Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Richard "Pat" Anderson

First Committee Member

Dr. Hever Moncayo-Lasso

Second Committee Member

Professor Charles Eastlake


Within this research effort, the development of an analytic process for friction coefficient estimation is presented. Under static equilibrium, the sum of forces and moments acting on the aircraft, in the aircraft body coordinate system, while on the ground at any instant is equal to zero. Under this premise the longitudinal, lateral and normal forces due to landing are calculated along with the individual deceleration components existent when an aircraft comes to a rest during ground roll. In order to validate this hypothesis a six degree of freedom aircraft model had to be created and landing tests had to be simulated on different surfaces. The simulated aircraft model includes a high fidelity aerodynamic model, thrust model, landing gear model, friction model and antiskid model. Three main surfaces were defined in the friction model; dry, wet and snow/ice. Only the parameters recorded by an FDR are used directly from the aircraft model all others are estimated or known a priori. The estimation of unknown parameters is also presented in the research effort. With all needed parameters a comparison and validation with simulated and estimated data, under different runway conditions, is performed. Finally, this report presents results of a sensitivity analysis in order to provide a measure of reliability of the analytic estimation process. Linear and non-linear sensitivity analysis has been performed in order to quantify the level of uncertainty implicit in modeling estimated parameters and how they can affect the calculation of the instantaneous coefficient of friction.

Using the approach of force and moment equilibrium about the CG at landing to reconstruct the instantaneous coefficient of friction appears to be a reasonably accurate estimate when compared to the simulated friction coefficient. This is also true when the FDR and estimated parameters are introduced to white noise and when crosswind is introduced to the simulation. After the linear analysis the results show the minimum frequency at which the algorithm still provides moderately accurate data is at 2Hz. In addition, the linear analysis shows that with estimated parameters increased and decreased up to 25% at random, high priority parameters have to be accurate to within at least ±5% to have an effect of less than 1% change in the average coefficient of friction. Non-linear analysis results show that the algorithm can be considered reasonably accurate for all simulated cases when inaccuracies in the estimated parameters vary randomly and simultaneously up to ±27%. At worst-case the maximum percentage change in average coefficient of friction is less than 10% for all surfaces.