Skip Top nav bar link group topnav end piece go to business section go to education section go to history section go to gallery section go to news section go to organizations section go to research section go to search engine go to site index topnav end piece
NASA Meatball NASA Dryden F-18 Systems Research Aircraft (SRA) banner
F-18 SRA during flight from below F-18 SRA during flight from below

Photo Number: EC96-43623-4
Photo Date: May 1996

Formats: 558x480 JPEG Image (69 KBytes)
1191x1024 JPEG Image (497 KBytes)
2000x1720 JPEG Image (580 KBytes)

Description: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Systems Research Aircraft (SRA), a highly modified F-18 jet fighter, shows its colors during a research flight. The former Navy aircraft was flown by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, to evaluate a number of experimental aerospace technologies in a multi-year, joint NASA/DOD/industry program.

Among the more than 20 experiments flight-tested were several involving fiber optic sensor systems. Experiments developed by McDonnell-Douglas and Lockheed-Martin centered on installation and maintenace techniques for various types of fiber-optic hardware proposed for use in military and commercial aircraft. A Parker-Hannifin experiment focused on alternative fiber-optic designs for postion measurement sensors as well as operational experience in handling optical sensor systems.

Other experiments flown on this testbed aircraft included electronically-controlled control surface actuators, flush air data collection systems, "smart" skin antennae and laser-based systems. Incorporation of one or more of these technologies in future aircraft and spacecraft could result in signifigant savings in weight, maintenance and overall cost.

Keywords: F-18; F/A-18; SRA; Systems Research Aircraft; fiber-optic; McDonnell-Douglas; Lockheed-Martin

Last Modified: February 6, 2002
Responsible NASA Official: Marty Curry
Curator: PAO Webmasters

NASA Website Privacy Statement