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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Flight technology

JAXA is operating a flight research facility including a research fleet ranging from helicopter to jet airplane, flight test bases, and flight simulators. We strive to use emerging flight system technologies and to propose tools for resolving important issues related to aviation system development and aircraft operations. Using these facilities and technologies, we shall contribute greatly to our society from short-term and long-term perspectives.

Research on flight demonstration technology

Flight demonstration technology for MuPAL-α

By adding a ground-based remote control function to the fly-by-wire (FBW) control system of "MuPAL-α" research aircraft, we can simulate and demonstrate an unmanned aircraft system under conventional air traffic control.

Flight demonstration technology for jet FTB

By advancing the technologies accumulated from MuPAL-α, we can establish a new technology for the identification of flight characteristics that might work in the flight envelope of the "Hisho" research aircraft. Furthermore, taking advantage of that identification technology, we plan to construct a flight simulation environment to meet the needs of using "Hisho."

Flight technology for helicopters

We are using the research helicopter in our efforts to develop advanced technologies that are functional in unique situations encountered in Japan. They include technologies supporting their safe operation in a mountainous district or under low-visibility conditions during the rainy season. These might be standardized internationally and might be developed further as products enhancing Japan's international competitiveness.

Research on Flight Systems

Onboard model-based control and stochastic design technology

The aim of this research is to develop a flight control system of great operational flexibility that covers wide flight envelopes including high speed range, high altitude, and takeoff/landing phase, and which also supports route modification in case of an emergency or changing weather. The system will be realized by taking advantage of information obtained from kinetic and dynamic models in onboard computers. Furthermore, we construct an effective tool for system design, in which Monte Carlo simulation is used to evaluate flight performance and to perform flight control system design evaluation more efficiently.

Human performance measurement technology

For the support of solving human factor issues in aircraft operation, training, and cockpit system design, we intend to develop tools to monitor and to measure human performance parameters such as fatigue, situation awareness, workloads, and non-technical skills across items.

Flying characteristics and evaluation technology of V/STOL aircraft

To facilitate the development of vertical/short take-off and landing (V/STOL) aircraft, which might improve the operation and convenience of future air-transport systems, a precise simulation environment will be built. Construction of such an environment is of vital importance as a fundamentally important technology for the design and evaluation of flying characteristics and safe operation. It enables the efficient execution of design and analysis.

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