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Chapter: Flight and Ground Experimental Test Technologies, new invention technology, Research project papers,

Dynamic Inertia Measurement Method

Dynamic Inertia Measurement Method
Flight and Ground Experimental Test Technologies, Advancing technology and science through flight 2014, Research, Technology, and Engineering Accomplishments, National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA, Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center. new invention technology, Research project papers;

Dynamic Inertia Measurement Method


Critically important inertia measurements are complex and expensive to obtain due to the extensive fixturing and custom instrumentation of conventional techniques. This research effort has validated a more efficient, less risky, and faster inertia measurement technique for


aerospace vehicles. The dynamic inertia measurement method is based on conventional ground vibration testing methods, which are routinely performed in other types of aircraft testing. The basic concept is to compute the inertia properties and center-of-gravity location of an object by measuring all forces acting on the object and the rigid body motion caused by these forces. This innovation significantly reduces cost as it eliminates the complex and expensive fixturing and equipment used in conventional measurement techniques.



Work to date: A comparison to analytical measurement demonstrated that the theory is sound, although additional tuning of the algorithms will be required. Data produced from an 'iron bird' demonstration test will help build confidence in the approach.


Looking ahead: The team is working to compare the method to conventional approaches. The next project phase, testing on an aerospace vehicle, has not yet been funded.


Partner: ATA Engineering, Inc., provided software and support for the testing




 Less risky: Does not require the vehicle to be suspended, reducing risk and equipment needs


 Faster: Dramatically decreases testing and approval times by weeks or even months




 Airplanes and space vehicles (capsules and lifting-body spacecraft)


 Automobiles and other large terrestrial vehicles


Flight and Ground Experimental Test Technologies


Armstrong conducts innovative flight research that continues to expand its world-class capabilities, with special expertise in research and testbed platforms, science platforms, and support aircraft. Re-searchers place particular emphasis on providing accurate flight data for research aimed at designing next-generation flight vehicles. Described here are research projects that are seeking to increase safety, reduce costs, and dramatically decrease testing and approval times. Armstrong's new verification and validation (V&V) simulation test bench is particularly innovative as it integrates reconfigurable software models for multiple aircraft components. These models enable high-fidelity simulations to be performed more easily and at significantly faster rates than are possible with hardware-centric test benches.


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