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 December 17, 2014

News: U.S. Air Force tanker platform slated for year-end debut - Boeing is planning for first flight of its 767-2C – upon which the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker will be based – by year’s end, six months late. Northrop Grumman wins $657.4 million deal to supply drones to South Korea - Northrop Grumman has won...
 
 

NASA launches new Micro-g NExT for undergraduates

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 28, 2015. Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the...
 
 
launch1

Storm fails to quench liftoff of secret reconnaissance satellite

The fiery launch of an Atlas V (541), among the most powerful of the venerable Atlas family, briefly dispelled the gloom over Californiaís Central Coast on the evening of Dec. 12. A team of personnel from United Launch Allianc...
 

 
Coast Guard photograph

Navy demonstrates unmanned helicopter operations aboard Coast Guard cutter

http://static.dvidshub.net/media/video/1412/DOD_102145893/DOD_102145893-512×288-442k.mp4 Coast Guard photograph An MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS is tested off the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf near Los Angeles, Dec. 5 2014. The Coast...
 
 
GPS-OCX

GPS III, OCX successfully demonstrate key satellite command, control capabilities

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the worldís most powerfu...
 
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates 3D printed rocket propulsion system for satellites

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief...
 




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>