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Colin Britcher, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Education

Mary Catherine Bunde, M.Ed.
Senior Education Administrator

Aircraft Systems Identification Short Course

Aircraft Systems Identification Short Course

Instructor: Dr. Eugene A. Morelli

November 15 – 17, 2016

National Institute of Aerospace

100 Exploration Way, Hampton, VA 23666



If you are interested in taking this course and obtaining more information as it becomes available please contact Mary Catherine Bunde at or by calling (757) 325-6731.

Course Overview:

Short Course Flyer; Short Course Brochure

This course teaches the theory and practice of building mathematical models for aircraft based on measured data, a topic also known as Aircraft System Identification. The methods are useful for flight simulation development, aircraft stability and control flight testing, comparisons with computational fluid dynamics and wind-tunnel results, flight envelope expansion, control system design and refinement, flying qualities assessment, accident investigation, and more. The course includes relevant theory and background, but focuses mainly on practical approaches and solutions. All aspects of aircraft system identification are included: experiment design, instrumentation, data handling, model formulation, model parameter estimation,model validation, and applications. The course includes instruction in the use of a MATLAB® software toolbox called SIDPAC (System Identification Programs for Air Craft), which is composed of a wide variety of tools used at NASA Langley for aircraft system identification problems. The course also includes practical hands-on experience, allowing students to become familiar with the use of the SIDPAC software on real flight data and to interpret the results.

Cost of Course:

$1,000.00 (this fee includes refreshments and lunches for all three days)

Materials Each Attendee Needs To Order: (SIDPAC Software)

Who Should Attend:

The course will be useful to flight test engineers, simulation engineers, control system designers, aircraft designers, applied aerodynamicists, flying qualities engineers, engineering managers, and anyone who needs to identify high fidelity mathematical models based on measured data from an experiment, or understand how it can be done efficiently and accurately.

 Course Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Aircraft dynamic models
  • Estimation theory and equation-error
  • Model structure determination
  • Estimated parameter error measures
  • Output-error
  • Frequency-domain methods
  • Experiment design and instrumentation
  • Data compatibility analysis and data handling
  • Real-time dynamic modeling
  • Real-world case studies

Daily Format:

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon           Lectures, discussion, Q&A and hands-on examples

12 noon – 1:00 p.m.                Lunch  (provided each day as part of the course fee)

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.              Lectures, discussion, Q&A and hands-on examples

Instructor: Dr. Gene Morelli earned his doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from George Washington University, a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University, all with high honors. Since 1986, he has worked as aResearch Engineer at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. He has carried out research, teaching, and technical consulting in the areas of aircraft dynamic modeling, flight test data analysis, experiment design, flight simulation development, time series analysis, aircraft accident investigation, applied mathematics, and flight dynamics. Dr. Morelli has published over 100 technical papers and reports on these topics. He is co-author of the textbook entitled Aircraft System Identification –Theory and Practice, and is the author of the software package called SIDPAC, which is used at more than 90 organizations worldwide to solve aircraft system identification problems.  Dr.Morelli has taught a graduate course in Aircraft System Identification at the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Virginia on behalf of the University of Maryland, and a professional short course on Aircraft System Identification on behalf of AIAA.  He has designed experiments and identified models for many different aircraft, including the X-29, X-31, F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV), F-16, DHC-6 Twin Otter, Navion, Eclipse 500, Tu-144LL supersonic transport, F-15B, X-43A(Hyper-X), FALCON HTV-2, MB-326M Impala, X-51A, F-16 VISTA, HL-20, and many subscale wind-tunnel models and flying models.

Hotel Accommodations:

Arrangements have been made at the Courtyard Marriott-Hampton, 1917 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA 23666 Ph: (757) 838-3300. A block of rooms has been reserved for attendees at a discounted rate of $89.00/per night (not including taxes and fees). Guestroom rate includes a daily breakfast buffet for one guest per room. Please register by November 1, 2016. All unreserved rooms will be released after this date.

Hotel Parking: Complimentary self-parking

Recommended Airports:

Norfolk (ORF), Newport News (PHF) or Richmond (RIC)



100 Exploration Way
Hampton, VA 23666