August 2011 Meeting Summary

Professor Michael S. Braasch spoke to the Southern California Section about Iron Stomachs and White Knuckles: Navigation Flight Testing at the Ohio University Avionics Engineering Center on Tuesday, 30 August, 2011 at NavCom Technology. There were 18 in attendance. A brief bio and abstract of the talk follows, and the slides used during the meeting are attached.

Abstract of Professor Braasch’s Talk
Slides: Iron Stomachs and White Knuckles: Navigation Flight Testing at the Ohio University Avionics Engineering Center
Since its’ founding in 1963, the Ohio University Avionics Engineering Center (AEC) has been on the cutting edge of navigation and landing system research. The AEC is somewhat unusual in that it is an academic institution with its own fleet of flight test aircraft. Over the decades, these aircraft and the crews that fly them have amassed a wealth of experience that can only be obtained ‘in the air.’ The AEC’s DC-3 served as the flight-test platform for the world’s first commercial GPS receiver back in the early 1980’s. Guidance, navigation and control packages destined for installation in military unmanned aerial vehicles are first put through their paces in the AEC’s ex-Soviet fighter-trainer, the AeroVodochody L-29 Delfin. From flying synthetic vision displays up in Juneau’s Gastineau channel to automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) system flights down in the Gulf of Mexico, the AEC has been involved in taking navigation research out of the classroom and lab and making the systems work in the field and in the air. This presentation will cover a handful of the many flight test stories in the AEC’s history. What kind of navigation engineer do you need for a flight test with 6g turns? One that’s eager, healthy and preferably has not eaten all day!

Capsule Biography of Michael Braasch
Dr. Michael S. Braasch is the Thomas Professor of Engineering in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Ohio University. For the past 26 years Mike has been a member of the Avionics Engineering Center, also at Ohio University. Since 1985 he has performed research on a wide variety of navigation and landing systems such as the Instrument Landing System (ILS), the Microwave Landing System (MLS), VHF Omni-Range (VOR), Loran-C, Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) and GPS. He is internationally recognized for his work in characterizing GPS multipath and is one of the originators of the integrated multipath-limiting antenna for GPS. Mike has served as a visiting scientist at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and has lectured for NATO AGARD. He has co-authored chapters for the AIAA books on GPS in addition to numerous conference papers and journal articles. Mike is a Fellow of the Institute of Navigation, a senior member of the IEEE, a licensed professional engineer in the State of Ohio, an instrument-rated commercial pilot, and is the co-founder of GPSoft LLC.