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NASA AIRPLANE TO HEAL ITSELF WITH INTELLIGENT FLIGHT CONTROLS

June 3, 2002

Release: 02-30

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--nasa--

Note to Editors: A special NASA airplane that can alter its own computerized flight software to meet in-flight emergencies is getting ready for calibration missions this summer before beginning research flights next year. NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, located on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., will operate the highly modified NF-15B aircraft in a second series of flights in the Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) research project.

IFCS is designed to incorporate self-learning neural network concepts into flight control software to enable a pilot to maintain control and safely land an aircraft that has suffered a major systems failure or combat damage. Instrumentation and air data system calibration flights are due to begin this summer to reduce risk for the research effort.

Flight evaluation of first- and second-generation self-learning neural network control software is expected to occur in 2003. Preliminary flight tests of an IFCS neural network that was pre-trained to the NF-15B's aerodynamic database were flown in Spring 1999.

(Interviews with IFCS project staff can be arranged. Photos of the modified NF-15B are available for downloading from the Dryden web site, /centers/dfrc Video B-roll of the aircraft is also available from the NASA Dryden public affairs office. For further information, contact Alan Brown at (661) 276-2665.)
 

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