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Aircraft Systems Dynamics
Robotics and Mechatronics Center
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Primary flight control laws design
Primary flight control laws directly influence the aircraft’s attitude and flight path dynamics, in order to provide good handling qualities, or to provide automatic tracking of flight path and speed commands. We apply our design process and tools to develop manual and automatic control laws, both for civil transport as well as highly manoeuvrable military aircraft. A number of applications is listed below.
Design of control laws for automatic landing (REAL)
The development of automatic landing (autoland) control laws for civil aircraft is a demanding task, since high safety standards have to be met before operational use under most adverse weather and visibility conditions is allowed. In the frame of the EU-funded project REAL we developed an optimisation-based design process for automatic landing, allowing certification criteria and the large number of varying and uncertain parameters to be taken into account. Control laws resulting from this process were successfully flight tested on the DLR ATTAS aircraft.
Control laws for the X-31A with reduced vertical tail (VECTOR)
Control laws for the X-31A with reduced vertical tail (VECTOR) Control laws for the X-31A with reduced vertical tail (VECTOR) In the frame of the project VECTOR (Vectoring, Extremely short take-off and landing, Control, Tailless Operations Research) we studied flying qualities of reduced vertical tail configurations for the thrust-vectored X-31A experimental aircraft. The use of the Nonlinear Dynamic Inversion methodology allowed us to automatically generate control laws from the aircraft model implemented in Modelica, thus minimising effort for adapting control laws as a function of the tail size. The control laws were successfully evaluated in the flight simulator.
Optimisation-based flight control law assessment (GARTEUR AG11)
The clearance of the flight control laws involves proving to the authorities that the flight control system is safe and reliable to fly and has the desired performance under all possible operational conditions and failures cases. In the frame of the GARTEUR Action Group 11 the benefits of several new controller analysis techniques were investigated, aiming at alleviation of the huge clearance task. The Control Group of DLR developed and applied an optimisation-based approach, which was evaluated as the most promising by the industrial participants.
Robust flight control (GARTEUR AG08)
We contributed to the GARTEUR Action Group 08 on Robust Flight Control by providing benchmark design models of a civil and a military aircraft, and design contributions based on multi-objective parameter synthesis. Although this project was carried out quite some time ago, we published quite some results that are still available for download, describing our ideas and methodologies for flight control law design.
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