Post-Test Flight Data Analysis Made Easy
December 04, 2020
Flight test is typically conducted to certify that the aircraft meets all applicable safety and performance requirements expected by the engineering team and by government certifying agencies. Following this, comes the post-test analysis phase, in which the group uses data analysis and visualization tools to retrieve, process, and make sense of the flight test data which includes filtering, bias correction, and resolution along flight trajectory to reach a conclusion on the findings.
Post-test analysis for flight data tends to be a fragmented and largely project-specific endeavor. It is common for engineering groups to spend large amounts of time and money developing their own post-test systems, only for it to be discarded when a new project comes up, leading to the design of a new program. This happens mainly due to the specific requirements for which the post-test tools are developed for.
Regardless of their custom nature, many of these systems share common factors that could be integrated into a generic long-lasting post-test solution applicable to more than a handful of projects. Three requirements that are key for creating such a solution are:
- Data querying, which provides the ability to search large amounts of flight data intuitively and efficiently.
- Data analysis, which provides the ability to perform complex analytical calculations on data across multiple flights. Common data analysis routines need to be supplied by the system, but engineers often need the ability to write their own discipline specific custom routines to generate the desired results.
- Data visualization, which provides the ability to generate a report containing the results of the engineer’s investigation into the data. This report, the engineer’s final product, typically includes visual representation of the analysis results with text, notes, and annotations.
Our Curtiss-Wright IADS software team is among the defense and aerospace solutions experts that have stepped up to the challenge. With more than 100 years of experience, and trusted by the major flight test teams around the globe, we decided to tackle these requirements and are creating a post-test analysis solution to help flight test engineers meet these needs in a simplified and flexible manner.
If you are interested in reading more about this solution and the benefits it offer to post-test analysis, visit our IADS Post-Test Explorer page.