NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 A2.08-8819
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Modeling, Identification, and Simulation for Control of Aerospace Vehicles in Flight Test
PROPOSAL TITLE: Model Updating Nonlinear System Identification Toolbox

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Zona Technology Inc
7430 E. Stetson Drive, Suite 205
Scottsdale, AZ 85251-3540

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dario H Baldelli
7430 E. Stetson Drive, Suite 205
Scottsdale, AZ 85251-3540

ZONA Technology proposes to develop an enhanced model updating nonlinear system identification (MUNSID) methodology by adopting the flight data with state-of-the-art control oriented techniques. The end product is a flight data enhanced MUNSID/ZAERO toolbox for accurate predictions of flutter and limit cycle oscillation (LCO) instabilities.

The enhancement employs control oriented techniques, namely, model uncertainty, linear fractional transformation framework, mu-analysis and nonlinear operators identification, to adopt the emerging aeroelastic flight-test data. This toolbox augments the current match-point solution approach using the mu-analysis method with identified nonlinear operators. The procedure calls for ZAERO's high-fidelity linear aeroelastic model to be tuned quickly with available aeroelastic/aeroservoelastic, AE/ASE, flight data sets, while block-oriented models are used to highlight the underlying nonlinear structure of the AE/ASE system. This framework is capable of accounting for several nonlinearities including those due to aerodynamics, structures, control/actuator, and/or geometry. The toolbox will be used as the next-generation flutterometer to predict the onset of AE/ASE instabilities. Two case studies, simple and complex dynamic ASE systems, are proposed to validate and verified this advanced control-oriented concept. This enabling technology will be invaluable to the flight test community by extending the current industry modeling tools to include nonlinear operators identified from wind-tunnel/flight-test data.

A model updating software tool for a general nonlinear AE/ASE system stability boundary prediction is still non-existent. NASA/DFRC has been working for many years towards achieving a software package that would predict the onset of AE/ASE instabilities with a high factor of safety for efficient envelope expansion. The proposed MUNSID/ZAERO toolbox is aimed at providing an expedient on-line prediction capability that integrates with current NASA procedures in the control room. The toolbox will be especially valuable during flight tests of the F/A-18 AAW, the F-15 IFF, the X-45 HyperX, the ERAST, and even future RevCon projects.

ZONA's business plan for this toolbox will follow the existing ZAERO product/service strategy. The toolbox will be marketed towards the flight test applications on a wide class of aerospace vehicles: (a) USAF's UAV/UCAV, joint-wing sensor craft, (b) Next generation Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) with enhanced control/maneuver capability, (c) DARPA Morphing aircraft program, and (d) Boeing's 7E7 and executive jet designs of Cessna, Raytheon, etc. Potential customers for the MUNSID/ZAERO toolbox include engineers in the automotive, maritime, power system industry; and many others. Additionally, it can also be used to perform health management of flexible structures.