Automated Take-Off From Aircraft Carriers For India's N-LCA

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by JAISWAL, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. JAISWAL

    JAISWAL Senior Member Senior Member

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    Trials to evaluate an 'Automatic Ramp Take-Off' system would be carried out shortly at the Shore-Based Test Facility [SBTF], making it, perhaps, the first ski-jump aircraft in the world with this feature.

    If developments go according to plan, then Indian Navy aviators, flying the Naval version of the Light Combat Aircraft [LCA Navy], from Aircraft Carriers would have to do virtually nothing during take-off. Efforts are on to incorporate this critical phase of the flight into the aircraft's control laws itself. What it essentially means that computers, on-board the aircraft, running the software developed for its Fly-by-wire system, would be powerful & intelligent enough to propel the plane from Carrier into the air, without much human involvement. This was announced by Mr. Shyam Chetty, of the National Aerospace Laboratories, who is heading the team developing the control laws for the Light Combat Aircraft [LCA] Tejas & the LCA Navy.

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    Management of aircraft fleet operation from Aircraft Carriers, in the middle of the ocean, are considered to be some of the most difficult tasks, set to exacting standards. Take-off & landing these aircrafts on such a floating platform requiring immense skills & concentration for its execution. Building up a pilot's ability to perform these tasks requires one to undergo an extensive & expensive training regime. Despite such measures, human beings, that the pilots currently are, would still be prone to committing errors, which in their case could result in causing losses amounting to many millions of dollars, all unravelling in the blink of an eye. This is especially true while returning to land on the Carrier after performing many hours of a mission. Fatigue, coupled with the vagaries of maritime environment, impose enormous demands on pilots who are required to land their aircrafts on a deck that has often been described to appear no bigger than a "postage stamp". The challenges of taking-off from such a platform, as seen from the slide below, are just as unforgiving.

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    Therefore, any system that can safely remove the uncertainties of human decision-making & reactions from the equation while carrying out such critical & demanding operations & introduce predictability, would help make the process that much more robust & secure, in addition to simplifying required training. Developing a practical system for automated take-offs and landings are also crucial for subsequent development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles [UAV], operating with higher levels of autonomy. The U.S. Navy's catapult-launched F/A-18 'Super Hornet' aircraft has successfully implemented the such pilot-independent take-offs. It has also demonstrated ability to land on the deck unassisted with the the Automatic Carrier Landing System [ACLS], a feature that was present in the Soviet Yakovlev Yak-38 fighter too. As part of the 'B' variant F-35 Joint Strike Fighter [JSF] development programme, British Defence Evaluation and Research Agency [DERA], & its successor QinetiQ, had carried out successful hands-free vertical landing of a modified Harrier aircraft. Haven't come across any news confirming whether the F-35B's take-off too would be hands-free. Neither has there been any reports to suggest the Chinese are implementing such a system in their recently unveiled J-15 carrier-borne fighter. Thus, from all accounts, when implemented on production aircrafts, LCA Navy would be the first ski-jump aircraft in the world with such a hands-off take-off feature incorporated.

    An interesting talk he delivered where he spoke of the immense challenges faced in designing the control laws for the Tejas, an endeavour being undertaken for the very first time in the country.




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    https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://nal-ir.nal.res.in/1679/1/jasi_v54_2002.pdf
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    Automated Take-Off From Aircraft Carriers For India's Naval Light Combat Aircraft [LCA-Navy] - AA Me, IN
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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  3. Somreet Bhattacharya

    Somreet Bhattacharya Regular Member

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    This is awesome...if they can come up with this thing
     
  4. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    This wouldn't be a big challenge, the real challenge would be to develop an auto-landing system for carriers.
     
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  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    You must be a pilot. :) Real-world or Flight Simulator?

    Reminds me at the age of 19 I applied to fly for USN but was rejected for having no depth perception.:truestory:

    That was about the time the USS Langley was operational.:)

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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  6. Defcon 1

    Defcon 1 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Already posted on LCA thread
     
  7. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    I am not a real life pilot but have played many flight simulator games with many crash landings :D!
     
  8. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    You were 19 in 1920? That makes you 113 this year? Amazing... What's your secret for longetivity...?
     
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  9. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Matlab, Jahaz Baithe Baithe urh jaiga ??

    DREDOs sell big dreams I must admit ?
     
  10. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Right, one wrong feed from the control tower on wind speed or ships speed and the computer is going to hurl the aircraft to the sea.
     
  11. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Those all factors will have place in software (ideally). Then you always have pilot to override auto mode.
    ...................................

    I always thought of vertical recovery (like harriers) on a big robotic arm away from flight deck/opposite side of Island and jets directly taken down for replenishment etc.
     
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  12. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Actually in 1962. :)
     
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  13. Rahul Singh

    Rahul Singh Senior Member Senior Member

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    It's more of effortless takeoff than auto takeoff. Like presentation itself says*, taking off from carrier is an occupying task for a pilot but with auto take-off he only needs to worry about keeping jet on center line (yellow line).

    That means, with flip of switch, DFCC (FCS) will set LEVCON, Elevons and Slats at required required angle and engine to particular thrust setting (RPM and nozzle angle) after taking into account factors like payload and environmental conditions, before releasing brakes for rolling. Once off the ski jump and after detecting positive climb, control will return back to Pilot.

    In case of any eventuality, DFCC will take corrective measures, as and how Test Pilot recommended and developer encoded/written software will ask it to do. That's lot of safety, if not assisted piloting for rookies who because of inexperience will be susceptible to the mishandling.

    On other side, few hundred hours on test flight for writing/encoding FCS for auto takeoff for every possible eventuality will cut down countless number of hours required for qualifying each and every rookie for such situations in detail. Although despite assisted takeoff, all the pilots will be trained for unassisted takeoff and for particular eventualities however number of hours shall remain considerably less.


    * not in exact words or order.

    You did not watched full presentation or you are simply ignoring how much stress he has given on testing?
     
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  14. Rahul Singh

    Rahul Singh Senior Member Senior Member

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    When LCA was to be flight tested for first time, a day before Defence Minister had received a letter from one major aeronautical company from US saying, LCA is unsafe to fly and any attempt may lead in catastrophe.......some even say exact words were it will crash and burn.

    Yes DRDO sold big dreams when it said it can design and develop fly-by-wire fighter.
     
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  15. Sam2012

    Sam2012 Tihar Jail Banned

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    When will be the Ski jump facility in Goa operational?
     

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