Flight Control Design and Optimization Tools


The design, simulation, integration, and flight testing of flight control systems for modern aircraft constitutes a series of challenging multidisciplinary tasks that factor significantly in the overall time and cost of aircraft development.

The U.S. Army Aviation Development Directorate - Ames, in conjunction with Universities Space Research Association under the NASA Academic Mission Services (NAMS) contract, have jointly developed a modern integrated tool set that addresses such technical challenges:

CIFER® (Comprehensive Identification from FrEquency Responses), a system identification tool based on a comprehensive frequency-response approach that is uniquely suited to the difficult problems associated with flight test data analysis.

CONDUIT® (CONtrol Designer's Unified InTerface), a state-of-the-art flight control design and optimization tool that allows the user to rapidly evaluate and optimize designs against relevant performance specifications and design criteria.

RIPTIDE (Real-time Interactive Prototype Technology Integration Development Environment), a high fidelity desktop simulation tool which provides a platform for rapid piloted simulation evaluation of the control law design.

STITCH is a new software capability that allows a non-expert to create and verify a full-envelope stitched simulation model from individual point models and trim data.

Key Advantages of the Toolset:

  • Unique and integrated design environment that seamlessly brings together all relevant engineering disciplines under one common modeling platform.
  • Offers potential for significant reduction in time and cost of design, optimization, and simulation of modern flight control systems.

Fielding UAS and optionally-piloted systems bears an additional cost in developing algorithms to automate the flight control of these systems partially or entirely.

libOFN (Obstacle Field Navigation) is a software library that provides real-time sensor-based terrain avoidance and can be integrated into existing autonomous vehicle platforms.

libSLAD (Safe Landing Area Determination) is a software library that allows for rapid determination of safe landing areas based on terrain roughness, slope, proximity to obstacles, and other metrics.

Contact Information:

Technical Contact
Dr. Mark B. Tischler
Flight Control Group Leader/Senior Scientist
US Army Aviation Development Directorate - Ames

Software Contact
Kenny K. Cheung
Aeroflightdynamics Technical Area Lead
Universities Space Research Association (NAMS)

Sales & Inquiries Contact
STA (Software Transfer Agreement) Administration
Universities Space Research Association (NAMS)

Keywords: rotorcraft, aircraft, aerospce, design, dynamics modeling, handling qualities, specifications, time-domain, frequency-domain, multi-objective function optimization, multi-objective design synthesis, feasible sequential quadratic programming, frequency response methodology, handling-qualities analyses, specification compliance, optimization, multi-input multi-output, MIMO, single input single output, SISO, non-parametric, Fast Fourier Transforms, FFTs, parameter accuracy, Cramer-Rao, sensitivity analysis, secant, state-space model identification, insensitivity, robustness analysis, pcomb, linearization, linmod, coupling numerator, unmanned, UAV, FSQP, LQR, H-Infinity, PID, ADS-33, MIL-1797, FRESPID, MISOSA, COMPOSITE, DERIVID, VERIFY, NAVFIT, GNC, UAV, XV-15, Bell-214ST, BO-105, AH-64, UH-60, V-22, AV-8 Harrier, OH-58D, ASTOVL, LHX, VMS.