SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  N102-138 (Navy)
Title:  Low Cost G-cues for Pilot Training Device
Research & Technical Areas:  Air Platform, Ground/Sea Vehicles, Human Systems

Acquisition Program:  Joint Strike Fighter, ACAT I
  Objective:  Develop a low cost means to provide onset acceleration cues to a seated pilot as part of real time immersive training in a flight simulator.
  Description:  The accuracy and reliability of our orientation sensory systems can be distorted when exposed to the unique gravity and inertial cues encountered during varied phases of flight. Because vestibular and proprioceptive senses can no longer be relied on, pilots must be trained to depend entirely upon their visual cues. Current flight trainers lack a full capability of inducing the range of onset inertial cues experienced during flight. The rudimentary motion cues available in today's trainers do improve pilot performance and control behavior in the simulator, particularly for disturbance tasks (such as turbulence) and in aircraft with low dynamic stability (such as helicopters and fighter aircraft). However, further development of such capabilities is needed for our future, more maneuverable (e.g., short take-off and vertical landing) aircraft. Any safety issues resulting from the proposed design will need to be addressed. Placement of hardware so as not to interfere with existing simulator operation is an important consideration. Cost effectiveness including reliability and maintainability of design approach is an important factor.

  PHASE I: Conceptualize and design an innovative solution. Demonstrate the feasibility of the concept and propose how to integrate it into an existing flight simulator, and/or added to a desktop training system.
  PHASE II: Develop and implement preliminary design as a prototype. Validate the design through demonstration of the ability to provide limited yet effective onset motion cues when implemented in a flight simulator.

  PHASE III: Finalize the product and integrate as a subsystem into new and/or retrofitted flight simulator. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/

  DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: An improved motion cue for training simulation is needed for both military and commercial flight trainers.

  References:   1. Cheung, B., Hofer, K., Heskin, R., & Smith, A. (2004) Physiological and Behavioural Responses to False Sensation of Pitch. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine; 75:657-665. 2. Burki-Cohen, J. & Sparko, L. (2007). Training Value of a Fixed-Base Flight Simulator with a Dynamic Seat. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference and Exhibit. Hilton Head, SC

Keywords:  training; motion cue; simulation; flight; pilot; real time

Questions and Answers:
Q: I am presenting my new version at my web site What you will find there are some animations showing how my system works. There are however a few items which have been left out of the animations for proprietary reasons one of the more important ones was how to keep the cockpit from tipping the device over. I believe my system can be used with desktop applications as you mention in your topic.
Q: I would like to know if my system is eligible for review.
A: Proposed morsim device is too large and not "insertable" into an existing trainer. We were seeking: "Placement of hardware so as not to interfere with existing simulator operation is an important consideration."

Q: 1.) Exactly what kind of simulator do you have that you want to put this device into?
2.) What desktop applications do you have?
3.) What is the desktop application that you have that you want this device to work with?
A: 1.) Exactly what kind of simulator do you have that you want to put this device into?

2.) What desktop applications do you have?

3.) What is the desktop application that you have that you want this device to work with?
A: T-45A

Q: My motion system is a robot that will be programmed to operate like an aircraft, helicopter or vehicle. Motion cues from the flight stick control the robot but those control commands are not part of the desktop application in terms of synchronization. In other words my robotic system is just like a joystick that can be programmed to operate like any aircraft or vehicle. Synchronization of the graphics with the desktop application does not have to be done like a 6 dof system in order to prevent latency. Un-natural motion does not get washed out in the same way it is done now instead itis done automatically while the upper part of the robot makes a turning maneuver the lower part moves back to the center of the operating area.

The robot is a plug and play device and input comes from sensors on the pitch and roll axes except for the yaw motion of the rudder pedals.

I was thinking that my system was going to be more than what you wanted but it will do everything that you want in your solicitation.Its a good opportunity to start all over again with the way motion is simulated after all it is the 21st century.

So my system is too large to fit into your present simulator but not for your desktop application. Isn't that the "and/or" of your "Phase I" topic's last sentence?

A ten foot diameter isn't all that big compared to a 6 dof freedom system and my device uses only one PC and doesn't need all that extra support hardware to operate it. It can also be used as a spatial dis-orientation platform I hope you will reconsider your earlier response. If nothing else try shopping my approach around where your at and see what they say.

My approach drastically reduces the cost of training at the highest level, its safe and its portable. You can not get what you need unless you use my device because your present system is anchored to the ground or held in place by its own weight, its physically impossible to do what you want in real time. Would this approach be of interest?

Regards from an inventor with 2 patents in motion base technology and a number of world class scientists who agree with my approach.
Q: What if your cockpits could be retro fitted in order to be "inserted" into my device? Would this be enough to change your minds about my device being too big? My system requires a 10'x10'x10' area to operate in and I understand that a naval vessel has space considerations but my system can be downsized for storage by retracting the upper section so that it is only 6'x6'x6'. The circular perimeter could be made of light weight materials such as plastic which could then be folded up for storage as well. The perimeter is only there as a safety measure.
A: We will consider all proposals submitted for this topic.
Q: Who makes your simulators? e.g. F-18, H-60, T-45A, EA6B
I need to know how they connect to your present applications so that I can get an idea of how to connect them to my system.
A: Many companies are involved. The prime contractor depends on the particular simulator.
Q: There are many military helicopter and low speed aircraft flight simulators with high fidelity hydraulic and electric motion base systems. These systems already provide positive training cues to the flight crews (their own words). It would be helpful to know where you see a lack of fidelity or capability so as to concentrate our efforts (software development, hardware development, research studies).
1. Are today's motion systems too slow to provide representative acceleration cues in high speed fighter aircraft?
2. Do motion washout techniques cause unwanted perception of motion back to the neutral point?
3. Are you looking for a low cost motion system that can provide the same fidelity found in multi-million dollar flight simulators?
A: The current generation of motion based trainers do not provide same high speed G-cues as those experienced in an actual aircraft.
Proprioceptive and perceptual cues are lacking. The system would need to be low cost, and much smaller (more portable) than existing motion base systems, in order to use it onboard a ship, or as an augmentation to fixed based training systems. How to accomplish this would certainly require a combination of innovative software, hardware, and research.
Q: Our company has developed a method of providing acceleration cues to pilots for use in simulators or aircraft. We accomplish this by mounting a small display that visually presents g-forces to the pilot in a novel, intuitive way. This low cost solution provides pilots with awareness of aircraft onset loads that are incompletely represented in current motion based simulators. This display can be easily be integrated into a simulator cockpit. Would you consider a visual representation of acceleration cues as a solution for your program objective?
A: Visual representation of acceleration cues are certainly a component of the experience of g-forces, and as such the simulation of visual acceleration cues are already a component of flight simulation, although those visual cues are not presented in the manner that you've described. Keep in mind that SBIR however is not used to procure products that have already been developed. Instead innovative research and development of - yet to be developed - concepts are being solicited.
Q: We currently have a second generation pneumatically powered motion cueing seat that is based upon our first generation seat currently in use at AFRL/Wright-Patterson. We are presently finishing the design of our lightweight pedestal mounted motion cueing seat that is for retro-fitting into pre-exixting simulators, ground control stations, or shipboard systems. Is it possible to skip any phases to save time and money since our system is quite evolved?
A: No. Phase I is required in order for a Phase II award to be possible.

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