Tech

December 19, 2012

Intelligent control for performance: Reducing drag, saving fuel


NASA Dryden’s versatile F/A-18 Full Scale Advanced Systems Testbed aircraft recently completed a series of flights that explored reducing fuel consumption during cruise flight conditions by making small modifications to existing control laws and mechanisms in the aircraft’s flight control computer.

As part of the Intelligent Control for Performance research project, a special computer code called a peak-seeking algorithm was programmed into the aircraftís Airborne Research Test System computer. This code enables the computer to precisely adjust flight control surface deflections in order to reduce aerodynamic drag.
Large jetliners and cargo aircraft consume most of their fuel during the cruise portion of flight, so optimizing fuel consumption would reduce costs and pollution. For NASA, developing new control system methods like this helps meet the agencyís Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) project goals of reduced fuel burn and emissions.

Preliminary ICP flight results indicate that a three- to five-percent reduction in fuel burn was achieved compared to the baseline trim state at two flight conditions. The ICP technique shows much promise for reducing fuel burn in transport aircraft in the future.

For another experiment planned to fly next summer on the FAST F/A-18, a novel “thin film” sensor manufactured by TAO Systems, Inc., is currently being applied to one of the aircraftís wing surfaces. This technology will allow real-time characterization of the airflow over the wing. This sensor capability could lead to considerable weight reduction, fuel savings, and flight safety enhancement in future aircraft designs by revealing the actual flight loads on an aircraft to help ensure that design loads are not exceeded.

Another use for this technology could be to reduce the effects of gusts and turbulence on an aircraft when coupled with appropriate flight control algorithms.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 14, 2014

Business: U.S. Navy looks to leverage submarine work to keep costs down - The U.S. Navy hopes to save money and time by leveraging industry investments as it replaces its Ohio-class nuclear-armed submarines with the Virginia-class attack submarines now built by General Dynamics Corp and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc.  Study raises red flags on California aerospace...
 
 

News Briefs April 14, 2014

U.S. Navy destroyer Zumwalt christened in Maine The U.S. Navy has christened the first ship of its newest class of destroyers, a 610-foot (186-meter)-long warship with advanced technologies and a stealthy design that will reduce its visibility on enemy radars. The warship bears the name of the late Adm. Elmo ìBudî Zumwalt, who became the...
 
 
Navy photograph by Seamn Edward Guttierrez III

Russian aircraft flies near U.S. Navy ship in Black Sea

Navy photograph by Seamn Edward Guttierrez III Sailors man the rails as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook arrives at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Feb. 11, 2014. Donald Cook is the first of four Arle...
 

 

45th Space Wing launches NRO Satellite on board Atlas V

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:45 p.m. April 10 carrying a classified national security payload. The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office. “I am proud of the persistence and focus of the...
 
 

U.S. Air Force selects Cubic for Moroccan P5 air combat training system

Cubic Defense Systems, a subsidiary of Cubic Corporation announced April 11 it has been awarded a contract valued at more than $5 million from the U.S. Air Force to supply its P5 Combat Training System to the Moroccan Air Force. Morocco will join the United States Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, along with a...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft powers through first integrated system testing

Lockheed Martin photograph Engineers in the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, perform avionics testing on the Orion spacecraft being prepared for its first trip to space later this ye...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>