Closed-Loop System Identification Experience for Flight Control Law and Flying Qualities Evaluation of a High Performance Fighter AircraftThis paper highlights some of the results and issues associated with estimating models to evaluate control law design methods and design criteria for advanced high performance aircraft. Experimental fighter aircraft such as the NASA High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV) have the capability to maneuver at very high angles of attack where nonlinear aerodynamics often predominate. HARV is an experimental F/A-18, configured with thrust vectoring and conformal actuated nose strakes. Identifying closed-loop models for this type of aircraft can be made difficult by nonlinearities and high-order characteristics of the system. In this paper only lateral-directional axes are considered since the lateral-directional control law was specifically designed to produce classical airplane responses normally expected with low-order, rigid-body systems. Evaluation of the control design methodology was made using low-order equivalent systems determined from flight and simulation. This allowed comparison of the closed-loop rigid-body dynamics achieved in flight with that designed in simulation. In flight, the On Board Excitation System was used to apply optimal inputs to lateral stick and pedals at five angles of attack: 5, 20, 30, 45, and 60 degrees. Data analysis and closed-loop model identification were done using frequency domain maximum likelihood. The structure of the identified models was a linear state-space model reflecting classical 4th-order airplane dynamics. Input time delays associated with the high-order controller and aircraft system were accounted for in data preprocessing. A comparison of flight estimated models with small perturbation linear design models highlighted nonlinearities in the system and indicated that the estimated closed-loop rigid-body dynamics were sensitive to input amplitudes at 20 and 30 degrees angle of attack.
Murphy, Patrick C. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA United States)
August 19, 2013
March 1, 1999
Publication: System Identification for Integrated Aircraft Development and Flight Testing