STI-TP-1134-BD-Control Surface Buffet Load Measurement

Period of Performance: 03/01/2011 - 09/01/2012


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Systems Technology, Inc.
13766 Hawthorne Blvd. Array
Hawthorne, CA 90250
Principal Investigator


Current airframe sensors are unsuitable for measuring unsteady aerodynamic buffet loads, which can be of significant amplitude and occur at frequencies that excite the aeroelastic dynamics, dramatically decreasing fatigue life. As part of SBIR Phase I work Systems Technology, Inc., with Moog, Inc. have developed the Actuator Load Computing System (ALCS), an elegant and logistically attractive solution to this problem that employs onboard flight control actuators as load sensors capable of measuring both high frequency and quasi-steady loads. Further development to streamline the ALCS toward a demonstration flight ready system is proposed for Phase II. Since actuators directly measure the forces exerted on control surfaces, these loads can be used as a robust reference gauge for what is occurring on the wing or tail surface as a whole. This leads to the proposed development of the Aircraft Structural Response Estimator (ASRE) to accurately estimate the lifting surface deflections and loading from the ALCS measurements. ASRE development will utilize test data from high-performance aircraft routinely used by the US military. Since actuators are employed with all control surfaces, the combined ALCS and ASRE solution extends itself for use with wings, vertical tails, and horizontal tails without the need for additional hardware