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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Low-Cost, Integrated Ground Test, Simulation, and Flight Control Development Environment, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Low-Cost, Integrated Ground Test, Simulation, and Flight Control Development Environment, Phase I
An important mission for NASA is the development of revolutionary flight concepts and technology. The development of Micro unmanned air vehicles (MAVs) and Mars aircraft has received considerable attention recently. Unlike conventional aircraft, MAVs and Mars aircraft suffer from operation in an extremely low Reynolds number flight regime. Generally, a low Reynolds number is considered to be between 150,000 and 500,000. Both MAVs and Mars aircraft, however, can have operational Reynolds number regimes from 20,000 to 120,000. At these extremely low Reynolds numbers, the aerodynamic flow features are dominated by laminar separation and separation bubble effects, which are highly unstable and very dependent upon the free-stream conditions and atmospheric turbulence. Although it is often argued that an exploratory vehicle will operate over a benign portion of the flight envelope, an encounter with strong winds or gusts, particularly during a maneuver, could excite a highly non-linear response. This means that the assumption of linear derivatives for stability and control may not be valid, which could cause the loss of a vehicle designed with a control system based on linear assumptions. It is proposed that a low-cost, integrated ground test, simulation, and flight control development environment be created to address these challenges. More »

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.