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