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Full-Scaled Advanced Systems Testbed: Ensuring Success of Adaptive Control Research Through Project Lifecycle Risk MitigationThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Dryden Flight Research Center completed flight testing of adaptive controls research on the Full-Scale Advance Systems Testbed (FAST) in January of 2011. The research addressed technical challenges involved with reducing risk in an increasingly complex and dynamic national airspace. Specific challenges lie with the development of validated, multidisciplinary, integrated aircraft control design tools and techniques to enable safe flight in the presence of adverse conditions such as structural damage, control surface failures, or aerodynamic upsets. The testbed is an F-18 aircraft serving as a full-scale vehicle to test and validate adaptive flight control research and lends a significant confidence to the development, maturation, and acceptance process of incorporating adaptive control laws into follow-on research and the operational environment. The experimental systems integrated into FAST were designed to allow for flexible yet safe flight test evaluation and validation of modern adaptive control technologies and revolve around two major hardware upgrades: the modification of Production Support Flight Control Computers (PSFCC) and integration of two, fourth-generation Airborne Research Test Systems (ARTS). Post-hardware integration verification and validation provided the foundation for safe flight test of Nonlinear Dynamic Inversion and Model Reference Aircraft Control adaptive control law experiments. To ensure success of flight in terms of cost, schedule, and test results, emphasis on risk management was incorporated into early stages of design and flight test planning and continued through the execution of each flight test mission. Specific consideration was made to incorporate safety features within the hardware and software to alleviate user demands as well as into test processes and training to reduce human factor impacts to safe and successful flight test. This paper describes the research configuration, experiment functionality, overall risk mitigation, flight test approach and results, and lessons learned of adaptive controls research of the Full-Scale Advanced Systems Testbed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Pavlock, Kate M. (NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Edwards, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
June 28, 2011
Subject Category
Aircraft Stability and Control
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
2011 SFTE International Symposium(Seattle, WA)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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