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Proceedings Paper

Cost-efficient integrated tests of fly-by-light flight control systems
Author(s): James M. Urnes; Eugene B. Lerman; Barry G. Streeter
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Paper Abstract

Development costs of Fly-by-Light flight control systems have increased as complexity of these systems expands; the list to integrate and test includes fiber optic components, multiple-channel digital processors, fault tolerant software, multiple sensors, engine control, air data sensors, targeting sensors, and navigation system. Flight control hardware tests have been traditionally performed using manned flight simulators linked to the hardware for interactive tests with the aircraft's aerodynamic flight characteristics. This flight simulator environment requires additional fiber optic tests besides hosting the flight hardware. Flight simulators are expensive to operate and difficult to obtain schedule time which exacerbates program cost. The approach used in FLASH Task 2C program keeps the fiber optics, the flight processor hardware in the more friendly laboratory environment, and adds the aircraft aerodynamics and control actuator simulation using a laboratory PC linked to the flight hardware. This provides effective flight representation at a much lower cost than flight simulators, and permits full laboratory access for the critical flight software. This paper describes how their capability is applied to test fly-by-light aircraft control systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 October 1996
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 2840, Fly-by-Light III, (14 October 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.254231
Show Author Affiliations
James M. Urnes, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (United States)
Eugene B. Lerman, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (United States)
Barry G. Streeter, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2840:
Fly-by-Light III
Daniel B. Thompson; Robert J. Baumbick, Editor(s)

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