Flight Test Support Software with Near Real-Time Model Updating

Period of Performance: 05/13/2015 - 08/14/2018

$739K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Clear Science Corp.
663 Owego Hill Road, PO Box 233
Harford , NY 13784
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Abstract

ABSTRACT:Clear Science Corp. proposes to develop and demonstrate software that enables safer, more efficient and accurate flight testing of military aircraft. The computational tool is designed to reduce costs by identifying critical and benign areas in the operational envelope and using the information to streamline testing. The proposed technology systematically merges modeling and simulation (M&S) and test and evaluation (T&E) to optimize the warfighters that are designed, produced, and tested by the U. S. military. The modeling technology will also reduce risk by providing reliable predictions to clear aircraft for successive test points prior to flight sorties. The proposed modeling technology is physics-based, leveraging the accuracy of high-fidelity models at a fraction of the computational expense. The software will be developed and tested with existing data from the X-53 Active Aeroelastic Wing (AAW) Flight Test Program. The program included a comprehensive set of flutter, loads, and handling qualities tests of a modified F-18A fighter aircraft, generating data that are representative of the types typically produced during military aircraft certification. Models will be calibrated in near real time in a series of tests that utilize flight data in the same chronological sequence that they became available during the flight tests.BENEFIT:The commercial product to be developed is flight test support software that enables near real-time predictions and model updating with flight data. The primary customers will be flight test facilities including the 412th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base. The tool will be configured for the full range of fixed-wing aircraft that undergo flight testing by the U. S. military. Applications include flutter, loads and handling qualities tests. Defense budget constraints require expanding mission roles in the existing military fleet with adaptable external store configurations and flight envelopes that require a continuing series of flight testing. The proposed software is designed to make this process safer, more reliable, and less expensive through more accurate and faster predictions during the course of each flight test, along with the ability to quickly adjust test plans based on systematic identification of the critical drivers of static and dynamic loading on the aircraft. Commercial opportunities for the software exist with military aircraft manufacturers including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman. Non-military applications extend to commercial aircraft with a large potential commercial market. Other applications include loads testing on rotorcraft and launch vehicles.