Aurora Flight Sciences developing robust flare planner for NASA

  • 27-May-2010 06:47 EDT

Aurora Flight Sciences has been awarded a contract by NASA to develop and demonstrate a method for generating robust autonomous flare maneuvers. The goal of a flare maneuver is to safely transition an aircraft from final approach to touchdown, decelerating the vehicle and setting up a safe landing attitude. During this transition, a complex series of dynamic events can occur, and the pilot or autopilot must address uncertainty in aerodynamics, disturbances such as cross-winds, and, in severe circumstances, aircraft impairment. During this Phase 2 effort, Aurora is teaming with the MIT Aerospace Robotics and Embedded Systems Laboratory to develop these tools into a fully functional software system that can be incorporated into both manned and unmanned systems and to demonstrate it in a hardware-in-the-loop simulation environment in preparation for follow-on flight testing in either a manned or unmanned test bed aircraft.

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