Accession Number : ADA289271

Title :   Advanced Formation Flight Control.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING

Personal Author(s) : Veth, Michael J.

PDF Url : ADA289271

Report Date : DEC 1994

Pagination or Media Count : 145

Abstract : In this thesis, the formation flight control problem is continued from four previous theses. Automatic formation flight involves controlling multiple aircraft equipped with standard Mach-hold, altitude hold, and heading-hold autopilots to maintain a desired distance from a lead aircraft or "rabbit". Changes in the rabbit's states are treated as disturbances to the system and rejected. Previous research is advanced in the following areas: Higher-order aircraft/autopilot models are included into the design and a new feedback control law is employed, resulting in more accurate simulations. An energy tracking scheme is developed and is shown to reduce wing aircraft energy excursions. Finally, the formation hold autopilot is modified to allow the wing aircraft to orbit a stationary reference point on the earth at a desired range, airspeed, and altitude. The importance of the disturbance rejection capability of the controller is demonstrated through comparisons of linearized model predictions with nonlinear simulations. The design tradeoffs between performance and robustness are emphasized.

Descriptors :   *FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEMS, *AERODYNAMICS, *FORMATION FLIGHT, MATHEMATICAL MODELS, COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION, SIMULATION, ADAPTIVE CONTROL SYSTEMS, ATTITUDE CONTROL SYSTEMS, MILITARY AIRCRAFT, AIR FORCE RESEARCH, PREDICTIONS, MODELS, TRACKING, THESES, EQUILIBRIUM(GENERAL), NONLINEAR SYSTEMS, FEEDBACK, LINEARITY, AIRSPEED, CONTROL THEORY, TRADE OFF ANALYSIS, FLIGHT MANEUVERS, AUTOMATIC PILOTS, REJECTION, FLIGHT SPEEDS, ALTITUDE CONTROLLERS, LEAD TIME, REACTION CONTROL SYSTEMS.

Subject Categories : Aerodynamics
      Military Aircraft Operations
      Flight Control and Instrumentation
      Operations Research
      Cybernetics
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
      Information Science

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE