- Adaptive Aircraft Performance Technology (AdAPT): AdAPT is a research system flown onboard ACTIVE used to determine optimum aerodynamic and engine control positions for a specific task. For example, at a specific flight condition (say 30,000ft., 0.9Mach), the AdAPT algorithm can be used to find the best Canard, Stabilator, Flap, Aileron & Vectoring positions for low drag.
- Control system: The control system can be most simply described as a computer program. In a digital fly-by-wire aircraft, the control surfaces not directly connected to the pilot's stick. A computer reads the position of the pilot's stick and, along with other parameters such as aircraft speed, altitude and angle of attack, calculates the commands to the control surfaces. The computer program that performs these tasks is called the control system.
- Control surface: A movable hinged flap or wing-like structure that is deflected to change the forces and moments on the aircraft.
- Improved Digital Electronic Engine Controller (IDEEC): The computer that processes throttle commands from the pilot and controls engine settings, like fuel flows and exit area, is called the IDEEC.
- Flight control computer: The computer that runs the control system computer program. This computer is responsible for making the aircraft do what the pilot tells it to do.
- Research control laws: ACTIVE has the ability of flying with several different control systems per flight. This allows the aircraft to takeoff, land and perform normal flight with a known system while testing a new control system design at specific flight conditions.
- Thrust vectoring: The ability to turn the jet exhaust. This allows ACTIVE to create forces with its motors similar to the forces created by aerodynamic surfaces such as flaps, rudders & stabilators.