Innovators at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center have applied a novel peak-seeking algorithm to optimize an airplane’s performance. This technology reduces aircraft drag by adaptively determining the optimal trim configuration of the aircraft’s effectors based on real-time in-flight measurements as flight conditions change. Effector configurations are typically developed via high-fidelity analytical modeling for a particular aircraft configuration. However, this approach does not account for variations in individual aircraft built. Dryden’s algorithm enables optimization for an individual aircraft in its actual environment, for flight optimization and increased cost-savings.
This algorithm has also been extended to multi-effector solutions, which can further improve fuel savings. The technology can be integrated into new aircraft designs or implemented on existing airplanes through software and/or mechanical modification.
This technology is part of NASA’s technology transfer program. The program seeks to stimulate broad commercial use/application of NASA-developed technologies. NASA is flexible in its agreements, and opportunities exist for licensing and joint development. Dryden is interested in a partnership to commercialize this technology.
If you would like more information about this technology or about NASA’s technology transfer program, please contact:Innovative Partnerships Office