Intelligent Control for Morphing Aircraft

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-06-C-3608
Agency Tracking Number: F051-244-2502
Amount: $749,865.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: AF05-244
Solicitation Number: 2005.1
Small Business Information
1410 Sachem Place, Suite 202, Charlottesville, VA, 22901
DUNS: 120839477
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jeffrey Monaco
 Sr. Research Scientist
 (434) 973-1215
Business Contact
 B. Parker, Jr.
Title: Chairman
Phone: (434) 973-1215
Research Institution
Morphing air vehicles constitute an emerging class of aircraft capable of substantial changes in geometry during flight enabling improved performance characteristics and smaller fleets of versatile vehicles. The proposed effort will develop advanced control technologies for morphing aircraft that can: (1) precisely manipulate the morphing planform adhering to physical limitations and actuator constraints, (2) guarantee vehicle stability across all possible planforms and transitions under unsteady aerodynamics, (3) exploit the performance capabilities of different configurations enabled through morphing. The proposed approach consists of three control loops: (1) adaptive flight control comprised of parameter identification and receding horizon optimal control, (2) wing-shape control featuring model-based control augmented with piecewise linear programming to address actuator limitations, (3) integrated command generation that leverages path-planning techniques to generate reference commands for the previous loops subject to constraints. The effort will culminate in real-time implementation of the advanced control algorithms; hardware-in-the-loop demonstrations – which encompass morphing while maneuvering and morphing to maneuver – are performed using the NextGen Aeronautics N-MAS article. These tests will serve as a risk-reduction step for Phase III flight tests of a DARPA/USAF Morphing Aircraft Structures (MAS) aircraft using the SBIR-developed control methods.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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