ARL-created software helps analysts predict crash landing survivability

November 30, 2011


The Army Research Laboratory is advancing the way the military looks at vehicle survivability and vulnerability today to better focus its research efforts on reducing injury to rotorcraft crew and passengers.

ARL developed a software solution in 2005 to provide a new capability to look at survivability with power loss. That software, DESCENT, is an iterative optimization algorithm that has been applied to rotorcraft flight modeling. DESCENT reports help survivability/lethality analysts ascertain how well the helicopter will survive a crash landing from a given height or flight speed if it loses power because of engine failure. They're trying to find the best-case scenario to determine how gently the pilot might be expected to land, how much damage is incurred and whether or not the crash is survivable.

The ARL team is working with the Joint Aircraft Survivability Program Office to verify and validate the code, and model different types of rotorcraft. The Joint Aircraft Survivability Program Office ensures that the United States continues to field survivable, combat effective aircraft systems sufficient to maintain battle space dominance.


Last Update / Reviewed: November 30, 2011