The Impact of GPS Velocity Based Flight Control on Flight Instrumentation Architecture
Author(s)Kornfeld, Richard P.; Hansman, R. John; Deyst, John J.
This thesis explores the use of velocity information obtained by a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to close the aircraft’s flight control loop. A novel framework to synthesize attitude information from GPS velocity vector measurements is discussed. The framework combines the benefits of high-quality GPS velocity measurements with a novel velocity vector based flight control paradigm to provide a means for the human operator or autopilot to close the aircraft flight control loop. Issues arising from limitations in GPS as well as the presence of a human in the aircraft control loop are addressed. Results from several flight tests demonstrate the viability of this novel concept and show that GPS velocity based attitude allows for equivalent aircraft control as traditional attitude. Two possible applications of GPS velocity based attitude, an autopilot and a tunnelin- the-sky trajectory guidance system, are demonstrated in flight. Unlike traditional autopilot and trajectory guidance systems, these applications rely solely on the information obtained from a single-antenna GPS receiver which makes them affordable to the larger General Aviation aircraft community. Finally, the impact of GPS velocity based flight control on the instrumentation architecture of flight vehicles is investigated.
International Center for Air Transportation
velocity, Global Positioning System, GPS, attitude information, air transportation