ACTIVITY 3: A Virtual Testbed for Flight Dynamics.

Multidisciplinary modeling and control of high-performance air vehicles such as the hypersonic transport vehicle and future combat aircrafts is one of the active areas of research at Cal State L.A. Funded by NASA Dryden Flight Research Center simulation software packages have been developed to model the complex dynamic behavior of high performance flight vehicles. Advanced nonlinear control laws based on sliding mode, adaptive and neural network techniques have been developed. The technologies developed are highly relevant to NASA's future missions, the Air Force, as well as Southern California's aerospace industry.

This activity will build on the current research and will include development of a virtual testbed for flight dynamics and control. The testbed is a visually enhanced interactive modeling and simulation environment for creating complex models of air vehicle configurations. State-of-the-art IMSC-developed multimedia technology and Computer-Aided Engineering tools including Solid Modeling, Finite Element Analysis, and Computational Fluid Dynamics such as IDEAS, NASTRAN, CFD++, and MATLAB will be integrated to create a highly interactive simulation environment.

Using the testbed the user will be able to change aircraft configuration and performance requirements, construct mathematical models, develop control laws, perform real-time motion-based simulations. Under this activity complex models of high-performance air vehicles will be constructed and analyzed. Advanced control laws that would meet the stability, performance and robustness requirements of high-performance air vehicles will be developed.

Nonlinear control techniques such as robust adaptive and neural networks will be employed to study stability, performance and robustness. The control strategies developed will be tested and evaluated on the complex models via simulations using the capability offered by the interactive computer aided environment developed under this activity.