Download Computers Take Flight: A History of NASA's Pioneering by James E. Tomayko PDF

By James E. Tomayko

Relates the method wherein electronic fly-by-wire was once constructed at NASA's Dryden Flight study heart in California from 1971 to 1985. Discusses fly-by-wire's contributions to the gap commute and the method in which the know-how used to be remodeled to different businesses and undefined.

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Extra info for Computers Take Flight: A History of NASA's Pioneering Digital Fly-By-Wire Project

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It was the development of the integrated circuit that truly made embedded computers in aircraft practical. S. production of integrated circuits for their respective guidance systems. Still, these computers had their logic represented by collections of low-density chips, some, such as the Apollo computer, with as few as four gates. Each gate represented one Boolean function. Current integrated circuits can have millions of gates. The improvements in digital computer hardware made possible equally important improvements in the capability of the software that embodies the control laws of the aircraft.

In the late 1950s, when the concept of fly-by-wire first came under serious research scrutiny, the image generated by “computer” was of a multiton monster voraciously consuming space and power—hardly an attractive alternative for aircraft control-system designers obsessed with the limitations of size, power, and weight in aerodynamics. Thus researchers only considered digital circuits in limited areas. S. 13 Substituting circuits forced the engineers to face the key difference between analog and digital computation.

14 righted. This sort of test depended on a lot of components working correctly at one time. The problems mounted when the live-fire tests ended in catastrophic engine failure before the control system could be tested, or if the control system itself ruined the test in some way. The engineers on the project thus sought a way of isolating the work on the control system. 39 Hoelzer designed an electronic version that was much more effective. Many of the components in this simulator modeled those that the A-4 needed for lateral guidance and attitude control.

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