Experimental Flight Characterization of a Canard-Controlled, Subsonic Missile

Report No. ARL-TR-8086
Authors: Frank Fresconi, Ilmars Celmins, James Maley, Bryant Nelson
Date/Pages: August 2017; 40 pages
Abstract: The goal of this study is to improve understanding of maneuvering flight and reduce aerodynamic uncertainty of guided munitions to compress the iterative design cycle and realize enhanced maneuverability vehicles. To accomplish this, novel dynamic wind tunnel and spark range flight experiments were performed. An actively controlled vehicle was mounted on a 3 degree-of-freedom gimbal in a wind tunnel with balance, Euler angle, and canard deflection instrumentation. Free-flight spark range firings were conducted with various configurations to isolate control aerodynamics and induce a spectra of angle of attack. An aerodynamic model was postulated to capture high maneuver phenomena such as flow separation and vortex interactions, which were encountered during experiments. This aerodynamic model was used with the experimental data in a parameter estimation algorithm to obtain static and dynamic aerodynamics. Results confirm the novel experimental and aerodynamic modeling approaches and provide validation data for computations.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2017