Project Summary

Proposal Number:

Project Title:Intelligent Engine Controls for High Efficiency Light Aircraft

Small Business Concern:
Aurora Flight Sciences Corp.
9950 Wakeman Drive
Manassas, VA 22111

Research Institution:
West Virginia University
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Engineering Science Bldg., G58
Evansdale Drive
Morgantown, WV 26506

Principal Investigator/Project Manager: Allen Jones

Technical Abstract:
The basis for the proposed cooperative R&D effort is an advanced engine control system (AECS) for reciprocating engines using closed-loop feedback control methodologies developed by West Virginia University (WVU). The small business concern, Aurora Flight Sciences Corp., proposes to develop, in cooperation with WVU, an AECS that monitors and controls the engine performance, emissions and efficiency through control of the air/fuel ratio and ignition timing on an individual cylinder basis. This system will be unique to general aviation (GA) by offering improved propulsion efficiency and fuel economy (and hence lower emissions) and higher reliability through individual cylinder operational optimization. This proposal addresses the Phase I activities focused on single cylinder performance which include identification of dominant sensory feedback, formulation of control laws for optimal performance, fault detection and reconfiguration of engine control, culminating in proof-of- concept test-cell demonstration. Full engine flight-test system, to be implemented and deployed in Phase II, will verify the objectives of this work, and will enable this NASA-sponsored propulsion technology to be incorporated into future Aurora unmanned aircraft to support high-altitude atmospheric science, and to serve the GA industry by making it available to NASA-AGATE consortium members.

Potential Commercial Applications:
This work will result in a full closed-loop advanced engine control system, specifically targeted for integration into future generation of reciprocating engines to be developed for GA light aircraft and high-endurance UAVs.