A multi-disciplinary rotorcraft simulation facility composed of commodity components and open source software

Joseph F. Horn, Derek O. Bridges, Charu Sharma, Leonard V. Lopes, Kenneth S. Brentner

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

A low-cost rotorcraft simulation facility was developed for university-based multi-disciplinary research programs. The objective was to develop a flexible and effective research facility with minimal initial costs and little to no recurring costs. The simulation facility was constructed entirely from commercially available commodity hardware components. Several PC computers are linked together via a local network to form a "graphical cluster". The arrangement allows multiple displays and multiple compute nodes to interact. The facility uses the free, open-source FlightGear simulation code and the U.S. Army / NASA GENHEL flight dynamics model. The system is being used for advanced research programs in the areas of flight control design, advanced rotorcraft flight dynamics modeling, and near real-time acoustics simulation. The use of free open-source source software was found to be challenging due to the lack of documentation, but it provided the flexibility and cost-effectiveness needed for the project. Some weaknesses related to the control feel and latencies were noted, but were found to be acceptable for this engineering research facility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1276-1287
Number of pages12
JournalAnnual Forum Proceedings - American Helicopter Society
Volume2
StatePublished - Aug 30 2004
Event60th Annual Forum Proceedings - American Helicopter Society - Baltimore, MD, United States
Duration: Jun 7 2004Jun 10 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Transportation
  • Aerospace Engineering

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