Unmanned Operation of Fly-by-wire Testbed Aircraft
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
This program will apply Calspan's innovative methods to develop a low cost architecture and system to create an Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) from a previously manned Fly-by-Wire (FBW) fighter aircraft. This OPV's primary use will be as a test bed in support of the Navy for the development of avionics, weapon and advanced seeker systems. This OPV could be used in an unmanned mode to flight test systems which have not yet been 'man-rated' without placing the pilot at risk. The innovative method which Calspan will employ on this project allows the remote control of a FBW aircraft without the modification of the legacy flight control system. The system identified will utilize a basic ground control station, coupled with a spread spectrum datalink and video downlink, and an on aircraft interface to the legacy flight control system to allow the remote control of a previously manned FBW aircraft. Tradeoffs for system redundancy, complexity, ruggedization and safety will be made to establish the lowest cost approach to create the OPV. An approach to creating a system for a Phase 2 flight demonstration is also identified.
Small Business Information at Submission:
4455 Genesee St P.O. Box 400 Buffalo, NY 14225
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