Generic Onboard Assessment of Turbulence Severity for UAS Platforms (GOATS-UAS)
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-017
Topic Title: Generic Onboard Assessment of Turbulence Severity for UAS Platforms (GOATS-UAS)
Proposal No.: N181-017-0799
Firm: Continuum Dynamics, Inc.
34 Lexington Avenue
Ewing, New Jersey 8618
Contact: Robert McKillip
Phone: (609) 538-0444
Web Site:
Abstract: An algorithmic approach for estimation of encountered turbulence intensity for UAS platforms is proposed for development, that leverage prior experience in development and testing of an icing detection scheme for tiltrotor aircraft. The methodology borrows from Fault Detection Filter design approaches, and uses a model-based scheme that is sufficiently general to permit its adoption onto a host of UAS platforms ranging in size and operational environment. Use of existing available data onboard the UAS avoids the need to install separate measurement systems, such as LIDAR-based sensors, and the system ultimately promises to help reduce structural fatigue loads on the UAS, leading to extended operational lifetimes. The Phase I program here will demonstrate the technology via limited simulation trials and a flight test program, and will provide sufficient risk reduction to allow for continued development to a prototype demonstration at the conclusion of the Phase II research and development program.
Benefits: An on-board algorithm for turbulence intensity monitoring would provide enhanced situational awareness to UAV operators, as well as generate threshold warnings that could prompt actions, such as redirection of flight profiles, to mitigate or avoid excessive structural fatigue damage. Knowledge of turbulence levels as various locations in the atmosphere would also function as robotic PIREPs (pilot reports) and aid overall assessment of current weather conditions for other aircraft operating nearby.