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We help Organizations quickly Conceptualize, Design, Develop, and Implement Innovative Cost-Effective Solutions for Avionics, Aircraft, and Flight Guidance-Navigation-Control Systems.

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Knowledge in and of itself is of little value until you know how to effectively apply it to the end product.-- M. Patterson

 

Summarized below are some of our accomplishments. In addition to telling you about what we have done, we will also show you-- in detail. These accomplishments in combination with the "What We Know" page should give you a good idea of what ASTECH can really do-- for you.

Digital Avionics/Aircraft Systems

Situation: Your requirements are defined. Your system integration design is defined. Your vendors have been selected. Budgets and schedules have been set. In time, the full-up systems start arriving. During integration, problems occur-- some systems do not work as required, others are experiencing intermittent glitches.

  • Are the problems due to the requirements, an unsatisfactory system, and/or the integration design?
  • Are the problems in software? In hardware? Electrical? Or mechanical? Or a combination?
  • Will a design change correct the problem(s)-- or will a redesign be required? At what cost? At what schedule impact? At what risks? What are your options?
  • Will other system problems go unnoticed, only to become a crisis later in the program?
  • Do you have the technical expertise to solve these problems effectively?

Solution: If you are in the early phases of your program, ASTECH may be able to help you avoid many of these types of problems. If you are in the later phases of your program, ASTECH may be able to help you resolve and/or possibly avoid many of these types of problems. To your situation we bring the knowledge, experience, & expertise to solve your problems quickly while saving you considerable time & money. And we will do what it takes to ensure that the job is completed successfully and to your satisfaction.

Flight Guidance, Navigation & Control Systems

Situation: Unlike most other COTS Avionics, the FCS must be designed for and tuned to the aircraft model in which it is installed. Because the FCS integrates many technologies (hardware, software, electrical, mechanical, aero, propulsion, systems, etc.), the FCS designer must have extensive cross-functional knowledge and experience. Because the FCS is capable of producing catastrophic failure conditions, it must be right. How much will it cost to do it right? How long will it take? Can risk be minimized? Depends on your approach. With the right approach, cost & time impacts can be small & risk can be minimized. With the wrong approach, cost & time impacts grow exponentially as does risk. How's your approach?

  • Are your system/subsystem requirements complete, detailed, right?
  • Is your architecture robust?
  • How are your control law parameters developed-- numerically or by brute force using in-flight trial-&-error techniques.
  • Where do you evaluate designs-- in the lab or on the plane?
  • Are there any integration problems? Performance problems?
  • Do you have the technical expertise to solve these problems effectively?
  • Are you where you want to be?

Solution: If you are in the early phases of your program, ASTECH may be able to help you avoid many of the problems typically encountered during FCS programs. If you are in the later phases of your program, ASTECH may be able to help you resolve and/or possibly avoid FCS problems. To your situation we bring the knowledge, experience, & expertise to solve your FCS problems quickly while saving you considerable time & money. And we will do what it takes to ensure that the job is completed successfully and to your satisfaction.

UAV Manual Flight Control System

Situation: The remote operator of a UAV will, at times, need to disconnect the Autopilot and manually fly the vehicle to achieve mission objectives. To fly the UAV, the operator must mentally integrate and precisely control a multitude of engine, flight, supplemental, and ground handling controls-- any errors in control input magnitude/timing can result in the UAV going out of control in the short term and not meeting mission objectives in the long term (and loss of a UAV and its sensor package can cost nearly $1M). Also, the operator must persevere through high workloads to achieve mission objectives. As a result, expensively trained rated pilots are required to perform the remote operator function.

Solution: ASTECH Engineering, Inc. recently submitted a proposal to the Air Force to design and develop a low-cost low-workload simplified UAV Manual Flight Control System (MFCS) that will make flying a UAV as easy as driving a car-- allowing minimally trained operators to easily fly a UAV throughout the entire flight envelope. The MFCS will replace the multitude of operator controls with a few simple intuitive controls that adapt to the situation-- almost everything else will be automated via aircraft-based and operator-based expert systems. The MFCS will actively help the operator avoid mistakes in the short-term and achieve mission success in the long-term. And the MFCS has applications in several other areas.

Avionics/Aircraft System Modernization

Situation: Modernizing aircraft with "new" Avionic/Aircraft systems can result in increased crew effectiveness, higher equipment reliability, & lower life cycle costs. If the "new" system is standalone, its installation is typically straightforward. If the system must be integrated with other existing equipment in the aircraft, things get much more complicated. Will commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment work directly in your situation? Are the interfaces right? Is the functionality right? Is your integration right? Can your situation be adapted to COTS equipment? Will the vendor modify the COTS to your situation? At what cost? At what schedule impact? At what risk? What other options are there for a cost effective solution that meets your requirements?

Solution: If you are in the process of modernizing your aircraft, ASTECH would welcome the opportunity to help you in your design. Our knowledge, experience, & expertise in designing avionics/aircraft system integrations will ensure that you obtain the fleet common solution that is best for your situation. Or if you just want a second opinion on a proposed solution, call us-- locking in with the wrong solution can be a costly mistake.


For more information on how ASTECH Engineering may be able to help you, please contact J. Wilson at astech@cox.net or call 316-304-6157.
© Copyright 1996 ASTECH Engineering. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the author.

Keywords: Concept Research Development Integration Integrated Aviation Avionics Aircraft Flight Controls
Autopilots Navigation Guidance Analysis Simulation Software Algorithms Hardware Interfaces
Requirements Engineers HITL FCS GPS FMS UAV Systems