AGARD Panels


First named the Aeromedical Panel, and one of the four original Panels established at the first AGARD General Assembly in May 1952, the Panel has since widened its range of activities to include biological, psychological and medical requirements in space. Renamed the Aerospace Medical Panel (AMP) in September 1959, the Panel basically concerned itself with the effects of aerospace environmental factors on aircrew performance, research activities in the field of aircrew medical standards, human factors related to accident prevention, and anthropotechnical assistance in bioengineering research and development.

The Panel comprised four Committees --- Behavioural Sciences, Biodynamics, Special Clinical and Physiological Problems in Military Aviation, and Special Senses - whose terms of reference covered such diverse topics as: modification of behaviour and performance by physical and social environmental stresses; principles for standardisation of and protective equipment for impact, linear and angular acceleration, vibration, noise, blasts, escape and survival, accidents, and life support systems; aerospace aspects of clinical disorders and diseases; and the development and assessment of techniques for the evaluation and selection of aircrew from a 'fit to fly' standpoint.

Aerospace Medical Panel (AMP)

The AGARD Avionics Panel (AVP) was established in 1957. The Panel is concerned with promoting international coopération in the avionics research and dëvelopment field for the overall benefit of the NATO community. The overall objective is the interprétation of military requirements for avionics systems.

Past activities of the AVP have included the following topics: Multifunction Radar for Airborne Applications; Robotics and Artificial Intelligence; Software in Avionics; Optical Circuit Technology; The Potential Impact of Developments in Very large Scale lntegrated Circuits (and other Electronics Technology) on the Future Conduct of Air Warfare; Design for Tactical Avionics Maintainability; Space Systems Applications to Tactical Operations; and the Potential Impact of Developments in Electronic Technology on the Future Conduct of Air Warfare.

The AVP believed that avionics could contribute tremendously to the qualitative superiority of NATO over the  former Warsaw Pact. The significant advances in avionics research and development each year clearly showed the importance of electronic technology. The Avionics Panel  was at  the forefront of this technology.`

Electromagnetic Wave Propagation Panel (EPP)

The Electromagnetic Wave Propagation Panel (EPP) began life as the Ionospheric Research Committee established in 1956. lt was incorporated into the Avionics Panel when that was established in 1957. In 1970, the Committee was separated from the Avionics Panel and became the EPP, an independent, self-sustaining panel.

Past activities of the panel have included such topics as: Millimeter and Submillimeter Wave Propagation and Circuits, Terrain Profiles and Contours in Electromagnetic Wave Propagation; The Physical Basis of the Ionosphere in the Solar Terrestrial System; Electromagnetic Propagation in the Tactical Environment; The Performance of Antennae in their Operating Environments; The Propagation Effects of Military Systems in the High Latitude Region; Guided Optical Structures in the Military Environment, and the Aerospace Environment at High Altitudes and its Implications for Spacecraft Charging and Communications.

The Electromagnetic Wave Propagation Panel was contributing to NATO in critical areas of electronic technology. The qualitative superiority of NATO was due, in part, to results obtained from the sophisticated work of the EPP.

Fluid Dynamics Panel (FDP)

The Fluid Dynamics Panel (FDP) was one of the four original Panels formed in 1952. The Panel is primarily concerned with enhancing our knowledge of the flow field of aerospace vehicles and improving their aerodynamic efficiency, and applying computational and experimental fluid dynamics to problems of military interest. The overall objective is to develop a strong technological basis for the design of advanced, superior military systems.

Subjects covered by Panel activities include both fundamental and applied aerodynamics and fluid mechanics, including viscous and inviscid flows, compressible and incompressible two dimensional and three dimensional flows, and attached and separated transitional turbulent shear layers. Great strides have been made in the development of Computational Fluid Dynamics methods for analyzing the entire flow field over new design concepts. The Panel is actively involved in improving ground test experimental facilities, techniques and instrumentation -  and development of advanced innovative technologies for application across a broad spectrum of fluid dynamic topics.

Avionics Panel (AVP)

The Flight Mechanics Panel was one of the four original Panels established by AGARD in 1952. As originally conceived, the Panel's primary focus was on the flight test problems of the NATO nations, and it was called the Flight Test and Instrumentation Panel. The name was changed in 1960 to reflect the increased breadth of technical interests dictated by the expanding requirements of NATO's aeronautical research and development community.  From that time, the Panel's terms of reference covered the original Flight Testing, plus Flight Dynamics, Flight Simulation, Operational Aspects, and Flight Vehicle Design and Integration, including primary responsibility for the associated man-machine interfaces. The Flight Mechanics Panel (FMP) was concerned with such aspects of modern air vehicle dynamics as aerodynamic and overall mission performance, stability and control, handling qualities and the man machine interface. The Panel considers these issues in the broad contexts of operational effectiveness, design integration and validation. Technologies supporting flight testing, simulation and design methodology are regular topics for its technical meetings. In recent years this Panel has made major efforts to involve operational staff in contributing 'sharp end' experience to its discussions and has also endeavoured to disseminate its findings to suitable military forums. A resume of the spring 1986 meeting on 'The Improvement of Combat performance for Existing and Future Aircraft' was communicated to the NATO Air Groups and was particularly well received. FMP multinational working groups have reported on such diverse fields as validation of missile system simulations, pilot workload assessment, rotorcraft icing and helicopter stores integration. The FMP Flight Test Techniques Group provided practical guides to the NATO flight test communities for the safe, efficient and effective introduction to service of modern aircraft and weapons systems. AGARDographs in the AG 160 and AG 300 Series consider both the provision of specialised instrumentation and recommended trials strategies.

Flight Mechanics Panel (FMP)

The Flight Mechanics Panel was one of the four original Panels established by AGARD in 1952. As originally conceived, the Panel's primary focus was on the flight test problems of the NATO nations, and it was called the Flight Test and Instrumentation Panel. The name was changed in 1960 to reflect the increased breadth of technical interests dictated by the expanding requirements of NATO's aeronautical research and development community.  From that time, the Panel's terms of reference covered the original Flight Testing, plus Flight Dynamics, Flight Simulation, Operational Aspects, and Flight Vehicle Design and Integration, including primary responsibility for the associated man-machine interfaces. The Flight Mechanics Panel (FMP) was concerned with such aspects of modern air vehicle dynamics as aerodynamic and overall mission performance, stability and control, handling qualities and the man machine interface. The Panel considers these issues in the broad contexts of operational effectiveness, design integration and validation. Technologies supporting flight testing, simulation and design methodology are regular topics for its technical meetings. In recent years this Panel has made major efforts to involve operational staff in contributing 'sharp end' experience to its discussions and has also endeavoured to disseminate its findings to suitable military forums. A resume of the spring 1986 meeting on 'The Improvement of Combat performance for Existing and Future Aircraft' was communicated to the NATO Air Groups and was particularly well received. FMP multinational working groups have reported on such diverse fields as validation of missile system simulations, pilot workload assessment, rotorcraft icing and helicopter stores integration. The FMP Flight Test Techniques Group provided practical guides to the NATO flight test communities for the safe, efficient and effective introduction to service of modern aircraft and weapons systems. AGARDographs in the AG 160 and AG 300 Series consider both the provision of specialised instrumentation and recommended trials strategies.

Flight Vehicle Integration Panel (FVP)

The FVP was orginaly named the Flight Mechanics Panel, which was one of the four original Panels established by AGARD in 1952.

In 1994, as part of a general re-organization of the whole AGARD Panel structure, the Flight Mechanics Panel was renamed the Flight Vehicle Integration Panel. This redesignation emphasized the Panel's increased emphasis on systems integration, and reflected the incorporation of members and missions from the former Guidance and Control and Avionics Panels. The first meeting took place at Boscombe Down, UK, in September 1952. Some highlights selected from the activities of the Panel since it was established are given below. In the period from 1952 to the present, the Panel:

  • Conducted a survey of the current flight test problems and future test requirements of primary interest to the NATO nations, leading to the publication of the AGARD Flight Test Manual (1952-56).
  • Sponsored the preparation of the Recommended Flying Qualities of Military V/STOL Aircraft, (1970-1973)
  • Sponsored a survey of Problems Associated with Low-Altitude, High-Speed Flight (1963-67).
  • Fostered the definition and adoption of the definitive pilot rating scale (the 'Cooper-Harper' scale) for aircraft handling qualities, now used throughout NATO nations. (1968)
  • Sponsored several symposia in the field of simulation including 'Flight Simulation and Testing Techniques' (1966), and 'Flight Simulation - Where are the Challenges?' (1995).
  • Sponsored Working Groups, resulting in definitive reports, on 'Dynamic Considerations of Flight Simulator Motion Systems' (1977-79), 'Validation of Simulation Systems for Aircraft Acceptance Testing' (1986-1988), and 'Piloted Simulation in Low Altitude, High Speed Mission Training and Rehearsal' (1993-1996).
  • Sponsored major revision of, and additions to, the AGARD Flight Test Manual leading to the current series of volumes in both the AGARDograph 160 'Flight Test Instrumentation' and the AGARDograph 300 'Flight Test Techniques' Reports (1968-present), now amounting to more than 30 major volumes.
  • Sponsored the preparation of an Advisory Report on 'Escape Measures for Combat Helicopter Crews', in response to a request from the NATO Military Committee (1971-73).
  • Sponsored a study of 'The Effects of Buffeting and Other Transonic Phenomena on Manoeuvring Combat Aircraft' at the request of the Military Committee (1972-75).
  • Complemented the NATO initiated exchange of operational data on rotorcraft icing encounters by studying the status and prospects of rotorcraft icing technology, research, and development (1979-81).
  • Considered the important cost and time scale element of flight vehicle design by means of Symposia such as 'Design to Cost and Life Cycle Cost' (1980) and 'Flight Vehicle Development Time and Cost Reduction' (1987).
  • Conducted a survey of the NATO countries’ Flying Qualities Research and Development Needs which resulted in the formation of a Working Group to address the topic of 'Handling Qualities of Unstable Highly Augmented Aircraft', the generation of a Lecture Series on 'Advances in Flying Qualities', and provided the framework for a Flying Qualities Symposium (1982-89).
  • Sponsored a study on 'Integration of Externally Carried Weapon Systems with Military Aircraft' (1985-88).
  • Provided a briefing to the NATO Military Committee on Enhancing NATO Flight Test Capability (1986).
  • Sponsored a Lecture Series on 'The Integrated Design of Advanced Fighters' (1987).
  • Was instrumental in establishing and supporting programmes to set up flight test facilities and train test personnel for Greece, Portugal and Turkey (starting 1985).
  • Sponsored a Working Group and a Lecture Series on Rotorcraft Systems Identification (1986 - 1990).

Activities which best illustrate the cooperative involvement of the Panels are the joint FMP and FDP Symposium on 'Unsteady Aerodynamics' (Spring 1985), the joint FMP and GCP Symposium on 'The Man-Machine Interface in Tactical Aircraft Design and Combat Automation' which included strong support from AMP (Fall 1987), the joint GMP/GCP Symposium on 'Combat Automation for Aircraft Weapons Systems: Man Machine Interface Trends & Technologies' (Fall 1992) and the joint symposium with SMP on Combat Aircraft held in Palaiseau, France in April of 1997.

 

Guidance and Control Panel (GCP)

In response to the rapid growth of and interest in guidance and control technology, the Guidance and Control Panel (GCP) was established in 1965 and permanently constituted in 1967. The three principal mission functions of the GCP were Navigation, Guidance and Control. The Panel thus concerned itself with the theory and technology involved in realizing these mission functions.

Specific tasks involved in these functions included the direct measurement or estimation of vehicle flight path and velocity, the derivation of desired flight profiles, the definition of control commands to reduce deviations from the desired profiles, and the instrumentation of these functions.

The scope of applications addressed by the Panel comprises ground command and control, air traffic control, global and local navigation, inertial and relative guidance, weapons delivery, terrain-following guidance and navigation, and their impact on crew performance and aerospace vehicle design and mission.

The range of mission functions addressed required that the Guidance and Control Panel interacted with a number of other AGARD Panels, particularly FMP, AVP and AMP.

 

Military Committee of Studies Division (MCS)

AGARD's Military Studies Programme was started in 1971 to provide the NATO Military Committee (MC) with answers to aerospace systems questions that were beyond the scope of the AGARD Panels.

These Aerospace Applications Studies (AAS) were conducted under auspicien of the Aerospace Applications Studies Committee (AASC). The different  topics were submitted by the nations through the Military Committee to AGARD. Recent studies included systems concepts for tactical (theatre) ballistic missile defence, all-weather combat aircraft, suppression of enemy air defence, and unmanned fighter aircraft in beyond visual range air to air engagements. These studies were performed in approximately one year by team members nominated from NATO groups and the nations. In all, 48 studies and a major technology forecast (Project 2000) have been completed since.

These studies provided a unique source of information for NATO and the nations. They represent the views of inter- national teams of experts that bring together the best ideas from both governmental and industrial sources. Their proposed system concepts provided a major step in NATO's efforts toward joint development and interoperability.

Aerospace Applications Studies are (still) classified but copies may be available to users who meet the security requirements from National Distribution Centres.

Mission Systems Panel (MSP)

The Mission Systems Panel was formed in January 1994 after a re-arrangement of the Panels. Elements of the GCP and AVP Panels were integrated along with additional new membership to forge a new direction in the mission systems technology a

rea.

The MSP focussed on integrated mission systems, automation techniques and supporting technologies. This is illustrated by the highly successful symposia on tactical C³I, precision strike technologies, and advanced mission system architectures, and a Workshop on air traffic management automation. In addition, the MSP initiated two Working Groups dealing with distributed command and control system functions and defence against tactical missiles, respectively. 

The first Symposium of the AGARD Mission Systems Panel was held in Denmark, in May 1994. The title of the Symposium was: 'Guidance and Control Techniques for Future Air-Defence Systems'. Advanced air-defence had become one of the primary issues of operational concerns for NATO. Within this context operational aspects of potential scenarios were expected to be considerably diversified. Previously assumed scenarios had become obsolete and NATO had to redefine the structure and role of its air-defence.

The Gulf War had demonstrated how stealth technology can reduce the effectiveness of air-defence systems. Advances in stealthy and fast moving nap-of-the-earth strategic and tactical weapon systems, as well as strategic and tactical ballistic missiles, operating either individually or in combination, necessitates the development and application of effective guidance and control techniques for advanced air-defence.

In October 1996, the sixth (and the last under the aegis of AGARD) MSP Symposium on 'Advanced Architecture for Aerospace Mission Systems' was held.

Clearly, the MSP as such was short-lived, but in the programme of the new Research and Technology Organisation the subjects initiated by the Mission Systems Panel  received ample attention.

Propulsion and Energetics Panel (PEP)

The Propulsion and Energetics Panel (PEP) was established in 1952 as the Combustion and Propulsion Panel. During its early years the Panel was primarily concerned with stimulating research in combustion processes. The years 1954 - 1956 saw a steady build-up of the Panel's programme concerning voluntary research projects, AGARDographs, consultants, and exchanges. The Panel pioneered the way of commercial publications in the area of combustion in addition to the normal AGARD publications. In all 14 technical volumes were published commercially. In 1956 the Panel included problems of propulsion systems in its scope, and its name was changed to the Combustion and Propulsion Panel. The increasing interest in processes of energy production and conversion and their application to propulsion systems led to a further broadening, and in 1965 the   Propulsion and Energetics Panel name was adopted.

2The activities of the Panel were now about equally distributed over the areas of turbomachinery, combustion and heat transfer control and installation, application of structures and materials, testing, system operation and logistics, rockets, ramjets and guns. The Panel had also included space propulsion in its considerations.

The largest exercise of PEP concerned the 'Uniform Engine Testing Programme' in which the same jet engines were tested in a number of jet engine test stands in various NATO countries.

This enormous exercise involved many people at a total cost of several million dollars. Of course the costs were born by the participating nations, but the Panel was instrumental in arranging the programme and in analysing the data. During the late eighties and in the nineties several trends could be observed in the work of the Panel. First of all, and most obvious, were the activities concerned with anticipating the future trends in engine development. Engine development, as almost all technology, had started with the pure quest for performance.

It may be recalled that the Panel had been founded only 13 years after the first jet engine had been successfully flown.

Structures and Materials Panel (SMP)

Air and space vehicles do not always rely on conventional aerodynamics, control systems or propulsion units. But whatever keeps them in flight or in orbit, they all have a structure which contains a variety of materials - both metallic and non-metallic. The Structures and Materials Panel (SMP) was established in 1955 to deal with the multitude of problems arising from the various phases of material selection, structural design, analysis, construction and in-service maintenance. The spread of topics is thus very wide, ranging from the theoretical modelling of materials processes to practical advice on the control of corrosion; from the estimation of loads in separated flow to the measurement of loads in flight; from studies on short cracks to consideration of the effects of battle damage; from finite elements to fuel tank technology.

Even the more esoteric subjects have a practical application. Studies in the realm of fracture mechanics have a direct bearing on what level of inspection is needed to ensure a prescribed level of structural integrity. Research into the history and purpose of the factor of safety has led to a reduction of airframe mass in the new European fighter. The work on damaged and repaired runways will be of use in the Organization of front-line airfields.

Central to the work of the SMP is its ability to organise collaborative research programmes. By inviting several laboratories to take part, any testing may be performed in several centres simultaneously, thus reducing the overall testing time to a fraction of that required by one laboratory working in isolation. Moreover, each participant is required to make only a very small outlay, but the complete results are available to every NATO country.

Sensor and Propagation Panel (SPP)

The Sensor and Propagation Panel was created in 1994 following a re-structuring of the former Electromagnetic Wave Propagation Panel, Avionics Panel, Guidance and Control Panel and Flight Mechanics Panel.

The Terms of Reference of this Panel covered:

  • Electro-optical/laser sensors (including signatures; environmental / propagation / battle effect limitations; optical components and detectors, lasers, signal and image processing and pattern recognition; hardening)
  • Radar and passive radio sensors (including signatures and radar cross sections; environmental / propagation / battle effect limitations; high frequency and radar components, sources, signal processing and information extraction; hardening)
  • Communications systems (including environmental / propagation limitations, transmitter and receiver components; coding and signal processing; hardening)
  • Electronic warfare and directed energy technology (including electronic support and counter-measures (ESM, ECM), optical/optronical support and counter-measures (OSM, OCM), directed energy technology and systems at all frequencies and wavelengths, as well as camouflage, concealment and deception (CC&D) and signature / cross section reduction technology and measures; relevant environmental / propagation aspects are included too).

Through the events following the re-organisation within AGARD, this panel had, as the Mission Systems Panel (MSP), only a short period in which to develop its programme. Fortunately the elements for the effective Symposia were there already. Essentially this Panel took over the various elements of the other Panels. The SPP managed to organise 6 very timely Conferences during the period 1994-1996 on the following subjects:

  • High Power Microwaves;
  • Propagation Assessment in Coastal Environments;
  • Environmental Factors in Electronic Warfare, Related to Aerospace Systems;
  • Digital Communication systems: Propagation Effects, Technical solutions, System Design;
  • Remote Sensing a Valuable Source of Information;
  • Radar Signature Analysis and Imaging of Military Targets.

Again as in the case of the MSP, these and similar subjects were taken up by the new RTO, often in a broader context.

Technical Information Committee (TIC)

The Documentation Committee, which later became the Technical Information Panel (TIP), was established at the Rome General Assembly in December 1952. Because of its active participation in the exchange of information,  the name was changed to Technical Information and Documentation Committee (TIDOC) in 1962. Finally in 1965, the National Delegates Board (NDB) decided to give this Committee full Panel status under the name of  Technical Information Panel.   In 1994 TIP reverted to being a Committee, the Technical Information Committee (TIC).

The primary purpose of the Committee was to provide service and advice in documentation for the AGARD Technical Panels, to assist in resolving publication problems of these Panels and, through the individual members of the Committee, to stimulate the national agencies for aeronautical documentation.

To achieve these ends, the Committee was concerned with the following activities:

  • The standardisation of the technical reports produced within the NATO countries
  • The provision in all scientific and technical reports of detachable index cards, containing an abstract of the subject matter of reports. Such index cards assisted in the classification and indexing of aeronautical information.
  • The publication of a report on 'Sources of Translation of Aeronautical Interest'
  • The production of the AGARD Multilingual Aeronautical Dictionary (MAD) of aeronautical terms in eight languages
  • The production of a number of relevant biographies at the request of the Panels. The members of the Committee also collaborated in the production of biographies required for ad hoc activities.
  • In the subject classification of aeronautical material, agreement was sought on a common system of classification used in the various member countries
  • Discussion of the problems of exchanging scientific and research films and the production techniques for such films.
  • The Committee stressed the importance of adequate abstract services for both published and unpublished aeronautical material. The study of retrieval systems to assist in the classification and subsequent retrieval of recorded material.
  • Contacts with other international documentation agencies.
  • Advice on AGARD publications, including proceedings of General Assemblies, AGARDographs, reports, bibliographies, and occasional special publications, of which the Flight Test Manual and the Multilingual Aeronautical Dictionary are examples.

For many years the AGARD Documentation Committee worked closely with the NATO Science Committee in an effort to facilitate the exchange of information within NATO countries. Studies of this problem have been carried out over a long period. Consultants were sent to Turkey and Greece to aid them in establishing National Defence Documentation Centres, thus enabling them to participate actively in the exchange of information programmes.  Meetings were held at least once in each year since the original foundation of the Documentation Committee and in 1968, in addition to its own ordinary Panel Meeting, the Panel collaborated with the Avionics Panel in holding a large-scale Symposium on Storage and Retrieval of information.

In 1994, as part of the reduction in the number of Panels, TIP reverted to being a committee, the Technical Information Committee (TIC), and no longer held Specialists' Meetings or ran Lecture Series. It continued to meet twice-yearly for a business meeting, sometimes in conjunction with a workshop organised by the host nation or including a seminar on topics of interest addressed by outside experts. Its main purpose was to advise and assist AGARD in its information management programme. In this role, TIC played a large part in guiding the Scientific Publications Executive in the preliminary steps leading to the production of a set of CD-ROMs containing page images of all AGARD publications, in preparing for electronic publication by RTO, and in designing a proposed Web Site for AGARD and later RTO. Renamed Information Management Committee in 1998, it is continuing to provide similar advice to the Research and Technology Organisation (RTO).

Technical Information Panel (TIP)

The quality and quantity of aerospace research and development is enhanced by scientific and technical information. Without this information previous work may be unwittingly duplicated or unproductive research followed, often at a very great cost in time as well as in money. John Naisbitt pointed out in his book 'Megatrends' that over 6000 scientific articles are written each day, and the volume will double in less than 6 years. So how can the right information be supplied to the right person at the right time?  The answer is through the management of information: within the organization,within the nation, within NATO.

The Technical Information Panel (TIP) was concerned with all aspects of the management of scientific and technical information as an integral part of aerospace and defence research and development. The Panel's main objectives were to improve the management of scientific and technical information in the NATO nations, to foster the exchange of scientific and technical information between the NATO nations, and to provide advice to AGARD and the NATO community in the development and management of information services.

Major publications produced by TIP includes a Multilingual Aeronautical Dictionary (MAD) with over 7000 terms in 9 languages and a manual on the establishment and management of Aerospace or Defence Information Centres. Meetings and lecture series have been on such topics as the management of NATO's scientific and technical information, the value of information, the use of microcomputers in information services and the barriers to information transfer.

Because of its active participation in the exchange of information, the name was changed to Technical Information and Documentation Committee (abbreviation: TIDOC) in 1962. Subsequently, in 1965, the National Delegates Board (NDB) decided to give the Committee full panel status under the name of Technical Information Panel. Meetings were held at least once in each year since the original foundation of the Documentation Committee and in 1968, in addition to its own ordinary Panel Meeting, the Panel collaborated with the Avionics Panel in holding a large-scale Symposium on Storage and Retrieval of information.