Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


Eric A. Mehiel


In-flight simulation allows one aircraft to simulate the dynamic response of another aircraft. A control system designed to give RASCAL, a JUH-60A Black Hawk helicopter based at Moffett Field, CA, in-flight simulation capabilities has been designed, optimized and validated in this research. A classical explicit model following control system with a frequency dependent feedback controller was used. The frequency dependent controller allows model following of the attitude in the short term and the velocity in the long term. Controller gains were optimized using a high order, linearized model of UH-60 dynamics. Non-linear simulations of the control laws were performed, first on a desktop computer based simulation, then in the RASCAL development facility, a hardware-in-the-loop simulator. Comparing quantitative results of the non-linear simulations with the results of the optimization using the linearized model ensured that the control system designed with the linearized model was valid in non-linear environments. Finally, a piloted evaluation in the hardware-in-the-loop simulator was performed to obtain qualitative information on the behavior of the control laws.