Problem: Though flying real airplanes is the best pilot training and conditioning method, it is the most expensive, costing thousands of dollars per hour of flight time. Training in a flight simulator costs less, but lacks the high G forces needed to condition the pilots' body for actual flight. High G conditioning in a centrifuge also costs less than flying, but lacks the motion fidelity needed for high quality simulation to train beginning pilots. Environmental Tectonics Corporation (ETC) would like to modify their centrifuge to get high motion fidelity to simulate a flying airplane and fulfill this low cost training need.
Solution: Wright Technology Network (WTN) connected Environmental Tectonics with the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) with a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to develop an improved centrifuge. AFIT has accurately modeled many dynamic systems for decades. AFIT faculty and engineers built a mathematical dynamic model of the ETC centrifuge. AFIT also developed a fidelity equation to evaluate the difference between a centrifuge and an airplane as felt by a pilot. Using data on human perception of accelerations, the model, and fidelity equation, AFIT will write a centrifuge control program that gives the rider optimum flight fidelity.
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