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Michael W. Heiges is a principal research engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), where he is responsible for developing advanced flight technologies for manned and unmanned aircraft systems. He assists with managing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight operations for GTRI’s internal research and development efforts of a signals intelligence payload and ground moving target indicator radar for tactical UAVs.
Heiges led the development of design tools for micro autonomous systems for the U.S. Army Research Lab and the development of GTRI’s quieting technology for tactical UAVs, including the design of a slow-turning, six-bladed propeller and a reactive noise canceling muffler. He has worked on a wide-variety of UAV research projects, including investigating the use of fuzzy logic and fuzzy cognitive maps (FCM) for autonomous UAV control; developing concept of operations for U.S. Air Force intelligence operations using UAVs; analyzing the airworthiness of the MH-53J automatic flight control system; and assessing the H-3 target drone flight control system.
Prior to joining the GTRI team in 1992, Heiges worked at Bell Helicopter Textron for three years as an engineering specialist, where he developed advanced digital control laws for a reconnaissance helicopter design and for the Bell/Boeing V-22 tiltrotor. His other projects for Bell included designig and coding flight control laws with automated modes and super-augmented stability for fly-by-wire control systems and integrating entire sets of flight control law routines from real time simulation code into flight-loads-analysis code.
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