Several test benches have been developed to analyse the behaviour of critical on-board system, starting from the stand-alone component, up to its integration into the aircraft. This design strategy allows the program risks and development time to be minimized by implementing step-by-step corrective actions.
The FCS Test Rig main purpose is to verify and validate the Flight Control System. The test rig has been designed to have a flexible platform, capable to quickly integrate all the FCS components and to perform software-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop tests.
The FCS Test Rig is composed of:
- Flight Control Computer (FCC): to implement control laws and flight management logics.
- Simulator Computer (SIM): to simulate the 6 DOF aircraft dynamics, sensors and engine in Simulink® environment.
- Servo actuator bench: to integrate the control surfaces actuators with kinematic links and to simulate the operative aerodynamics loads.
- I/O Expander Boards: to provide on-board aircraft systems signals to FCC.
- Ground Control Station (GCS): to implement the remote Human Machine Interface (command/control, telemetry and payload data visualization).
- Datalink: to exchange high-rate signals between GCS and FCC.
The Propulsion System Test Rig is essential to assess the power unit performances (e.g. thrust, torque, fuel consumption), to verify the integration with the FCC and to test the infrared signature reduction devices.
The test rig is hosted in a special chamber equipped with sound-absorbent panels, systems and services expressly conceived for the engine experimental tests and qualification. It is designed to be compliant with ISO standards concerning the anti-pollution protection and accident prevention.
Engine test rig is composed of a mechanical part and a control/data acquisition system for controlling the engine and reading the rig sensors signals. Moreover, the rig is designed with a flexible architecture to simulate different aircraft trims.
Iron Bird is a no-flying demonstrator designed to verify and validate the integration of on-board systems into the aircraft structure to shrink risks before the flight test campaign.
The wide test campaign on Iron Bird allows design solutions to be validated and possible malfunctions to be detected, such as:
- Assembly interferences
- High vibration levels
- Electromagnetic Interferences
- Short circuits
- Fuel system leakage
- Flight control kinematic jamming
- Datalink communication loss