Toward a Virtual Flight Test Capability
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
ABSTRACT: Advanced computational methods and increased computing power have brought about a new age of modeling and simulation capability for full aircraft configurations. These advances have provided the potential ability to conduct accurate computational analysis representative of experimental flight testing, reducing both risk and cost. A unified toolset to conduct a complete end-to-end virtual flight test is proposed by Systems Technology, Inc. (STI) and Stanford University. The proposed virtual flight test suite is multi-disciplinary, combining several high-fidelity computational analyses such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD), computational structural dynamics (CSD), active flight control systems (FCS), propulsion modeling, ground handling modeling, multi-body modeling, acoustics modeling and parachute modeling. Current capability developed by Stanford and STI provides combined CFD/CSD/FCS for a full aircraft configuration. Capability has also been demonstrated for other proposed analyses approaches in standalone operation. To achieve the ultimate goal of a complete virtual flight test suite, the Phase I goals include refinement of the combined CFD/CSD/FCS technology, requirements identification for integrated operation of the components, definition of procedures and data for validation of accuracy, and development of the architectural framework for successful integrated operation of the virtual flight test suite. BENEFIT: The proposed virtual flight test suite will be a valuable asset for the many U.S. government programs that involve the design, analysis, and test of full aircraft configurations. This program will lead to a validated software tool for a complete end-to-end virtual flight test involving all essential components. Both transports and high performance aircraft will go through analysis, ground loads testing, and flight testing to ensure safe operations. The tools developed for this program will provide a means to accurately analyze, predict and identify the effect of aeroservoelastic, flight control system, propulsion, parachute, acoustic, ground loads and multi-body interaction for these programs. Furthermore, the methodologies will save analysis and design time via efficient reduced order modeling techniques. Both STI and Stanford have long standing relationships with numerous manufacturers of commercial and military aircraft as well as suppliers to these manufacturers. This places STI and Stanford in a unique position to market the developed tools directly to potential industry end users. The resulting methodologies and software can be used for aircraft design, flight test operations, and post-flight test analysis. Target markets are military and commercial aircraft manufacturers as well as their suppliers and supporting government agencies. These same methods can be and have been applied to the automobile industry.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
Systems Technology, Inc.
13766 S. Hawthorne Blvd. Hawthorne, CA -
Number of Employees:
496 Lomita Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-3030