Motion Enabling Device for Virtual Flight Test Application

Period of Performance: 05/19/2000 - 02/19/2001

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Sciences, Inc.
ANDOVER, MA 01810
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to develop a cable suspension system to enable model motions in Virtual Flight Testing. The system consists of an arrangement of six cables, each instrumented with a tension load cell, that supports a missile model in a wind tunnel. The load cells measure the fores acting on the model. A three-axis collar will permit the model to pitch, roll, and yaw. In the Phase I program, a design will be developed for implementation in a 16 ft wind tunnel at AEDC. Experimental validation of key components will be completed during Phase I. The test results will help refine the preliminary system design so that a cable mount for a 16 ft tunnel can be built and delivered in Phase II. The experimental demonstration will be accomplished using scale mockup and will involve static laboratory tests and a simple wind tunnel test. These experiments will also show that actuators intended for inducing model pitching motions can also be used to damp oscillations that might occur in a dynamic test. The test results will help refine the preliminary system design so that a cable mount for a 16 ft tunnel can be built and delivered in Phase II. To reduce the cost and risk of flight testing in missile development, it is necessary to increase the scope of wind tunnel testing. The proposed cable suspension system will enable dynamic maneuvering in the wind tunnel, so that guidance and control problems can be identified early in the development cycle. The device will be used by government and commercial tunnel operators who are contracted to support aerospace vehicle development.