Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Douglas F. Hunsaker


Douglas F. Hunsaker


Matthew Harris


Stephen A. Whitmore


A technique known as system identification is often used in aircraft design and testing to understand and validate the mathematical parameters that describe the aircrafts stability and handling characteristics. System identification can be thought of as the inverse of simulation. In the world of system identification, we have a physical system that we seek to understand in more detail by monitoring the system with an array of sensors. In short, we conduct tests of an aircraft while recording the inputs and response outputs. Then we take the input and output data and run it through an algorithm that seeks to predict the mathematical parameters. This process is typically done using multiple short flight maneuvers dedicated to identifying a few parameters at a time. Additionally, the task becomes even more complex for aircraft without a rudder due to the difficulty to enter and remain in uncoordinated configurations. The work in this paper presents an attempt to estimate 33 aircraft parameters for a rudderless aircraft using a single flight comprised of multiple different maneuvers. The approach in this paper uses a publicly available optimization scheme to estimate the aircraft parameters. The results from this work provides insight to the methods of system identification for rudderless aircraft.