Advanced Control Method for
This research effort aims to develop software control algorithms that will correct for roll reversal before it happens. Roll reversal occurs when an aircraft is steered in one direction but rolls the opposite way due to aerodynamic conditions. The problem often compounds as a pilot attempts to correct for the motion by over-steering in the original direction, leading to uncontrollable roll. Unexpected yaw and subsequent roll reversal has caused the loss of high-speed, lifting body-like vehicles. The team has employed novel predictive software
within adaptive controller technology to detect conditions likely to result in aircraft roll reversal and then automate compensating maneuvers to avoid catastrophic loss.
Work to date: University of Michigan's retrospective cost model refinement (RCMR) control algorithm has been integrated into a flight simulator and tested with prerecorded, open-source parameter data, which replicates the roll reversal anomaly.
Looking ahead: Next steps involve upgrading the RCMR code to account for a six-degree-of-simulation environment (forward/back, up/ down, left/right, pitch, yaw, and roll) with eventual application in a flight test environment.
Partners: University of Michigan, other government research agencies, and aerospace firms.
Operates independently: Unlike other standard control systems, this method allows for compensation and control of aircraft roll reversal without a priori knowledge of the dynamics.
Improves safety: This technology is expected to prevent crashes that occur due to uncontrolled roll.
Increases envelope: RCMR would enable planes to travel safely over a larger envelope.
Lifting body-type space vehicles and reentry vehicles
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.