Introduction to RPV Flight Testing
This two-week course offers a brief overview of how RPVs are flight tested. It is intended to provide the students with an introduction to the proper techniques to execute performance, flying qualities, and systems evaluations of fixed wing platforms. The course will introduce students to the methods and challenges associated with flight testing both remotely piloted and command directed vehicles through lectures, simulation, and actual RPV flight test exercises.
General topics will include: Controls and Displays, Human Factors, Workload, Certification, Test Mission Planning, Test Safety Planning, Data Cards, Oral and Written Reports
Performance and Flying Qualities topics will include: Aerodynamics, Position Error Correction, Drag Polars, Cruise Performance, Climb Performance, Takeoff and Landing Performance, Longitudinal Static Stability, Lateral Directional Stability, Flight Dynamics, and Modern Flight Controls
Systems topics will include: Navigational Accuracy, EMI/EMC, GPS, INS, TSPI, Avionics System Architecture, Communications, Datalinks, Proximity Warning Systems, Health Monitoring Systems, Software Test, Configuration Management, Electro-Optical Sensors, Radar Sensors
Academic instruction is reinforced by simulator and RPV flight test exercises. Flight exercises will utilize the NTPS Surrogate Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV). The RPV is a Cessna 150 that has been converted to an Optionally Piloted Aircraft (OPA) certified by the FAA. This platform allows students to observe the behaviour of a RPV from the ground control station and in flight. Flight tests will be demonstrated in both command directed and remotely piloted modes of control.