The advanced air mobility (AAM) marketplace is currently experiencing a proliferation of novel Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VOTL) concepts. Prototypes are currently being flown and several are in early stages of the certification process with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) even as the FAA continues to develop the means of compliance methods that will be used for the Part 23 aircraft. The emerging certification methods will rely not only on flight test but also piloted simulation. In this scenario, the generation of system and parameter identification data via flight test will be critical for the extraction of key parameters that will be used to characterize the aircraft system and further to validate the simulation models that will be used for aircraft development and certification credit. For the military aircraft industry and the traditional airframers, fully instrumented aircraft are common. The many new companies that are developing aircraft for the first time are also developing flight test equipment and knowledge infrastructure for the first time. To support the generation of high-quality system identification data in flight, Systems Technology, Inc. (STI) and Bolder Flight Systems Inc. (BFS) propose to develop the Aircraft System Identification Measurement System (ASIMS) that will feature a strap-on inertial measurement unit and novel architecture installations for inceptor position sensors coupled with a tablet-based display that will guide the end user through the generation of appropriate test inputs and provide after action analysis reviews and synthesis of the processed data in flight. To demonstrate efficacy of the proposed approach in Phase I, key elements of the system including the inceptor position sensing device and candidate features of the tablet display will be demonstrated via piloted simulation using the STI flight simulator.
ASIMS applies to several NASA projects. The technology applies directly to the ARMD Flight Demonstrations and Capabilities projects. Specifically, ASIMS can support the growing number of flight test activities including the UAM Grand Challenge by providing a means to easily and repeatedly perform flight test system identification evaluations. ASIMS also applies to the RVLT Project, where the system supports the goal to “develop and validate tools, technologies and concepts to overcome key barriers for vertical lift vehicles.”
The target market for ASIMS is the UAM market. According to HTF Market Intelligence, the estimated market size will be $15.2 billion by 2030. The study considered entries by traditional and non-traditional airframers. All will need to go through a certification process thereby defining the market, which will be introduced as the tablet-based system and as productized service to support is use.