Toward a Virtual Flight Test Capability
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
ABSTRACT: Clear Science Corp. and Princeton University propose to develop a computational framework for accurately and efficiently modeling the full set of physics associated with aircraft operations. The critical attributes of the proposed framework are accuracy, computational efficiency, and inclusiveness. More accurate computational models will support higher fidelity analysis during the aircraft design process with higher confidence in the results, enabling reductions in the required number of expensive and time-consuming ground and flight tests. Computationally efficient models will support flight simulations for the design of guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) systems, can be utilized as pilot training software, can support flight testing to reduce risks to test pilots and aircraft, and can be integrated into advanced control systems. The computational framework will accommodate the complexities of the full aircraft with separating stores and cargo, landing gear, propulsion systems, and a diverse set of physics (aerodynamics, structural dynamics, flight control system dynamics, aeroelasticity, aero-acoustics, etc.). Phase I will focus on comparative evaluations of candidate modeling methods, using a representative, canonical problem in the assessment. The evaluation will culminate with a down-selection of the most promising framework, along with identification of an appropriate test problem for model development and demonstration in Phase II. BENEFIT: The commercial product to be developed is a virtual flight simulation tool to enable GNC design, pilot-in-the-loop training exercises, and advanced flow control systems in next-generation aircraft. This translates into shorter time-to-market cycles and more affordable aircraft for the US military, along with safer test programs. Potential applications of the virtual flight testing tool include fixed-wing aircraft, rotorcraft, and even non-conventional aircraft like flapping-wing micro-air vehicles. The tool will be designed to accommodate systems operating in the low subsonic, subsonic, transonic, supersonic, and hypersonic flight regimes. Applications extend from military aircraft to commercial airliners, launch vehicles, and space planes---each requiring cross-disciplinary, computationally intensive simulations of the aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics, aeroservoelasticity, and flight control systems. Commercial applications extend to a host of products outside the aerospace industry: automobiles, manufacturing processes involving fluid flows, nuclear power plant equipment, new green energy-production platforms, etc. Primary customers include US DoD agencies, prime defense contractors like Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, and Northrop-Grumman, NASA, and smaller commercial aircraft manufacturers like Cessna and Gulf Stream.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
Clear Science Corp.
PO Box 233 663 Owego Hill Road Harford, NY -
Number of Employees:
4th Floor, New South Bldg.
PO Box 36
Princeton, NJ 08544-0036