Energy Maneuverability Redux

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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squirl

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Unread post03 Dec 2017, 08:02

Folks,

I had discussed this project previously with a watered-down approach, but am now soliciting feedback with a full-fledged version. The paper's target audience is a USAF CAF aviator.

Elevator-ride sales pitch version:

Current TTPs do not quantify how pilots create and solve energy problems. I propose that we do so using an 'energy cost function' model. This will validate existing TTPs and expand our debrief capabilities, capturing lessons that were previously impossible to articulate.

Why here, and why now? I have not been able to get adequate feedback within the USAF. Some have provided encouragement, but are busy with their own jobs. The project is too technical for the CAF, and too tactical for Test.

In the interest of feedback, I need your help to give this a read and offer your thoughts! I would be interested in taking the project in any productive direction.

I have used publicly-available performance data. Even so, many figures are masked by extensive computations.

Thanks in advance!
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post03 Dec 2017, 15:35

While I am in no position to address the technical accuracy of the paper, I can trust that you preformed the computational aspect correctly, I am very impressed with what it represents. I have found in my own analyses that sometimes you need a maximum pull and sometimes not. Your temperature plots quantify this. Nice work.
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rheonomic

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Unread post04 Dec 2017, 02:29

Looks interesting; would be nice to see some of the math.

Hard to tell without any references in there, but have you looked at the body of work expanding on fighter agility metrics from around the mid 90s?

Have you talked with anyone at AFRL? Could also try to move forward with AFIT. (Maybe TPS as a class project?)

This kind of formulation would also be interesting to support autonomous air combat.
u = (CB)⁻¹(cvdt_des - CAx)
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garrya

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Unread post04 Dec 2017, 05:25

Very interesting :P
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squirl

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Unread post06 Dec 2017, 12:01

Thanks for the replies!

I've done a little reading on some of those agility metrics. I got the impression they were intended to compare one fighter against another to account for parameters EM doesn't cover (control response time, maneuver cycle time, etc.). Despite the great body of work, I couldn't find much that actually quantified a pilot's decisions, which motivated me to build the proposed model. Rheonomic: it certainly would provide a quantitative model for autonomous decision-making in unmanned wingmen or network-enabled weapons.

If anyone knows someone who would be interested, whether in military, industry or academic circles, I would appreciate it if you could forward the paper along.

A couple quick words on the math: the colors literally represent the sum (integral) of induced and parasitic drag along each path to the points in question, and account for changes of airspeed (and G available) enroute. There is certainly a path-dependency that can alter those values, and I've noticed that the white interior of the turn circle is never a perfect circle. If this project were to progress to real-world application, there would need to be some ground rules on the methodology. I hold, however, that the overall paradigm is long overdue in quantifying energy problems in air combat.

Coding was initially done in MATLAB, and later in Excel VBA to enable work on any computer. The Red Flag example is actually 100% Excel, with a script that wrote values to a bitmap (later georeferenced in Falconview). I could offer up some of the code if folks were interested.

Interesting footnote: a civil application could be for glider pilots, where the cost function represents the altitude loss required to reach each point at a certain speed.
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charlielima223

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Unread post06 Dec 2017, 22:02

SMSgt Mac did a similar article albeit smaller

http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/201 ... ility.html
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post06 Dec 2017, 23:32

squirl wrote: I could offer up some of the code if folks were interested.


I wouldn't mind having a look at the code for excel.
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SnakeHandler

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Unread post07 Dec 2017, 00:02

Squirl,

Your next step would be to download the one of the 3-3s, say the Viper edition, and find a way to use your charts to show what's being described within the BFM sections. For example, in the HABFM neutral merge section, use your energy cost comparison to show the why behind the reason an aggressive Out-Of-Plane maneuver works best when an adversary flies out the back of your turn circle. An animated graphic that shows your charts from merge-10s to WEZ would be ideal.
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rheonomic

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Unread post07 Dec 2017, 05:51

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
squirl wrote: I could offer up some of the code if folks were interested.


I wouldn't mind having a look at the code for excel.


Where as the controls guy, I'd go for the MATLAB.
u = (CB)⁻¹(cvdt_des - CAx)

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