors presently limiting manned space flight operations beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO). In this paper we review the discovery of cosmic ray effects on the performance and reliability of microelectronic systems as well as human health and the development of the engineering and health science tools used to evaluate and mitigate cosmic ray effects in ground-based atmospheric flight, and space flight environments. Ground test methods applied to microelectronic components and systems are used in combinations with radiation transport and reaction codes to predict the performance of microelectronic systems in their operating environments. Similar radiation transport
Guinn, Wiley A.
The development of an advanced pitch active control system (PACS) and a reduced area horizontal tail for a wide-body jet transport (L-1011) with a flying horizontal stabilizer is discussed. The advanced PACS control law design objectives were to provide satisfactory handling qualities for aft c.g. flight conditions to negative static stability margins of 10 percent and to provide good maneuver control column force gradients for nonlinear stability flight conditions. Validity of the control laws were demonstrated by piloted flight simulation tests on the NASA Langley Visual Motion Simulator. Satisfactory handling qualities were actually demonstrated to a negative 20 percent static stability margin. The PACS control laws were mechanized to provide the system architecture that would be suitable for an L-1011 flight test program to a negative stability margin of 3 percent which represents the aft c.g. limits of the aircraft. Reduced area horizontal tail designs of 30 and 38 percent with respect to the L-1011 standard tail were designed, fabricated and wind tunnel tested. Drag reductions and weight savings of the 30 percent smaller tail would provide an L/D benefit of about 2% and the 38% small tail L/D benefit would be about 3 percent. However, forward c.g. limitations would have to be imposed on the aircraft because the maximum horizontal tail lift goal was not achieved and sufficient aircraft nose-up control authority was not available. This limitation would not be required for a properly designed new aircraft.
Wood, Kenneth E.
Emergency escape system for aircraft and aerospace vehicles ejects up to seven crewmembers, one by one, within 120 s. Intended for emergencies in which disabled craft still in stable flight at no more than 220 kn (113 m/s) equivalent airspeed and sinking no faster than 110 ft/s (33.5 m/s) at altitudes up to 50,000 ft (15.2 km). Ejection rockets load themselves from magazine after each crewmember ejected. Jumpmaster queues other crewmembers and helps them position themselves on egress ramp. Rockets pull crewmembers clear of aircraft structure. Provides orderly, controlled exit and avoids ditching at sea or landing in rough terrain.
A two-year study conducted to establish a basis for industry decisions on the application of laminar flow control (LFC) to future commercial transports was presented. Areas of investigation included: (1) mission definition and baseline selection; (2) concepts evaluations; and (3) LFC transport configuration selection and component design. The development and evaluation of competing design concepts was conducted in the areas of aerodynamics, structures and materials, and systems. The results of supporting wind tunnel and laboratory testing on a full-scale LFC wing panel, suction surface opening concepts and structural samples were included. A final LFC transport was configured in incorporating the results of concept evaluation studies and potential performance improvements were assessed. Remaining problems together with recommendations for future research are discussed.
Bretmersky, Steven C.; Bishop, William D.; Dailey, Justin E.; Chevalier, Christine T.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center (GRC) is performing communications systems research for the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) Project. One of the goals of the communications element is to select and test a communications technology for the UAS Control and Non-Payload Communications (CNPC) link. The GRC UAS Modeling and Simulation (M/S) Sub Team will evaluate the performance of several potential technologies for the CNPC link through detailed software simulations. In parallel, an industry partner will implement a technology in hardware to be used for flight testing. The task necessitated a technical assessment of existing Radio Frequency (RF) communications technologies to identify the best candidate systems for use as the UAS CNPC link. The assessment provides a basis for selecting the technologies for the M/S effort and the hardware radio design. The process developed for the technical assessments for the Future Communications Study1 (FCS) was used as an initial starting point for this assessment. The FCS is a joint Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Eurocontrol study on technologies for use as a future aeronautical communications link. The FCS technology assessment process methodology can be applied to the UAS CNPC link; however the findings of the FCS are not directly applicable because of different requirements between a CNPC link and a general aeronautical data link. Additional technologies were added to the potential technologies list from the State of the Art Unmanned Aircraft System Communication Assessment developed by NASA GRC2. This document investigates the state of the art of communications as related to UAS. A portion of the document examines potential communications systems for a UAS communication architecture. Like the FCS, the state of the art assessment surveyed existing communications technologies. It did not, however, perform a detailed assessment of the
Stubbs, S. M.; Tanner, J. A.; Smith, E. G.
The braking and cornering response of a slip velocity controlled, pressure bias modulated aircraft antiskid braking system is investigated. The investigation, conducted on dry and wet runway surfaces, utilized one main gear wheel, brake, and tire assembly of a McDonnell Douglas DC 9 series 10 airplane. The landing gear strut was replaced by a dynamometer. The parameters, which were varied, included the carriage speed, tire loading, yaw angle, tire tread condition, brake system operating pressure, and runway wetness conditions. The effects of each of these parameters on the behavior of the skid control system is presented. Comparisons between data obtained with the skid control system and data obtained from single cycle braking tests without antiskid protection are examined.
Taylor, Brian R.
This presentation for the Fundamental Aeronautics Program Technical Conference covers the benefits of active structural control, related research areas, and focuses on the use of optimal control allocation for the prevention of critical loads. Active control of lightweight structures has the potential to reduce aircraft weight and fuel burn. Sensor, control law, materials, control effector, and system level research will be necessary to enable active control of lightweight structures. Optimal control allocation with structural feedback has been shown in simulation to be feasible in preventing critical loads and is one example of a control law to enable future lightweight aircraft.
In recent years, fuel cells have been explored for use in aircraft. While the weight and size of fuel cells allows only the smallest of aircraft to use fuel cells for their primary engines, fuel cells have showed promise for use as auxiliary power units (APUs), which power aircraft accessories and serve as an electrical backup in case of an engine failure. Fuel cell MUS are both more efficient and emit fewer pollutants. However, sea-level fuel cells need modifications to be properly used in aircraft applications. At high altitudes, the ambient air has a much lower pressure than at sea level, which makes it much more difficult to get air into the fuel cell to react and produce electricity. Compressors can be used to pressurize the air, but this leads to added weight, volume, and power usage, all of which are undesirable things. Another problem is that fuel cells require hydrogen to create electricity, and ever since the Hindenburg burst into flames, aircraft carrying large quantities of hydrogen have not been in high demand. However, jet fuel is a hydrocarbon, so it is possible to reform it into hydrogen. Since jet fuel is already used to power conventional APUs, it is very convenient to use this to generate the hydrogen for fuel-cell-based APUs. Fuel cells also tend to get large and heavy when used for applications that require a large amount of power. Reducing the size and weight becomes especially beneficial when it comes to fuel cells for aircraft. My goal this summer is to work on several aspects of Aircraft Fuel Cell Power System project. My first goal is to perform checks on a newly built injector rig designed to test different catalysts to determine the best setup for reforming Jet-A fuel into hydrogen. These checks include testing various thermocouples, transmitters, and transducers, as well making sure that the rig was actually built to the design specifications. These checks will help to ensure that the rig will operate properly and give correct results
Stengel, R. F.; Berry, P. W.
The stability and control of a high-performance aircraft was analyzed, and a design methodology for a departure prevention stability augmentation system (DPSAS) was developed. A general linear aircraft model was derived which includes maneuvering flight effects and trim calculation procedures for investigating highly dynamic trajectories. The stability and control analysis systematically explored the effects of flight condition and angular motion, as well as the stability of typical air combat trajectories. The effects of configuration variation also were examined.
Trujillo, Anna C.; Gregory, Irene M.
The experiments described here explored how pilots want available maneuver authority information transmitted and how this information affects pilots before and after an aircraft failure. The aircraft dynamic variables relative to flight performance were narrowed to energy management variables. A survey was conducted to determine what these variables should be. Survey results indicated that bank angle, vertical velocity, and airspeed were the preferred variables. Based on this, two displays were designed to inform the pilot of available maneuver envelope expressed as bank angle, vertical velocity, and airspeed. These displays were used in an experiment involving control surface failures. Results indicate the displayed limitations in bank angle, vertical velocity, and airspeed were helpful to the pilots during aircraft surface failures. However, the additional information did lead to a slight increase in workload, a small decrease in perceived aircraft flying qualities, and no effect on aircraft situation awareness.
Lightweight flexible aircraft may be the future of aviation, but a major problem is their susceptibility to flutter-uncontrollable vibrations that can destroy wings. Armstrong Flight Research Center awarded SBIR funding to Minneapolis, Minnesota-based MUSYN Inc. to develop software that helps program flight controllers to suppress flutter. The technology is now available for aircraft manufacturers and other industries that use equipment with automated controls.
Garrard, William L.; Snell, Anthony; Enns, Dale F.
A technique is described which can be used for design of feedback controllers for high-performance aircraft operating in flight conditions in which nonlinearities significantly affect performance. Designs are performed on a mathematical model of the longitudinal dynamics of a hypothetical aircraft similar to proposed supermaneuverable flight test vehicles. Nonlinear controller designs are performed using truncated solutions of the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equation. Preliminary results show that the method yields promising results.
NASA Dryden has a heritage of developmental and operational experience with unmanned aircraft systems. Work on Boeing's sub-scale X-36 Tailless Fighter Agility Research Aircraft, X-48 Blended Wing ...
Hewett, M. D.; Rediess, H. A.; Buckley, E. C.; Spitzer, C. R.
A survey of U.S. and foreign technology in aircraft flight controls was conducted for NASA Langley Research Center as a data base for planning future research and technology programs. The survey covers control and hardware configurations of major contemporary systems on operational aircraft, R&D flight programs, advanced aircraft developments and significant research and technology programs. This paper concentrates on the foreign technology elements and findings of the survey with primary emphasis on Western Europe, where most of the advanced technology resides.
McGlynn, Gregory E.; Litt, Jonathan S.; Lemon, Kimberly A.; Csank, Jeffrey T.
Enhanced engine operation--operation that is beyond normal limits--has the potential to improve the adaptability and safety of aircraft in emergency situations. Intelligent use of enhanced engine operation to improve the handling qualities of the aircraft requires sophisticated risk estimation techniques and a risk management system that spans the flight and propulsion controllers. In this paper, an architecture that weighs the risks of the emergency and of possible engine performance enhancements to reduce overall risk to the aircraft is described. Two examples of emergency situations are presented to demonstrate the interaction between the flight and propulsion controllers to facilitate the enhanced operation.
Loeffler, Irvin J.
Structureborne noise is discussed as a contributor to propeller aircraft interior noise levels that are nonresponsive to the application of a generous amount of cabin sidewall acoustic treatment. High structureborne noise levels may jeopardize passenger acceptance of the fuel-efficient high-speed propeller transport aircraft designed for cruise at Mach 0.65 to 0.85. These single-rotation tractor and counter-rotation tractor and pusher propulsion systems will consume 15 to 30 percent less fuel than advanced turbofan systems. Structureborne noise detection methodologies and the importance of development of a structureborne noise sensor are discussed. A structureborne noise generation mechanism is described in which the periodic components or propeller swirl produce periodic torques and forces on downstream wings and airfoils that are propagated to the cabin interior as noise. Three concepts for controlling structureborne noise are presented: (1) a stator row swirl remover, (2) selection of a proper combination of blade numbers in the rotor/stator system of a single-rotation propeller, and the rotor/rotor system of a counter-rotation propeller, and (3) a tuned mechanical absorber.
Schmidt, D. K.; Duke, E. L.
Two techniques, direct eigenspace assignment (DEA) and explicit model following (EMF), are used initially to synthesize control laws for the longitudinal dynamics model of a Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) vehicle in the landing configuration. The vehicle model and the flight control design are presented. The two synthesis techniques are briefly discussed and the handling qualities specifications mapped into the algorithm formulations. The control laws resulting from exercising the algorithms are evaluated in terms of achieved performance and robustness. Since the synthesized control laws involve full state feedback, methodologies were implemented for the control laws using output feedback without adversely affecting performance and robustness. Finally, the salient features of the two design techniques are summarized and the areas that require further investigation are suggested.
Hood, R. V., Jr.
Broad outlines of the NASA Aircraft Energy Efficiency Program for expediting the application of active controls technology to civil transport aircraft are presented. Advances in propulsion and airframe technology to cut down on fuel consumption and fuel costs, a program for an energy-efficient transport, and integrated analysis and design technology in aerodynamics, structures, and active controls are envisaged. Fault-tolerant computer systems and fault-tolerant flight control system architectures are under study. Contracts with leading manufacturers for research and development work on wing-tip extensions and winglets for the B-747, a wing load alleviation system, elastic mode suppression, maneuver-load control, and gust alleviation are mentioned.
Andre, Anthony D.; Wickens, Christopher D.
In this study we contrast display-control movement relations defined in terms of stimulus-response (physical) compatibility with those defined by stimulus-cognitive compatibility, and we relate these findings to the issue of command versus status levels of decision aid support. A second issue addressed is the cost of inconsistency across multiple display-control mappings. Subjects performed a flight control task while responding to one to four analog indicators, formatted as either command or status displays. The results suggest that there is an advantage for the status format when subjects are required to verbally report the state of the indicator(s), but no advantage was found for either format when subjects were required to manually correct the indicated state. The data point to the importance of display-control consistency and suggest that it may even outweigh that of compatibility.
Bonner, T. F., Jr.; Pride, J. D., Jr.; Fernald, W. W.
An engineering design study was performed in which laminar flow control (LFC) was integrated into the wing of a commercial passenger transport aircraft. A baseline aircraft configuration was selected and the wing geometry was defined. The LFC system, with suction slots, ducting, and suction pumps was integrated with the wing structure. The use of standard aluminum technology and advanced superplastic formed diffusion bonded titanium technology was evaluated. The results of the design study show that the LFC system can be integrated with the wing structure to provide a structurally and aerodynamically efficient wing for a commercial transport aircraft.
Looze, D. P.; Krolewski, S.; Weiss, J.; Barrett, N.; Eterno, J.
A simple, reliable automatic redesign procedure for restructurable control is discussed. This procedure is based on Linear Quadratic (LQ) design methodologies. It employs a robust control system design for the unfailed aircraft to minimize the effects of failed surfaces and to extend the time available for restructuring the Flight Control System. The procedure uses the LQ design parameters for the unfailed system as a basis for choosing the design parameters of the failed system. This philosophy alloys the engineering trade-offs that were present in the nominal design to the inherited by the restructurable design. In particular, it alloys bandwidth limitations and performance trade-offs to be incorporated in the redesigned system. The procedure also has several other desirable features. It effectively redistributes authority among the available control effectors to maximize the system performance subject to actuator limitations and constraints. It provides a graceful performance degradation as the amount of control authority lessens. When given the parameters of the unfailed aircraft, the automatic redesign procedure reproduces the nominal control system design.
Chazanoff, Seth L.; Dinardo, Steven J.
The CARVE Small Aircraft Data Distribution System acquires the aircraft location and attitude data that is required by the various programs running on a distributed network. This system distributes the data it acquires to the data acquisition programs for inclusion in their data files. It uses UDP (User Datagram Protocol) to broadcast data over a LAN (Local Area Network) to any programs that might have a use for the data. The program is easily adaptable to acquire additional data and log that data to disk. The current version also drives displays using precision pitch and roll information to aid the pilot in maintaining a level-level attitude for radar/radiometer mapping beyond the degree available by flying visually or using a standard gyro-driven attitude indicator. The software is designed to acquire an array of data to help the mission manager make real-time decisions as to the effectiveness of the flight. This data is displayed for the mission manager and broadcast to the other experiments on the aircraft for inclusion in their data files. The program also drives real-time precision pitch and roll displays for the pilot and copilot to aid them in maintaining the desired attitude, when required, during data acquisition on mapping lines.
Sturgeon, R. F.; Bennett, J. A.
A study was conducted to investigate major design considerations involved in the application of laminar flow control to the wings and empennage of long range subsonic transport aircraft compatible with initial operation in 1985. For commercial transports with a design mission range of 10,186 km (5500 n mil) and a payload of 200 passengers, parametric configuration analyses were conducted to evaluate the effect of aircraft performance, operational, and geometric parameters on fuel efficiency. Study results indicate that major design goals for aircraft optimization include maximization of aspect ratio and wing loading and minimization of wing sweep consistent with wing volume and airport performance requirements.
Wood, H. A.
The application of applied fracture mechanics in the design, analysis, and qualification of aircraft structural systems are reviewed. Recent service experiences are cited. Current trends in high-strength materials application are reviewed with particular emphasis on the manner in which fracture toughness and structural efficiency may affect the material selection process. General fracture control procedures are reviewed in depth with specific reference to the impact of inspectability, structural arrangement, and material on proposed analysis requirements for safe crack growth. The relative impact on allowable design stress is indicated by example. Design criteria, material, and analysis requirements for implementation of fracture control procedures are reviewed together with limitations in current available data techniques. A summary of items which require further study and attention is presented.
In a perspective look at aircraft and airport noise control over the past ten years or more - or more is added here because the Federal Aviation Regulation Part 36 of 1969 is a more significant milestone for the air transportation system than is the Noise Control Act of 1972 - we see an appreciable reduction in the noise emitted by newly designed and newly produced airplanes, particularly those powered by the new high bypass engines, but only, at best, a moderate alleviation of airport noise. The change in airport noise exposure was the consequence of the introduction of some new, quieter airplanes into the airlines fleets and some operational modifications or restrictions at the airports.
Alag, G. S.; Kempel, R. W.; Pahle, J. W.
Interest in oblique-wing aircraft has surfaced periodically since the 1940's. This concept offers some substantial aerodynamic performance advantages but also has significant aerodynamic and inertial cross-coupling between the aircraft longitudinal and lateral-directional axes. This paper presents a technique for synthesizing a decoupling controller while providing the desired stability augmentation. The proposed synthesis procedure uses the concept of a real model-following control system. Feedforward gains are selected on the assumption that perfect model-following conditions are satisfied. The feedback gains are obtained by using eigensystem assignment, and the aircraft is stabilized by using partial state feedback. The effectiveness of the control laws developed in achieving the desired decoupling is illustrated by application to linearized equations of motion of an oblique-wing aircraft for a given flight condition.
Csank, Jeffrey; May, Ryan D.
This paper describes the control algorithms and control design process for a generic commercial aircraft engine simulation of a 40,000 lb thrust class, two spool, high bypass ratio turbofan engine. The aircraft engine is a complex nonlinear system designed to operate over an extreme range of environmental conditions, at temperatures from approximately -60 to 120+ F, and at altitudes from below sea level to 40,000 ft, posing multiple control design constraints. The objective of this paper is to provide the reader an overview of the control design process, design considerations, and justifications as to why the particular architecture and limits have been chosen. The controller architecture contains a gain-scheduled Proportional Integral controller along with logic to protect the aircraft engine from exceeding any limits. Simulation results illustrate that the closed loop system meets the Federal Aviation Administration s thrust response requirements
Montoya, R. J.; Jai, A. R.; Parker, C. D.
A ground based, general purpose, real time, digital control system simulator (CSS) is specified, developed, and integrated with the existing instrumentation van of the testing facility. This CSS is built around a PDP-11/55, and its operational software was developed to meet the dual goal of providing the immediate capability to represent the F-18 drop model control laws and the flexibility for expansion to represent more complex control laws typical of control configured vehicles. Overviews of the two CSS's developed are reviewed as well as the overall system after their integration with the existing facility. Also the latest version of the F-18 drop model control laws (REV D) is described and the changes needed for its incorporation in the digital and analog CSS's are discussed.
Abbott, Terence S.; Consiglio, Maria C.; Baxley, Brian T.; Williams, Daniel M.; Jones, Kenneth M.; Adams, Catherine A.
This document defines the Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) Higher Volume Operations concept. The general philosophy underlying this concept is the establishment of a newly defined area of flight operations called a Self-Controlled Area (SCA). Within the SCA, pilots would take responsibility for separation assurance between their aircraft and other similarly equipped aircraft. This document also provides details for a number of off-nominal and emergency procedures which address situations that could be expected to occur in a future SCA. The details for this operational concept along with a description of candidate aircraft systems to support this concept are provided.
Tanner, J. A.; Stubbs, S. M.
An experimental investigation was conducted at the Langley aircraft landing loads and traction facility to study the braking and cornering response of a slip ratio controlled aircraft antiskid braking system with ground speed reference derived from an unbraked nose wheel. The investigation, conducted on dry and wet runway surfaces, utilized one main gear wheel, brake, and tire assembly of a DC-9 series 10 airplane. During maximum braking, the average ratio of the drag force friction coefficient developed by the antiskid system to the maximum drag force friction coefficient available was higher on the dry surface than on damp and flooded surfaces, and was reduced with lighter vertical loads, higher yaw angles, and when new tire treads were replaced by worn treads. Similarly, the average ratio of side force friction coefficient developed by the tire under antiskid control to the maximum side force friction coefficient available to a freely rolling yawed tire decreased with increasing yaw angle, generally increased with ground speed, and decreased when tires with new treads were replaced by those with worn treads.
Hopkins, A. L.; Martin, J. H.; Brock, L. D.; Jansson, D. G.; Serben, S.; Smith, T. B.; Hanley, L. D.
Candidate data communication techniques are identified, including dedicated links, local buses, broadcast buses, multiplex buses, and mesh networks. The design methodology for mesh networks is then discussed, including network topology and node architecture. Several concepts of power distribution are reviewed, including current limiting and mesh networks for power. The technology issues of packaging, transmission media, and lightning are addressed, and, finally, the analysis tools developed to aid in the communication design process are described. There are special tools to analyze the reliability and connectivity of networks and more general reliability analysis tools for all types of systems.
Hansen, Irving G.
It should not be suprising that more electric aircraft must meet significantly more difficult electrical power system requirements than were considereed when today's power distribution systems were being developed. Electric power, no longer a secondary system, will become a critical element of the primary control system. Functional reliability requiirements will be extremely stringent and can only be met by controlling element redundancy within a distributed power system. Existing electrical systems were not developed to have both the power system and the control/sensing elements distributed and yet meet the requirements of lighting tolerance and high intensity radio frequency (HIRF). In addition, the operation of electric actuators involves high transient loading and reverse energy flows. Such phenomena were also not anticipated when power quality was specified for either 270 vdc or 400 Hertz ac power systems. This paper will expand upon the issues and discuss some of the technologies involved in their resolution.
Acosta, Diana Michelle; KrishnaKumar, Kalmanje Srinvas; Frost, Susan Alane
NASA Aeronautics Subsonic Fixed Wing Project is focused on mitigating the environmental and operation impacts expected as aviation operations triple by 2025. The approach is to extend technological capabilities and explore novel civil transport configurations that reduce noise, emissions, fuel consumption and field length. Two Next Generation (NextGen) aircraft have been identified to meet the Subsonic Fixed Wing Project goals - these are the Hybrid Wing-Body (HWB) and Cruise Efficient Short Take-Off and Landing (CESTOL) aircraft. The technologies and concepts developed for these aircraft complicate the vehicle s design and operation. In this paper, flight control challenges for NextGen aircraft are described. The objective of this paper is to examine the potential of state-of-the-art control architectures and algorithms to meet the challenges and needed performance metrics for NextGen flight control. A broad range of conventional and intelligent control approaches are considered, including dynamic inversion control, integrated flight-propulsion control, control allocation, adaptive dynamic inversion control, data-based predictive control and reinforcement learning control.
Smith, G. A.; Meyer, G.; Nordstrom, M.
A new automatic flight control system concept suitable for aircraft with highly nonlinear aerodynamic and propulsion characteristics and which must operate over a wide flight envelope was investigated. This exact model follower inverts a complete nonlinear model of the aircraft as part of the feed-forward path. The inversion is accomplished by a Newton-Raphson trim of the model at each digital computer cycle time of 0.05 seconds. The combination of the inverse model and the actual aircraft in the feed-forward path alloys the translational and rotational regulators in the feedback path to be easily designed by linear methods. An explanation of the model inversion procedure is presented. An extensive set of simulation data for essentially the full flight envelope for a vertical attitude takeoff and landing aircraft (VATOL) is presented. These data demonstrate the successful, smooth, and precise control that can be achieved with this concept. The trajectory includes conventional flight from 200 to 900 ft/sec with path accelerations and decelerations, altitude changes of over 6000 ft and 2g and 3g turns. Vertical attitude maneuvering as a tail sitter along all axes is demonstrated. A transition trajectory from 200 ft/sec in conventional flight to stationary hover in the vertical attitude includes satisfactory operation through lift-cure slope reversal as attitude goes from horizontal to vertical at constant altitude. A vertical attitude takeoff from stationary hover to conventional flight is also demonstrated.
Robins, A. W.; Beissner, F. L., Jr.; Domack, C. S.; Swanson, E. E.
A performance study was made of a vertical attitude takeoff and landing (VATOL), supersonic cruise aircraft concept having thrust vectoring integrated into the flight control system. Those characteristics considered were aerodynamics, weight, balance, and performance. Preliminary results indicate that high levels of supersonic aerodynamic performance can be achieved. Further, with the assumption of an advanced (1985 technology readiness) low bypass ratio turbofan engine and advanced structures, excellent mission performance capability is indicated.
Linse, Dennis J.
Recent research indicates that artificial neural networks offer interesting learning or adaptive capabilities. The current research focuses on the potential for application of neural networks in a nonlinear aircraft control law. The current work has been to determine which networks are suitable for such an application and how they will fit into a nonlinear control law.
When trying to fly an aircraft as smoothly as possible it is a good idea to use the derivatives of the pilot command instead of using the actual control. This idea was implemented with splines and control theory, in a system that tries to model an aircraft. Computer calculations in Matlab show that it is impossible to receive enough smooth control signals by this way. This is due to the fact that the splines not only try to approximate the test function, but also its derivatives. A perfect traction is received but we have to pay in very peaky control signals and accelerations.
Linden, A. W.; Hellyar, M. W.
The Sikorsky Aircraft division of United Aircraft Corporation is constructing two uniquely designed Rotor Systems Research Aircraft (RSRA). These aircraft will be used through the 1980's to comparatively test many different types of rotors - articulated, hingeless, teetering, and gimballed, as well as advanced rotor concepts, such as reverse velocity and variable diameter rotors. The RSRA combines a new airframe with existing Sikorsky H-3 (S-61) dynamic components. A force measurement system is incorporated to permit accurate evaluation of significant rotor characteristics. Both rotor and fixed-wing control systems are provided, appropriately integrated for operation in the pure helicopter mode, compound helicopter mode, and fixed-wing mode. The RSRA is the first rotary wing aircraft designed with a crew escape system, including a pyrotechnic system to sever the main rotor blades.
Bole, Brian; Teubert, Christopher Allen; Cuong Chi, Quach; Hogge, Edward; Vazquez, Sixto; Goebel, Kai; George, Vachtsevanos
Software-in-the-loop and Hardware-in-the-loop testing of failure prognostics and decision making tools for aircraft systems will facilitate more comprehensive and cost-effective testing than what is practical to conduct with flight tests. A framework is described for the offline recreation of dynamic loads on simulated or physical aircraft powertrain components based on a real-time simulation of airframe dynamics running on a flight simulator, an inner-loop flight control policy executed by either an autopilot routine or a human pilot, and a supervisory fault management control policy. The creation of an offline framework for verifying and validating supervisory failure prognostics and decision making routines is described for the example of battery charge depletion failure scenarios onboard a prototype electric unmanned aerial vehicle.
Gundy-Burlet, Karen; Krishnakumar, K.; Limes, Greg; Bryant, Don
This paper examines the feasibility, potential benefits and implementation issues associated with retrofitting a neural-adaptive flight control system (NFCS) to existing transport aircraft, including both cable/hydraulic and fly-by-wire configurations. NFCS uses a neural network based direct adaptive control approach for applying alternate sources of control authority in the presence of damage or failures in order to achieve desired flight control performance. Neural networks are used to provide consistent handling qualities across flight conditions, adapt to changes in aircraft dynamics and to make the controller easy to apply when implemented on different aircraft. Full-motion piloted simulation studies were performed on two different transport models: the Boeing 747-400 and the Boeing C-17. Subjects included NASA, Air Force and commercial airline pilots. Results demonstrate the potential for improving handing qualities and significantly increased survivability rates under various simulated failure conditions.
Wright, C.W.; Swift, R.N.
NASA has completed an accurate baseline map of the elevation of the Greenland ice sheet using a scanning airborne lidar in combination with differential kinematic Global Positioning System (GPS) techniques. The present plan is to reoccupy these survey lines which are spread over the major regions of the ice sheet beginning in 1997. The results are expected to provide a quantitative answer on how the ice sheet is responding to regional climatic changes. Navigation to within +-100 m of the desired track over lengths of up to 1,000 km are a requirement for the success of the program. To meet this navigational requirement, NASA developed the GPS Flight Management System (GFMS). GFMS is a PC based system that uses the real-time position update from a single GPS receiver located on the aircraft to calculate a cross-track error and generates aircraft steering commands which are converted into analog Instrument Landing System (OM) signals using an RF generator. TU GFMS also updates a cockpit display. 4 refs., 6 figs.
Garrard, William L.; Enns, Dale F.; Snell, S. A.
This paper describes the application of nonlinear quadratic regulator (NLQR) theory to the design of control laws for a typical high-performance aircraft. The NLQR controller design is performed using truncated solutions of the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equation of optimal control theory. The performance of the NLQR controller is compared with the performance of a conventional P + I gain scheduled controller designed by applying standard frequency response techniques to the equations of motion of the aircraft linearized at various angles of attack. Both techniques result in control laws which are very similar in structure to one another and which yield similar performance. The results of applying both control laws to a high-g vertical turn are illustrated by nonlinear simulation.
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.
Perry, B. I.; Durling, B. J.
Integrated system of stand-along computer programs, DYLOFLEX, analyzes dynamic loads on flexible aircraft with active controls. DYLOFLEX capabilities include calculating dynamic loads due to continuous atmospheric turbulence, discrete gusts, and discrete control inputs. Each of the eight individual DYLOFLEX programs may be used alone or in conjunction with other DYLOFLEX programs.
This paper provides an overview of the aircraft turbine engine control research at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). A brief introduction to the engine control problem is first provided with a description of the state-of-the-art control law structure. A historical aspect of engine control development since the 1940s is then provided with a special emphasis on the contributions of GRC. With the increased emphasis on aircraft safety, enhanced performance, and affordability, as well as the need to reduce the environmental impact of aircraft, there are many new challenges being faced by the designers of aircraft propulsion systems. The Controls and Dynamics Branch (CDB) at GRC is leading and participating in various projects to develop advanced propulsion controls and diagnostics technologies that will help meet the challenging goals of NASA Aeronautics Research Mission programs. The rest of the paper provides an overview of the various CDB technology development activities in aircraft engine control and diagnostics, both current and some accomplished in the recent past. The motivation for each of the research efforts, the research approach, technical challenges, and the key progress to date are summarized.
Colozza, Anthony J.
The propulsion system is a critical aspect of the performance and feasibility of a Mars aircraft. Propulsion system mass and performance greatly influence the aircraft s design and mission capabilities. Various propulsion systems were analyzed to estimate the system mass necessary for producing 35N of thrust within the Mars environment. Three main categories of propulsion systems were considered: electric systems, combustion engine systems and rocket systems. Also, the system masses were compared for mission durations of 1, 2, and 4 h.
Doellner, Oscar Leonard
Photovoltaic cells, appropriately cooled and operating in the combustion-created high radiant-intensity environment of gas-turbine and jet engines, may replace the conventional (gearbox-driven) electrical power generators aboard jet aircraft. This study projects significant improvements not only in aircraft electrical power-generating-system performance, but also in overall aircraft performance. Jet -engine design modifications incorporating this concept not only save weight (and thus fuel), but are--in themselves --favorable to jet-engine performance. The dissertation concentrates on operational, constructional, structural, thermal, optical, radiometrical, thin-film, and solid-state theoretical aspects of the overall project. This new electrical power-generating system offers solid-state reliability with electrical power-output capability comparable to that of existing aircraft electromechanical power-generating systems (alternators and generators). In addition to improvements in aircraft performance, significant aircraft fuel- and weight-saving advantages are projected.
This lecture will provide an overview of the aircraft turbine engine control research at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Glenn Research Center (GRC). A brief introduction to the engine control problem is first provided with a description of the current state-of-the-art control law structure. A historical aspect of engine control development since the 1940s is then provided with a special emphasis on the contributions of GRC. The traditional engine control problem has been to provide a means to safely transition the engine from one steady-state operating point to another based on the pilot throttle inputs. With the increased emphasis on aircraft safety, enhanced performance and affordability, and the need to reduce the environmental impact of aircraft, there are many new challenges being faced by the designers of aircraft propulsion systems. The Controls and Dynamics Branch (CDB) at GRC is leading and participating in various projects in partnership with other organizations within GRC and across NASA, other government agencies, the U.S. aerospace industry, and academia to develop advanced propulsion controls and diagnostics technologies that will help meet the challenging goals of NASA programs under the Aeronautics Research Mission. The second part of the lecture provides an overview of the various CDB technology development activities in aircraft engine control and diagnostics, both current and some accomplished in the recent past. The motivation for each of the research efforts, the research approach, technical challenges and the key progress to date are summarized. The technologies to be discussed include system level engine control concepts, gas path diagnostics, active component control, and distributed engine control architecture. The lecture will end with a futuristic perspective of how the various current technology developments will lead to an Intelligent and Autonomous Propulsion System requiring none to very minimum pilot interface
Urnes, James, Sr.; Nguyen, Nhan; Ippolito, Corey; Totah, Joseph; Trinh, Khanh; Ting, Eric
Boeing and NASA are conducting a joint study program to design a wing flap system that will provide mission-adaptive lift and drag performance for future transport aircraft having light-weight, flexible wings. This Variable Camber Continuous Trailing Edge Flap (VCCTEF) system offers a lighter-weight lift control system having two performance objectives: (1) an efficient high lift capability for take-off and landing, and (2) reduction in cruise drag through control of the twist shape of the flexible wing. This control system during cruise will command varying flap settings along the span of the wing in order to establish an optimum wing twist for the current gross weight and cruise flight condition, and continue to change the wing twist as the aircraft changes gross weight and cruise conditions for each mission segment. Design weight of the flap control system is being minimized through use of light-weight shape memory alloy (SMA) actuation augmented with electric actuators. The VCCTEF program is developing better lift and drag performance of flexible wing transports with the further benefits of lighter-weight actuation and less drag using the variable camber shape of the flap.
Research related to reliable aircraft design is summarized. Topics discussed include systems reliability optimization, failure detection algorithms, analysis of nonlinear filters, design of compensators incorporating time delays, digital compensator design, estimation for systems with echoes, low-order compensator design, descent-phase controller for 4-D navigation, infinite dimensional mathematical programming problems and optimal control problems with constraints, robust compensator design, numerical methods for the Lyapunov equations, and perturbation methods in linear filtering and control.
Schumann, Johann; Mbaya, Timmy; Menghoel, Ole
Modern aircraft, both piloted fly-by-wire commercial aircraft as well as UAVs, more and more depend on highly complex safety critical software systems with many sensors and computer-controlled actuators. Despite careful design and V&V of the software, severe incidents have happened due to malfunctioning software. In this paper, we discuss the use of Bayesian networks (BNs) to monitor the health of the on-board software and sensor system, and to perform advanced on-board diagnostic reasoning. We will focus on the approach to develop reliable and robust health models for the combined software and sensor systems.
The problems in navigation and guidance encountered by aircraft in the initial transition period in changing from distance measuring equipment, VORTAC, and barometric instruments to the more precise microwave landing system data type navaids in the terminal area are investigated. The effects of the resulting discontinuities on the estimates of position and velocity for both optimal (Kalman type navigation schemes) and fixed gain (complementary type) navigation filters, and the effects of the errors in cross track, track angle, and altitude on the guidance equation and control commands during the critical landing phase are discussed. A method is presented to remove the discontinuities from the navigation loop and to reconstruct an RNAV path designed to land the aircraft with minimal turns and altitude changes.
Researchers at NASA are investigating the potential for electric propulsion systems to revolutionize the design of aircraft from the small-scale general aviation sector to commuter and transport-class vehicles. Electric propulsion provides new degrees of design freedom that may enable opportunities for tightly coupled design and optimization of the propulsion system with the aircraft structure and control systems. This could lead to extraordinary reductions in ownership and operating costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and noise annoyance levels. We are building testbeds, high-fidelity aircraft simulations, and the first highly distributed electric inhabited flight test vehicle to begin to explore these opportunities.
A fuzzy-neural control system simulation was developed for the control of a camera platform used to observe aircraft on final approach to an aircraft carrier. The fuzzy-neural approach to control combines the structure of a fuzzy knowledge base with a supervised neural network's ability to adapt and improve. The performance characteristics of this hybrid system were compared to those of a fuzzy system and a neural network system developed independently to determine if the fusion of these two technologies offers any advantage over the use of one or the other. The results of this study indicate that the fuzzy-neural approach to control offers some advantages over either fuzzy or neural control alone.
Dasgupta, D.; KrishnaKumar, K.; Wong, D.; Berry, M.
In the study reported in this paper, we have developed and applied an Artificial Immune System (AIS) algorithm for aircraft fault detection, as an extension to a previous work on intelligent flight control (IFC). Though the prior studies had established the benefits of IFC, one area of weakness that needed to be strengthened was the control dead band induced by commanding a failed surface. Since the IFC approach uses fault accommodation with no detection, the dead band, although it reduces over time due to learning, is present and causes degradation in handling qualities. If the failure can be identified, this dead band can be further A ed to ensure rapid fault accommodation and better handling qualities. The paper describes the application of an immunity-based approach that can detect a broad spectrum of known and unforeseen failures. The approach incorporates the knowledge of the normal operational behavior of the aircraft from sensory data, and probabilistically generates a set of pattern detectors that can detect any abnormalities (including faults) in the behavior pattern indicating unsafe in-flight operation. We developed a tool called MILD (Multi-level Immune Learning Detection) based on a real-valued negative selection algorithm that can generate a small number of specialized detectors (as signatures of known failure conditions) and a larger set of generalized detectors for unknown (or possible) fault conditions. Once the fault is detected and identified, an adaptive control system would use this detection information to stabilize the aircraft by utilizing available resources (control surfaces). We experimented with data sets collected under normal and various simulated failure conditions using a piloted motion-base simulation facility. The reported results are from a collection of test cases that reflect the performance of the proposed immunity-based fault detection algorithm.
Recently, there has been an interest in researching control techniques that might improve the overall safety of flight. The goal is to create an autopilot control system which could safely land a wing damaged aircraft. Spanwise Full-Loss (SFL) is defined as the entire removal of wing section along the chord of the wing, starting from the tip and moving toward the root. Based upon computational models of a rigid aircraft with varying SFL, obvious force-moment imbalances are likely to be the primary factor affecting survivability. Rigid aircraft with more effective ailerons or additional rolling control surfaces are more likely to survive wing damage. Computer models of wing damage suggest that wing loss in the range of 0--50% SFL will not create an abnormal dynamic instability of a rigid aircraft with a standard linear autopilot. Dynamic instability is not present because the SFL linear model is mostly triangular with longitudinal variables almost exclusively effecting lateral variables. Closed loop performance is not compromised in the range of 0--20% SFL. Resizing ailerons may be needed to accommodate wing damage beyond 20 to 30% SFL. For a flexible aircraft, wing damage that reduces the torsional stiffness of the wing could cause roll-control reversal. Roll control reversal can create closed loop instability with undamaged aircraft. SFL actually increases the torsional stiffness of the wing. However, real world wing damage may not be limited to a spanwise wing loss. Conventional control techniques are introduced by several design examples and successfully extended to wing damaged aircraft. Reconfigurable, switching and conventional control techniques are found to possess acceptable levels of technical merit for flight control. With reconfigurable and switching flight control techniques, one can avoid known instabilities due to time varying gain by simply waiting 6 to 20 seconds between controller switches. Many direct adaptive control and indirect adaptive
Parker, J. A.; Kourtides, D. A.
The fire worthiness of air transport interiors was evaluated. The effect of interior systems on the survival of passengers and crew in an uncontrolled transport aircraft fire is addressed. Modification of aircraft interior subsystem components which provide improvements in aircraft fire safety are examined. Three specific subsystem components, interior panels, seats and windows, offer the most immediate and highest payoff by modifying interior materials of existing aircrafts. It is shown that the new materials modifications reduce the fire hazards because of significant reduction in their characteristic flame spread, heat release, and smoke and toxic gas emissions.
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.
Tseng, Chris; Gupta, Pramod; Schumann, Johann
The Cooper-Harper rating of Aircraft Handling Qualities has been adopted as a standard for measuring the performance of aircraft since it was introduced in 1966. Aircraft performance, ability to control the aircraft, and the degree of pilot compensation needed are three major key factors used in deciding the aircraft handling qualities in the Cooper- Harper rating. We formulate the Cooper-Harper rating scheme as a fuzzy rule-based system and use it to analyze the effectiveness of the aircraft controller. The automatic estimate of the system-level handling quality provides valuable up-to-date information for diagnostics and vehicle health management. Analyzing the performance of a controller requires a set of concise design requirements and performance criteria. Ir, the case of control systems fm a piloted aircraft, generally applicable quantitative design criteria are difficult to obtain. The reason for this is that the ultimate evaluation of a human-operated control system is necessarily subjective and, with aircraft, the pilot evaluates the aircraft in different ways depending on the type of the aircraft and the phase of flight. In most aerospace applications (e.g., for flight control systems), performance assessment is carried out in terms of handling qualities. Handling qualities may be defined as those dynamic and static properties of a vehicle that permit the pilot to fully exploit its performance in a variety of missions and roles. Traditionally, handling quality is measured using the Cooper-Harper rating and done subjectively by the human pilot. In this work, we have formulated the rules of the Cooper-Harper rating scheme as fuzzy rules with performance, control, and compensation as the antecedents, and pilot rating as the consequent. Appropriate direct measurements on the controller are related to the fuzzy Cooper-Harper rating system: a stability measurement like the rate of change of the cost function can be used as an indicator if the aircraft is under
Jacklin, Stephen A.; Schumann, Johann; Guenther, Kurt; Bosworth, John
Adaptive control technologies that incorporate learning algorithms have been proposed to enable autonomous flight control and to maintain vehicle performance in the face of unknown, changing, or poorly defined operating environments [1-2]. At the present time, however, it is unknown how adaptive algorithms can be routinely verified, validated, and certified for use in safety-critical applications. Rigorous methods for adaptive software verification end validation must be developed to ensure that. the control software functions as required and is highly safe and reliable. A large gap appears to exist between the point at which control system designers feel the verification process is complete, and when FAA certification officials agree it is complete. Certification of adaptive flight control software verification is complicated by the use of learning algorithms (e.g., neural networks) and degrees of system non-determinism. Of course, analytical efforts must be made in the verification process to place guarantees on learning algorithm stability, rate of convergence, and convergence accuracy. However, to satisfy FAA certification requirements, it must be demonstrated that the adaptive flight control system is also able to fail and still allow the aircraft to be flown safely or to land, while at the same time providing a means of crew notification of the (impending) failure. It was for this purpose that the NASA Ames Confidence Tool was developed . This paper presents the Confidence Tool as a means of providing in-flight software assurance monitoring of an adaptive flight control system. The paper will present the data obtained from flight testing the tool on a specially modified F-15 aircraft designed to simulate loss of flight control faces.
Williams, Rolanda S.; Ashokkumar, C. R.; Homaifar, Abdollah
The concept of preview control has been applied and proven to be successful in the automotive vehicle. These same concepts are now applied to an aircraft under the assumption that exogenous inputs (wind gust, turbulence, etc. ) can be measured. A supplemental control law for surface deflection is designed to compensate for the loss in performance in the presence of atmospheric disturbances. Fuzzy logic control is employed to handle the nonlinear, time varying characteristics of the disturbance. A methodology to tune the outer loop control parameters is presented.
Litt, Jonathan (Technical Monitor); Ray, Asok
This report presents an application of the recently developed theory of optimal Discrete Event Supervisory (DES) control that is based on a signed real measure of regular languages. The DES control techniques are validated on an aircraft gas turbine engine simulation test bed. The test bed is implemented on a networked computer system in which two computers operate in the client-server mode. Several DES controllers have been tested for engine performance and reliability.
The concept of Aircraft Engine Life Extending Control is introduced. A brief description of the tradeoffs between performance and engine life are first explained. The overall goal of the life extending controller is to reduce the engine operating cost by extending the on-wing engine life while improving operational safety. The research results for NASA's Rocket Engine life extending control program are also briefly described. Major building blocks of the Engine Life Extending Control architecture are examined. These blocks include: life prediction models, engine operation models, stress and thermal analysis tools, control schemes, and intelligent control systems. The technology areas that would likely impact the successful implementation of an aircraft engine life extending control are also briefly described. Near, intermediate, and long term goals of NASA's activities are also presented.
Musgrave, Jeffrey L.
General aviation research is leading to major advances in internal combustion engine control systems for single-engine, single-pilot aircraft. These advances promise to increase engine performance and fuel efficiency while substantially reducing pilot workload and increasing flight safety. One such advance is a single-lever power control (SLPC) system, a welcome departure from older, less user-friendly, multilever engine control systems. The benefits of using single-lever power controls for general aviation aircraft are improved flight safety through advanced engine diagnostics, simplified powerplant operations, increased time between overhauls, and cost-effective technology (extends fuel burn and reduces overhaul costs). The single-lever concept has proven to be so effective in preliminary studies that general aviation manufacturers are making plans to retrofit current aircraft with the technology and are incorporating it in designs for future aircraft.
Brown, S. C.
A computer simulation of the YF-12 aircraft motions and propulsion system dynamics is presented. The propulsion system was represented in sufficient detail so that interactions between aircraft motions and the propulsion system dynamics could be investigated. Six degree-of-freedom aircraft motions together with the three-axis stability augmentation system were represented. The mixed compression inlets and their controls were represented in the started mode for a range of flow conditions up to the inlet unstart boundary. Effects of inlet moving geometry on aircraft forces and movements as well as effects of aircraft motions on the inlet behavior were simulated. The engines, which are straight subjects, were represented in the afterburning mode, with effects of changes in aircraft flight conditions included. The simulation was capable of operating in real time.
Gundy-Burlet, Karen; KrishnaKumar, K.; Soloway, Don; Kaneshige, John; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)
This paper presents an overview of various intelligent control technologies currently being developed and studied under the Intelligent Flight Control (IFC) program at the NASA Ames Research Center. The main objective of the intelligent flight control program is to develop the next generation of flight controllers for the purpose of automatically compensating for a broad spectrum of damaged or malfunctioning aircraft components and to reduce control law development cost and time. The approaches being examined include: (a) direct adaptive dynamic inverse controller and (b) an adaptive critic-based dynamic inverse controller. These approaches can utilize, but do not require, fault detection and isolation information. Piloted simulation studies are performed to examine if the intelligent flight control techniques adequately: 1) Match flying qualities of modern fly-by-wire flight controllers under nominal conditions; 2) Improve performance under failure conditions when sufficient control authority is available; and 3) Achieve consistent handling qualities across the flight envelope and for different aircraft configurations. Results obtained so far demonstrate the potential for improving handling qualities and significantly increasing survivability rates under various simulated failure conditions.
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.
Wagner, Charles A.
When designing a flight simulator, providing a set of low mass variable-characteristic pilot controls can be very difficult. Thus, a strong incentive exists to identify the highest possible mass that will not degrade the validity of a simulation. The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center has conducted a brief flight program to determine the maximum acceptable mass (system inertia) of an aircraft sidearm controller as a function of force gradient. This information is useful for control system design in aircraft as well as development of suitable flight simulator controls. A modified Learjet with a variable-characteristic sidearm controller was used to obtain data. A boundary was defined between mass considered acceptable and mass considered unacceptable to the pilot. This boundary is defined as a function of force gradient over a range of natural frequencies. This investigation is limited to a study of mass-frequency characteristics only. Results of this investigation are presented in this paper.
Ryan, John J.; Bosworth, John T.; Burken, John J.; Suh, Peter M.
The X-56 Multi-Utility Technology Testbed aircraft system is a versatile experimental research flight platform. The system was primarily designed to investigate active control of lightweight flexible structures, but is reconfigurable and capable of hosting a wide breadth of research. Current research includes flight experimentation of a Lockheed Martin designed active control flutter suppression system. Future research plans continue experimentation with alternative control systems, explore the use of novel sensor systems, and experiments with the use of novel control effectors. This paper describes the aircraft system, current research efforts designed around the system, and future planned research efforts that will be hosted on the aircraft system.
Carvalho, Christopher G.
The purpose of this thesis was to develop fly-by-wire control laws enabling a general aviation aircraft to be flown with automotive controls, i.e. a steering wheel and gas/brake pedals. There was a six speed shifter used to change the flight mode of the aircraft. This essentially allows the pilot to have control over different aspects of the flight profile such as climb/descend or cruise. A highway in the sky was used to aid in the navigation since it is not intuitive to people without flight experience how to navigate from the sky or when to climb and descend. Many believe that general aviation could become as widespread as the automobile. Every person could have a personal aircraft at their disposal and it would be as easy to operate as driving an automobile. The goal of this thesis is to fuse the ease of drivability of a car with flight of a small general aviation aircraft. A standard automotive control hardware setup coupled with variably autonomous control laws will allow new pilots to fly a plane as easily as driving a car. The idea is that new pilots will require very little training to become proficient with these controls. Pilots with little time to stay current can maintain their skills simply by driving a car which is typically a daily activity. A human factors study was conducted to determine the feasibility of the applied control techniques. Pilot performance metrics were developed to compare candidates with no aviation background and experienced pilots. After analyzing the relative performance between pilots and non-pilots, it has been determined that the control system is robust and easy to learn. Candidates with no aviation experience whatsoever can learn to fly an aircraft as safely and efficiently as someone with hundreds of hours of flight experience using these controls.
Parker, J. A.; Kourtides, D. A.
The key materials question is addressed concerning the effect of interior systems on the survival of passengers and crew in the case of an uncontrolled transport aircraft fire. Technical opportunities are examined which are available through the modification of aircraft interior subsystem components, modifications that may reasonably be expected to provide improvements in aircraft fire safety. Subsystem components discussed are interior panels, seats, and windows. By virtue of their role in real fire situations and as indicated by the results of large scale simulation tests, these components appear to offer the most immediate and highest payoff possible by modifying interior materials of existing aircraft. These modifications have the potential of reducing the rate of fire growth, with a consequent reduction of heat, toxic gas, and smoke emission throughout the habitable interior of an aircraft, whatever the initial source of the fire.
Stengel, R. F.; Broussard, J. R.; Berry, P. W.
Design procedures for VTOL automatic control systems have been developed and are presented. Using linear-optimal estimation and control techniques as a starting point, digital-adaptive control laws have been designed for the VALT Research Aircraft, a tandem-rotor helicopter which is equipped for fully automatic flight in terminal area operations. These control laws are designed to interface with velocity-command and attitude-command guidance logic, which could be used in short-haul VTOL operations. Developments reported here include new algorithms for designing non-zero-set-point digital regulators, design procedures for rate-limited systems, and algorithms for dynamic control trim setting.
Guo, Ten-Huei; Litt, Jonathan S.
Gas turbine engines are designed to provide sufficient safety margins to guarantee robust operation with an exceptionally long life. However, engine performance requirements may be drastically altered during abnormal flight conditions or emergency maneuvers. In some situations, the conservative design of the engine control system may not be in the best interest of overall aircraft safety; it may be advantageous to "sacrifice" the engine to "save" the aircraft. Motivated by this opportunity, the NASA Aviation Safety Program is conducting resilient propulsion research aimed at developing adaptive engine control methodologies to operate the engine beyond the normal domain for emergency operations to maximize the possibility of safely landing the damaged aircraft. Previous research studies and field incident reports show that the propulsion system can be an effective tool to help control and eventually land a damaged aircraft. Building upon the flight-proven Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) experience, this area of research will focus on how engine control systems can improve aircraft safe-landing probabilities under adverse conditions. This paper describes the proposed research topics in Engine System Requirements, Engine Modeling and Simulation, Engine Enhancement Research, Operational Risk Analysis and Modeling, and Integrated Flight and Propulsion Controller Designs that support the overall goal.
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.
Spiro, Clifford Lawrence (Inventor); Fric, Thomas Frank (Inventor); Leon, Ross Michael (Inventor)
Insect debris is removed from or prevented from adhering to insect impingement areas of an aircraft, particularly on an inlet cowl of an engine, by heating the area to 180.degree.-500.degree. C. An apparatus comprising a means to bring hot air from the aircraft engine to a plenum contiguous to the insect impingement area provides for the heating of the insect impingement areas to the required temperatures. The plenum can include at least one tube with a plurality of holes contained in a cavity within the inlet cowl. It can also include an envelope with a plurality of holes on its surface contained in a cavity within the inlet cowl.
NASA continues to operate all sizes of UAS in all classes of airspace both domestically and internationally. Missions range from highly complex operations in coordination with piloted aircraft, ground, and space systems in support of science objectives to single aircraft operations in support of aeronautics research. One such example is a scaled commercial transport aircraft being used to study recovery techniques due to large upsets. NASA's efforts to support routine UAS operations continued on several fronts last year. At the national level in the United States (U.S.), NASA continued its support of the UAS Executive Committee (ExCom) comprised of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and NASA. The committee was formed in recognition of the need of UAS operated by these agencies to access to the National Airspace System (NAS) to support operational, training, development and research requirements. Recommendations were received on how to operate both manned and unmanned aircraft in class D airspace and plans are being developed to validate and implement those recommendations. In addition the UAS ExCom has begun developing recommendations for how to achieve routine operations in remote areas as well as for small UAS operations in class G airspace. As well as supporting the UAS ExCom, NASA is a participant in the recently formed Aviation Rule Making Committee for UAS. This committee, established by the FAA, is intended to propose regulatory guidance which would enable routine civil UAS operations. As that effort matures NASA stands ready to supply the necessary technical expertise to help that committee achieve its objectives. By supporting both the UAS ExCom and UAS ARC, NASA is positioned to provide its technical expertise across the full spectrum of UAS airspace access related topic areas. The UAS NAS Access Project got underway this past year under the leadership of NASA s Aeronautics
Noll, R. B.; Morino, L.
A computer program has been developed for the evaluation of flight control systems designed for flexible aircraft. This Flight Control Analysis Program (FCAP) is designed in a modular fashion to incorporate sensor, actuator, and control logic element dynamics as well as aircraft dynamics and aerodynamics for complex configurations. Formulation of the total aircraft dynamic system is accomplished in matrix form by casting the equations in state vector format. The system stability and performance are determined in either the frequency or time domain using classical analysis techniques. The aerodynamic method used also permits evaluation of the flutter characteristics of the aircraft.
Jacobson, Steven R.
Loss of control is the leading cause of jet fatalities worldwide. Aside from their frequency of occurrence, accidents resulting from loss of aircraft control seize the public s attention by yielding a large number of fatalities in a single event. In response to the rising threat to aviation safety, the NASA Aviation Safety Program has conducted a study of the loss of control problem. This study gathered four types of information pertaining to loss of control accidents: (1) statistical data; (2) individual accident reports that cite loss of control as a contributing factor; (3) previous meta-analyses of loss of control accidents; and (4) inputs solicited from aircraft manufacturers, air carriers, researchers, and other industry stakeholders. Using these information resources, the study team identified the causal factors that were cited in the greatest number of loss of control accidents, and which were emphasized most by industry stakeholders. This report describes the study approach, the key causal factors for aircraft loss of control, and recommended mitigation strategies to make near-term impacts, mid-term impacts, and Next Generation Air Transportation System impacts on the loss of control accident statistics
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.
Doellner, Oscar Leonard
Photovoltaic cells, appropriately cooled and operating in the combustion-created high radiant-intensity environment of gas-turbine and jet engines, may replace the conventional (gearbox-driven) electrical power generators aboard jet aircraft. This study projects significant improvements not only in aircraft electrical power-generating-system performance, but also in overall aircraft performance. Jet-engine design modifications incorporating this concept not only save weight (and thus fuel), but are - in themselves - favorable to jet-engine performance. The dissertation concentrates on operational, constructional, structural, thermal, optical, radiometrical, thin-film, and solid-state theoretical aspects of the overall project.
Lawing, P. L.; Pagel, L. L. (Inventor)
The system eliminates the necessity of shielding an aircraft airframe constructed of material such as aluminum. Cooling is accomplished by passing a coolant through the aircraft airframe, the coolant acting as a carrier to remove heat from the airframe. The coolant is circulated through a heat pump and a heat exchanger which together extract essentially all of the added heat from the coolant. The heat is transferred to the aircraft fuel system via the heat exchanger and the heat pump. The heat extracted from the coolant is utilized to power the heat pump. The heat pump has associated therewith power turbine mechanism which is also driven by the extracted heat. The power turbines are utilized to drive various aircraft subsystems, the compressor of the heat pump, and provide engine cooling.
Do, K. D.
This paper presents a constructive design of distributed coordination controllers for a group of N quadrotor vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft in three-dimensional space. A combination of Euler angles and unit-quaternion for the attitude representation of the aircraft is used to result in an effective control design, and to reduce singularities in the aircraft's dynamics. The coordination control design is based on a new bounded control design technique for second-order systems and new pairwise collision avoidance functions. The pairwise collision functions are functions of both relative positions and relative velocities between the aircraft instead of only their relative positions as in the literature. To overcome the inherent underactuation of the aircraft, the roll and pitch angles of the aircraft are considered as immediate controls. Simulations illustrate the results.
Significant number of fatal aircraft accidents in recent years have been linked to component failures. With the predicted increase in air traffic these numbers are likely to increase. With reduction of fatal accidents as motivation, this dissertation investigates design of fault tolerant control systems for aircrafts undergoing sensor and/or actuator failures. Given that the nominal controller may perform inadequately in the event of sensors and/or actuator failure, the feasible approach for such a control scheme is to predesign various controllers anticipating these failures and then switching to an appropriate controller when the failure occurs. This is enabled by the available redundancy in sensing and actuation and allows the system to perform adequately even when these failures occur. The predesign of controllers for sensor and actuator failures is considered. Sensor failures are easily accommodated if certain detectability conditions are met. However, the predesign for actuator failures is not trivial as the position at which the actuators fail is not known a priori. It is shown that this problem can be tackled by reducing it to the classical control problem of disturbance decoupling, in which, the functional control enables the steady state output of dynamical system to reject any disturbance due to the failed actuators. For linear systems, conditions for existence of a controller capable of accommodating these failures can be understood in geometric terms and calculations are linked to solvability of coupled matrix equations. Although control design for aircrafts is done using linear techniques, failures can cause excursions into nonlinear regimes due to ensuing changes in the flight conditions. This dissertation also uses the recent results in the nonlinear regulator theory to address actuator failures in nonlinear systems. The utility of design techniques is illustrated using flight control examples with failures. The symbolic computational tools are
Houchard, J. H.; Carlin, C. M.; Tjonneland, E.
In connection with a consideration of advanced military aircraft systems, attention is given to research for improving the technology of the design of supersonic cruise aircraft. Syberg et al. (1981) have shown that an analytic design method is now available to accurately predict the flow characteristics of axisymmetric supersonic inlets, including off-design angle of attack operation. On the basis of information regarding the inlet flow characteristics, the control system designer can begin the inlet design and development, before wind tunnel testing has begun. The present investigation is concerned with details and status of inlet control technology. A detailed representation of a supersonic propulsion system is developed. This development demonstrates the feasibility of the selected hybrid computational concept.
Burke, David A.
One of the pillars of aviation safety is assuring sound engineering practices through airworthiness certification. As Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) grow in popularity, the need for airworthiness standards and verification methods tailored for UAS becomes critical. While airworthiness practices for large UAS may be similar to manned aircraft, it is clear that small UAS require a paradigm shift from the airworthiness practices of manned aircraft. Although small in comparison to manned aircraft these aircraft are not merely remote controlled toys. Small UAS may be complex aircraft flying in the National Airspace System (NAS) over populated areas for extended durations and beyond line of sight of the operators. A comprehensive systems engineering framework for certifying small UAS at the system level is needed. This work presents a point based tool that evaluates small UAS by rewarding good engineering practices in design, analysis, and testing. The airworthiness requirements scale with vehicle size and operational area, while allowing flexibility for new technologies and unique configurations.
Linse, Dennis J.
Artificial neural networks offer some interesting possibilities for use in control. Our current research is on the use of neural networks on an aircraft model. The model can then be used in a nonlinear control scheme. The effectiveness of network training is demonstrated.
The first part of this talk will describe some of the exciting new next generation aircraft that NASA is proposing for the future. These aircraft are being designed to reduce aircraft fuel consumption and environmental impact. Reducing the aircraft weight is one approach that will be used to achieve these goals. A new control framework will be presented that enables lighter, more flexible aircraft to maintain aircraft handling qualities, while preventing the aircraft from exceeding structural load limits. The second part of the talk will give an overview of utility-scale wind turbines and their control. Results of collaboration with Dr. Balas will be presented, including new theory to adaptively control the turbine in the presence of structural modes, with the focus on the application of this theory to a high-fidelity simulation of a wind turbine.
Renshaw, J. H.; Bennett, J. A.; Harris, O. C.; Honrath, J. F.; Patterson, R. W.
An evaluation of the economics of short-haul aircraft designed with active controls technology and low wing-loading to achieve short field performance with good ride quality is presented. Results indicate that for such a system incorporating gust load alleviation and augmented stability the direct operating cost is better than for aircraft without active controls.
Taylor, L. W., Jr.
The impact of active controls on civil transport aircraft and some of the complex problems involved are described. The approach taken by NASA as part of the Active Control Technology Program is discussed to integrate active controls in the conceptual design phase. It is shown that when handled correctly, active controls improve aircraft performance.
Stepanyan, Vahram; Krishnakumar, Kalmanje; Nguyen, Nhan
The paper presents an adaptive control technique for a damaged large transport aircraft subject to unknown atmospheric disturbances such as wind gust or turbulence. It is assumed that the damage results in vertical tail loss with no rudder authority, which is replaced with a differential thrust input. The proposed technique uses the adaptive prediction based control design in conjunction with the time scale separation principle, based on the singular perturbation theory. The application of later is necessitated by the fact that the engine response to a throttle command is substantially slow that the angular rate dynamics of the aircraft. It is shown that this control technique guarantees the stability of the closed-loop system and the tracking of a given reference model. The simulation example shows the benefits of the approach.
Clymer, D. J.; Flora, C. C.
A flight control system concept is defined for approach flightpath control of an augmentor wing (or similar) powered-lift STOL configuration. The proposed STOL control concept produces aircraft transient and steady-state control responses that are familiar to pilots of conventional jet transports, and has potential for good handling qualities ratings in all approach and landing phases. The effects of trailing-edge rate limits, real-engine dynamics, and atmospheric turbulence are considered in the study. A general discussion of STOL handling qualities problems and piloting techniques is included.
Dugan, Daniel C.
Thrust control of Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft has always been a debatable issue. In most cases, it comes down to the fundamental question of throttle versus collective. Some aircraft used throttle(s), with a fore and aft longitudinal motion, some had collectives, some have used Thrust Levers where the protocol is still "Up is Up and Down is Down," and some have incorporated both throttles and collectives when designers did not want to deal with the Human Factors issues. There have even been combinations of throttles that incorporated an arc that have been met with varying degrees of success. A previous review was made of nineteen designs without attempting to judge the merits of the controller. Included in this paper are twelve designs entered in competition for the 1961 Tri-Service VTOL transport. Entries were from a Bell/Lockheed tiltduct, a North American tiltwing, a Vanguard liftfan, and even a Sikorsky tiltwing. Additional designs were submitted from Boeing Wichita (direct lift), Ling-Temco-Vought with its XC-142 tiltwing, Boeing Vertol's tiltwing, Mcdonnell's compound and tiltwing, and the Douglas turboduct and turboprop designs. A private party submitted a re-design of the Breguet 941 as a VTOL transport. It is important to document these 53 year-old designs to preserve a part of this country's aviation heritage.
Rogallo, F M
An investigation has been made to determine efficient arrangements for an internal-flow system of an aircraft when such a system operates by itself or in combination with other flow systems. The investigation included a theoretical treatment of the problem and tests in the NACA 5-foot vertical wind tunnel of inlet and outlet openings in a flat plate and in a wing.
Almsted, Larry D.; Becker, Robert C.; Zelenka, Richard E.
Collision avoidance is of concern to all aircraft, requiring the detection and identification of hazardous terrain or obstacles in sufficient time for clearance maneuvers. The collision avoidance requirement is even more demanding for helicopters, as their unique capabilities result in extensive operations at low-altitude, near to terrain and other hazardous obstacles. TO augment the pilot's visual collision avoidance abilities, some aircraft are equipped with 'enhanced-vision' systems or terrain collision warning systems. Enhanced-vision systems are typically very large and costly systems that are not very covert and are also difficult to install in a helicopter. The display is typically raw images from infrared or radar sensors, and can require a high degree of pilot interpretation and attention. Terrain collision warning system that rely on stored terrain maps are often of low resolution and accuracy and do not represent hazards to the aircraft placed after map sampling. Such hazards could include aircraft parked on runway, man- made towers or buildings and hills. In this paper, a low cost dual-function scanning pencil-beam, millimeter-wave radar forward sensor is used to determine whether an aircraft's flight path is clear of obstructions. Due to the limited space and weight budget in helicopters, the system is a dual function system that is substituted in place of the existing radar altimeter. The system combines a 35 GHz forward looking obstacle avoidance radar and a 4.3 GHz radar altimeter. The forward looking 35 GHz 3D radar's returns are used to construct a terrain and obstruction database surrounding an aircraft, which is presented to the pilot as a synthetic perspective display. The 35 GHz forward looking radar and the associated display was evaluated in a joint NASA Honeywell flight test program in 1996. The tests were conducted on a NASA/Army test helicopter. The test program clearly demonstrated the systems potential usefulness for collision avoidance.
Sellers, J. F.; Szuch, J. R.
The use of turbofan engines as lift units for VTOL aircraft poses new engine control problems. At low flight speeds, the lift units must provide the fast thrust response needed for aircraft attitude and height control. The results are presented of an analytical study of the dynamics and control of turbofan lift engines, and methods are proposed for meeting the response requirements imposed by the VTOL aircraft application. Two types of lift fan engines are discussed: the integral and remote. The integral engine is a conventional two-spool, high bypass ratio turbofan designed for low noise and short length. The remote engine employs a gas generator and a lift fan which are separated by a duct, and which need not be coaxial. For the integral engine, a control system design is presented which satisfies the VTOL response requirements. For the remote engine, two unconventional methods of control involving flow transfer between lift units are discussed. Both methods are shown to have thrust response near the required levels.
Delgado, Francisco J.; White, Janis; Abernathy, Michael F.
This paper describes a new approach to situation awareness that combines video sensor technology and synthetic vision technology in a unique fashion to create a hybrid vision system. Our implementation of the technology, called "SmartCam3D" (SCS3D) has been flight tested by both NASA and the Department of Defense with excellent results. This paper details its development and flight test results. Windshields and windows add considerable weight and risk to vehicle design, and because of this, many future vehicles will employ a windowless cockpit design. This windowless cockpit design philosophy prompted us to look at what would be required to develop a system that provides crewmembers and operations personnel an appropriate level of situation awareness. The system created to date provides a real-time 3D perspective display that can be used during all-weather and visibility conditions. While the advantages of a synthetic vision only system are considerable, the major disadvantage of such a system is that it displays the synthetic scene created using "static" data acquired by an aircraft or satellite at some point in the past. The SCS3D system we are presenting in this paper is a hybrid synthetic vision system that fuses live video stream information with a computer generated synthetic scene. This hybrid system can display a dynamic, real-time scene of a region of interest, enriched by information from a synthetic environment system, see figure 1. The SCS3D system has been flight tested on several X-38 flight tests performed over the last several years and on an ARMY Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) ground control station earlier this year. Additional testing using an assortment of UAV ground control stations and UAV simulators from the Army and Air Force will be conducted later this year. We are also identifying other NASA programs that would benefit from the use of this technology.
Delgado, Frank; White, Janis; Abernathy, Michael F.
This paper describes a new approach to situation awareness that combines video sensor technology and synthetic vision technology in a unique fashion to create a hybrid vision system. Our implementation of the technology, called "SmartCam3D" (SC3D) has been flight tested by both NASA and the Department of Defense with excellent results. This paper details its development and flight test results. Windshields and windows add considerable weight and risk to vehicle design, and because of this, many future vehicles will employ a windowless cockpit design. This windowless cockpit design philosophy prompted us to look at what would be required to develop a system that provides crewmembers and awareness. The system created to date provides a real-time operations personnel an appropriate level of situation 3D perspective display that can be used during all-weather and visibility conditions. While the advantages of a synthetic vision only system are considerable, the major disadvantage of such a system is that it displays the synthetic scene created using "static" data acquired by an aircraft or satellite at some point in the past. The SC3D system we are presenting in this paper is a hybrid synthetic vision system that fuses live video stream information with a computer generated synthetic scene. This hybrid system can display a dynamic, real-time scene of a region of interest, enriched by information from a synthetic environment system, see figure 1. The SC3D system has been flight tested on several X-38 flight tests performed over the last several years and on an ARMY Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) ground control station earlier this year. Additional testing using an assortment of UAV ground control stations and UAV simulators from the Army and Air Force will be conducted later this year.
This monograph relates the important history of the Propulsion Controlled Aircraft project at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center. Spurred by a number of airplane crashes caused by the loss of hydraulic flight controls, a NASA-industry team lead by Frank W. Burcham and C. Gordon Fullerton developed a way to land an aircraft safely using only engine thrust to control the airplane. In spite of initial skepticism, the team discovered that, by manually manipulating an airplane's thrust, there was adequate control for extended up-and-away flight. However, there was not adequate control precision for safe runway landings because of the small control forces, slow response, and difficulty in damping the airplane phugoid and Dutch roll oscillations. The team therefore conceived, developed, and tested the first computerized Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) system. The PCA system takes pilot commands, uses feedback from airplane measurements, and computes commands for the thrust of each engine, yielding much more precise control. Pitch rate and velocity feedback damp the phugoid oscillation, while yaw rate feedback damps the Dutch roll motion. The team tested the PCA system in simulators and conducted flight research in F-15 and MD-11 airplanes. Later, they developed less sophisticated variants of PCA called PCA Lite and PCA Ultralite to make the system cheaper and therefore more attractive to industry. This monograph tells the PCA story in a non- technical way with emphasis on the human aspects of the engineering and flic,ht-research effort. It thereby supplements the extensive technical literature on PCA and makes the development of this technology accessible to a wide audience.
Comstock, James R., Jr.; Ghatas, Rania W.; Vincent, Michael J.; Consiglio, Maria C.; Munoz, Cesar; Chamberlain, James P.; Volk, Paul; Arthur, Keith E.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been mandated by the Congressional funding bill of 2012 to open the National Airspace System (NAS) to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). With the growing use of unmanned systems, NASA has established a multi-center "UAS Integration in the NAS" Project, in collaboration with the FAA and industry, and is guiding its research efforts to look at and examine crucial safety concerns regarding the integration of UAS into the NAS. Key research efforts are addressing requirements for detect-and-avoid (DAA), self-separation (SS), and collision avoidance (CA) technologies. In one of a series of human-in-the-loop experiments, NASA Langley Research Center set up a study known as Collision Avoidance, Self-Separation, and Alerting Times (CASSAT). The first phase assessed active air traffic controller interactions with DAA systems and the second phase examined reactions to the DAA system and displays by UAS Pilots at a simulated ground control station (GCS). Analyses of the test results from Phase I and Phase II are presented in this paper. Results from the CASSAT study and previous human-in-the-loop experiments will play a crucial role in the FAA's establishment of rules, regulations, and procedures to safely, efficiently, and effectively integrate UAS into the NAS.
Forman, M. L.
An overview of the capabilities of the Aircraft Sensor Analysis Package (ASAP) is presented. The approach is non-technical, and several output products are illustrated. The major features of the system are described in more detail than is found in the User's Guide to a potential user, or to a user looking for a specific capability to be incorporated in another system.
Hoffman, W. C.; Kleinman, D. L.; Young, L. R.
A systematic design methodology for pilot displays in advanced commercial VTOL aircraft was developed and refined. The analyst is provided with a step-by-step procedure for conducting conceptual display/control configurations evaluations for simultaneous monitoring and control pilot tasks. The approach consists of three phases: formulation of information requirements, configuration evaluation, and system selection. Both the monitoring and control performance models are based upon the optimal control model of the human operator. Extensions to the conventional optimal control model required in the display design methodology include explicit optimization of control/monitoring attention; simultaneous monitoring and control performance predictions; and indifference threshold effects. The methodology was applied to NASA's experimental CH-47 helicopter in support of the VALT program. The CH-47 application examined the system performance of six flight conditions. Four candidate configurations are suggested for evaluation in pilot-in-the-loop simulations and eventual flight tests.
Borchers, Ingo U.; Emborg, Urban; Sollo, Antonio; Waterman, Elly H.; Paillard, Jacques; Larsen, Peter N.; Venet, Gerard; Goeransson, Peter; Martin, Vincent
Aircraft interior noise and vibration measurements are included in this paper from ground and flight tests. In addition, related initial noise calculations with and without active noise control are conducted. The results obtained to date indicate that active noise control may be an effective means for reducing the critical low frequency aircraft noise.
Garud, Sumedha; Kaneshige, John T.; Krishnakumar, Kalmanje S.; Kulkarni, Nilesh V.; Burken, John
This technology presents a novel, stable, discrete-time adaptive law for flight control in a Direct adaptive control (DAC) framework. Where errors are not present, the original control design has been tuned for optimal performance. Adaptive control works towards achieving nominal performance whenever the design has modeling uncertainties/errors or when the vehicle suffers substantial flight configuration change. The baseline controller uses dynamic inversion with proportional-integral augmentation. On-line adaptation of this control law is achieved by providing a parameterized augmentation signal to a dynamic inversion block. The parameters of this augmentation signal are updated to achieve the nominal desired error dynamics. If the system senses that at least one aircraft component is experiencing an excursion and the return of this component value toward its reference value is not proceeding according to the expected controller characteristics, then the neural network (NN) modeling of aircraft operation may be changed.
Chanute AFB Technical Training Center, IL.
This packet contains learning modules designed for a self-paced course in aircraft environmental systems mechanics that was developed for the Air Force. Learning modules consist of some or all of the following materials: objectives, instructions, equipment, procedures, information sheets, handouts, workbooks, self-tests with answers, review…
Chanute AFB Technical Training Center, IL.
This packet contains learning modules for a self-paced course in aircraft environmental systems mechanics that was developed for the Air Force. Each learning module consists of some or all of the following: objectives, instructions, equipment, procedures, information sheets, handouts, self-tests with answers, review section, tests, and response…
Houck, J. A.; Moore, F. L.; Howlett, J. J.; Pollock, K. S.; Browne, M. M.
An analytical model developed for evaluating and verifying advanced rotor concepts is discussed. The model was used during in both open loop and real time man-in-the-loop simulation during the rotor systems research aircraft design. Future applications include: pilot training, preflight of test programs, and the evaluation of promising concepts before their implementation on the flight vehicle.
Bodson, M.; Athans, M.
The problem of the automatic landing of VTOL aircraft on small ships is considered. Linear quadratic optimal control theory is used to design a VTOL ship motion tracking controller. Optimal root-loci and step responses are obtained to study the dynamics of the closed-loop system. Standard deviations of the ship motion tracking errors, and of the VTOL control amplitudes are computed, illustrating the tradeoff between accurate tracking, and limited control authority. Multivariable robustness margins are also obtained. The tracking of the vertical motion presents the difficulty of requiring large variations of the VTOL total thrust, a control which is limited both in amplitude and in bandwidth. Lateral controls are less restricted, but the motions are strongly coupled, with some adverse couplings in the ship motions, and in the aircraft dynamics. The advantage of the LQ control theory is demonstrated however, by its ability to account for these couplings in a robust manner, and, when possible, to use them to limit the control amplitudes.
Wang, Xinhua; Liu, Jinkun; Cai, Kai-Yuan
This article focuses on the design of an output feedback controller able to achieve the asymptotic tracking of a reference trajectory for vertical take off and landing aircraft with disabled inertial measurement units (IMUs). Roll angle and roll rate cannot be measured directly when IMUs are disabled. A dynamic linear observer is designed to estimate the tracking errors of the roll angle and equivalent roll angular velocity with respect to their desired states. Moreover, based on the centre manifold theory and on the equivalent control, the closed-loop system is asymptotically convergent. The theoretical results are confirmed by computer simulations.
Yu, Liu; Xidong, Tang; Gang, Tao; Joshi, Suresh M.
The problem of using engine thrust differentials to compensate for rudder and aileron failures in aircraft flight control is addressed in this paper in a new framework. A nonlinear aircraft model that incorporates engine di erentials in the dynamic equations is employed and linearized to describe the aircraft s longitudinal and lateral motion. In this model two engine thrusts of an aircraft can be adjusted independently so as to provide the control flexibility for rudder or aileron failure compensation. A direct adaptive compensation scheme for asymptotic regulation is developed to handle uncertain actuator failures in the linearized system. A design condition is specified to characterize the system redundancy needed for failure compensation. The adaptive regulation control scheme is applied to the linearized model of a large transport aircraft in which the longitudinal and lateral motions are coupled as the result of using engine thrust differentials. Simulation results are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the adaptive compensation scheme.
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.
Erzberger, Heinz; McLean, John D.
A technique is described for the design of fuel-conservative guidance systems and is applied to a system that was flight tested on board NASA's sugmentor wing jet STOL research aircraft. An important operational feature of the system is its ability to rapidly synthesize fuel-efficient trajectories for a large set of initial aircraft positions, altitudes, and headings. This feature allows the aircraft to be flown efficiently under conditions of changing winds and air traffic control vectors. Rapid synthesis of fuel-efficient trajectories is accomplished in the airborne computer by fast-time trajectory integration using a simplified dynamic performance model of the aircraft. This technique also ensures optimum flap deployment and, for powered-lift STOL aircraft, optimum transition to low-speed flight. Also included in the design is accurate prediction of touchdown time for use in four-dimensional guidance applications. Flight test results have demonstrated that the automatically synthesized trajectories produce significant fuel savings relative to manually flown conventional approaches.
Gibbs, Michael (Inventor); Omen, Debi Van (Inventor)
A system and method compares combinations of vehicle variable values against known combinations of potentially dangerous vehicle input signal values. Alarms and error messages are selectively generated based on such comparisons. An aircraft signal definition is provided to enable definition and monitoring of sets of aircraft input signals to customize such signals for different aircraft. The input signals are compared against known combinations of potentially dangerous values by operational software and hardware of a monitoring function. The aircraft signal definition is created using a text editor or custom application. A compiler receives the aircraft signal definition to generate a binary file that comprises the definition of all the input signals used by the monitoring function. The binary file also contains logic that specifies how the inputs are to be interpreted. The file is then loaded into the monitor function, where it is validated and used to continuously monitor the condition of the aircraft.
Griner, James H.
NASA's UAS Integration in the NAS project, has partnered with Rockwell Collins to develop a concept Control and Non-Payload Communication (CNPC) system prototype radio, operating on recently allocated UAS frequency spectrum bands. This prototype radio is being used to validate initial proposed performance requirements for UAS control communications. This presentation will give an overview of the current status of the prototype radio development, and results from phase 1 flight tests conducted during 2013.
Richardson, J.; Labbe, M.; Belala, Y.; Leduc, Vincent
The requirement for improving aircraft utilization and responsiveness in airlift operations has been recognized for quite some time by the Canadian Forces. To date, the utilization of scarce airlift resources has been planned mainly through the employment of manpower-intensive manual methods in combination with the expertise of highly qualified personnel. In this paper, we address the problem of facilitating the load planning process for military aircraft cargo planes through the development of a computer-based system. We introduce TALBAS (Transport Aircraft Loading and BAlancing System), a knowledge-based system designed to assist personnel involved in preparing valid load plans for the C130 Hercules aircraft. The main features of this system which are accessible through a convivial graphical user interface, consists of the automatic generation of valid cargo arrangements given a list of items to be transported, the user-definition of load plans and the automatic validation of such load plans.
Culick, Fred E. C.; Jahnke, Craig C.
Dynamical systems theory has been used to study nonlinear aircraft dynamics. A six degree of freedom model that neglects gravity has been analyzed. The aerodynamic model, supplied by NASA, is for a generic swept wing fighter and includes nonlinearities as functions of the angle of attack. A continuation method was used to calculate the steady states of the aircraft, and bifurcations of these steady states, as functions of the control deflections. Bifurcations were used to predict jump phenomena and the onset of periodic motion for roll coupling instabilities and high angle of attack maneuvers. The predictions were verified with numerical simulations.
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.
Orme, John S.; Schkolnik, Gerard S.
Performance Seeking Control (PSC), an onboard, adaptive, real-time optimization algorithm, relies upon an onboard propulsion system model. Flight results illustrated propulsion system performance improvements as calculated by the model. These improvements were subject to uncertainty arising from modeling error. Thus to quantify uncertainty in the PSC performance improvements, modeling accuracy must be assessed. A flight test approach to verify PSC-predicted increases in thrust (FNP) and absolute levels of fan stall margin is developed and applied to flight test data. Application of the excess thrust technique shows that increases of FNP agree to within 3 percent of full-scale measurements for most conditions. Accuracy to these levels is significant because uncertainty bands may now be applied to the performance improvements provided by PSC. Assessment of PSC fan stall margin modeling accuracy was completed with analysis of in-flight stall tests. Results indicate that the model overestimates the stall margin by between 5 to 10 percent. Because PSC achieves performance gains by using available stall margin, this overestimation may represent performance improvements to be recovered with increased modeling accuracy. Assessment of thrust and stall margin modeling accuracy provides a critical piece for a comprehensive understanding of PSC's capabilities and limitations.
Coffinberry, G. A.
An analytical study was performed in order to assess relative performance and economic factors involved with alternative advanced fuel systems for future commercial aircraft operating with broadened property fuels. The DC-10-30 wide-body tri-jet aircraft and the CF6-8OX engine were used as a baseline design for the study. Three advanced systems were considered and were specifically aimed at addressing freezing point, thermal stability and lubricity fuel properties. Actual DC-10-30 routes and flight profiles were simulated by computer modeling and resulted in prediction of aircraft and engine fuel system temperatures during a nominal flight and during statistical one-day-per-year cold and hot flights. Emergency conditions were also evaluated. Fuel consumption and weight and power extraction results were obtained. An economic analysis was performed for new aircraft and systems. Advanced system means for fuel tank heating included fuel recirculation loops using engine lube heat and generator heat. Environmental control system bleed air heat was used for tank heating in a water recirculation loop. The results showed that fundamentally all of the three advanced systems are feasible but vary in their degree of compatibility with broadened-property fuel.
Doyle, John C.; Murray, Richard; Morris, John
An interdisciplinary program in robust control for nonlinear systems with applications to a variety of engineering problems is outlined. Major emphasis will be placed on flight control, with both experimental and analytical studies. This program builds on recent new results in control theory for stability, stabilization, robust stability, robust performance, synthesis, and model reduction in a unified framework using Linear Fractional Transformations (LFT's), Linear Matrix Inequalities (LMI's), and the structured singular value micron. Most of these new advances have been accomplished by the Caltech controls group independently or in collaboration with researchers in other institutions. These recent results offer a new and remarkably unified framework for all aspects of robust control, but what is particularly important for this program is that they also have important implications for system identification and control of nonlinear systems. This combines well with Caltech's expertise in nonlinear control theory, both in geometric methods and methods for systems with constraints and saturations.
Merrill, R. K.; Hall, G. W.
The Rotor Systems Research Aircraft (RSRA) is a dedicated rotor test vehicle whose function is to fill the gap between theory, wind tunnel tests and flight verification data. Its flight test envelope has been designed to encompass the expected envelopes of future rotor systems under all flight conditions. The test configurations of the RSRA include pure helicopter and compound (winged helicopter) modes. In addition, should it become necessary to jettison an unstable rotor system in flight, the RSRA may be flown as a fixed wing aircraft. The heart of the RSRA's electronic flight control system is the TDY-43 computer, which can be programmed in numerous ways to change stability and control or force feel system gains. Computer programming changes allow the RSRA to be used as a five-degree-of-freedom inflight simulator for studying the handling qualities of research rotors.
Sun, Jian Q.
Developing a control system that can reduce the noise and structural vibration at the same time is an important task. This talk presents one possible technical approach for accomplishing this task. The target application of the research is for aircraft interior noise control. The emphasis of the present approach is not on control strategies, but rather on the design of actuators for the control system. In the talk, a theory of distributed piezoelectric actuators is introduced. A uniform cylindrical shell is taken as a simplified model of fuselage structures to illustrate the effectiveness of the design theory. The actuators developed are such that they can reduce the tonal structural vibration and interior noise in a wide range of frequencies. Extensive computer simulations have been done to study various aspects of the design theory. Experiments have also been conducted and the test results strongly support the theoretical development.
Bray, Richard S.
The methods developed for analyses of the winds and of aircraft performance during an investigation of a downburst wind-shear-induced accident have been utilized in a more general study of aircraft performance in such encounters. The computed responses of a generic, large transport aircraft to take-off and approach encounters with a downburst wind field were used in examining the effects of performance factors and control procedures on the ability of the aircraft to survive. Obvious benefits are seen for higher initial encounter speeds, maximum thrust-weight values typical of two-engined aircraft, and immediacy of pilot response. The results of controlling to a constant, predetermined, pitch attitude are demonstrated. Control algorithms that sacrifice altitude for speed appear to provide a higher level of survivability, but guidance displays more explicitly defining flightpath than those commonly in use might be required.
Turkel, B. S.; Frost, W.
The nonlinear aircraft motion and automatic control model is expanded to incorporate the human pilot into simulations of aircraft response to wind to wind shear. The human pilot is described by a constant gains lag filter. Two runs are carried out using pilot transfer functions. Fixed-stick, autopilot, and manned computer simulations are made with an aircraft having characteristics of a small commuter type aircraft flown through longitudinal winds measured by a Doppler radar beamed along the glide slope. Simulations are also made flying an aircraft through sinusoidal head wind and tail wind shears at the phugoid frequency to evaluate the response of manned aircraft in thunderstorm wind environments.
Stough, H. Paul, III
Atmospheric effects on aviation are described by Mahapatra (1999) as including (1) atmospheric phenomena involving air motion - wind shear and turbulence; (2) hydrometeorological phenomena - rain, snow and hail; (3) aircraft icing; (4) low visibility; and (5) atmospheric electrical phenomena. Aircraft Weather Mitigation includes aircraft systems (e.g. airframe, propulsion, avionics, controls) that can be enacted (by a pilot, automation or hybrid systems) to suppress and/or prepare for the effects of encountered or unavoidable weather or to facilitate a crew operational decision-making process relative to weather. Aircraft weather mitigation can be thought of as a continuum (Figure 1) with the need to avoid all adverse weather at one extreme and the ability to safely operate in all weather conditions at the other extreme. Realistic aircraft capabilities fall somewhere between these two extremes. The capabilities of small general aviation aircraft would be expected to fall closer to the "Avoid All Adverse Weather" point, and the capabilities of large commercial jet transports would fall closer to the "Operate in All Weather Conditions" point. The ability to safely operate in adverse weather conditions is dependent upon the pilot s capabilities (training, total experience and recent experience), the airspace in which the operation is taking place (terrain, navigational aids, traffic separation), the capabilities of the airport (approach guidance, runway and taxiway lighting, availability of air traffic control), as well as the capabilities of the airplane. The level of mitigation may vary depending upon the type of adverse weather. For example, a small general aviation airplane may be equipped to operate "in the clouds" without outside visual references, but not be equipped to prevent airframe ice that could be accreted in those clouds.
Mccurdy, David A.; Sullivan, Brenda M.; Grandle, Robert E.
A modified version of the Aircraft Noise Synthesis System with improved directivity and tonal content modeling has been developed. The synthesis system is used to provide test stimuli for studies of community annoyance to aircraft flyover noise. The computer-based system generates realistic, time-varying audio simulations of aircraft flyover noise at a specified observer location on the ground. The synthesis takes into account the time-varying aircraft position relative to the observer; specified reference spectra consisting of broadband, narrowband, and pure tone components; directivity patterns; Doppler shift; atmospheric effects; and ground effects. These parameters can be specified and controlled in such a way as to generate stimuli in which certain noise characteristics such as duration or tonal content are independently varied while the remaining characteristics such as broadband content are held constant. The modified version of the system provides improved modeling of noise directivity patterns and an increased number of pure tone components. User instructions for the modified version of the synthesis system are provided.
Buckley, D. H.
Tribological systems as applied to aircraft are reviewed. The importance of understanding the fundamental concepts involved in such systems is discussed. Basic properties of materials which can be related to adhesion, friction and wear are presented and correlated with tribology. Surface processes including deposition and treatment are addressed in relation to their present and future application to aircraft components such as bearings, gears and seals. Lubrication of components with both liquids and solids is discussed. Advances in both new liquid molecular structures and additives for those structures are reviewed and related to the needs of advanced engines. Solids and polymer composites are suggested for increasing use and ceramic coatings containing fluoride compounds are offered for the extreme temperatures encountered in such components as advanced bearings and seals.
Garrard, William L.; Balas, Gary J.
During this year, we concentrated our efforts on the design of controllers for lateral/directional control using mu synthesis. This proved to be a more difficult task than we anticipated and we are still working on the designs. In the lateral-directional control problem, the inputs are pilot lateral stick and pedal commands and the outputs are roll rate about the velocity vector and side slip angle. The control effectors are ailerons, rudder deflection, and directional thrust vectoring vane deflection which produces a yawing moment about the body axis. Our math model does not contain any provision for thrust vectoring of rolling moment. This has resulted in limitations of performance at high angles of attack. During 1994-95, the following tasks for the lateral-directional controllers were accomplished: (1) Designed both inner and outer loop dynamic inversion controllers. These controllers are implemented using accelerometer outputs rather than an a priori model of the vehicle aerodynamics; (2) Used classical techniques to design controllers for the system linearized by dynamics inversion. These controllers acted to control roll rate and Dutch roll response; (3) Implemented the inner loop dynamic inversion and classical controllers on the six DOF simulation; (4) Developed a lateral-directional control allocation scheme based on minimizing required control effort among the ailerons, rudder, and directional thrust vectoring; and (5) Developed mu outer loop controllers combined with classical inner loop controllers.
Fraczek, Michael; Behrendt, Andreas; Schmitt, Nikolaus
Flight safety in all weather conditions demands exact and reliable determination of flight-critical air parameters. Air speed, temperature, density, and pressure are essential for aircraft control. Conventional air data systems can be impacted by probe failure caused by mechanical damage from hail, volcanic ash, and icing. While optical air speed measurement methods have been discussed elsewhere, in this paper, a new concept for optically measuring the air temperature, density, pressure, moisture, and particle backscatter is presented, being independent on assumptions on the atmospheric state and eliminating the drawbacks of conventional aircraft probes by providing a different measurement principle. The concept is based on a laser emitting laser pulses into the atmosphere through a window and detecting the signals backscattered from a fixed region just outside the disturbed area of the fuselage flows. With four receiver channels, different spectral portions of the backscattered light are extracted. The measurement principle of air temperature and density is based on extracting two signals out of the rotational Raman (RR) backscatter signal of air molecules. For measuring the water vapor mixing ratio-and thus the density of the moist air-a water vapor Raman channel is included. The fourth channel serves to detect the elastic backscatter signal, which is essential for extending the measurements into clouds. This channel contributes to the detection of aerosols, which is interesting for developing a future volcanic ash warning system for aircraft. Detailed and realistic optimization and performance calculations have been performed based on the parameters of a first prototype of such a measurement system. The impact and correction of systematic error sources, such as solar background at daytime and elastic signal cross talk appearing in optically dense clouds, have been investigated. The results of the simulations show the high potential of the proposed system for
Garrard, William L.; Balas, Gary J.
During the first half of the year, the investigators concentrated their efforts on completing the design of control laws for the longitudinal axis of the HARV. During the second half of the year they concentrated on the synthesis of control laws for the lateral-directional axes. The longitudinal control law design efforts can be briefly summarized as follows. Longitudinal control laws were developed for the HARV using mu synthesis design techniques coupled with dynamic inversion. An inner loop dynamic inversion controller was used to simplify the system dynamics by eliminating the aerodynamic nonlinearities and inertial cross coupling. Models of the errors resulting from uncertainties in the principal longitudinal aerodynamic terms were developed and included in the model of the HARV with the inner loop dynamic inversion controller. This resulted in an inner loop transfer function model which was an integrator with the modeling errors characterized as uncertainties in gain and phase. Outer loop controllers were then designed using mu synthesis to provide robustness to these modeling errors and give desired response to pilot inputs. Both pitch rate and angle of attack command following systems were designed. The following tasks have been accomplished for the lateral-directional controllers: inner and outer loop dynamic inversion controllers have been designed; an error model based on a linearized perturbation model of the inner loop system was derived; controllers for the inner loop system have been designed, using classical techniques, that control roll rate and Dutch roll response; the inner loop dynamic inversion and classical controllers have been implemented on the six degree of freedom simulation; and lateral-directional control allocation scheme has been developed based on minimizing required control effort.
Downing, D. R.; Hammond, T. A.; Amin, S. P.
The state-of-the-art in Active Ride Augmentation, specifically in terms of its feasibility for commuter aircraft applications. A literature survey was done, and the principal results are presented here through discussion of different Ride Quality Augmentation System (RQAS) designs and advances in related technologies. Recommended follow-on research areas are discussed, and a preliminary RQAS configuration for detailed design and development is proposed.
Guiler, Richard W.
Inspired by flight in nature, work done by Lippisch, the Hortens, and Northrop offered insight to achieving the efficiency of bird flight with swept-wing tailless aircraft. Tailless designs must incorporate aerodynamic compromises for control, which have inhibited potential advantages. A morphing mechanism, capable of changing the twist of wing and that can also provide pitch, roll and yaw control for a tailless swept wing aircraft is the first step to a series of morphing techniques, which will lead to more fluid, bird-like flight. This research focuses on investigating the design of a morphing wing to improve the flight characteristics of swept wing Horten type tailless aircraft. Free flight demonstrators, wind tunnel flow visualization, wind-tunnel force and moment data along with CFD studies have been used to evaluate the stability, control and efficiency of a morphing swept wing tailless aircraft. A wing morphing mechanism for the control of a swept wing tailless aircraft has been developed. This new control technique was experimentally and numerically compared to an existing elevon equipped tailless aircraft and has shown the potential for significant improvement in efficiency. The feasibility of this mechanism was also validated through flight testing of a flight weight version. In the process of comparing the Horten type elevon equipped aircraft and the morphing model, formal wind tunnel verification of wingtip induced thrust, found in Horten (Bell Shaped Lift distribution) type swept wing tailless aircraft was documented. A more complete physical understanding of the highly complex flow generated in the control region of the morphing tailless aircraft has been developed. CFD models indicate the possibility of the presence of a Leading Edge Vortex (LEV) on the control section morphing wing when the tip is twisted between +3.5 degrees and +7 degrees. The presence of this LEV causes a reduction of drag while lift is increased. Similar LEVs have been
McCalmont, John; Utt, James; Deschenes, Michael; Taylor, Michael; Sanderson, Richard; Montgomery, Joel; Johnson, Randal S.; McDermott, David
The Sensors Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), in conjunction with the Global Hawk Systems Group, the J-UCAS System Program Office and contractor Defense Research Associates, Inc. (DRA) is conducting an Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) of a sense-and-avoid capability with the potential to satisfy the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) requirement for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to provide "an equivalent level of safety, comparable to see-and-avoid requirements for manned aircraft". This FAA requirement must be satisfied for UAS operations within the national airspace. The Sense-and-Avoid, Phase I (Man-in-the-Loop) and Phase II (Autonomous Maneuver) ATD demonstrated an on-board, wide field of regard, multi-sensor visible imaging system operating in real time and capable of passively detecting approaching aircraft, declaring potential collision threats in a timely manner and alerting the human pilot located in the remote ground control station or autonomously maneuvered the aircraft. Intruder declaration data was collected during the SAA I & II Advanced Technology Demonstration flights conducted during December 2006. A total of 27 collision scenario flights were conducted and analyzed. The average detection range was 6.3 NM and the mean declaration range was 4.3 NM. The number of false alarms per engagement has been reduced to approximately 3 per engagement.
Calise, A. J.
The research during the third reporting period focused on fixed order robust control design for hypersonic vehicles. A new technique was developed to synthesize fixed order H(sub infinity) controllers. A controller canonical form is imposed on the compensator structure and a homotopy algorithm is employed to perform the controller design. Various reduced order controllers are designed for a simplified version of the hypersonic vehicle model used in our previous studies to demonstrate the capabilities of the code. However, further work is needed to investigate the issue of numerical ill-conditioning for large order systems and to make the numerical approach more reliable.
Meador, J. D.
Control system components suitable for use in digital electronic control systems are defined. Compressor geometry actuation concepts and fuel handling system concepts suitable for use in large high performance turbofan/turbojet engines are included. Eight conceptual system designs were formulated for the actuation of the compressor geometry. Six conceptual system designs were formulated for the engine fuel handling system. Assessment criteria and weighting factors were established and trade studies performed on their candidate systems to establish the relative merits of the various concepts. Fuel pumping and metering systems for small turboshaft engines were also studied. Seven conceptual designs were formulated, and trade studies performed. A simplified bypassing fuel metering scheme was selected and a preliminary design defined.
Holmes, Bruce J.; Durham, Michael H.; Tarry, Scott E.
This paper summarizes both the vision and the early public-private collaborative research for the Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS). The paper outlines an operational definition of SATS, describes how SATS conceptually differs from current air transportation capabilities, introduces four SATS operating capabilities, and explains the relation between the SATS operating capabilities and the potential for expanded air mobility. The SATS technology roadmap encompasses on-demand, widely distributed, point-to-point air mobility, through hired-pilot modes in the nearer-term, and through self-operated user modes in the farther-term. The nearer-term concept is based on aircraft and airspace technologies being developed to make the use of smaller, more widely distributed community reliever and general aviation airports and their runways more useful in more weather conditions, in commercial hired-pilot service modes. The farther-term vision is based on technical concepts that could be developed to simplify or automate many of the operational functions in the aircraft and the airspace for meeting future public transportation needs, in personally operated modes. NASA technology strategies form a roadmap between the nearer-term concept and the farther-term vision. This paper outlines a roadmap for scalable, on-demand, distributed air mobility technologies for vehicle and airspace systems. The audiences for the paper include General Aviation manufacturers, small aircraft transportation service providers, the flight training industry, airport and transportation authorities at the Federal, state and local levels, and organizations involved in planning for future National Airspace System advancements.
Calise, A. J.
The research during the second reporting period has focused on robust control design for hypersonic vehicles. An already existing design for the Hypersonic Winged-Cone Configuration has been enhanced. Uncertainty models for the effects of propulsion system perturbations due to angle of attack variations, structural vibrations, and uncertainty in control effectiveness were developed. Using H(sub infinity) and mu-synthesis techniques, various control designs were performed in order to investigate the impact of these effects on achievable robust performance.
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.
Mutual couplings among the mathematical models of physical phenomena and parts of a system such as an aircraft complicate the design process because each contemplated design change may have a far reaching consequence throughout the system. Techniques are outlined for computing these influences as system design derivatives useful for both judgemental and formal optimization purposes. The techniques facilitate decomposition of the design process into smaller, more manageable tasks and they form a methodology that can easily fit into existing engineering organizations and incorporate their design tools.
Petley, Dennis H.; Jones, Stuart C.; Dziedzic, William M.
A computer program has been written to analyze cooling systems of hypersonic aircraft. This computer program called NASP/SINDA is written into the SINDA'85 command structure and uses the SINDA'85 finite difference subroutines. Both internal fluid flow and heat transfer must be analyzed, because increased heating causes a decrease in the flow of the coolant. Also local hot spots will cause a redistribution of the coolant in the system. Both steady state and transient analyses have been performed. Details of empirical correlations are presented. Results for two cooling system applications are given.
MTR BASEMENT. GENERAL ELECTRIC CONTROL CONSOLE FOR AIRCRAFT NUCLEAR PROPULSION EXPERIMENT NO. 1. INL NEGATIVE NO. 6510. Unknown Photographer, 9/29/1959 - Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Test Reactor Area, Materials & Engineering Test Reactors, Scoville, Butte County, ID
11. VIEW LOOKING EAST AT MODEL AIRCRAFT CONTROL ROOM; MODEL OF BOEING 737 AT TOP OF PHOTOGRAPH IN FULL-SCALE WIND TUNNEL. - NASA Langley Research Center, Full-Scale Wind Tunnel, 224 Hunting Avenue, Hampton, Hampton, VA
Fires in three P3 aircraft oxygen systems have occurred: one in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1984 and two in the U.S. Navy in 1998 and 2003. All three fires started in the aluminum manifold and check valve (MCV) assembly and produced similar damages to the aircraft in which they occurred. This paper discusses a failure analysis conducted by the NASA Johnson Space Center White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) Oxygen Hazards and Testing Team on the 2003 U.S. Navy VP62 fire. It was surmised that the fire started due to heat generated by an oxygen leak past a silicone check valve seal or possibly because of particle impact near the seat of one of the MCV assembly check valves. An additional analysis of fires in several check valve poppet seals from other aircraft is discussed. These burned poppet seals came from P3 oxygen systems that had been serviced at the Naval Air Station (NAS) in Jacksonville following standard fill procedures. It was concluded that these seal fires occurred due to the heat from compression heating, particle impact, or the heat generated by an oxygen leak past the silicone check valve seal. The fact that catastrophic fires did not occur in the case of each check valve seal fire was attributed to the protective nature of the aluminum oxide layer on the check valve poppets. To prevent future fires of this nature, the U.S. and Canadian fleets of P3 aircraft have been retrofitted with MCV assemblies with an upgraded design and more burn-resistant materials.
Muehlbauer, J. C.; Hewell, J. G., Jr.; Lindenbaum, S. P.; Randall, C. C.; Searle, N.; Stone, F. R., Jr.
The effects of advanced propellers (propfan) on aircraft direct operating costs, fuel consumption, and noiseprints were determined. A comparison of three aircraft selected from the results with competitive turbofan aircraft shows that advanced turboprop aircraft offer these potential benefits, relative to advanced turbofan aircraft: 21 percent fuel saving, 26 percent higher fuel efficiency, 15 percent lower DOCs, and 25 percent shorter field lengths. Fuel consumption for the turboprop is nearly 40 percent less than for current commercial turbofan aircraft. Aircraft with both types of propulsion satisfy current federal noise regulations. Advanced turboprop aircraft have smaller noiseprints at 90 EPNdB than advanced turbofan aircraft, but large noiseprints at 70 and 80 EPNdB levels, which are usually suggested as quietness goals. Accelerated development of advanced turboprops is strongly recommended to permit early attainment of the potential fuel saving. Several areas of work are identified which may produce quieter turboprop aircraft.
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
Nguyen, Nhan; Krishnakumar, Kalmanje; Kaneshige, John; Nespeca, Pascal
This paper presents a recent study of a damaged generic transport model as part of a NASA research project to investigate adaptive control methods for stability recovery of damaged aircraft operating in off-nominal flight conditions under damage and or failures. Aerodynamic modeling of damage effects is performed using an aerodynamic code to assess changes in the stability and control derivatives of a generic transport aircraft. Certain types of damage such as damage to one of the wings or horizontal stabilizers can cause the aircraft to become asymmetric, thus resulting in a coupling between the longitudinal and lateral motions. Flight dynamics for a general asymmetric aircraft is derived to account for changes in the center of gravity that can compromise the stability of the damaged aircraft. An iterative trim analysis for the translational motion is developed to refine the trim procedure by accounting for the effects of the control surface deflection. A hybrid direct-indirect neural network, adaptive flight control is proposed as an adaptive law for stabilizing the rotational motion of the damaged aircraft. The indirect adaptation is designed to estimate the plant dynamics of the damaged aircraft in conjunction with the direct adaptation that computes the control augmentation. Two approaches are presented 1) an adaptive law derived from the Lyapunov stability theory to ensure that the signals are bounded, and 2) a recursive least-square method for parameter identification. A hardware-in-the-loop simulation is conducted and demonstrates the effectiveness of the direct neural network adaptive flight control in the stability recovery of the damaged aircraft. A preliminary simulation of the hybrid adaptive flight control has been performed and initial data have shown the effectiveness of the proposed hybrid approach. Future work will include further investigations and high-fidelity simulations of the proposed hybrid adaptive Bight control approach.
Smith, G. A.; Meyer, G.
The results of a simulation study of an alternative design concept for an automatic landing control system are presented. The alternative design concept for an automatic landing control system is described. The design concept is the total aircraft flight control system (TAFCOS). TAFCOS is an open loop, feed forward system that commands the proper instantaneous thrust, angle of attack, and roll angle to achieve the forces required to follow the desired trajector. These dynamic trim conditions are determined by an inversion of the aircraft nonlinear force characteristics. The concept was applied to an A-7E aircraft approaching an aircraft carrier. The implementation details with an airborne digital computer are discussed. The automatic carrier landing situation is described. The simulation results are presented for a carrier approach with atmospheric disturbances, an approach with no disturbances, and for tailwind and headwind gusts.
Gerren, Donna S.
A study has been conducted to determine the capability to control a very large transport airplane with engine thrust. This study consisted of the design of an 800-passenger airplane with a range of 5000 nautical miles design and evaluation of a flight control system, and design and piloted simulation evaluation of a thrust-only backup flight control system. Location of the four wing-mounted engines was varied to optimize the propulsive control capability, and the time constant of the engine response was studied. The goal was to provide level 1 flying qualities. The engine location and engine time constant did not have a large effect on the control capability. The airplane design did meet level 1 flying qualities based on frequencies, damping ratios, and time constants in the longitudinal and lateral-directional modes. Project pilots consistently rated the flying qualities as either level 1 or level 2 based on Cooper-Harper ratings. However, because of the limited control forces and moments, the airplane design fell short of meeting the time required to achieve a 30 deg bank and the time required to respond a control input.
Garrard, William L.; Enns, Dale F.
Controlled flight at extremely high angles of attack, far exceeding the stall angle, and/or at high angular rates is sometimes referred to as supermaneuvering flight. The objective was to examine methods for design of control laws for aircraft performing supermaneuvers. Since the equations which govern the motion of aircraft during supermaneuvers are nonlinear, this study concentrated on nonlinear control law design procedures. The two nonlinear techniques considered were Nonlinear Quadratic Regulator (NLQR) theory and nonlinear dynamic inversion. A conventional gain scheduled proportional plus integral (P + I) controller was also developed to serve as a baseline design typical of current control laws used in aircraft. A mathematical model of a generic supermaneuverable aircraft was developed from data obtained from the literature. A detailed computer simulation of the aircraft was also developed. This simulation allowed the flying of proposed supermaneuvers and was used to evaluate the performance of the control law designs and to generate linearized models of the aircraft at different flight conditions.
Kincaid, Rex K.; Laba, Keith E.; Padula, Sharon L.
Cabin noise in turboprop aircraft causes passenger discomfort, airframe fatigue, and employee scheduling constraints due to OSHA standards for exposure to high levels of noise. The noise levels in the cabins of turboprop aircraft are typically 10 to 30 decibels louder than commercial jet noise levels. However. unlike jet noise the turboprop noise spectrum is dominated by a few low frequency tones. Active structural acoustic control is a method in which the control inputs (used to reduce interior noise) are applied directly to a vibrating structural acoustic system. The control concept modeled in this work is the application of in-plane force inputs to piezoceramic patches bonded to the wall of a vibrating cylinder. The goal is to determine the force inputs and locations for the piezoceramic actuators so that: (1) the interior noise is effectively damped; (2) the level of vibration of the cylinder shell is not increased; and (3) the power requirements needed to drive the actuators are not excessive. Computational experiments for data taken from a computer generated model and from a laboratory test article at NASA Langley Research Center are provided.
Sellers, J. F.; Szuch, J. R.
This paper presents the results of an analytical study of the dynamics and control of turbofan lift engines, and proposes methods of meeting the response requirements imposed by the VTOL aircraft application. Two types of lift fan engines are discussed: the integral and remote. The integral engine is a conventional two-spool, high bypass ratio turbofan designed for low noise and short length. The remote engine employs a gas generator and a lift fan which are separated by a duct, and which need not be coaxial. For the integral engine, a control system design is presented which satisfies the VTOL response requirements. For the remote engine, two unconventional methods of control involving flow transfer between lift units are discussed.
Vulkan, G.; Hyde, J.
Aircraft noise exposure levels recorded at London's Heathrow airport are analyzed for the purpose of noise abatement policy-making. The basic equipment consisted of a data logger capable of recording an eight-bit phase encoded binary signal at 0.5 second intervals on standard audio cassettes. The mean peak landing noise for a month was 85 dB(A) by day, increasing to 85.4 dB(A) by night, while take-off noise dropped from 87.7 dB(A) by day to 82.8 dB(A) at night. Although it had been anticipated that noise from landing aircraft would generally be less than that from departing aircraft, results so far indicate little difference. It is concluded that selection of groups of data based on time period, runway in use and weather conditions parameters can be provided by the system, enabling thus assessments to be made in planning and designing of buildings.
Hinton, David A.; Charnock, James K.; Bagwell, Donald R.; Grigsby, Donner
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is addressing airport capacity enhancements during instrument meteorological conditions through the Terminal Area Productivity (TAP) program. Within TAP, the Reduced Spacing Operations (RSO) subelement at the NASA Langley Research Center is developing an Aircraft VOrtex Spacing System (AVOSS). AVOSS will integrate the output of several systems to produce weather dependent, dynamic wake vortex spacing criteria. These systems provide current and predicted weather conditions, models of wake vortex transport and decay in these weather conditions, and real-time feedback of wake vortex behavior from sensors. The goal of the NASA program is to provide the research and development to demonstrate an engineering model AVOSS in real-time operation at a major airport. The demonstration is only of concept feasibility, and additional effort is required to deploy an operational system for actual aircraft spacing reduction. This paper describes the AVOSS system architecture, a wake vortex facility established at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), initial operational experience with the AVOSS system, and emerging considerations for subsystem requirements. Results of the initial system operation suggest a significant potential for reduced spacing.
Joseph, Philip J.; Glynn, Dennis P., Jr.; Joseph, John C.
A microwave-based system has been developed as a means of detecting ice on aircraft surfaces, with enough sensitivity to provide a warning before the ice accretes to a dangerous thickness. The system can measure the thickness of ice from a few mils (1 mil = 0.0254 mm) to about 1/4 in. (.6 mm) and can distinguish among (1) ice, (2) water (or deicing fluid), and (3) a mixture of ice and water (or deicing fluid). Sensors have been ruggedized to withstand the rain erosion environment.
Guerreiro, Nelson M.; Hubbard, James E., Jr.; Motter, Mark A.
In the development and testing of novel structural and controls concepts, such as morphing aircraft wings, appropriate models are needed for proper system characterization. In most instances, available system models do not provide the required additional degrees of freedom for morphing structures but may be modified to some extent to achieve a compatible system. The objective of this study is to apply wind tunnel data collected for an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV), that implements trailing edge morphing, to create a non-linear dynamics simulator, using well defined rigid body equations of motion, where the aircraft stability derivatives change with control deflection. An analysis of this wind tunnel data, using data extraction algorithms, was performed to determine the reference aerodynamic force and moment coefficients for the aircraft. Further, non-linear influence functions were obtained for each of the aircraft s control surfaces, including the sixteen trailing edge flap segments. These non-linear controls influence functions are applied to the aircraft dynamics to produce deflection-dependent aircraft stability derivatives in a non-linear dynamics simulator. Time domain analysis of the aircraft motion, trajectory, and state histories can be performed using these nonlinear dynamics and may be visualized using a 3-dimensional aircraft model. Linear system models can be extracted to facilitate frequency domain analysis of the system and for control law development. The results of this study are useful in similar projects where trailing edge morphing is employed and will be instrumental in the University of Maryland s continuing study of active wing load control.
May, D. N.; Plotkin, K. J.; Selden, R. G.; Sharp, B. H.
A theoretical and experimental study was performed to devise lightweight sidewalls for turboprop aircraft. Seven concepts for new sidewalls were analyzed and tested for noise reduction using flat panels of 1.2 m x 1.8 m (4 ft x 6 ft), some of which were aircraft-type constructions and some of which were simpler, easier-to-construct panels to test the functioning of an acoustic principle. Aircraft-application sidewalls were then conceived for each of the seven concepts, and were subjectively evaluated for their ability to meet aircraft nonacoustic design requirements. As a result of the above, the following sidewall concepts were recommended for further investigation: a sidewall in which the interior cavity is vented to ceiling and underfloor areas; sidewalls with wall-mounted resonators, one having a conventional trim panel and one a limp one; and a sidewall with a stiff outer wall and a limp trim panel. These sidewalls appear to promise lower weights than conventional sidewalls adjusted to meet similar acoustic requirements, and further development may prove them to be practical.
Smith, Brian E. (Inventor)
A secondary wing system for use on an aircraft augments the lift, stability, and control of the aircraft at subsonic speeds. The secondary wing system includes a mechanism that allows the canard to be retracted within the contour of the aircraft fuselage from an operational position to a stowed position. The top surface of the canard is exposed to air flow in the stowed position, and is contoured to integrate aerodynamically and smoothly within the contour of the fuselage when the canard is retracted for high speed flight. The bottom portion of the canard is substantially flat for rotation into a storage recess within the fuselage. The single canard rotates about a vertical axis at its spanwise midpoint. The canard can be positioned between a range of sweep angles during flight and a stowed position in which its span is substantially parallel to the aircraft fuselage. The canard can be deployed and retracted during flight. The deployment mechanism includes a circular mounting ring and drive mechanism that connects the canard with the fuselage and permits it to rotate and to change incidence. The deployment mechanism further includes retractable fairings which serve to streamline the wing when it is retracted into the top of the fuselage.
Rogallo, F M
An investigation has been made to determine efficient arrangements for an internal-flow system of an aircraft when such a system operates by itself or in combination with other flow systems. The investigation included a theoretical treatment of a problem and tests in the NACA 5-foot vertical wind tunnel of inlet and outlet openings in a flat plate and in a wing. When an internal-flow system tends to decrease the final velocity of it's wake, the results showed that it should be arranged in series with the propulsive system; the inlet opening should be located at a forward stagnation point; and the outlet opening should be so shaped and located as to recover the kinetic energy of the jet without increasing the drag of other portions of the aircraft. When an internal-flow system tends to increase the final velocity new b's wake, as does a propeller, location of the inlet opening in the boundary layer or in the wake of the wing or in the fuselage may be desirable.
Deepa, S. N.; Sudha, G.
Recent years many flight control systems and industries are employing PID controllers to improve the dynamic behavior of the characteristics. In this paper, PID controller is developed to improve the stability and performance of general aviation aircraft system. Designing the optimum PID controller parameters for a pitch control aircraft is important in expanding the flight safety envelope. Mathematical model is developed to describe the longitudinal pitch control of an aircraft. The PID controller is designed based on the dynamic modeling of an aircraft system. Different tuning methods namely Zeigler-Nichols method (ZN), Modified Zeigler-Nichols method, Tyreus-Luyben tuning, Astrom-Hagglund tuning methods are employed. The time domain specifications of different tuning methods are compared to obtain the optimum parameters value. The results prove that PID controller tuned by Zeigler-Nichols for aircraft pitch control dynamics is better in stability and performance in all conditions. Future research work of obtaining optimum PID controller parameters using artificial intelligence techniques should be carried out.
Caliskan, Fikret; Hajiyev, Chingiz
The recent improvements and research on aviation have focused on the subject of aircraft safe flight even in the severe weather conditions. As one type of such weather conditions, aircraft icing considerably has negative effects on the aircraft flight performance. The risks of the iced aerodynamic surfaces of the flying aircraft have been known since the beginning of the first flights. Until recent years, as a solution for this event, the icing conditions ahead flight route are estimated from radars or other environmental sensors, hence flight paths are changed, or, if it exists, anti-icing/de-icing systems are used. This work aims at the detection and identification of airframe icing based on statistical properties of aircraft dynamics and reconfigurable control protecting aircraft from hazardous icing conditions. In this review paper, aircraft icing identification based on neural network (NN), batch least-squares algorithm, Kalman filtering (KF), combined NN/KF, and H∞ parameter identification techniques are investigated, and compared with each other. Following icing identification, reconfigurable control is applied for protecting the aircraft from hazardous icing conditions.
Berg, F.; Palmer, J.; Bertola, L.; Miller, Paul; Dodds, Graham
There is a perceived need in the future for a move away from traditional aircraft designs in order to meet ambitious emissions and fuel burn targets. High temperature superconducting distributed propulsion may be an enabler for aircraft designs that have better propulsive efficiency and lower drag. There has been significant work considering the electrical systems required, but less on the cryogenics to enable it. This paper discusses some of the major choices to be faced in cryocooling for aircraft. The likely need for a disposable cryogen to reduce power demand is explained. A set of cryocooling methods are considered in a sensitivity study, which shows that the feasibility of the cryogenic system will depend strongly on the superconducting technology and the aircraft platform. It is argued that all three aspects must be researched and designed in close collaboration to reach a viable solution.
Huff, Ronald G.
Tests were conducted in the NASA Lewis Research Center's Powered Lift Facility to experimentally evaluate the noise generated by a flight weight, 12 in. butterfly valve installed in a proposed vertical takeoff and landing thrust vectoring system. Fluctuating pressure measurements were made in the circular duct upstream and downstream of the valve. This data report presents the results of these tests. The maximum overall sound pressure level is generated in the duct downstream of the valve and reached a value of 180 dB at a valve pressure ratio of 2.8. At the higher valve pressure ratios the spectra downstream of the valve is broad banded with its maximum at 1000 Hz.
... comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information... Procedures for Aircraft;'' Final Rule, 38 FR 19088, July 17, 1973. \\12\\ U.S. EPA, ``Control of Air Pollution from Aircraft and Aircraft Engines; Emission Standards and Test Procedures;'' Final Rule, 62 FR...
Karr, Charles L.
The objective of this project, as stated in the original proposal, was to develop an immunized aircraft maneuver selection (IAMS) system. The IAMS system was to be composed of computational and informational building blocks that resemble structures in natural immune systems. The ultimate goal of the project was to develop a software package that could be flight tested on aircraft models. This report describes the work performed in the first year of what was to have been a two year project. This report also describes efforts that would have been made in the final year to have completed the project, had it been continued for the final year. After introductory material is provided in Section 2, the end-of-year-one status of the effort is discussed in Section 3. The remainder of the report provides an accounting of first year efforts. Section 4 provides background information on natural immune systems while Section 5 describes a generic ar&itecture developed for use in the IAMS. Section 6 describes the application of the architecture to a system identification problem. Finally, Section 7 describes steps necessary for completing the project.
Kelly Aerospace Thermal Systems LLC worked with researchers at Glenn Research Center on deicing technology with assistance from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Kelly Aerospace acquired Northcoast Technologies Ltd., a firm that had conducted work on a graphite foil heating element under a NASA SBIR contract and developed a lightweight, easy-to-install, reliable wing and tail deicing system. Kelly Aerospace engineers combined their experiences with those of the Northcoast engineers, leading to the certification and integration of a thermoelectric deicing system called Thermawing, a DC-powered air conditioner for single-engine aircraft called Thermacool, and high-output alternators to run them both. Thermawing, a reliable anti-icing and deicing system, allows pilots to safely fly through ice encounters and provides pilots of single-engine aircraft the heated wing technology usually reserved for larger, jet-powered craft. Thermacool, an innovative electric air conditioning system, uses a new compressor whose rotary pump design runs off an energy-efficient, brushless DC motor and allows pilots to use the air conditioner before the engine even starts
Howell, Charles T., III
Research is needed to determine what procedures, aircraft sensors and other systems will be required to allow Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to safely operate with manned aircraft in the National Airspace System (NAS). This paper explores the use of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Surrogate research aircraft to serve as platforms for UAS systems research, development, and flight testing. These aircraft would be manned with safety pilots and researchers that would allow for flight operations almost anywhere in the NAS without the need for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Certificate of Authorization (COA). With pilot override capability, these UAS Surrogate aircraft would be controlled from ground stations like true UAS s. It would be possible to file and fly these UAS Surrogate aircraft in the NAS with normal traffic and they would be better platforms for real world UAS research and development over existing vehicles flying in restricted ranges or other sterilized airspace. These UAS surrogate aircraft could be outfitted with research systems as required such as computers, state sensors, video recording, data acquisition, data link, telemetry, instrumentation, and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). These surrogate aircraft could also be linked to onboard or ground based simulation facilities to further extend UAS research capabilities. Potential areas for UAS Surrogate research include the development, flight test and evaluation of sensors to aide in the process of air traffic "see-and-avoid". These and other sensors could be evaluated in real-time and compared with onboard human evaluation pilots. This paper examines the feasibility of using UAS Surrogate research aircraft as test platforms for a variety of UAS related research.
Smith, John W.; Montgomery, Terry
During rapid rolling maneuvers, the F-16 XL aircraft exhibits a 2.5 Hz lightly damped roll oscillation, perceived and described as 'roll ratcheting.' This phenomenon is common with fly-by-wire control systems, particularly when primary control is derived through a pedestal-mounted side-arm controller. Analytical studies have been conducted to model the nature of the integrated control characteristics. The analytical results complement the flight observations. A three-degree-of-freedom linearized set of aerodynamic matrices was assembled to simulate the aircraft plant. The lateral-directional control system was modeled as a linear system. A combination of two second-order transfer functions was derived to couple the lateral acceleration feed through effect of the operator's arm and controller to the roll stick force input. From the combined systems, open-loop frequency responses and a time history were derived, describing and predicting an analogous in-flight situation. This report describes the primary control, aircraft angular rate, and position time responses of the F-16 XL-2 aircraft during subsonic and high-dynamic-pressure rolling maneuvers. The analytical description of the pilot's arm and controller can be applied to other aircraft or simulations to assess roll ratcheting susceptibility.
Su, Shanwei; Lin, Yan
In this paper, we develop a non-linear controller to achieve output tracking for a velocity-sensorless vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft in the presence of measurement delays. By applying the Pade approximation technique, the original controlled system is transformed into an augmented dimension system without any time delay. After constructing full-order observers, error coordinate transformation, and system decomposition, the tracking problem of the newly transformed system is changed into the stabilisation problem of two non-minimum phase subsystems and one minimum phase subsystem. The resulting controller not only forces the VTOL aircraft to asymptotically track the desired trajectories, but also drives the unstable internal dynamics, which stands for the non-minimum property of VTOL aircraft, to follow the causal ideal internal dynamics (IID) solved via the stable system centre (SSC) method. Numerical simulation results illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed controller.
Paranjape, Aditya Avinash
There is a considerable interest in developing robotic aircraft, inspired by birds, for a variety of missions covering reconnaissance and surveillance. Flapping wing aircraft concepts have been put forth in light of the efficiency of flapping flight at small scales. These aircraft are naturally equipped with the ability to rotate their wings about the root, a form of wing articulation. This thesis covers some problems concerning the performance, stability and control of robotic aircraft with articulated wings in gliding flight. Specifically, we are interested in aircraft without a vertical tail, which would then use wing articulation for longitudinal as well as lateral-directional control. Although the dynamics and control of articulated wing aircraft share several common features with conventional fixed wing aircraft, the presence of wing articulation presents several unique benefits as well as limitations from the perspective of performance and control. One of the objective of this thesis is to understand these features using a combination of theoretical and numerical tools. The aircraft concept envisioned in this thesis uses the wing dihedral angles for longitudinal and lateral-directional control. Aircraft with flexible articulated wings are also investigated. We derive a complete nonlinear model of the flight dynamics incorporating dynamic CG location and the changing moment of inertia. We show that symmetric dihedral configuration, along with a conventional horizontal tail, can be used to control flight speed and flight path angle independently of each other. This characteristic is very useful for initiating an efficient perching maneuver. It is shown that wing dihedral angles alone can effectively regulate sideslip during rapid turns and generate a wide range of equilibrium turn rates while maintaining a constant flight speed and regulating sideslip. We compute the turning performance limitations that arise due to the use of wing dihedral for yaw control
Rotaru, Constantin; Roateşi, Simona; Cîrciu, Ionicǎ
This paper examines a simplified mathematical model of the aircraft engine, based on the theory of linear and nonlinear systems. The dynamics of the engine was represented by a linear, time variant model, near a nominal operating point within a finite time interval. The linearized equations were expressed in a matrix form, suitable for the incorporation in the MAPLE program solver. The behavior of the engine was included in terms of variation of the rotational speed following a deflection of the throttle. The engine inlet parameters can cover a wide range of altitude and Mach numbers.
Signorelli, R. A.
Studies of advanced aircraft propulsion systems have indicated that performance gains and operating costs are possible through the application of metal matrix composites. Compressor fan blades and turbine blades have been identified as components with high payoff potential as a result of these studies. This paper will present the current status of development of five candidate materials for such applications. Boron fiber/aluminum, boron fiber/titanium, and silicon carbide fiber/titanium composites are considered for lightweight compressor fan blades. Directionally solidified eutectic superalloy and tungsten wire/superalloy composites are considered for application to turbine blades for use temperatures to 1100 C (2000 F).
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.
Suikat, Reiner; Donaldson, Kent E.; Downing, David R.
The design of a Ride Quality Augmentation System (RQAS) for commuter aircraft is documented. The RQAS is designed for a Cessna 402B, an 8 passenger prop twin representative to this class of aircraft. The purpose of the RQAS is the reduction of vertical and lateral accelerations of the aircraft due to atmospheric turbulence by the application of active control. The detailed design of the hardware (the aircraft modifications, the Ride Quality Instrumentation System (RQIS), and the required computer software) is examined. The aircraft modifications, consisting of the dedicated control surfaces and the hydraulic actuation system, were designed at Cessna Aircraft by Kansas University-Flight Research Laboratory. The instrumentation system, which consist of the sensor package, the flight computer, a Data Acquisition System, and the pilot and test engineer control panels, was designed by NASA-Langley. The overall system design and the design of the software, both for flight control algorithms and ground system checkout are detailed. The system performance is predicted from linear simulation results and from power spectral densities of the aircraft response to a Dryden gust. The results indicate that both accelerations are possible.
Coleman, Anthony S.; Hansen, Irving G.
NASA is pursuing a program in Advanced Subsonic Transport (AST) to develop the technology for a highly reliable Fly-By-Light/Power-By-WIre aircraft. One of the primary objectives of the program is to develop the technology base for confident application of integrated PBW components and systems to transport aircraft to improve operating reliability and efficiency. Technology will be developed so that the present hydraulic and pneumatic systems of the aircraft can be systematically eliminated and replaced by electrical systems. These motor driven actuators would move the aircraft wing surfaces as well as the rudder to provide steering controls for the pilot. Existing aircraft electrical systems are not flight critical and are prone to failure due to Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) (1), ground faults and component failures. In order to successfully implement electromechanical flight control actuation, a Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) System must be designed having a reliability of 1 failure in 10(exp +9) hours, EMI hardening and a fault tolerance architecture to ensure uninterrupted power to all aircraft flight critical systems. The focus of this paper is to analyze, define, and describe technically challenging areas associated with the development of a Power By Wire Aircraft and typical requirements to be established at the box level. The authors will attempt to propose areas of investigation, citing specific military standards and requirements that need to be revised to accommodate the 'More Electric Aircraft Systems'.
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.
Suh, Peter M.; Mavris, Dimitri N.
Modal regulators and deformation trackers are designed for an open-loop fluttering wing model. The regulators are designed with modal coordinate and accelerometer inputs respectively. The modal coordinates are estimated with simulated fiber optics. The robust stability of the closed-loop systems is compared in a structured singular-value vector analysis. Performance is evaluated and compared in a gust alleviation and flutter suppression simulation. For the same wing and flight condition two wing-shape-tracking control architectures are presented, which achieve deformation control at any point on the wing.
Schmidt, David K.
The linearization and simplification of a nonlinear, literal model for flexible aircraft is highlighted. Areas of model fidelity that are critical if the model is to be used for control system synthesis are developed and several simplification techniques that can deliver the necessary model fidelity are discussed. These techniques include both numerical and analytical approaches. An analytical approach, based on first-order sensitivity theory is shown to lead not only to excellent numerical results, but also to closed-form analytical expressions for key system dynamic properties such as the pole/zero factors of the vehicle transfer-function matrix. The analytical results are expressed in terms of vehicle mass properties, vibrational characteristics, and rigid-body and aeroelastic stability derivatives, thus leading to the underlying causes for critical dynamic characteristics.
Nadkarni, A. A.; Breedlove, W. J., Jr.
A digital 3-D automatic control law was developed to achieve an optimal transition of a B-737 aircraft between various initial glid slope conditions and the desired final touchdown condition. A discrete, time-invariant, optimal, closed-loop control law presented for a linear regulator problem, was extended to include a system being acted upon by a constant disturbance. Two forms of control laws were derived to solve this problem. One method utilized the feedback of integral states defined appropriately and augmented with the original system equations. The second method formulated the problem as a control variable constraint, and the control variables were augmented with the original system. The control variable constraint control law yielded a better performance compared to feedback control law for the integral states chosen.
Power, L. J.
A procedure is described for synthesis of optimal aircraft control systems by application of the concepts of optimal control theory to time-invariant linear systems with quadratic performance criteria. Essential in this synthesis procedure is the solution of the Riccati matrix equation which results in a constant linear feedback control law for an output regulator which maintains a plant in an equilibrium in the presence of impulse disturbances. An algorithm is derived for designing maneuverable output regulators with selected state variables for feedback.
Airdrop systems provide a unique capability of delivering large payloads to undeveloped and inaccessible locations. Traditionally, these systems have been unguided, requiring large landing zones and drops from low altitude. The invention of the steerable, gliding, ram-air parafoil enabled the possibility of precision aerial payload delivery. In practice, the gliding ability of the ram-air parafoil can actually create major problems for airdrop systems by making them more susceptible to winds and allowing them to achieve far greater miss distances than were previously possible. Research and development work on guided airdrop systems has focused primarily on evolutionary improvements to the guidance algorithm, while the navigation and control algorithms have changed little since the initial autnomous systems were developed. Furthermore, the control mechanisms have not changed since the invention of the ram-air canopy in the 1960’s. The primary contributions of this dissertation are: (1) the development of a reliable and robust method to identify a flight dynamic model for a parafoil and payload aircraft using minimal sensor data; (2) the first demonstration in flight test of the ability to achieve large changes in glide slope over ground using coupled incidence angle variation and trailing edge brake deflection; (3) the first development of a control law to implement glide slope control on an autonomous system; (4) the first flight tests of autonomous landing with a glide slope control mechanism demonstrating an improvement in landing accuracy by a factor of 2 or more in especially windy conditions, and (5) the first demonstrations in both simulation and flight test of the ability to perform in-flight system identification to adapt the internal control mappings to flight data and provide dramatic improvements in landing accuracy when there is a significant discrepancy between the assumed and actual flight characteristics.
Peters, M.E.; Andrisani, D. II
This paper describes the design, construction, flight testing and system identification of a light weight remotely piloted aircraft and its use in studying flying qualities in the longitudinal axis. The short period approximation to the longitudinal dynamics of the aircraft was used. Parameters in this model were determined a priori using various empirical estimators. These parameters were then estimated from flight data using a maximum likelihood parameter identification method. A comparison of the parameter values revealed that the stability derivatives obtained from the empirical estimators were reasonably close to the flight test results. However, the control derivatives determined by the empirical estimators were too large by a factor of two. The aircraft was also flown to determine how the longitudinal flying qualities of light weight remotely piloted aircraft compared to full size manned aircraft. It was shown that light weight remotely piloted aircraft require much faster short period dynamics to achieve level I flying qualities in an up-and-away flight task.
Caplin, Jeffrey; Ray, Asok; Joshi, Suresh M.
This paper presents the concept and a design methodology for robust damage-mitigating control (DMC) of aircraft. The goal of DMC is to simultaneously achieve high performance and structural durability. The controller design procedure involves consideration of damage at critical points of the structure, as well as the performance requirements of the aircraft. An aeroelastic model of the wings has been formulated and is incorporated into a nonlinear rigid-body model of aircraft flight-dynamics. Robust damage-mitigating controllers are then designed using the H(infinity)-based structured singular value (mu) synthesis method based on a linearized model of the aircraft. In addition to penalizing the error between the ideal performance and the actual performance of the aircraft, frequency-dependent weights are placed on the strain amplitude at the root of each wing. Using each controller in turn, the control system is put through an identical sequence of maneuvers, and the resulting (varying amplitude cyclic) stress profiles are analyzed using a fatigue crack growth model that incorporates the effects of stress overload. Comparisons are made to determine the impact of different weights on the resulting fatigue crack damage in the wings. The results of simulation experiments show significant savings in fatigue life of the wings while retaining the dynamic performance of the aircraft.
A methodology is proposed for the synthesis of a Damage-Mitigating Control System for a high-performance fighter aircraft. The design of such a controller involves consideration of damage to critical points of the structure, as well as the performance requirements of the aircraft. This research is interdisciplinary, and brings existing knowledge in the fields of unsteady aerodynamics, structural dynamics, fracture mechanics, and control theory together to formulate a new approach towards aircraft flight controller design. A flexible wing model is formulated using the Finite Element Method, and the important mode shapes and natural frequencies are identified. The Doublet Lattice Method is employed to develop an unsteady flow model for computation of the unsteady aerodynamic loads acting on the wing due to rigid-body maneuvers and structural deformation. These two models are subsequently incorporated into a pre-existing nonlinear rigid-body aircraft flight-dynamic model. A family of robust Damage-Mitigating Controllers is designed using the Hinfinity-optimization and mu-synthesis method. In addition to weighting the error between the ideal performance and the actual performance of the aircraft, weights are also placed on the strain amplitude at the root of each wing. The results show significant savings in fatigue life of the wings while retaining the dynamic performance of the aircraft.
Adachi, Fumiyuki; Miyazaki, Hiroyuki; Endo, Chikara
If a large scale disaster similar to the Great East Japan Earthquake 2011 happens, some areas may be isolated from the communications network. Recently, unmanned aircraft system (UAS) based wireless relay communication has been attracting much attention since it is able to quickly re-establish the connection between isolated areas and the network. However, the channel between ground station (GS) and unmanned aircraft (UA) is unreliable due to UA's swing motion and as consequence, the relay communication quality degrades. In this paper, we introduce space-time block coded (STBC) amplify-and-forward (AF) relay for UAS based wireless relay communication to improve relay communication quality. A group of UAs forms single frequency network (SFN) to perform STBC-AF cooperative relay. In STBC-AF relay, only conjugate operation, block exchange and amplifying are required at UAs. Therefore, STBC-AF relay improves the relay communication quality while alleviating the complexity problem at UAs. It is shown by computer simulation that STBC-AF relay can achieve better throughput performance than conventional AF relay.
Sexton, G. A.
Aircraft functional systems and crew systems were defined for a 1995 transport aircraft through a process of mission analysis, preliminary design, and evaluation in a soft mockup. This resulted in a revolutionary pilot's desk flight station design featuring an all-electric aircraft, fly-by-wire/light flight and thrust control systems, large electronic color head-down displays, head-up displays, touch panel controls for aircraft functional systems, voice command and response systems, and air traffic control systems projected for the 1990s. The conceptual aircraft, for which crew systems were designed, is a generic twin-engine wide-body, low-wing transport, capable of worldwide operation. The flight control system consists of conventional surfaces (some employed in unique ways) and new surfaces not used on current transports. The design will be incorporated into flight simulation facilities at NASA-Langley, NASA-Ames, and the Lockheed-Georgia Company. When interfaced with advanced air traffic control system models, the facilities will provide full-mission capability for researching issues affecting transport aircraft flight stations and crews of the 1990s.
... can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at... Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 91 Unmanned Aircraft System Test Sites AGENCY: Federal... test ranges/sites to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System...
The X-56A Multi-Utility Technology Testbed is an experimental aircraft designed to study active control of flexible structures. The vehicle is easily reconfigured to allow for testing of different configurations. The vehicle is being used to study new sensor, actuator, modeling and controls technologies. These new technologies will allow for lighter vehicles and new configurations that exceed the efficiency currently achievable. A description of the vehicle and the current research efforts that it enables are presented.
Fuller, C. R.
This project deals with developing advanced methods for investigating and controlling interior noise in aircraft. The work concentrates on developing and applying the techniques of Near Field Acoustic Holography (NAH) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to the aircraft interior noise dynamic problem. This involves investigating the current state of the art, developing new techniques and then applying them to the particular problem being studied. The knowledge gained under the first part of the project was then used to develop and apply new, advanced noise control techniques for reducing interior noise. A new fully active control approach based on the PCA was developed and implemented on a test cylinder. Finally an active-passive approach based on tunable vibration absorbers was to be developed and analytically applied to a range of test structures from simple plates to aircraft fuselages.
Lemont, H. E.
Helicopter aerial dispersal systems were studied to ascertain constraints to the system, the effects of removal of limitations (technical and FAA regulations), and subsystem improvements. Productivity indices for the aircraft and swath effects were examined. Typical missions were formulated through conversations with operators, and differing gross weight aircraft were synthesized to perform these missions. Economic analysis of missions and aircraft indicated a general correlation of small aircraft (3000 lb gross weight) suitability for small fields (25 acres), and low dispersion rates (less than 32 lb/acre), with larger aircraft (12,000 lb gross weight) being more favorable for bigger fields (200 acres) and heavier dispersal rates (100 lb/acre). Operator problems, possible aircraft and system improvements, and selected removal of operating limitations were reviewed into recommendations for future NASA research items.
Kvaternik, Raymond G.; Juang, Jer-Nan; Bennett, Richard L.
The Aeroelasticity Branch at NASA Langley Research Center has a long and substantive history of tiltrotor aeroelastic research. That research has included a broad range of experimental investigations in the Langley Transonic Dynamics Tunnel (TDT) using a variety of scale models and the development of essential analyses. Since 1994, the tiltrotor research program has been using a 1/5-scale, semispan aeroelastic model of the V-22 designed and built by Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. (BHTI) in 1981. That model has been refurbished to form a tiltrotor research testbed called the Wing and Rotor Aeroelastic Test System (WRATS) for use in the TDT. In collaboration with BHTI, studies under the current tiltrotor research program are focused on aeroelastic technology areas having the potential for enhancing the commercial and military viability of tiltrotor aircraft. Among the areas being addressed, considerable emphasis is being directed to the evaluation of modern adaptive multi-input multi- output (MIMO) control techniques for active stability augmentation and vibration control of tiltrotor aircraft. As part of this investigation, a predictive control technique known as Generalized Predictive Control (GPC) is being studied to assess its potential for actively controlling the swashplate of tiltrotor aircraft to enhance aeroelastic stability in both helicopter and airplane modes of flight. This paper summarizes the exploratory numerical and experimental studies that were conducted as part of that investigation.
Betzina, Mark D.; Nguyen, Khanh Q.
A method of reducing the noise generated by a tilt-rotor aircraft during descent involves active control of the blade pitch of the rotors. This method is related to prior such noise-reduction methods, of a type denoted generally as higher-harmonic control (HHC), in which the blade pitch is made to oscillate at a harmonic of the frequency of rotation of the rotor. A tilt-rotor aircraft is so named because mounted at its wing tips are motors that can be pivoted to enable the aircraft to take off and land like a helicopter or to fly like a propeller airplane. When the aircraft is operating in its helicopter mode, the rotors generate more thrust per unit rotor-disk area than helicopter rotors do, thus producing more blade-vortex interaction (BVI) noise. BVI is a major source of noise produced by helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft during descent: When a rotor descends into its own wake, the interaction of each blade with the blade-tip vortices generated previously gives rise to large air-pressure fluctuations. These pressure fluctuations radiate as distinct, impulsive noise. In general, the pitch angle of the rotor blades of a tilt-rotor aircraft is controlled by use of a swash plate connected to the rotor blades by pitch links. In both prior HHC methods and the present method, HHC control signals are fed as input to swash-plate control actuators, causing the rotor-blade pitch to oscillate. The amplitude, frequency, and phase of the control signal can be chosen to minimize BVI noise.
A high order rotorcraft mathematical model is developed and validated against the XV-15 and a Large Civil Tiltrotor (LCTR) concept. The mathematical model is generic and allows for any rotorcraft configuration, from single main rotor helicopters to coaxial and tiltrotor aircraft. Rigid-body and inflow states, as well as flexible wing and blade states are used in the analysis. The separate modeling of each rotorcraft component allows for structural flexibility to be included, which is important when modeling large aircraft where structural modes affect the flight dynamics frequency ranges of interest, generally 1 to 20 rad/sec. Details of the formulation of the mathematical model are given, including derivations of structural, aerodynamic, and inertial loads. The linking of the components of the aircraft is developed using an approach similar to multibody analyses by exploiting a tree topology, but without equations of constraints. Assessments of the effects of wing flexibility are given. Flexibility effects are evaluated by looking at the nature of the couplings between rigid-body modes and wing structural modes and vice versa. The effects of various different forms of structural feedback on aircraft dynamics are analyzed. A proportional-integral feedback on the structural acceleration is deemed to be most effective at both improving the damping and reducing the overall excitation of a structural mode. A model following control architecture is then implemented on full order flexible LCTR models. For this aircraft, the four lowest frequency structural modes are below 20 rad/sec, and are thus needed for control law development and analysis. The impact of structural feedback on both Attitude-Command, Attitude-Hold (ACAH) and Translational Rate Command (TRC) response types are investigated. A rigid aircraft model has optimistic performance characteristics, and a control system designed for a rigid aircraft could potentially destabilize a flexible one. The various
Brumbaugh, Randal W.
A generic, state-of-the-art, high-performance aircraft model, including detailed, full-envelope, nonlinear aerodynamics, and full-envelope thrust and first-order engine response data is described. While this model was primarily developed Controls Design Challenge, the availability of such a model provides a common focus for research in aeronautical control theory and methodology. An implementation of this model using the FORTRAN computer language, associated routines furnished with the aircraft model, and techniques for interfacing these routines to external procedures is also described. Figures showing vehicle geometry, surfaces, and sign conventions 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.
Martinez-Guridi, G.; Hall, R.E.; Fullwood, R.R.
An airplane is a highly engineered system incorporating control- and feedback-loops which often, and realistically, are non-linear because the equations describing such feedback contain products of state variables, trigonometric or square-root functions, or other types of non-linear terms. The feedback provided by the pilot (crew) of the airplane also is typically non-linear because it has the same mathematical characteristics. An airplane is designed with systems to prevent and mitigate undesired events. If an undesired triggering event occurs, an accident may process in different ways depending on the effectiveness of such systems. In addition, the progression of some accidents requires that the operating crew take corrective action(s), which may modify the configuration of some systems. The safety assessment of an aircraft system typically is carried out using ARP (Aerospace Recommended Practice) 4761 (SAE, 1995) methods, such as Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) and Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA). Such methods may be called static because they model an aircraft system on its nominal configuration during a mission time, but they do not incorporate the action(s) taken by the operating crew, nor the dynamic behavior (non-linearities) of the system (airplane) as a function of time. Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA), also known as Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA), has been applied to highly engineered systems, such as aircraft and nuclear power plants. PSA encompasses a wide variety of methods, including event tree analysis (ETA), FTA, and common-cause analysis, among others. PSA should not be confused with ARP 4761`s proposed PSSA (Preliminary System Safety Assessment); as its name implies, PSSA is a preliminary assessment at the system level consisting of FTA and FMEA.
Jorgensen, C. C.
A Dynamic Cell Structure (DCS ) Neural Network was developed which learns a topology representing network (TRN) of F-15 aircraft aerodynamic stability and control derivatives. The network is combined with a feedback linearized tracking controller to produce a robust control architecture capable of handling multiple accident and off-nominal flight scenarios. This paper describes network and its performance for accident scenarios including differential stabilator lock, soft sensor failure, control, stability derivative variation, and turbulence.
Young, J. W.
An analytic investigation has been made of procedures for effecting recovery from equilibrium spin conditions for three assumed aircraft configurations. Three approaches which utilize conventional aerodynamic controls are investigated. Included are a constant control recovery mode, optimal recoveries, and a suboptimal control logic patterned after optimal recovery results. The optimal and suboptimal techniques are shown to yield a significant improvement in recovery performance over that attained by using a constant control recovery procedure.
Hibbs, B.D.; Lissaman, P.B.S.; Morgan, W.R.; Radkey, R.L.
This disclosure provides a solar rechargeable aircraft that is inexpensive to produce, is steerable, and can remain airborne almost indefinitely. The preferred aircraft is a span-loaded flying wing, having no fuselage or rudder. Travelling at relatively slow speeds, and having a two-hundred foot wingspan that mounts photovoltaic cells on most all of the wing`s top surface, the aircraft uses only differential thrust of its eight propellers to turn. Each of five sections of the wing has one or more engines and photovoltaic arrays, and produces its own lift independent of the other sections, to avoid loading them. Five two-sided photovoltaic arrays, in all, are mounted on the wing, and receive photovoltaic energy both incident on top of the wing, and which is incident also from below, through a bottom, transparent surface. The aircraft is capable of a top speed of about ninety miles per hour, which enables the aircraft to attain and can continuously maintain altitudes of up to sixty-five thousand feet. Regenerative fuel cells in the wing store excess electricity for use at night, such that the aircraft can sustain its elevation indefinitely. A main spar of the wing doubles as a pressure vessel that houses hydrogen and oxygen gases for use in the regenerative fuel cell. The aircraft has a wide variety of applications, which include weather monitoring and atmospheric testing, communications, surveillance, and other applications as well. 31 figs.
Hibbs, Bart D.; Lissaman, Peter B. S.; Morgan, Walter R.; Radkey, Robert L.
This disclosure provides a solar rechargeable aircraft that is inexpensive to produce, is steerable, and can remain airborne almost indefinitely. The preferred aircraft is a span-loaded flying wing, having no fuselage or rudder. Travelling at relatively slow speeds, and having a two-hundred foot wingspan that mounts photovoltaic cells on most all of the wing's top surface, the aircraft uses only differential thrust of its eight propellers to turn. Each of five sections of the wing has one or more engines and photovoltaic arrays, and produces its own lift independent of the other sections, to avoid loading them. Five two-sided photovoltaic arrays, in all, are mounted on the wing, and receive photovoltaic energy both incident on top of the wing, and which is incident also from below, through a bottom, transparent surface. The aircraft is capable of a top speed of about ninety miles per hour, which enables the aircraft to attain and can continuously maintain altitudes of up to sixty-five thousand feet. Regenerative fuel cells in the wing store excess electricity for use at night, such that the aircraft can sustain its elevation indefinitely. A main spar of the wing doubles as a pressure vessel that houses hydrogen and oxygen gasses for use in the regenerative fuel cell. The aircraft has a wide variety of applications, which include weather monitoring and atmospheric testing, communications, surveillance, and other applications as well.
Stout, Perry Walter
Quantitative Feedback Theory (QFT) is a control system synthesis, technique that directly considers system uncertainties and disturbance magnitudes when formulating closed-loop control algorithms. Dynamic Inversion is a nonlinear control system design technique that relies on accurate mathematical models to compute control inputs producing arbitrary system responses. Both techniques have been applied to unstable high performance aircraft flight control, and produced effective aircraft controllers. Both techniques have certain drawbacks: Nonlinear QFT controllers tend to be unnecessarily conservative (the computed controllers have excessive bandwidth) because known system properties are treated as "unknown" disturbances during loop synthesis. Meanwhile Dynamic Inversion control is sensitive to differences between assumed mathematical models and actual system dynamic properties. Combining the two control techniques provides the benefit of both while suffering the drawbacks of neither, as demonstrated by Single Input, Single Output (SISO) control of a constant airspeed, no roll, no yaw nonlinear model of the F-16 aircraft, and by Multi-Input, Multi-Output (MIMO) control of a full six-degree-of-freedom version. Design performance of the combined controllers is verified by reduced actuator efforts and by reduced sensor noise to actuator input (U( s)/n(s)) transfer function magnitudes compared to standard QFT versions.
Drones, subscale vehicles like the Firebees, and full scale retired military aircraft are used to test air defense missile systems. The DFCS (Drone Formation Control System) computer, developed by IBM (International Business Machines) Federal Systems Division, can track ten drones at once. A program called ORACLS is used to generate software to track and control Drones. It was originally developed by Langley and supplied by COSMIC (Computer Software Management and Information Center). The program saved the company both time and money.
Becker, Juergen; Luber, Wolfgang G.
A comparison of active smart structure - piezoelectric control system and aerodynamic active systems for vibration alleviation and elastic mode damping of a military aircraft structure is presented. The vibration alleviation systems which are operative at flight in turbulence or during maneuvers at high incidence corresponding to severe buffeting conditions are under investigation by DASA as a part of research study on advanced aircraft structures. The active systems for elastic mode damping are designed as digital systems to provide vibration alleviation and have an interface to the flight control system (FCS) or are directly part of the FCS. The sensor concept of all different systems is the same as the sensor concept used for the FCS with the corresponding benefits of redundancy and safety. The design of systems and the comparisons of system properties are based on open and closed loop response calculations, performed with the dynamic model of the total aircraft including coupling of flight mechanics, structural dynamics, FCS dynamics and hydraulic actuator or piezo-actuator dynamics. Aerodynamic systems, like active foreplane and flap concepts, rudder and auxiliary rudder concepts, and piezoelectric systems, like piezo interface at the interconnection fin to rear fuselage and integrated piezo concepts are compared. Besides the essential effects on flexible aircraft mode stability and vibration alleviation factors system complexity and safety aspects are described.
Goplen, Susan E.; Sloan, Jeff L.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project Office leads the implementation of UAS technology in the Department of the Interior (DOI). Our mission is to support the transition of UAS into DOI as a new cost-effective tool for collecting remote-sensing data to monitor environmental conditions, respond to natural hazards, recognize the consequences and benefits of land and climate change and conduct wildlife inventories. The USGS is teaming with all DOI agencies and academia as well as local, State, and Tribal governments with guidance from the Federal Aviation Administration and the DOI Office of Aviation Services (OAS) to lead the safe, efficient, costeffective and leading-edge adoption of UAS technology into the scientific research and operational activities of the DOI.
Flake, R.A.; Eskra, M.D.
While most USAF aircraft currently use vented Ni-Cd for dc electrical power and emergency power, as well as the powering of lights and instruments prior to engine starting, these batteries have high maintenance requirements, low reliability, and no built-in testing capability with which to check battery health prior to flight. The USAF Wright R D Center accordingly initiated its Advanced Maintenance-Free NiCd Battery System development program in 1986, in order to develop a sealed Ni-Cd battery which would remain maintenance-free over a period of three years. Attention is being given to a high power bipolar battery design in which there are no individual cell cases or cell interconnects.
Schmidt, S. A.; Linden, A. W.
The overall feasibility of the technical requirements and concepts for a rotor system research aircraft (RSRA) was determined. The designs of two aircraft were then compared against the RSRA requirements. One of these is an all new aircraft specifically designed as an RSRA vehicle. A new main rotor, transmission, wings, and fuselage are included in this design. The second aircraft uses an existing Sikorsky S-61 main rotor, an S-61 roller gearbox, and a highly modified Sikorsky S-67 airframe. The wing for this aircraft is a new design. Both aircraft employ a fan-in-fin anti-torque/yaw control system, T58-GE-16 engines for rotor power, and TF34-GE-2 turbofans for auxiliary thrust. Each aircraft meets the basic requirements and goals of the program. The all new aircraft has inflight variable main rotor shaft tilt, a side-by-side cockpit seating arrangement, and is slightly faster in the compound mode. It is also somewhat lighter since it uses new dynamic components specifically designed for the RSRA. Preliminary development plans, including schedules and costs, were prepared for both of these aircraft.
DeLaat, John C.; Breisacher, Kevin J.; Saus, Joseph R.; Paxson, Daniel E.
Lean-burning combustors are susceptible to combustion instabilities. Additionally, due to non-uniformities in the fuel-air mixing and in the combustion process, there typically exist hot areas in the combustor exit plane. These hot areas limit the operating temperature at the turbine inlet and thus constrain performance and efficiency. Finally, it is necessary to optimize the fuel-air ratio and flame temperature throughout the combustor to minimize the production of pollutants. In recent years, there has been considerable activity addressing Active Combustion Control. NASA Glenn Research Center's Active Combustion Control Technology effort aims to demonstrate active control in a realistic environment relevant to aircraft engines. Analysis and experiments are tied to aircraft gas turbine combustors. Considerable progress has been shown in demonstrating technologies for Combustion Instability Control, Pattern Factor Control, and Emissions Minimizing Control. Future plans are to advance the maturity of active combustion control technology to eventual demonstration in an engine environment.
Howlett, R. A.
The Variable Stream Control Engine is studied for advanced supersonic cruise aircraft. Significant environmental and performance improvements relative to first generation supersonic turbojet engines are cited. Two separate flow streams, each with independent burner and nozzle systems are incorporated within the engine. By unique control of the exhaust temperatures and velocities in two coannular streams, significant reduction in jet noise is obtained.
Thomas, Russell H. (Inventor); Czech, Michael J. (Inventor); Elkoby, Ronen (Inventor)
The aircraft exhaust engine nozzle system includes a fan nozzle to receive a fan flow from a fan disposed adjacent to an engine disposed above an airframe surface of the aircraft, a core nozzle disposed within the fan nozzle and receiving an engine core flow, and a pylon structure connected to the core nozzle and structurally attached with the airframe surface to secure the engine to the aircraft.
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.
Cotting, M. Christopher; Cox, Timothy H.
A control system framework is presented for both real-time and batch six-degree-of-freedom simulation. This framework allows stabilization and control with multiple command options, from body rate control to waypoint guidance. Also, pilot commands can be used to operate the simulation in a pilot-in-the-loop environment. This control system framework is created by using direct vehicle state feedback with nonlinear dynamic inversion. A direct control allocation scheme is used to command aircraft effectors. Online B-matrix estimation is used in the control allocation algorithm for maximum algorithm flexibility. Primary uses for this framework include conceptual design and early preliminary design of aircraft, where vehicle models change rapidly and a knowledge of vehicle six-degree-of-freedom performance is required. A simulated airbreathing hypersonic vehicle and a simulated high performance fighter are controlled to demonstrate the flexibility and utility of the control system.
Mathur, Gopal; Fuller, Christopher
Active noise control techniques can provide significant reductions in aircraft interior noise levels without the structural modifications or weight penalties usually associated with passive techniques, particularly for low frequency noise. Our main objective in this presentation is to give a review of active control methods and their applications to aircraft cabin noise reduction with an emphasis on recent advances and challenges facing the noise control engineer in the practical application of these techniques. The active noise control method using secondary acoustic sources, e.g., loudspeakers, as control sources for tonal noise reduction is first discussed with results from an active noise control flight test demonstration. An innovative approach of applying control forces directly to the fuselage structure using piezoelectric actuators, known as active structural acoustic control (ASAC), to control cabin noise is then presented. Experimental results from laboratory ASAC tests conducted on a full-scale fuselage and from flight tests on a helicopter will be discussed. Finally, a hybrid active/passive noise control approach for achieving significant broadband noise reduction will be discussed. Experimental results of control of broadband noise transmission through an aircraft structure will be presented.
Salud, Maria Theresa P.; Williams, Reuben A. (Technical Monitor)
An assessment was conducted on multiple wireless local area network (WLAN) devices using the three wireless standards for spurious radiated emissions to determine their threat to aircraft radio navigation systems. The measurement process, data and analysis are provided for devices tested using IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, and Bluetooth as well as data from portable laptops/tablet PCs and PDAs (grouping known as PEDs). A comparison was made between wireless LAN devices and portable electronic devices. Spurious radiated emissions were investigated in the radio frequency bands for the following aircraft systems: Instrument Landing System Localizer and Glideslope, Very High Frequency (VHF) Communication, VHF Omnidirectional Range, Traffic Collision Avoidance System, Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System, Microwave Landing System and Global Positioning System. Since several of the contiguous navigation systems were grouped under one encompassing measurement frequency band, there were five measurement frequency bands where spurious radiated emissions data were collected for the PEDs and WLAN devices. The report also provides a comparison between emissions data and regulatory emission limit.
Grant, Daniel T.
a method to relate the flight dynamics of morphing aircraft by interpreting a time-varying eigenvector in terms of flight modes. The time-varying eigenvector is actually defined through a decomposition of the state-transition matrix and thus describes an entire response through a morphing trajectory. A variable-sweep aircraft is analyzed to demonstrate the information that is obtained through this method and how the flight dynamics are altered by the time-varying morphing. Also, morphing vehicles have inherently time-varying dynamics due to the alteration of their configurations; consequently, the numerous techniques for analysis and control of time-invariant systems are inappropriate. Therefore, a control scheme is introduced that directly considers a concept of time-varying pole to command morphing. The resulting trajectory minimizing tracking error for either a state response or a pole response.
Buehrle, Ralph D.; Klos, Jacob; Gibbs, Gary P.
Windows are a significant path for structure-borne and air-borne noise transmission into aircraft. To improve the acoustical performance, damped windows were fabricated using two or three layers of plexiglas with transparent viscoelastic damping material sandwiched between the layers. In this paper, numerical and experimental results are used to evaluate the acoustic benefits of damped windows. Tests were performed in the Structural Acoustic Loads and Transmission Facility at NASA Langley Research Center to measure the transmission loss for diffuse acoustic excitation and radiated sound power for point force excitation. Comparisons between uniform and damped plexiglas windows showed increased transmission loss of 6 dB at the first natural frequency, 6 dB at coincidence, and 4.5 dB over a 50 to 4k Hz range. Radiated sound power was reduced up to 7 dB at the lower natural frequencies and 3.7 dB over a 1000 Hz bandwidth. Numerical models are presented for the prediction of radiated sound power for point force excitation and transmission loss for diffuse acoustic excitation. Radiated sound power and transmission loss predictions are in good agreement with experimental data. A parametric study is presented that evaluates the optimum configuration of the damped plexiglas windows for reducing the radiated sound power.
Lax, F. M.
A time-controlled navigation system applicable to the descent phase of flight for airline transport aircraft was developed and simulated. The design incorporates the linear discrete-time sampled-data version of the linearized continuous-time system describing the aircraft's aerodynamics. Using optimal linear quadratic control techniques, an optimal deterministic control regulator which is implementable on an airborne computer is designed. The navigation controller assists the pilot in complying with assigned times of arrival along a four-dimensional flight path in the presence of wind disturbances. The strategic air traffic control concept is also described, followed by the design of a strategic control descent path. A strategy for determining possible times of arrival at specified waypoints along the descent path and for generating the corresponding route-time profiles that are within the performance capabilities of the aircraft is presented. Using a mathematical model of the Boeing 707-320B aircraft along with a Boeing 707 cockpit simulator interfaced with an Adage AGT-30 digital computer, a real-time simulation of the complete aircraft aerodynamics was achieved. The strategic four-dimensional navigation controller for longitudinal dynamics was tested on the nonlinear aircraft model in the presence of 15, 30, and 45 knot head-winds. The results indicate that the controller preserved the desired accuracy and precision of a time-controlled aircraft navigation system.
Current aircraft engine controllers are designed and operated to provide desired performance and stability margins. Except for the hard limits for extreme conditions, engine controllers do not usually take engine component life into consideration during the controller design and operation. The end result is that aircraft pilots regularly operate engines under unnecessarily harsh conditions to strive for optimum performance. The NASA Glenn Research Center and its industrial and academic partners have been working together toward an intelligent control concept that will include engine life as part of the controller design criteria. This research includes the study of the relationship between control action and engine component life as well as the design of an intelligent control algorithm to provide proper tradeoffs between performance and engine life. This approach is expected to maintain operating safety while minimizing overall operating costs. In this study, the thermomechanical fatigue (TMF) of a critical component was selected to demonstrate how an intelligent engine control algorithm can significantly extend engine life with only a very small sacrifice in performance. An intelligent engine control scheme based on modifying the high-pressure spool speed (NH) was proposed to reduce TMF damage from ground idle to takeoff. The NH acceleration schedule was optimized to minimize the TMF damage for a given rise-time constraint, which represents the performance requirement. The intelligent engine control scheme was used to simulate a commercial short-haul aircraft engine.
Duerr, R. A.; Diehl, L. A.
Gas turbine engine combustor technology for the reduction of pollutant emissions is summarized. Variations of conventional combustion systems and advanced combustor concepts are discussed. Projected results from far term technology efforts aimed at applying the premixed prevaporized and catalytic combustion techniques to aircraft combustion systems indicate a potential for significant reductions in pollutant emission levels.
Baron, S.; Levison, W. H.
Pilot-vehicle-display systems theory is applied to the analysis of proposed vertical situation displays for manual control in approach-to-landing of a STOL aircraft. The effects of display variables on pilot workload and on total closed-loop system performance was calculated using an optimal-control model for the human operator. The steep approach of an augmentor wing jet STOL aircraft was analyzed. Both random turbulence and mean-wind shears were considered. Linearized perturbation equations were used to describe longitudinal and lateral dynamics of the aircraft. The basic display configuration was one that abstracted the essential status information (including glide-slope and localizer errors) of an EADI display. Proposed flight director displays for both longitudinal and lateral control were also investigated.
Sparks, Dean W.; Moerder, Daniel D.
This paper treats the problem of recovering sustainable nondescending (safe) flight in a transport aircraft after one or more of its control effectors fail. Such recovery can be a challenging goal for many transport aircraft currently in the operational fleet for two reasons. First, they have very little redundancy in their means of generating control forces and moments. These aircraft have, as primary control surfaces, a single rudder and pairwise elevators and aileron/spoiler units that provide yaw, pitch, and roll moments with sufficient bandwidth to be used in stabilizing and maneuvering the airframe. Beyond this, throttling the engines can provide additional moments, but on a much slower time scale. Other aerodynamic surfaces, such as leading and trailing edge flaps, are only intended to be placed in a position and left, and are, hence, very slow-moving. Because of this, loss of a primary control surface strongly degrades the controllability of the vehicle, particularly when the failed effector becomes stuck in a non-neutral position where it exerts a disturbance moment that must be countered by the remaining operating effectors. The second challenge in recovering safe flight is that these vehicles are not agile, nor can they tolerate large accelerations. This is of special importance when, at the outset of the recovery maneuver, the aircraft is flying toward the ground, as is frequently the case when there are major control hardware failures. Recovery of safe flight is examined in this paper in the context of trajectory optimization. For a particular transport aircraft, and a failure scenario inspired by an historical air disaster, recovery scenarios are calculated with and without control surface failures, to bring the aircraft to safe flight from the adverse flight condition that it had assumed, apparently as a result of contact with a vortex from a larger aircraft's wake. An effort has been made to represent relevant airframe dynamics, acceleration limits
Alag, Gurbux Singh
A variable-skew oblique-wing offers a substantial aerodynamic performance advantage for aircraft missions that require both high efficiency in subsonic flight and supersonic dash or cruise. The most obvious characteristics of the oblique-wing concept is the asymmetry of the wing-skew angle that causes a significant aerodynamic and inertial cross coupling between the aircraft longitudinal and lateral-directional axes. This paper presents a technique for synthesizing a decoupling controller while providing the desired stability augmentation. The use of output feedback in control law synthesis without the requirement of state estimation is presented. An explicit model-following control system with output feedback is developed. The effectiveness of the control laws developed in achieving the desired decoupling is illustrated for a given flight condition for an oblique-wing aircraft.
Pahle, Joseph W.
Recent interest in oblique-wing aircraft has focused on the potential aerodynamic performance advantage of a variable-skew oblique wing over a conventional or symmetric sweep wing. Unfortunately, the resulting asymmetric configuration has significant aerodynamic and inertial cross-coupling between the aircraft longitudinal and lateral-directional axes. Presented here is a decoupling control law synthesis technique that integrates stability augmentation, decoupling, and the direct incorporation of desired handling qualities into an output feedback controller. The proposed design technique uses linear quadratic regulator concepts in the framework of explicit model following. The output feedback strategy used is a suboptimal projection from the state space to the output space. Dynamics are then introduced into the controller to improve steady-state performance and increase system robustness. Closed-loop performance is shown by application of the control laws to the linearized equations of motion and nonlinear simulation of an oblique-wing aircraft.
Kavehrad, Mohsen; Fadlullah, Jarir
This paper focuses on leveraging the progress in semiconductor technologies to facilitate production of efficient light-based in-flight entertainment (IFE), distributed sensing, navigation and control systems. We demonstrate the ease of configuring "engineered pipes" using cheap lenses, etc. to achieve simple linear transmission capacity growth. Investigation of energy-efficient, miniaturized transceivers will create a wireless medium, for both inter and intra aircrafts, providing enhanced security, and improved quality-of-service for communications links in greater harmony with onboard systems. The applications will seamlessly inter-connect multiple intelligent devices in a network that is deployable for aircrafts navigation systems, onboard sensors and entertainment data delivery systems, and high-definition audio-visual broadcasting systems. Recent experimental results on a high-capacity infrared (808 nm) system are presented. The light source can be applied in a hybrid package along with a visible lighting LED for both lighting and communications. Also, we present a pragmatic combination of light communications through "Spotlighting" and existing onboard power-lines. It is demonstrated in details that a high-capacity IFE visible light system communicating over existing power-lines (VLC/PLC) may lead to savings in many areas through reduction of size, weight and energy consumption. This paper addresses the challenges of integrating optimized optical devices in the variety of environments described above, and presents mitigation and tailoring approaches for a multi-purpose optical network.
Vaicaitis, R.; Slazak, M.
An analytical model based on modal analysis was developed to predict the noise transmission into a twin-engine light aircraft. The model was applied to optimize the interior noise to an A-weighted level of 85 dBA. To achieve the required noise attenuation, add-on treatments in the form of honeycomb panels, damping tapes, acoustic blankets, septum barriers and limp trim panels were added to the existing structure. The added weight of the noise control treatment is about 1.1 percent of the total gross take-off weight of the aircraft.
... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Aeronautics Committee; Unmanned Aircraft Systems... Aeronautics and Space Administration announces a meeting of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Subcommittee... meeting includes the following topics: ] Review of NASA Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration...
Stubbs, S. M.; Tanner, J. A.
During maximum braking the average ratio of drag-force friction coefficient developed by the antiskid system to maximum drag-force friction coefficient available at the tire/runway interface was higher on dry surfaces than on wet surfaces. The gross stopping power generated by the brake system on the dry surface was more than twice that obtained on the wet surfaces. With maximum braking applied, the average ratio of side-force friction coefficient developed by the tire under antiskid control to maximum side-force friction available at the tire/runway interface of a free-rolling yawed tire was shown to decrease with increasing yaw angle. Braking reduced the side-force friction coefficient on a dry surface by 75 percent as the wheel slip ratio was increased to 0.3; on a flooded surface the coefficient dropped to near zero for the same slip ratio. Locked wheel skids were observed when the tire encountered a runway surface transition from dry to flooded, due in part to the response time required for the system to sense abrupt changes in the runway friction; however, the antiskid system quickly responded by reducing brake pressure and cycling normally during the remainder of the run on the flooded surface.
Jorgensen, Charles C.
A Dynamic Cell Structure (DCS) Neural Network was developed which learns topology representing networks (TRNS) of F-15 aircraft aerodynamic stability and control derivatives. The network is integrated into a direct adaptive tracking controller. The combination produces a robust adaptive architecture capable of handling multiple accident and off- nominal flight scenarios. This paper describes the DCS network and modifications to the parameter estimation procedure. The work represents one step towards an integrated real-time reconfiguration control architecture for rapid prototyping of new aircraft designs. Performance was evaluated using three off-line benchmarks and on-line nonlinear Virtual Reality simulation. Flight control was evaluated under scenarios including differential stabilator lock, soft sensor failure, control and stability derivative variations, and air turbulence.
McDonough, Kevin K.
The dissertation presents contributions to fuel-efficient control of vehicle speed and constrained control with applications to aircraft. In the first part of this dissertation a stochastic approach to fuel-efficient vehicle speed control is developed. This approach encompasses stochastic modeling of road grade and traffic speed, modeling of fuel consumption through the use of a neural network, and the application of stochastic dynamic programming to generate vehicle speed control policies that are optimized for the trade-off between fuel consumption and travel time. The fuel economy improvements with the proposed policies are quantified through simulations and vehicle experiments. It is shown that the policies lead to the emergence of time-varying vehicle speed patterns that are referred to as time-varying cruise. Through simulations and experiments it is confirmed that these time-varying vehicle speed profiles are more fuel-efficient than driving at a comparable constant speed. Motivated by these results, a simpler implementation strategy that is more appealing for practical implementation is also developed. This strategy relies on a finite state machine and state transition threshold optimization, and its benefits are quantified through model-based simulations and vehicle experiments. Several additional contributions are made to approaches for stochastic modeling of road grade and vehicle speed that include the use of Kullback-Liebler divergence and divergence rate and a stochastic jump-like model for the behavior of the road grade. In the second part of the dissertation, contributions to constrained control with applications to aircraft are described. Recoverable sets and integral safe sets of initial states of constrained closed-loop systems are introduced first and computational procedures of such sets based on linear discrete-time models are given. The use of linear discrete-time models is emphasized as they lead to fast computational procedures. Examples of
Skoog, Mark (Inventor); Hook, Loyd (Inventor); McWherter, Shaun (Inventor); Willhite, Jaimie (Inventor)
The invention is a system and method of compressing a DTM to be used in an Auto-GCAS system using a semi-regular geometric compression algorithm. In general, the invention operates by first selecting the boundaries of the three dimensional map to be compressed and dividing the three dimensional map data into regular areas. Next, a type of free-edged, flat geometric surface is selected which will be used to approximate terrain data of the three dimensional map data. The flat geometric surface is used to approximate terrain data for each regular area. The approximations are checked to determine if they fall within selected tolerances. If the approximation for a specific regular area is within specified tolerance, the data is saved for that specific regular area. If the approximation for a specific area falls outside the specified tolerances, the regular area is divided and a flat geometric surface approximation is made for each of the divided areas. This process is recursively repeated until all of the regular areas are approximated by flat geometric surfaces. Finally, the compressed three dimensional map data is provided to the automatic ground collision system for an aircraft.
Barlow, Jonathan Spencer; Acosta, Diana Michelle; Phan, Minh Q.
Data-based Predictive Control is an emerging control method that stems from Model Predictive Control (MPC). MPC computes current control action based on a prediction of the system output a number of time steps into the future and is generally derived from a known model of the system. Data-based predictive control has the advantage of deriving predictive models and controller gains from input-output data. Thus, a controller can be designed from the outputs of complex simulation code or a physical system where no explicit model exists. If the output data happens to be corrupted by periodic disturbances, the designed controller will also have the built-in ability to reject these disturbances without the need to know them. When data-based predictive control is implemented online, it becomes a version of adaptive control. The characteristics of adaptive data-based predictive control are particularly appropriate for the control of nonlinear and time-varying systems, such as Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) aircraft. STOL is a capability of interest to NASA because conceptual Cruise Efficient Short Take-off and Landing (CESTOL) transport aircraft offer the ability to reduce congestion in the terminal area by utilizing existing shorter runways at airports, as well as to lower community noise by flying steep approach and climb-out patterns that reduce the noise footprint of the aircraft. In this study, adaptive data-based predictive control is implemented as an integrated flight-propulsion controller for the outer-loop control of a CESTOL-type aircraft. Results show that the controller successfully tracks velocity while attempting to maintain a constant flight path angle, using longitudinal command, thrust and flap setting as the control inputs.
Paranjape, Aditya Avinash
There is a considerable interest in developing robotic aircraft, inspired by birds, for a variety of missions covering reconnaissance and surveillance. Flapping wing aircraft concepts have been put forth in light of the efficiency of flapping flight at small scales. These aircraft are naturally equipped with the ability to rotate their wings about the root, a form of wing articulation. This thesis covers some problems concerning the performance, stability and control of robotic aircraft with articulated wings in gliding flight. Specifically, we are interested in aircraft without a vertical tail, which would then use wing articulation for longitudinal as well as lateral-directional control. Although the dynamics and control of articulated wing aircraft share several common features with conventional fixed wing aircraft, the presence of wing articulation presents several unique benefits as well as limitations from the perspective of performance and control. One of the objective of this thesis is to understand these features using a combination of theoretical and numerical tools. The aircraft concept envisioned in this thesis uses the wing dihedral angles for longitudinal and lateral-directional control. Aircraft with flexible articulated wings are also investigated. We derive a complete nonlinear model of the flight dynamics incorporating dynamic CG location and the changing moment of inertia. We show that symmetric dihedral configuration, along with a conventional horizontal tail, can be used to control flight speed and flight path angle independently of each other. This characteristic is very useful for initiating an efficient perching maneuver. It is shown that wing dihedral angles alone can effectively regulate sideslip during rapid turns and generate a wide range of equilibrium turn rates while maintaining a constant flight speed and regulating sideslip. We compute the turning performance limitations that arise due to the use of wing dihedral for yaw control
Tanner, J. A.; Stubbs, S. M.; Dreher, R. C.; Smith, E. G.
A computer study was performed to assess the accuracy of three brake pressure-torque mathematical models. The investigation utilized one main gear wheel, brake, and tire assembly of a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 series 10 airplane. The investigation indicates that the performance of aircraft antiskid braking systems is strongly influenced by tire characteristics, dynamic response of the antiskid control valve, and pressure-torque response of the brake. The computer study employed an average torque error criterion to assess the accuracy of the models. The results indicate that a variable nonlinear spring with hysteresis memory function models the pressure-torque response of the brake more accurately than currently used models.
Alexander, H. R.; Eason, W.; Gillmore, K.; Morris, J.; Spittle, R.
An exploratory study has been made of the use of feedback control in tilt rotor aircraft. This has included the use of swashplate cyclic and collective controls and direct lift control. Various sensor and feedback systems are evaluated in relation to blade loads alleviation, improvement in flying qualities, and modal suppression. Recommendations are made regarding additional analytical and wind tunnel investigations and development of feedback systems in the full scale flight vehicle. Estimated costs and schedules are given.
Bannister, J. A.; Adlakha, V.; Triyedi, K.; Alspaugh, T. A., Jr.
Problems related to the design of the hardware for an integrated aircraft electronic system are considered. Taxonomies of concurrent systems are reviewed and a new taxonomy is proposed. An informal methodology intended to identify feasible regions of the taxonomic design space is described. Specific tools are recommended for use in the methodology. Based on the methodology, a preliminary strawman integrated fault tolerant aircraft electronic system is proposed. Next, problems related to the programming and control of inegrated aircraft electronic systems are discussed. Issues of system resource management, including the scheduling and allocation of real time periodic tasks in a multiprocessor environment, are treated in detail. The role of software design in integrated fault tolerant aircraft electronic systems is discussed. Conclusions and recommendations for further work are included.
Painter, W. D.; Erickson, R. E.
The rotor systems research aircraft (RSRA) has undergone ground and flight tests, primarily as a compound aircraft. The purpose was to train pilots and to check out and develop the design flight envelope. The preparation and flight test of the RSRA in the airplane, or fixed-wind, configuration are reviewed and the test results are discussed.
Mascitti, V. R.
Technical progress in each of the disciplinary research areas affecting the design of supersonic cruise aircraft is discussed. The NASA AST/SCAR Program supported the integration of these technical advances into supersonic cruise aircraft configuration concepts. While the baseline concepts reflect differing design philosophy, all reflect a level of economic performance considerably above the current foreign aircraft as well as the former U.S. SST. Range-payload characteristics of the study configurating show significant improvement, while meeting environmental goals such as takeoff and landing noise and upper atmospheric pollution.
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.
The focus of this dissertation is the development of control system design algorithms for autonomous operation of an aircraft in the Martian atmosphere. This research will show theoretical modeling and computational simulation of robust control and gain scheduling for a prototype Mars aircraft. A few hundred meters above the surface of Mars, the air density is less than 1% of the density of the Earth's atmosphere at sea level. However, at about 33 km (110,000 ft) above the Earth, the air density is similar to that near the surface of Mars. Marsflyer II was designed to investigate these flight regimes: 33 km above the Earth and the actual Mars environment. The fuselage for the preliminary design was cylindrical with a length of 2.59 m (8.49 ft), the wing span was 3.98 m (13.09 ft). The total weight of the demonstrator aircraft was around 4.54 kg (10.02 lb). Aircraft design tools have been developed based on successful aircraft for the Earth`s atmosphere. However, above Mars an airborne robotic explorer would encounter low Reynolds Number flow phenomena combined with high Mach numbers, a region that is unknown for normal Earth aerodynamic applications. These flows are more complex than those occurring at high Reynolds numbers. The performance of airfoils at low Reynolds numbers is poorly understood and generally results in unfavorable aerodynamic characteristics. Design and simulation tools for the low Reynolds number Martian environment could be used to develop Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). In this study, a robust control method is used to analyze a prototype Mars aircraft. The purpose of this aircraft is to demonstrate stability, control, and performance within a simulated Mars environment. Due to uncertainty regarding the actual Martian environment, flexibility in the operation of the aircraft`s control system is important for successful performance. The stability and control derivatives of Marsflyer II were obtained by using the Advanced Aircraft Analysis (AAA
Lu, Bei; Wu, Fen; Kim, SungWan
This paper examines a switching Linear Parameter-Varying (LPV) control approach to determine if it is practical to use for flight control designs within a wide angle of attack region. The approach is based on multiple parameter-dependent Lyapunov functions. The full parameter space is partitioned into overlapping subspaces and a family of LPV controllers are designed, each suitable for a specific parameter subspace. The hysteresis switching logic is used to accomplish the transition among different parameter subspaces. The proposed switching LPV control scheme is applied to an F-16 aircraft model with different actuator dynamics in low and high angle of attack regions. The nonlinear simulation results show that the aircraft performs well when switching among different angle of attack regions.
Horta, Lucas G.; Daugherty, Robert H.; Martinson, Veloria J.
Concepts for long-range air travel are characterized by airframe designs with long, slender, relatively flexible fuselages. One aspect often overlooked is ground induced vibration of these aircraft. This paper presents an analytical and experimental study of reducing ground-induced aircraft vibration loads using actively controlled landing gears. A facility has been developed to test various active landing gear control concepts and their performance. The facility uses a NAVY A6-intruder landing gear fitted with an auxiliary hydraulic supply electronically controlled by servo valves. An analytical model of the gear is presented including modifications to actuate the gear externally and test data is used to validate the model. The control design is described and closed-loop test and analysis comparisons are presented.
Williams, O. R.; Jackson, E.; Rueb, K.; Thompson, B.; Powell, K.
An autonomous robotic refuelling system is being developed to achieve rapid aircraft turnaround, notably during combat operations. The proposed system includes a gantry positioner with sufficient reach to position a robotic arm that performs the refuelling tasks; a six degree of freedom manipulator equipped with a remote center of compliance, torque sensor, and a gripper that can handle standard tools; a computer vision system to locate and guide the refuelling nozzle, inspect the nozzle, and avoid collisions; and an operator interface with video and graphics display. The control system software will include components designed for trajectory planning and generation, collision detection, sensor interfacing, sensory processing, and human interfacing. The robotic system will be designed so that upgrading to perform additional tasks will be relatively straightforward.
Quinn, W. W.
The impact of independent canard and flaperon control of the longitudinal axis of a generic forward swept wing aircraft is examined. The Linear Quadratic Gaussian (LQG)/Loop Transfer Recovery (LTR) method is used to design three compensators: two single-input-single-output (SISO) systems, one with angle of attack as output and canard as control, the other with pitch attitude as output and canard as control, and a two-input-two-output system with both canard and flaperon controlling both the pitch attitude and angle of attack. The performances of the three systems are compared showing the addition of flaperon control allows the aircraft to perform in the precision control modes with very little loss of command following accuracy.
Glover, Richard D.; Larson, Richard R.
A family of multiple-processor ground support test equipment was used to test digital flight-control systems on high-performance research aircraft. A unit recently built for the F-18 high alpha research vehicle project is the latest model in a series called the extended aircraft interrogation and display system. The primary feature emphasized monitors the aircraft MIL-STD-1553B data buses and provides real-time engineering units displays of flight-control parameters. A customized software package was developed to provide real-time data interpretation based on rules embodied in a highly structured knowledge database. The configuration of this extended aircraft interrogation and display system is briefly described, and the evolution of the rule based package and its application to failure modes and effects testing on the F-18 high alpha research vehicle is discussed.
Schiller, N. H.; Fuller, C. R.; Cabell, R. H.
This paper presents a numerical investigation of an active structural acoustic control strategy for coupled aircraft-style bays. While structural coupling can destabilize or limit the performance of some model-based decentralized control systems, fullycoupled centralized control strategies are impractical for typical aircraft containing several hundred bays. An alternative is to use classical rate feedback with matched, collocated transducer pairs to achieve active damping. Unfortunately, due to the conservative nature of this strategy, stability is guaranteed at the expense of achievable noise reduction. Therefore, this paper describes the development of a combined control strategy using robust active damping in addition to a high-authority controller based on linear quadratic Gaussian (LQG) theory. The combined control system is evaluated on a tensioned, two-bay model using piezoceramic actuators and ideal point velocity sensors. Transducer placement on the two-bay structure is discussed, and the advantages of a combined control strategy are presented.
Prakash, Shashikala; Renjith Kumar, T. G.; Raja, S.; Dwarakanathan, D.; Subramani, H.; Karthikeyan, C.
This work highlights the design of a Reconfigurable Active Vibration Control (AVC) System for aircraft structures using adaptive techniques. The AVC system with a multichannel capability is realized using Filtered-X Least Mean Square algorithm (FxLMS) on Xilinx Virtex-4 Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) platform in Very High Speed Integrated Circuits Hardware Description Language, (VHDL). The HDL design is made based on Finite State Machine (FSM) model with Floating point Intellectual Property (IP) cores for arithmetic operations. The use of FPGA facilitates to modify the system parameters even during runtime depending on the changes in user's requirements. The locations of the control actuators are optimized based on dynamic modal strain approach using genetic algorithm (GA). The developed system has been successfully deployed for the AVC testing of the full-scale wing of an all composite two seater transport aircraft. Several closed loop configurations like single channel and multi-channel control have been tested. The experimental results from the studies presented here are very encouraging. They demonstrate the usefulness of the system's reconfigurability for real time applications.
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 87 RIN 2060-AO70 Control of Air Pollution From Aircraft and Aircraft Engines; Emission Standards and Test Procedures Correction In rule document 2012-13828 appearing on pages...
Zeller, J.; Lehtinen, B.; Merrill, W.
Accomplishments in applying Modern Control Theory to the design of controls for advanced aircraft turbine engines were reviewed. The results of successful research programs are discussed. Ongoing programs as well as planned or recommended future thrusts are also discussed.
It is possible to get a crude estimate of wind speed and direction while driving a car at night in the rain, with the motion of the raindrop reflections in the headlights providing clues about the wind. The clues are difficult to interpret, though, because of the relative motions of ground, car, air, and raindrops. More subtle interpretation is possible if the rain is replaced by fog, because the tiny droplets would follow the swirling currents of air around an illuminated object, like, for example, a walking pedestrian. Microscopic particles in the air (aerosols) are better for helping make assessments of the wind, and reflective air molecules are best of all, providing the most refined measurements. It takes a bright light to penetrate fog, so it is easy to understand how other factors, like replacing the headlights with the intensity of a searchlight, can be advantageous. This is the basic principle behind a lidar system. While a radar system transmits a pulse of radiofrequency energy and interprets the received reflections, a lidar system works in a similar fashion, substituting a near-optical laser pulse. The technique allows the measurement of relative positions and velocities between the transmitter and the air, which allows measurements of relative wind and of air temperature (because temperature is associated with high-frequency random motions on a molecular level). NASA, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have interests in this advanced lidar technology, as much of their explorative research requires the ability to measure winds and turbulent regions within the atmosphere. Lidar also shows promise for providing warning of turbulent regions within the National Airspace System to allow commercial aircraft to avoid encounters with turbulence and thereby increase the safety of the traveling public. Both agencies currently employ lidar and optical sensing for a variety of weather-related research projects, such as analyzing
Newman, Paul A.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) provide a new and exciting avenue for atmospheric observations. NASA has a number of UASs. Amongst these are the Ikhana (24 hrs., 7000 km), the Altair (120 hrs., 6500 km), the Aerosonde (30 hrs., 3000 km), and the Global Hawk (30 hrs., 22,000 km). This presentation provides a brief history of UASs which is followed by a description of their capabilities. The presentation concludes by describing an example mission - the UAS Aura Validation Experiment (UAS-AVE). This mission will be flown on the NASA Global Hawk in the Spring/Summer of 2009. The goals fo the mission are to: 1) provide Aura validation observations, 2) sample the break up of the Arctic polar vortex, 3) observed cross-Pacific transport of aerosols and pollutants such as ozone, and 4) sample intense water advective events that impact the U.S. west coast (atmospheric rivers). Because of their range and duration, UASs provide new and exciting opportunities for atmospheric science.
Chen, Yi-feng; Wu, Liao-ni; Yue, Sui-lu; Lin, Qi
In wind tunnel tests, the pose of the aircraft model in wire-driven parallel suspension system (WDPSS) is determined by driving several wires. Pose measurement is very important for the study of WDPSS. Using machine vision technology, Monocular Vision Measurement System has been constructed to estimate the pose of the aircraft model by applying a camera calibration, by extracting corresponding control points for the aircraft model, and by applying several homogeneous transformations. This article describes the programs of the measurement system, measurement principle and data processing methods which is based on HALCON to achieve the Solution of the pose of aircraft model. Through experiments, practical feasibility of the system is validated.
Dongmo, Jean-Etienne Temgoua
The Complexity of modern commercial and military aircrafts has necessitated better protection and recovery systems. With the tremendous advances in computer technology, control theory and better mathematical models, a number of issues (Prevention, Reconfiguration, Recovery, Operation near critical points, ... etc) moderately addressed in the past have regained interest in the aeronautical industry. Flight envelope is essential in all flying aerospace vehicles. Typically, flying the vehicle means remaining within the flight envelope at all times. Operation outside the normal flight regime is usually subject to failure of components (Actuators, Engines, Deflection Surfaces) , pilots's mistakes, maneuverability near critical points and environmental conditions (crosswinds...) and in general characterized as Loss-Of-Control (LOC) because the aircraft no longer responds to pilot's inputs as expected. For the purpose of this work, (LOC) in aircraft is defined as the departure from the safe set (controlled flight) recognized as the maximum controllable (reachable) set in the initial flight envelope. The LOC can be reached either through failure, unintended maneuvers, evolution near irregular points and disturbances. A coordinated strategy is investigated and designed to ensure that the aircraft can maneuver safely in their constraint domain and can also recover from abnormal regime. The procedure involves the computation of the largest controllable (reachable) set (Safe set) contained in the initial prescribed envelope. The problem is posed as a reachability problem using Hamilton-Jacobi Partial Differential Equation (HJ-PDE) where a cost function is set to he minimized along trajectory departing from the given set. Prevention is then obtained by computing the controller which would allow the flight vehicle to remain in the maximum controlled set in a multi-objective set up. Then the recovery procedure is illustrated with a two-point boundary value problem. Once
Theodore, Zachary B.
A robust proportional-integral (PI) controller was synthesized for the F-16 VISTA (Variable stability In-flight Simulator Test Aircraft) using a linear matrix inequality (LMI) approach, with the goal of eventually designing and implementing a linear parameter-varying PI controller on high performance aircraft. The combination of classical and modern control theory provides theoretically guaranteed stability and performance throughout the flight envelope and ease of implementation due to the simplicity of the PI controller structure. The controller is designed by solving a set of LMIs with pole placement constraints. This closed-loop system was simulated in MATLAB/Simulink to analyze the performance of the controller. A robust Hinfinity controller was also developed to compare performance with PI controller. The simulation results showed stability, albeit with poor performance compared to the Hinfinity controlle.
Garg, Sanjay; 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 emphasis is on formulating the H(infinity) control design problem such that the resulting controller provides robustness to modeling uncertainties and model parameter variations with flight condition. Experience gained from a preliminary H(infinity)=based IFPC design study performed earlier is used as the base to formulate the robust H(infinity) control design problem and improve the previous design. 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 objectives as well as provides stability robustness for variations in plant system dynamics with chnages in aircraft trim speed within the transition flight envelope.
Katz, P.; Powell, J. D.
The considerations in selecting the sample rates for digital control of aircrafts are identified and evaluated using the optimal discrete method. A high performance aircraft model which includes a bending mode and wind gusts was studied. The following factors which influence the selection of the sampling rates were identified: (1) the time and roughness response to control inputs; (2) the response to external disturbances; and (3) the sensitivity to variations of parameters. It was found that the time response to a control input and the response to external disturbances limit the selection of the sampling rate. The optimal discrete regulator, the steady state Kalman filter, and the mean response to external disturbances are calculated.
Abrahamson, A. L.
An interconnected system of computer programs for analyzing the propagation and attenuation of sound in aeroengine ducts containing realistic compressible subsonic mean flows, ADAM was developed primarily for research directed towards the reduction of noise emitted from turbofan aircraft engines. The two basic components are a streamtube curvature program for determination of the mean flow, and a finite element code for solution of the acoustic propagation problem. The system, which has been specifically tailored for ease of use, is presently installed at NASA Langley Reseach Center on a Control Data Cyber 175 Computer under the NOS Operating system employing a Tektronix terminal for interactive graphics. The scope and organization of the ADAM system is described. A users guide, examples of input data, and results for selected cases are included.
Ralvasky, Thomas P.; Barnhart, Billy P.; Lee, Sam
Icing alters the shape and surface characteristics of aircraft components, which results in altered aerodynamic forces and moments caused by air flow over those iced components. The typical effects of icing are increased drag, reduced stall angle of attack, and reduced maximum lift. In addition to the performance changes, icing can also affect control surface effectiveness, hinge moments, and damping. These effects result in altered aircraft stability and control and flying qualities. Over the past 80 years, methods have been developed to understand how icing affects performance, stability and control. Emphasis has been on wind tunnel testing of two-dimensional subscale airfoils with various ice shapes to understand their effect on the flow field and ultimately the aerodynamics. This research has led to wind tunnel testing of subscale complete aircraft models to identify the integrated effects of icing on the aircraft system in terms of performance, stability, and control. Data sets of this nature enable pilot in the loop simulations to be performed for pilot training, or engineering evaluation of system failure impacts or control system design.
Ratvasky, Thomas P.; Barnhart, Billy P.; Lee, Sam
Icing alters the shape and surface characteristics of aircraft components, which results in altered aerodynamic forces and moments caused by air flow over those iced components. The typical effects of icing are increased drag, reduced stall angle of attack, and reduced maximum lift. In addition to the performance changes, icing can also affect control surface effectiveness, hinge moments, and damping. These effects result in altered aircraft stability and control and flying qualities. Over the past 80 years, methods have been developed to understand how icing affects performance, stability, and control. Emphasis has been on wind-tunnel testing of two-dimensional subscale airfoils with various ice shapes to understand their effect on the flowfield and ultimately the aerodynamics. This research has led to wind-tunnel testing of subscale complete aircraft models to identify the integrated effects of icing on the aircraft system in terms of performance, stability, and control. Data sets of this nature enable pilot-in-the-loop simulations to be performed for pilot training or engineering evaluation of system failure impacts or control system design.
Baumbick, Robert J.
A review of NASA programs which focus on the use of fiber optics for aircraft engine/inlet control is presented. Fiber optics for aircraft control is attractive because of its inherent immunity to EMI and RFI noise. Optical signals can be safely transmitted through areas that contain flammable or explosive materials. The use of optics also makes remote sensing feasible, eliminating the need for electrical wires to be connected between sensors and computers. Using low level optical signals to control actuators is also feasible when power is generated at the actuator. For engine/inlet control applications, fiber optic cables and cornectors will be subjected to nacelle air temperatures. These temperatures range between -55°C to 260°C. Each application of fiber optics for aircraft control has different requirements for both the optical cables and optical connectors. Sensors that measure position and speed using slotted plates can use lossy cables and bundle type connectors if data transfer is in the parallel mode. If position and speed signals are multiplexed cable and connector requirements change. Other sensors that depend on changes in transmission through materials require dependable characteristics of both the optical cable and optical connectors. A variety of sensor types are reviewed, including rotary position encoders, tachometers, temperature sensors, and blade tip clearance sensors for compressors and turbines. Research on a gallium arsenide photoswitch for optically-switched actuators that operate at 250°C is also described.
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.
Green, Steven M.; Denbraven, Wim; Williams, David H.
The development and evaluation of the profile negotiation process (PNP), an interactive process between an aircraft and air traffic control (ATC) that integrates airborne and ground-based automation capabilities to determine conflict-free trajectories that are as close to an aircraft's preference as possible, are described. The PNP was evaluated in a real-time simulation experiment conducted jointly by NASA's Ames and Langley Research Centers. The Ames Center/TRACON Automation System (CTAS) was used to support the ATC environment, and the Langley Transport Systems Research Vehicle (TSRV) piloted cab was used to simulate a 4D Flight Management System (FMS) capable aircraft. Both systems were connected in real time by way of voice and data lines; digital datalink communications capability was developed and evaluated as a means of supporting the air/ground exchange of trajectory data. The controllers were able to consistently and effectively negotiate nominally conflict-free vertical profiles with the 4D-equipped aircraft. The actual profiles flown were substantially closer to the aircraft's preference than would have been possible without the PNP. However, there was a strong consensus among the pilots and controllers that the level of automation of the PNP should be increased to make the process more transparent. The experiment demonstrated the importance of an aircraft's ability to accurately execute a negotiated profile as well as the need for digital datalink to support advanced air/ground data communications. The concept of trajectory space is proposed as a comprehensive approach for coupling the processes of trajectory planning and tracking to allow maximum pilot discretion in meeting ATC constraints.
Mudur, S. P.; Khandekar, Dilip R.
The precise specification of surface geometry of an aircraft is one of the most important and major activities inits design. An initial design, defined by the fundamental requirements, is iteratively analysed and modified till a satisfactory configuration is obtained. Very often in the early stages the need to rapidly make modifications to the geometry for immediate analysis overrides the stringency of smoothness and correctness ofthe surfaces. This paper describes the design of an interactive system which enables the designer to quickly specify the surface geometry and to modify it easily and rapidly. In particular, the software engineering aspects are emphasized. The system uses B-splines for the representation of complex geometry. Surfaces of revolution, required to model certain parts ofthe aircraft, and other simple geometric primitives are also supported. Apart from the usual modeller facilities, features such as camber, twist and form constraints such as tangent or curvature control at a point, etc., are also provided. The system enables easy input and rapid editing of geomeiry through the use of a number of innovative concepts which aim at simplifying and speeding up the man-machine interaction. Multiple window display of entities, augmented by plots of curvature, cross sections etc. provide the visualization tool necessary to assist the designer in decision making.
Wilhelm, Jay; Smith, James E.
Project Oculus, an ongoing research platform for deploying airborne sensors on a C-130 aircraft, is currently in its pre-flight testing phase. The sensor platform is divided into two systems that rest on standard 463L pallets; a sensor deployment pallet and an operator station. The sensor pallet consists of a deployment arm and a pod, which can contain various sensors. The operator station houses power control equipment, data acquisition, and operators who control the sensors. Oculus is designed to fly on a C-130 aircraft, which has very high internal audible noise. Although Oculus' operator station contains noise-deadening material, a headset intercommunication system needs to be designed. This system must comply with different headset standards, communicate with the C-130 intercom, and be expandable to accommodate various audio sources like radios and satellites receivers. Throughout the years, intercom systems and headsets have evolved from the original standard consisting of an impedance rating of a speaker and a microphone. Early intercom systems were highly limited in functionality and quality due to simple electronics and common grounding. Advances in electronics allowed for the evolution of headset standards and intercom equipment, which permitted a multitude of new configurations and improved sound quality. With these advances, multiple headset standards and intercom interfaces have become popular among the military and civilian aviation. Due to the different standards for headsets, impedance matching plays a major role in the design of an intercom system. Oculus is a multi-mission platform and therefore must be designed to support a variety of standards including civilian and military headsets. This paper outlines the intercom units and parts considered for use in Oculus, and a design criteria for an extendable intercom system for Oculus.
Swei, Sean Shan-Min; Zhu, Guoming G.; Nguyen, Nhan T.
This paper presents an integrated approach to the modeling and control of aircraft with exible wings. The coupled aircraft rigid body dynamics with a high-order elastic wing model can be represented in a nite dimensional state-space form. Given a set of desired output covariance, a model reduction process is performed by using the weighted Modal Cost Analysis (MCA). A dynamic output feedback controller, which is designed based on the reduced-order model, is developed by utilizing output covariance constraint (OCC) algorithm, and the resulting OCC design weighting matrix is used for the next iteration of the weighted cost analysis. This controller is then validated for full-order evaluation model to ensure that the aircraft's handling qualities are met and the uttering motion of the wings suppressed. An iterative algorithm is developed in CONDUIT environment to realize the integration of model reduction and controller design. The proposed integrated approach is applied to NASA Generic Transport Model (GTM) for demonstration.
Baumbick, R. J.
NASA programs that focus on the use of fiber optics for aircraft engine/inlet control are reviewed. Fiber optics for aircraft control is attractive because of its inherent immunity to EMI and RFI noise. Optical signals can be safely transmitted through areas that contain flammable or explosive materials. The use of optics also makes remote sensing feasible by eliminating the need for electrical wires to be connected between sensors and computers. Using low-level optical signals to control actuators is also feasible when power is generated at the actuator. Each application of fiber optics for aircraft control has different requirements for both the optical cables and the optical connectors. Sensors that measure position and speed by using slotted plates can use lossy cables and bundle connectors if data transfer is in the parallel mode. If position and speed signals are multiplexed, cable and connector requirements change. Other sensors that depend on changes in transmission through materials require dependable characteristics of both the optical cables and the optical connectors. A variety of sensor types are reviewed, including rotary position encoders, tachometers, temperature sensors, and blade tip clearance sensors for compressors and turbines. Research on a gallium arsenide photoswitch for optically switched actuators that operate at 250 C is also described.
Mohler, R. R.
Research leading to the development of new nonlinear methodologies for the adaptive control and stability analysis of high angle of attack aircraft such as the F-18 is discussed. The emphasis has been on nonlinear adaptive control, but associated model development, system identification, stability analysis, and simulation were studied in some detail as well. Studies indicated that nonlinear adaptive control can outperform linear adaptive control for rapid maneuvers with large changes in angle of attack. Included here are studies on nonlinear model algorithmic controller design and an analysis of nonlinear system stability using robust stability analysis for linear systems.
Mohler, R. R.
The purpose was to develop and apply new nonlinear system methodologies to the stability analysis and adaptive control of high angle of attack (alpha) aircraft such as the F-18. Considerable progress is documented on nonlinear adaptive control and associated model development, identification, and simulation. The analysis considered linear and nonlinear, longitudinal, high alpha aircraft dynamics with varying degrees of approximation dependent on the purpose. In all cases, angle of attack or pitch rate was controlled primarily by a horizontal stabilizer. In most cases studied, a linear adaptive controller provided sufficient stability. However, it has been demonstrated by simulation of a simplified nonlinear model that certain large rapid maneuvers were not readily stabilized by the investigated linear adaptive control, but were controlled instead by means of a nonlinear time-series based adaptive control.
Tagge, G. E.; Irish, L. A.; Bailey, A. R.
The results of the Integrated Digital/Electric Aircraft (IDEA) Study are presented. Airplanes with advanced systems were, defined and evaluated, as a means of identifying potential high payoff research tasks. A baseline airplane was defined for comparison, typical of a 1990's airplane with advanced active controls, propulsion, aerodynamics, and structures technology. Trade studies led to definition of an IDEA airplane, with extensive digital systems and electric secondary power distribution. This airplane showed an improvement of 3% in fuel use and 1.8% in DOC relative to the baseline configuration. An alternate configuration, an advanced technology turboprop, was also evaluated, with greater improvement supported by digital electric systems. Recommended research programs were defined for high risk, high payoff areas appropriate for implementation under NASA leadership.
Levitt, K. N.; Melliar-Smith, P. M.; Schwartz, R. L.
The architectural basis for an advanced fault tolerant on-board computer to succeed the current generation of fault tolerant computers is examined. The network error tolerant system architecture is studied with particular attention to intercluster configurations and communication protocols, and to refined reliability estimates. The diagnosis of faults, so that appropriate choices for reconfiguration can be made is discussed. The analysis relates particularly to the recognition of transient faults in a system with tasks at many levels of priority. The demand driven data-flow architecture, which appears to have possible application in fault tolerant systems is described and work investigating the feasibility of automatic generation of aircraft flight control programs from abstract specifications is reported.
Hehemann, David G.
Our purpose in this proposal was to determine the feasibility of using carbon dioxide, possibly obtained from aircraft exhaust gases as a substance to inert the fuel contained in fuel tanks aboard aircraft. To do this, we decided to look at the effects carbon dioxide has upon commercial Jet-A aircraft fuel. In particular, we looked at the solubility of CO2 in Jet-A fuel, the pumpability of CO2-saturated Jet-A fuel, the flashpoint of Jet-A fuel under various mixtures of air and CO2, the static outgassing of CO2-Saturated Jet-A fuel and the dynamic outgassing of Jet-A fuel during pumping of Jet-A fuel.
Reck, G. M.
Possible changes in fuel properties are identified based on current trends and projections. The effect of those changes with respect to the aircraft fuel system are examined and some technological approaches to utilizing those fuels are described.
Beltramo, M. N.; Trapp, D. L.; Kimoto, B. W.; Marsh, D. P.
The results of a NASA study to develop production cost estimating relationships (CERs) and weight estimating relationships (WERs) for commercial and military transport aircraft at the system level are presented. The systems considered correspond to the standard weight groups defined in Military Standard 1374 and are listed. These systems make up a complete aircraft exclusive of engines. The CER for each system (or CERs in several cases) utilize weight as the key parameter. Weights may be determined from detailed weight statements, if available, or by using the WERs developed, which are based on technical and performance characteristics generally available during preliminary design. The CERs that were developed provide a very useful tool for making preliminary estimates of the production cost of an aircraft. Likewise, the WERs provide a very useful tool for making preliminary estimates of the weight of aircraft based on conceptual design information.
Stephens, D. G.; Leatherwood, J. D.
Ride quality criteria for noise, vibration, and their combination in the helicopter cabin environment are discussed. Results are presented of laboratory and field studies of passenger responses to interior noise and vibration during the performance of a listening task and during reverie, as well as to the interaction of noise with multi-frequency and multi-axis vibration. A study of means for reducing helicopter interior noise based on analytical, experimental and flight studies of the near-field noise source characteristics of the aircraft, the transmission of noise through aircraft structures and the attenuation of noise by various noise control treatments is then presented which has resulted in a reduction of 3 dB in helicopter cabin noise. Finally, a model under development to evaluate passenger acceptance of a helicopter noise and vibration environment is indicated which incorporates the observed noise and vibration effects on comfort and is expected to provide insights for more effective noise and vibration control.
This dissertation presents a decentralized gradient-based mobility control algorithm for the formation and maintenance of an optimal end-to-end communication chain using a team of unmanned aircraft acting as communication relays. With the use of unmanned aircraft (UA) as communication relays, a common mode of operation is to form a communication relay chain between a lead exploring node (which may be ground based or another UA) and a control station. In this type of operation the lead node is typically deployed to explore (sense) a remote region of interest that is beyond direct radio frequency (RF) communication range, or out of line-of-sight, to the control station. To provide non-line-of-sight service, and extend the communication range of the lead node, unmanned aircraft acting as communication relays are deployed in a convoy fashion behind the lead vehicle to form a cascaded relay chain. The focus of this work is the use of the mobility of a fixed number of relay aircraft to maximize the capacity of a directed communication chain from a source node to a destination node. Local objective functions are presented that use the signal-to-noise-and-interference ratio (SNIR) of neighbor communication links as inputs to maximize the end-to-end capacity of packet-based and repeater-type network chains. An adaptive gradient-based SNIR controller using the local objective function can show significant improvement in the capacity of the communication chain that is not possible with range-based controllers, or static deployment strategies, in RF environments containing unknown localized noise sources and terrain effects. Since the SNIR field is unknown, an online estimate of the SNIR field gradient is formed using methods of Stochastic Approximation from the orbital motion of the aircraft tracking a control point. Flight demonstrations using the Networked Unmanned Aircraft System Command, Control and Communications testbed were conducted to validate the controller
Today's benchmark system for the Boeing 757/767/A310 airplanes and future trends in hydromechanical aircraft power generating systems are discussed. The 757/767/A310 system represents the commercial state of the art and the direction in which Sundstrand Corp. is headed, particularly in regard to weight reduction. Sundstrand introduced microprocessor control in an in service system in the Boeing 767 and was the first to use databus communications between the controls. Plans to develop this technology are briefly discussed. Alternative ways to produce and use power in aircraft are discussed. The integrated starter drive is discussed.
Ross, I.; Edson, R.
An electronic controller for an electrohydraulic active control aircraft landing gear was developed. Drop tests of a modified gear from a 2722 Kg (6000 lbm) class of airplane were conducted to illustrate controller performance. The results indicate that the active gear effects a force reduction, relative to that of the passive gear, from 9 to 31 percent depending on the aircraft sink speed and the static gear pressure.
Downie, B.; Pearce, C.; Quartero, C.; Taylor, A.
System and design integration studies are presented to define and assess the application of the advanced technology most likely to result in a superior next generation, high subsonic/sonic conventional takeoff and landing transport aircraft system. It is concluded that the new technologies can be directed toward the achievement of improved economy and performance. These benefits may be used to compensate for the penalties associated with reduced noise requirements anticipated to make future aircraft ecologically acceptable.
Cleveland, W. B.
Control loader systems are used widely in flight simulator cockpits so that pilots may experience the correct forces while manipulating the flight controls. Two simulators at Ames Research Center the Flight Simulator for Advanced Aircraft (FSAA) and the Moving Cab Transport Simulator (MCTS) - contain control loader systems that exhibit small control deflection losses at high forces. These losses make force calibration and documentation difficult and also may cause losses in control authority of the simulated aircraft. The study of the deflection losses indicates that the major cause is a structural or mechanical distortion that is linear with applied force. Thus, the phenomena may be modeled and, subsequently, compensation for the losses may be made in the associated simulation computer.
Bruce, Kevin R.
A Mach/CAS control system using an elevator was designed and developed for use on the NASA TCV B737 aircraft to support research in profile descent procedures and approach energy management. The system was designed using linear analysis techniques primarily. The results were confirmed and the system validated at additional flight conditions using a nonlinear 737 aircraft simulation. All design requirements were satisfied.
In this presentation a review of galactic cosmic ray (GCR) effects on microelectronic systems and human health and safety is given. The methods used to evaluate and mitigate unwanted cosmic ray effects in ground-based, atmospheric flight, and space flight environments are also reviewed. However not all GCR effects are undesirable. We will also briefly review how observation and analysis of GCR interactions with planetary atmospheres and surfaces and reveal important compositional and geophysical data on earth and elsewhere. About 1000 GCR particles enter every square meter of Earth’s upper atmosphere every second, roughly the same number striking every square meter of the International Space Station (ISS) and every other low- Earth orbit spacecraft. GCR particles are high energy ionized atomic nuclei (90% protons, 9% alpha particles, 1% heavier nuclei) traveling very close to the speed of light. The GCR particle flux is even higher in interplanetary space because the geomagnetic field provides some limited magnetic shielding. Collisions of GCR particles with atomic nuclei in planetary atmospheres and/or regolith as well as spacecraft materials produce nuclear reactions and energetic/highly penetrating secondary particle showers. Three twentieth century technology developments have driven an ongoing evolution of basic cosmic ray science into a set of practical engineering tools needed to design, test, and verify the safety and reliability of modern complex technological systems and assess effects on human health and safety effects. The key technology developments are: 1) high altitude commercial and military aircraft; 2) manned and unmanned spacecraft; and 3) increasingly complex and sensitive solid state micro-electronics systems. Space and geophysical exploration needs drove the development of the instruments and analytical tools needed to recover compositional and structural data from GCR induced nuclear reactions and secondary particle showers. Finally, the
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.
Cole, Jennifer H.; Cogan, Bruce R.; Fullerton, C. Gordon; Burken, John J.; Venti, Michael W.; Burcham, Frank W.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created the PCAR (Propulsion-Controlled Aircraft Recovery) project in 2005 to mitigate the ManPADS (man-portable air defense systems) threat to the commercial aircraft fleet with near-term, low-cost proven technology. Such an attack could potentially cause a major FCS (flight control system) malfunction or other critical system failure onboard the aircraft, despite the extreme reliability of current systems. For the situations in which nominal flight controls are lost or degraded, engine thrust may be the only remaining means for emergency flight control [ref 1]. A computer-controlled thrust system, known as propulsion-controlled aircraft (PCA), was developed in the mid 1990s with NASA, McDonnell Douglas and Honeywell. PCA's major accomplishment was a demonstration of an automatic landing capability using only engine thrust [ref 11. Despite these promising results, no production aircraft have been equipped with a PCA system, due primarily to the modifications required for implementation. A minimally invasive option is TOC (throttles-only control), which uses the same control principles as PCA, but requires absolutely no hardware, software or other aircraft modifications. TOC is pure piloting technique, and has historically been utilized several times by flight crews, both military and civilian, in emergency situations stemming from a loss of conventional control. Since the 1990s, engineers at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) have studied TOC, in both simulation and flight, for emergency flight control with test pilots in numerous configurations. In general, it was shown that TOC was effective on certain aircraft for making a survivable landing. DHS sponsored both NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (Edwards, CA) and United Airlines (Denver, Colorado) to conduct a flight and simulation study of the TOC characteristics of a twin-jet commercial transport, and assess the ability of a crew to control an aircraft down to
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.
Williams, Daniel M.; Murdoch, Jennifer L.; Adams, Catherine H.
This paper provides a summary of conclusions from the Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) Higher Volume Operations (HVO) Flight Experiment which NASA conducted to determine pilot acceptability of the HVO concept for normal conditions. The SATS HVO concept improves efficiency at non-towered, non-radar airports in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) while achieving a level of safety equal to today s system. Reported are results from flight experiment data that indicate that the SATS HVO concept is viable. The success of the SATS HVO concept is based on acceptable pilot workload, performance, and subjective criteria when compared to the procedural control operations in use today at non-towered, non-radar controlled airfields in IMC. The HVO Flight Experiment, flown on NASA's Cirrus SR22, used a subset of the HVO Simulation Experiment scenarios and evaluation pilots in order to validate the simulation experiment results. HVO and Baseline (today s system) scenarios flown included: single aircraft arriving for a GPS non-precision approach; aircraft arriving for the approach with multiple traffic aircraft; and aircraft arriving for the approach with multiple traffic aircraft and then conducting a missed approach. Results reveal that all twelve low-time instrument-rated pilots preferred SATS HVO when compared to current procedural separation operations. These pilots also flew the HVO procedures safely and proficiently without additional workload in comparison to today s system (Baseline). Detailed results of pilot flight technical error, and their subjective assessments of workload and situation awareness are presented in this paper.
Abbott, Terence S.; Consiglio, Maria C.; Baxley, Brian T.; Williams, Daniel M.; Conway, Sheila R.
This document expands the Small Aircraft Transportation System, (SATS) Higher Volume Operations (HVO) concept to include off-nominal conditions. The general philosophy underlying the HVO concept is the establishment of a newly defined area of flight operations called a Self-Controlled Area (SCA). During periods of poor weather, a block of airspace would be established around designated non-towered, non-radar airports. Aircraft flying enroute to a SATS airport would be on a standard instrument flight rules flight clearance with Air Traffic Control providing separation services. Within the SCA, pilots would take responsibility for separation assurance between their aircraft and other similarly equipped aircraft. Previous work developed the procedures for normal HVO operations. This document provides details for off-nominal and emergency procedures for situations that could be expected to occur in a future SCA.
Stephenson, Jack D.; Hardy, Gordon H.
Flight experiments were conducted to evaluate various aerodynamic characteristics of the Quiet Short-Haul Research Aircraft (QSRA), an experimental aircraft that makes use of the upper-surface blown (USB) powered-lift concept. Time-history records from maneuvers performed with the aircraft in landing-approach and take-off configurations (with its stability augmentation system disengaged) were analyzed to obtain longitudinal stability and control derivatives and performance characteristics. The experiments included measuring the aircraft responses to variations in the deflection of direct-lift control spoilers and to thrust variations as well as to elevator inputs. The majority of the results are given for the aircraft in a landing configuration with the USB flaps at 50 degrees. For this configuration, if the static longitudinal stability is defined as the variation of the pitching-moment coefficient with the lift coefficient at a constant thrust coefficient, this stability decreases significantly with increasing angle of attack above 9 degrees. For this configuration, at small and negative angles of attack and high levels of thrust, the elevators and the horizontal stabilizer lost effectiveness owing to incipent stalling, but this occurred only during unsteady maneuvers and for brief time intervals.
Hayhurst, Kelly J.; Maddalon, Jeffrey M.; Miner, Paul S.; Szatkowski, George N.; Ulrey, Michael L.; DeWalt, Michael P.; Spitzer, Cary R.
The use of unmanned aircraft in national airspace has been characterized as the next great step forward in the evolution of civil aviation. To make routine and safe operation of these aircraft a reality, a number of technological and regulatory challenges must be overcome. This report discusses some of the regulatory challenges with respect to deriving safety and reliability requirements for unmanned aircraft. In particular, definitions of hazards and their classification are discussed and applied to a preliminary functional hazard assessment of a generic unmanned system.
Abbott, Terence S.; Jones, Kenneth M.; Consiglio, Maria C.; Williams, Daniel M.; Adams, Catherine A.
This document defines the Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS), Higher Volume Operations (HVO) concept for normal conditions. In this concept, a block of airspace would be established around designated non-towered, non-radar airports during periods of poor weather. Within this new airspace, pilots would take responsibility for separation assurance between their aircraft and other similarly equipped aircraft. Using onboard equipment and procedures, they would then approach and land at the airport. Departures would be handled in a similar fashion. The details for this operational concept are provided in this document.
Burken, John J.; Williams-Hayes, Peggy; Kaneshige, John T.; Stachowiak, Susan J.
Description of the performance of a simplified dynamic inversion controller with neural network augmentation follows. Simulation studies focus on the results with and without neural network adaptation through the use of an F-15 aircraft simulator that has been modified to include canards. Simulated control law performance with a surface failure, in addition to an aerodynamic failure, is presented. The aircraft, with adaptation, attempts to minimize the inertial cross-coupling effect of the failure (a control derivative anomaly associated with a jammed control surface). The dynamic inversion controller calculates necessary surface commands to achieve desired rates. The dynamic inversion controller uses approximate short period and roll axis dynamics. The yaw axis controller is a sideslip rate command system. Methods are described to reduce the cross-coupling effect and maintain adequate tracking errors for control surface failures. The aerodynamic failure destabilizes the pitching moment due to angle of attack. The results show that control of the aircraft with the neural networks is easier (more damped) than without the neural networks. Simulation results show neural network augmentation of the controller improves performance with aerodynamic and control surface failures in terms of tracking error and cross-coupling reduction.
Burken, John J.; Williams-Hayes, Peggy; Karneshige, J. T.; Stachowiak, Susan J.
Description of the performance of a simplified dynamic inversion controller with neural network augmentation follows. Simulation studies focus on the results with and without neural network adaptation through the use of an F-15 aircraft simulator that has been modified to include canards. Simulated control law performance with a surface failure, in addition to an aerodynamic failure, is presented. The aircraft, with adaptation, attempts to minimize the inertial cross-coupling effect of the failure (a control derivative anomaly associated with a jammed control surface). The dynamic inversion controller calculates necessary surface commands to achieve desired rates. The dynamic inversion controller uses approximate short period and roll axis dynamics. The yaw axis controller is a sideslip rate command system. Methods are described to reduce the cross-coupling effect and maintain adequate tracking errors for control surface failures. The aerodynamic failure destabilizes the pitching moment due to angle of attack. The results show that control of the aircraft with the neural networks is easier (more damped) than without the neural networks. Simulation results show neural network augmentation of the controller improves performance with aerodynamic and control surface failures in terms of tracking error and cross-coupling reduction.