HB-SIB: Altran’s Stabilization Augmentation System

As the second day of events in Madrid-Barajas airport took place, with visits organized by Solar Impulse’s partner Altran, I had the chance to have a detailed insight into the construction of the Stabilization Augmentation System (SAS).

SAS is a product that will allow the pilots, André and Bertrand, to improve their flight experience in preparation of the tour around the world. In fact, given the long legs each pilot will need to navigate (there will still be only one pilot at a time in the cockpit) the SAS will give them the possibility to attend to other flight duties and also get some rest.

Altran is the designer and developer of this system which is meant to be installed in HB-SIB. There is currently a team of engineers on this project here in Spain and they are planning to have the first prototype ready by October this year. After some testing, the final version of SAS will be ready in the course of 2013 to be incorporated in Solar Impulse’s second generation aircraft, HB-SIB.

The difference between SAS and the usual instruments used in commercial aviation is that, not only does it need to be exclusively calibrated for the specificities of the solar airplane, but it will also include an additional and innovative function, never before seen on the market, called the Monitoring Alerting Subsystem.

The SAS will include the following functions:

  1. A Flight Control Computer (FCC or pilot assistant) designed to fine tune the very specific flight dynamics of HB-SIB.
  2. The Monitoring and Alerting Subsystem (MAS) which will control the performance of the FCC and will alert the pilot if anything is out of range.
  3. Actuators (servomotors controlling the displacement of the ailerons, i.e. the wing flaps).

The actuator and FCC are systems already integrated in commercial airliners but the MAS will be a newly developed subsystem meant to vibrate the pilot’s arm via an electrodes patch to alert the pilot and the Mission Control Center if anything is out of the norm during the flight. We could almost say that the SAS will act as a virtual co-pilot giving André and Bertrand some much appreciated rest especially during the long flights over the Oceans.

 

 

As the second day of events in Madrid-Barajas airport took place, with visits organized by Solar Impulse’s partner Altran, I had the chance to have a detailed insight into the construction of the ...



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