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Evaluation of the controllability of a remotely piloted high-altitude platform in atmospheric disturbances based on pilot-in-the-loop simulations

Hasan, Yasim Julian and Roeser, Mathias Stefan and Voigt, Andreas (2022) Evaluation of the controllability of a remotely piloted high-altitude platform in atmospheric disturbances based on pilot-in-the-loop simulations. CEAS Aeronautical Journal. Springer. doi: 10.1007/s13272-022-00626-x. ISSN 1869-5590.

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Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13272-022-00626-x


In the context of the project HAP, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is currently developing a solar-powered high-altitude platform that is supposed to be stationed in the stratosphere for 30 days. The development process includes the design of the aircraft, its manufacturing and a flight test campaign. Furthermore, a high-altitude demonstration flight is planned. While the high-altitude flight will be performed using a flight control and management system, during take-off and landing and at the beginning of the low-altitude flight test campaign, the aircraft will be remotely piloted. The aircraft has a wing span of 27 m and operates at extremely low airspeeds, being in the magnitude of around 10 m/s equivalent airspeed, and is therefore profoundly susceptible to atmospheric disturbances. This is particularly critical at low altitudes, where the airspeed is lowest. Hence, both time and location for take-off, landing or low-altitude flight test campaigns need to be selected thoroughly to reduce the risk of a loss of aircraft. In this regard, the knowledge about the operational limits of the aircraft with respect to atmospheric conditions is crucial. The less these limits are known, the more conservative the decision about whether to perform a flight on a certain day or not tends to be. On the contrary, if these limits have been adequately investigated, the amount of days and locations that are assessed as suitable for performing a flight might increase. This paper deals with a pilot-in-the-loop simulation campaign that is conducted to assess the controllability of the high-altitude platform in atmospheric disturbances. Within this campaign, the pilots are requested to perform practical tasks like maintaining track or altitude, flying a teardrop turn or performing a landing while the aircraft is subject to different atmospheric disturbances including constant wind, wind shear, continuous turbulence, and discrete gusts of different magnitudes. This paper describes the desktop simulator used for the campaign, outlines the entity of investigated test points and presents the assessment method used to evaluate the criticality of the respective disturbances. Finally, a set of restrictions on the acceptable wind conditions for the high-altitude platform are found. The underlying limits comprise a constant wind speed of 3.0 m/s in any direction, except during landing, maximum wind shear of 0.5 m/s^2 and gusts with peak speeds of 1.5 to 2.0 m/s, depending on the direction.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/191085/
Document Type:Article
Title:Evaluation of the controllability of a remotely piloted high-altitude platform in atmospheric disturbances based on pilot-in-the-loop simulations
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Hasan, Yasim JulianUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5081-223XUNSPECIFIED
Roeser, Mathias StefanUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9529-7518UNSPECIFIED
Date:15 November 2022
Journal or Publication Title:CEAS Aeronautical Journal
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:High-altitude platform, Flight mechanics, Pilot-in-the-loop simulations, Atmospheric disturbances, Desktop simulator
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:Components and Systems
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L CS - Components and Systems
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Unmanned Aerial Systems
Location: Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Flight Systems
Institute of Flight Systems > Flight Dynamics and Simulation
Institute of Flight Systems > Unmanned Aircraft
Deposited By: Hasan, Yasim Julian
Deposited On:01 Dec 2022 11:24
Last Modified:08 Dec 2022 13:25

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