The research is to create the necessary algorithms for a low-cost Flight Data Recorder with the possibility of improving functions on existing Flight Management Systems. Within this research, flight data recorders and flight management systems are considered together for low-cost applications as the flight data recorder could record the entire flight internally and subsequently provide the data through a flight management system. The flight management system could also send reports of the aircraft exceeding user-set maximum/minimum parameters. The algorithms can be applied to either a tablet computer or a stand-alone unit. The biggest issue faced with such a project is to determine airspeed without an aircraft modification that requires regulatory approval. This is accomplished by manipulating stability derivatives to computationally approximate airspeed with other known parameters. The other parameters are measured using gyroscopes, accelerometers and GPS. There is currently no low-cost Flight Data Recorder or Flight Management Systems that includes the crucial airspeed parameter. The addition of airspeed on an aftermarket flight management system leads to better performance calculations, indications of stall or near-stall attitudes and a maximum speed warning. The airspeed algorithms are tested experimentally through a purpose built unit for this research, and the unit may be used as a low-cost flight data recorder. With the proposed unit, accident or incident investigation can be significantly simplified or the investigators can use the data to validate theories gained by other means. The flight data recorder could lead to lower insurance costs and the flight management system could reduce other costs for General Aviation.

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Conference AIAA Infotech @ Aerospace Conference, 2016
Adams, J.W. (James W.), & Merrett, C. (2016). Combined flight management system and flight data recorder for general aviation using tablet computers: Student paper. Presented at the AIAA Infotech @ Aerospace Conference, 2016.