Unmanned Operation of Fly-by-wire Testbed Aircraft
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
This project will evaluate the feasibility of developing a system to convert an existing, manned, non-mechanical, fly-by-wire (FBW) aircraft into a remotely-controlled, optionally-piloted vehicle (OPV). The capability to implement high-performance, tactical-envelope military aircraft as remotely-controlled testbeds is a critical capability for the military to enable low-risk development and operational testing of avionics and weapons systems in a safe, yet realistic manner. 5-D Systems' (5-D) approach is to supplement the aircraft's FBW flight control system with a high-level control capability that mimics the pilot's inputs while the aircraft's FBW system handles lower level control and actual movement of the control effectors and surfaces. This approach results in a fully-capable OPV system because there will be no impact to manned operation, no software modification to the existing system, and limited OPV-specific airborne components, thereby providing an innovative, low cost solution to FBW OPV development. By combining 5-D's experience in developing OPV systems and Gauss Management Research and Engineering's (GMRE) F-16 and FBW-specific design/support knowledge, 5-D plans to confirm the system feasibility by developing a preliminary design that converts an existing FBW aircraft into an effective OPV to meet the Navy requirement for safe and realistic avionics and weapon system testing.
Small Business Information at Submission:
5-D SYSTEMS, INC.
1 Chisholm Trail, Suite 3200 Round Rock, TX 78664
Number of Employees: