ADAPTIVE IMPROVEMENT OF CLIMB PERFORMANCE
One key element in improving air traffic capacity and efficiency is the ability of the air traffic management system to predict accurately the future position of a vehicle along a standard route. Perhaps the most challenging problem in the current practice is to predict accurately the altitude profile of an aircraft during the ascent phase of flight. During the ascent, the vehicle performance is extremely sensitive to uncertainties in the vehicle weight, thrust and piloting procedures, none of which are currently known to air traffic controller whose job is to merge this departure aircraft into an en route stream of traffic. This thesis work investigates the use of adaptive control techniques to improve climb performance prediction. The aim is to accurately predict time to ‘top of climb’ in the ascending phase of aircraft trajectory. The study is conducted in support of the CTAS air traffic control software, which is in development at NASA Ames Research Center in California. This investigation consists of a comparison between actual departure trajectories for MD80 type of aircraft and the results of MATLAB-based numerical simulation attempting to duplicate the measured energy rate and hence the trajectory during the climb phase. The technical approach taken in this thesis is to start with initial a priori models of aerodynamics and engine thrust. The thrust dependency is adapted based on the observed and calculated energy rates of the vehicle. The results indicate that this adaptive model can greatly improve climb performance prediction.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:air traffic management trajectory prediction adaptive control thrust adaption rate of climb
Date of Publication:01/01/2003