Aerial Refueling

Aerial Refueling

Aerial RefuelingWhen fully operational, the KC-46 will refuel a wide range of manned and unmanned aircraft including aircraft such as the EC-130H, KC-10A, F-16D, C-5, B-2A and F-22A.

Automated aerial refueling for manned and unmanned platforms is a challenging problem requiring accurate R-TSPI.  Geodetics’ Geo-RelNAV® system, addresses this problem.  An important measurement provided by Geo-RelNAV for the aerial refueling application is the vector closure rate, the differential velocity between the tanker and refueling aircraft. The closure rate is monitored in real time on-board the tanker. The measurement can be used to:

  1. maintain safety-of-flight by ensuring refueling aircraft do not exceed a certain velocity
  2. determine whether or not a refueling aircraft is approached the tanker with sufficient velocity
  3. provide data to drogue control engineers to improve control law design.