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Experimental Investigation on Precision Tracking by Use of a Digital Controller and Manual Thrust Control

Haschke, Janine (2022) Experimental Investigation on Precision Tracking by Use of a Digital Controller and Manual Thrust Control. DLR-Interner Bericht. DLR-IB-FT-BS-2022-169. Master's. Technical University of Berlin. 156 S.

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Air-to-air refueling is a possibility to increase the range of an aircraft. As this is also a very demanding maneuver for the pilots, automating this process could be advantageous in simplifying the task. In this thesis, a digital controller is designed and evaluated to regulate the position of an aircraft during in-flight refueling with the probe-and-drogue system. For the design of the controller, a time-continuous linear-quadratic regulator is first developed under consideration of a time delay for the signal transport and processing as well as the actuator dynamics of the control surfaces. The resulting regulator is then discretized by using the Tustin’s method for a given sampling time. For the evaluation of the controller performance, flight simulator tests are carried out with test pilots from the German Air Force. The analysis of the results shows that the control system can establish successful contacts for overtake velocities in a range from 2 to 4 kts and certain minimum distances between the probe and drogue. At higher overtake speeds of 4 kts the probe misses the drogue because the closed-loop system cannot adequately follow the movement of the drogue caused by the bow wave effect. Nevertheless, the success rate is increased and the workload of the pilots is reduced compared to a manual drogue approach. Furthermore, the refueling process took less time when the position controller was activated. This is advantageous in time-limited situations.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/191912/
Document Type:Monograph (DLR-Interner Bericht, Master's)
Title:Experimental Investigation on Precision Tracking by Use of a Digital Controller and Manual Thrust Control
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Number of Pages:156
Keywords:Semi-Automation; Position Controller; Direct Lift; Air-to-Air Refuelling; Simulator Test; Tracking Controller
Institution:Technical University of Berlin
Department:Department of Flight Mechanics, Flight Control and Aeroelasticity
HGF - Research field:other
HGF - Program:other
HGF - Program Themes:other
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L DT - Defense Technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Support
Location: Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Flight Systems > Military Aircraft Branch
Institute of Flight Systems
Deposited By: Haschke, Janine
Deposited On:20 Jan 2023 16:55
Last Modified:26 Feb 2024 11:21

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