5.2 A400M Image Processing Methodology to Calculate Relative Speed in Air to Air Refuelling
- ettc2022 - European Test and Telemetry Conference
2022-05-10 - 2022-05-12
- 5. Imaging & Video
- I. López Herreros - Airbus Defence and Space, Getafe-Madrid (Spain)
- 121 - 128
The A400M deploys the hose and drogue to refuel fixed wind aircrafts and helicopters. This capacity called “air to air refuelling” provides multiple operations at long distances from home base. The helicopter must do contact at a reasonable speed within certain limits that allows a good coupling between the receiver probe and the tanker drogue. The relative speed between the tanker and the receiver is called closure rate. This paper will explain the methodology used for this closure rate calculation and the flight test means. In general terms this process is based on virtual testing to validate the overall process, an onboard camera installed in the tanker and image processing algorithms developed in-house for the final calculations. The outputs of this method are the 6-degrees of freedom of the receiver relative to the tanker reference axis, the speeds derived from that trajectory and a video with augmented reality to validate the calculated trajectory. This methodology was used to generate evidences to the certification process in those flight test points when the closure rate is extreme.