The proposed body of work addresses a critical need in NASA's repository of tools and techniques to develop high performance and supersonic civilian aircraft: a reliable physics-based simulation testbed to test different unconventional and advanced aircraft designs. NASA has been extensively investing in aeroelastic research, through programs such as Active Aeroelastic Wing (AAW), X-56A Multi-Utility Technology Testbed (MUTT), and Aeroservoelasticity (ASE) project in the High Speed Program. The ASE project in particular, has been focusing on development of aeroelastic modules for supersonic aircraft, and will directly benefit from this research. X-56A has also been looking to augment its controllers to incorporate aeroelastic effects, and will be interested in RACA. Moreover, other programs at NASA that are looking at lightweight aircraft configurations will also be able to use RACA in their design and control simulation efforts.
Other government agencies, such as Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) have also been investigating aeroelastic concepts in collaboration with NASA and industry. The AAW and MUTT programs are specific examples of the above. Moreover, aircraft manufacturers interested in advanced aircraft development are increasingly facing the challenges of high aspect ratio, flexible wing aircraft. To design and reliably develop associated controllers for such aircraft, they need tools to allow rapid analysis of concepts across the entire flight envelope. RACA will provide the industry with such a capability. Moreover, the aeroelastic analysis capability could also be integrated in design frameworks for flexible aircraft design. Lockheed Martin has also been investigating the low-boom supersonic demonstrator, and its aeroelastic properties are yet to be understood. RACA is going to directly address this concern as well.