Star Vision Technologies
1 January 2005 – 15 September 2005
Total award $25,000
The Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) Flight Demonstration, a joint effort between Sargent Fletcher Incorporated, StarVision Technologies, and Texas A&M University is, to the best of our knowledge, the first time two remotely piloted vehicles will attempt to hook-up in a simulated refueling configuration. It is a critical step toward demonstrating that in-flight refueling is a feasible way to extend the range and endurance of Class III vehicles.
Specific tasks and research objectives:
- Demonstrate both ground-to-ground and air-to-ground autonomous docking maneuvers.
- Preparare for an air-to-air (Phase III) demonstration.
- Define the allowable approach/alignment envelope required for successful engagement of the microprobe and flycatcher basket.
- Conduct simulations to evaluate the various receiver to tanker approach options, including VisNav sensor field of view limitations and receiver controllability limitations when evaluating approach trajectories.
- Assess autopilot modes and modifications through definition of autonomous aerial refueling operation modes.
- Simulate and analyze the effects of atmospheric and refueler-induced turbulence on the refueling operation.
- Support assessment of the rendezvous capability and accuracy of refueler and receiver, and make recommendations to implement a successful refueling rendezvous.
Working with me on this program are Graduate Research Assistants:
- Changwha Cho
- Roshawn Bowers
- Tom Wagner