Flight Test Assistant

Period of Performance: 05/10/2005 - 02/10/2006


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Principal Investigator


Flight testing relies on accurate records of aircraft, system and environmental data. However, custom instrumentation extracts a high cost in both time and money due to modification approval, installation, calibration, and post-test removal tasks. Tests in uninstrumented aircraft require a high pilot workload and remain largely inefficient. Creare proposes a Flight Test Assistant (FTA) that will reduce the time and cost required for flight test operations by (1) reducing the need for custom aircraft instrumentation modifications, (2) reducing test pilot workload, (3) providing feedback on data quality, and (4) providing guidance on optimum test profiles. The FTA supplements data from sensor modules carried by the pilot with data recognized from pilot voice inputs. Remaining data voids are filled with data derived from aircraft, system, or environmental models, which are calibrated and tuned in flight. A portable interface module is configured before the flight and then used on board to acquire, analyze, and report the test results. In Phase I we will implement a rapid prototype version of the system and test it in a simulator to demonstrate the feasibility of the FTA concept. In Phase II we will develop the complete system and evaluate its performance during representative flight tests.