T&E 4205 UAV Systems Test

Course Description

This two week Course addresses the unique testing requirements when evaluating a UAV system. It is assumed that the participants are generally knowledgeable in manned aircraft flight testing as this course builds on that knowledge. The students will be involved with four UAV missions utilizing the NTPS FAA-approved C150 Optionally Piloted Aircraft (OPA). Course lectures will introduce the students to UAV-specific testing when compared to manned Fixed and Rotary Wing testing. Issues such as data latency, human factors, data link coverage, failure modes, contingency management, telemetry issues, guidance, navigation and control, mission planning, and sensor cueing/integration will be addressed. Flight Test Techniques for testing both Remotely Piloted and Command Directed (autonomous) Vehicle modes will also be covered.  


Texts and Reference Materials

NTPS Course Notes

Test and Evaluation of Aircraft Avionics and Weapons Systems, Robert E. McShea, SciTech Publishing

Anticipated Student Academic Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course of instruction, the student will have a basic understanding of the specific problems flight test procedures, techniques and data analysis associated with UAV Avionic Systems.  He/she will:

Be familiar with:
·      The techniques and data analysis for Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) systems ground/flight test
·      The techniques for UAV guidance, control, and limit protection flight test
·      The techniques for UAV command and control link and sensor link ground/flight test
·      The development of a structured test plan/cards for UAV systems ground/flight test
·      The fundamentals of safety planning and risk mitigation for UAV systems  ground/flight test
·      The approach to safely and effectively executing a UAV systems flight test sortie

·      The fundamental differences in ground/flight testing of a UAV system versus a manned aircraft
·      The requirements and techniques for assessing human factors of UAV Ground Control Stations (GCS)
·      The fundamentals behind UAV data link communications
·      The primary modes for controlling a UAV, to include Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) and Command Directed Vehicle (autonomous) operations
·      The concept of sense and avoid systems and their importance to UAV operations
·      Airworthiness Requirements (Civil and Military) for UAVs

Sequence of Instruction

Welcome Overview of UAV Systems Integration
Human Factors
Controls and Displays
Control Room Operations Human Factors and CRM
Ground Testing (including build-up techniques to flight)
Remotely Piloted and Command Directed Vehicle (autonomous) modes
Command and Control Links
Latency and Senescence
Sensor Links
Data Link Range and Reliability
Failure Modes/Contingency Management
Autopilot Integration
Positional and Vertical Accuracy
Guidance Modes
Steer to a point
Mission Planning
Lost Link Procedures

Instructional Methodology

Ground Labs

Process of Evaluation

Written examination, informal oral report, and formal oral report