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Dynamics and Controls


NASA researchers are using the X-56A, a low-cost, modular, remotely piloted aerial vehicle.
NASA researchers are using the X-56A, a low-cost, modular, remotely piloted aerial vehicle, to explore the behavior of lightweight, flexible aircraft structures.
NASA / Ken Ulbrich

The Dynamics and Controls branch at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, specializes in research of flight control systems, components, and methodologies. In addition, the branch supports projects in the form of stability and controls analysis, handling qualities analysis, and verification and validation testing. The branch has contributed to NASA’s Aeronautics ResearchExploration Systems Development, and Science mission directorates, through program participation in X-48C, Intelligent Control for Performance (ICP), Alternative-Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS), X-56 Multi-Utility Technology Testbed (MUTT), HTV, G-III, KQ-X, and Orion.

Guidance, Navigation, and Control

  • Peak seeking control
  • Control of unique vehicles in all flight regimes
  • Safely flight validate emerging methodologies and applications
  • Demonstrate unique control effectors and sensors
  • Real time stability margin calculation
  • Research flight control evaluation on existing platforms
  • Control of aeroelastic structures
  • Precision trajectories
  • Intelligent, adaptive, robust flight control
  • Formation flight
  • Autonomous air-to-air refueling
  • Collision avoidance technologies
  • Classical and modern techniques


  • Development of aircraft and subsystem models for linear and non-linear simulations and analysis
  • Stability and control
  • Flying qualities, handling qualities
  • State estimation

Research Support

  • Flight research data analysis
  • Flight test planning
  • Verification and validation testing
  • Simulation analysis including Monte Carlo and piloted studies
  • Control room support



Last Updated
Jul 12, 2023
Dede Dinius