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Development and integration of a real time data validation tool for flight tests

Abstract

Aircraft and its systems development and certification require the execution of a flight test campaign to determine the true characteristics of such products (e.g. Stall speed) and/or to verify its compliance degree against the required certification requirements (e.g. Takeoff performance with failure of one engine).In this context the quantitative analysis of the flight test campaign results requires registration and analysis of several parameters (e.g. Angle of attach). Therefore test flight data acquisition requires the integration of a dedicated Flight Test Instrumentation (FTI) for gathering accurate measurement.In a given test flight are performed several test points, which validation requires strict compliance with various predetermined conditions (e.g. 10s speed stabilization at 230kts ± 2kts @1sigma).The IPEV funded by FINEP, have already developed and successfully integrated several real-time data validation tools and data reduction applications for near real time, which were incorporated into its Fixed Telemetry Ground Station (EFT).However the actual reliability and quality performance of the telemetry data link can't provide the required integrity thus jeopardizing very much the satisfactory usage of such tools.Furthermore for several test flights the validation of a given test point carried out at the EFT doesn't solve the problem, because in some cases, the pilot needs additional information (e.g. Command forces), which are not shown in the aircraft cockpit instruments, to control the execution of a given test point, to ensure that such test point is being held within acceptable tolerance limits.For large aircraft (e.g. KCX 390) it can be installed a full data acquisition and processing system for flight test data validation so the required information for the correct execution of a given test point could be displayed to the Test Pilot.For small aircraft (e.g. AT-29) there is no available space for FTI and data processing system installation and this precludes the integration of advanced crew information systems.However the computing power grows of new mobile systems (e.g. Tablets) opens new horizons for the development of such advanced information systems.This project aims the qualification of IPEV's technical staff in the area of airborne ultra-compact information systems development and integration to be used for real-time test flight managing and decision making and for test data processing, validation, displaying and data reduction analysis.Thus it will be possible to carry out several R&D projects aiming the integration of large and complex airborne flight test information processing system to increase the efficiency and safety of the flight test campaigns executed by IPEV.In this context, the first step to be covered by this project will address the development of an airborne information aid tool system to process FTI data to assist the Test Pilot while executing test points for the determination of lateral-directional and longitudinal static stability parameters of the test bed.Initially this system will be developed for use in instruction exercises of the Brazilian Flight Test Course (CEV) for the formation of Experimental Test Pilots, Flight Test Engineers, Instrumentation Engineers and Technicians. CEV is carried out by IPEV's Divisão de Formação em Ensaios em Voo (EFEV) and such course is accredited by the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP). (AU)

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