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
Solitcitation Year: 2009
Solitcitation Topic Code: N091-038
Solitcitation Number: 2009.1
Small Business Information
5-D Systems Inc.
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.

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