The flight actuation system plays important role in the accurate guidance of the flight vehicles. The actuators driving the control surfaces are aerodynamically loaded during flight. The design, testing and selection process of the flight actuators play important role to ensure the stable and safe flight. Since a reliable flight actuation system can ensure appropriate guidance, the importance of qualification process cannot be neglected. Qualification of the actuators through field trials is a very costly and time-consuming process. The testing process using real flights takes more time and is costly. For ground testing, aerodynamic loading systems are used. The aerodynamic loading system is ground-based hardware in the loop (HWIL) simulator that can be used for exerting aerodynamic loads on actuation system of flight vehicles in real-time experiment. The actuation system under test is directly connected to the loading motor through a stiff shaft and the aerodynamics loading is applied in real time according to the flight trajectory generated by a flight computer.
Part of the book: Recent Progress in Some Aircraft Technologies