Systems Technology awarded new contract from NASA Langley Research Center
Systems Technology has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract entitled “Reduced Order Aeroservoelastic Models with Rigid Body Modes.” Starting from high fidelity models that combine fluid dynamics, structural dynamics, and flight control systems, the objective of this program is to develop improved reduced order modeling methods that will provide for more robust flight controller designs across the flight envelope. Dr. Peter Thompson, System Technology’s Chief Scientist, will serve as Principal Investigator for the project, with support from Mr. Brian Danowsky, Principal Research Engineer. For the first time, Dr. Gary Balas, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Department Head from the University of Minnesota, will be collaborating with the Systems Technology team. Dr. Walter Silva from the Langley Research Center will be serving as the NASA technical point of contact.
High fidelity aircraft models that combine computational fluid dynamics, finite element models, servo actuator models, and complete flight control system designs are now possible. Because of the millions of degrees of freedom associated with this approach, even with the most powerful multi-core computers and clusters, evaluation runs still take hours or even days to execute. To better support the flight control design process, reduced order models (ROM) are used. Current ROM methods, however, do not consistently well represent the rigid body dynamics that are important for the controller design process. The objective of this program is to develop improved ROM methods that will provide for more robust controller designs across the flight envelope. A technical abstract for the Phase I program is provided below.
Complex aeroelastic and aeroservoelastic phenomena can be modeled on complete aircraft configurations, generating models with millions of degrees of freedom. Reduced order models are used for systems and control analysis. The ability to do so on freely supported vehicles has been demonstrated including estimates of the rigid body dynamics. Improvements to this process are proposed to more closely match known frequency responses in the rigid body range, and to generate the reduced order models in a form that can be used for linear parameter varying control design methods.
A set of modest order aircraft models will be collected and created using flexible structures and doublet lattice aerodynamics. These models will be used develop and demonstrated the improved model order reduction methodology, and then a plan will be developed to generalize this process for very high fidelity models. The improvements will increase the technical readiness of new model order reduction methods used to create aeroelastic models that include rigid body dynamics. The ability to create these models in the form used by linear parameter varying control methods will make it possible to develop flight control systems with provable robustness across the entire flight envelope.