Adaptive Guidance Algorithms for Hypersonics
This research effort is exploring the development of an adaptive guidance system for hypersonic vehicles. Traditionally, guidance is preprogrammed before flight both for manned and unmanned hypersonic vehicles.
However, this offline, preprogrammed approach is not optimal in the event of unexpected situations, such as aircraft aerodynamic shape changes or thermal constraints. An adaptive guidance system would include predictive algorithms that could detect conditions likely to result in dangerous situations and automate compensating maneuvers to avoid catastrophic loss.
Work to date: Guidance and control algorithms have been tested in a simulator.
Partner: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) provided funding for this project.
Improves safety: An adaptive system could detect and compensate for unsafe and/or unexpected situations/environments.
Increases envelope: The system would enable aircraft to travel safely over a larger envelope.
Fuel efficient: The system would adapt to changing conditions to maintain the most fuel efficient flight.
General aviation aircraft
Hypersonics and Space Technologies
Akey objective of hypersonic research at NASA is to develop methods and tools that adequately model fundamental physics and allow credible physics-based optimization for future operational hypersonic vehicle systems. Research focuses on solving some of the most difficult challenges in hypersonic flight, and Armstrong innovators are contributing to this research in several ways:
- Exploring adaptive guidance systems that could detect conditions likely to result in dangerous situations and automate compensating maneuvers
- Modeling high-altitude environments to improve flight planning designs for high-speed vehicles
- Designing high-temperature insulative and advanced composite materials
This research will enable the development of highly reliable and efficient hypersonic systems.