Unmanned Operation of Fly-by-wire Testbed Aircraft

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68936-09-C-0044
Agency Tracking Number: N091-038-0482
Amount: $77,392.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: N091-038
Solicitation Number: 2009.1
Small Business Information
1 Chisholm Trail, Suite 3200, Round Rock, TX, 78664
DUNS: 090213369
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Steve Fendley
 (512) 238-9840
Business Contact
 Kelly Looney
Title: President
Phone: (512) 238-9840
Email: kelly.looney@5dsystems.com
Research Institution
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.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government