Artist's rendering of AeroVironment's Global Observer high-altitude, long-endurance remotely operated aircraft. (AeroVironment, Inc. image) NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center is supporting the Department of Defense / AeroVironment Global Observer program by performing structural loads testing of a test article wing of a Global Observer aircraft in Dryden's Flight Loads Laboratory. Dryden is providing expertise for the loads testing, ground vibration testing and structural mode interaction testing. In addition, the center is providing the test fixture design, test planning, technical and design reviews, range safety support and feedback to Defense Department and AeroVironment representatives.
Additionally, a Dryden-developed strain sensing technology, the Fiber Optic Wing Shape Sensor, is being incorporated into the wing structure of the Global Observer-1 aircraft. The sensing technology, already flight-proven aboard Dryden's Ikhana remotely piloted aircraft, lets engineers and ground operators know the changing structural state of highly flexible wing structures in real time.
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