Towards automation of aerial refuelling manoeuvres with the probe-and-drogue system: modelling and simulation

DLR is presently investigating the use of automation techniques to support pilots during aerial refuelling manoeuvres with the so-called probe-and-drogue system. During aerial refuelling manoeuvres the tanker and receiver aircraft need to fly very close to each other and this close proximity induces a very significant aerodynamic interaction between them. In order to develop new assistance / automation function for aerial refuelling and to test them in piloted simulations, real-time simulation models including all the relevant effects must be developed. Unlike in many other works with similar modelling needs, Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) CFD computations were preferred to more simple techniques for supporting the modelling of the aerodynamic interaction between tanker, receiver, hose, and drogue. The real-time simulation environment developed contains two complete aircraft models, which can both be controlled by the pilots either manually or through the auto flight functions. With other words, the tanker is no point mass model with prescribed trajectory, but dynamically reacts to external disturbances and the external disturbances affect both aircraft in a representative way. The dedicated aerial refuelling systems are also modelled and the whole infrastructure was ported to the DLR AVES simulator, such that complete refuelling manoeuvres can be flown by the pilots in a realistic environment, in order for the pilots to assess novel automation/assistance functions. This paper gives both a general overview on the modelling work performed and some specifics on selected parts of the model and the developed simulation infrastructure.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01665051
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 26 2018 2:35PM