Alleviating flight simulator negative transference for helicopter operations
Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands)
Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Strictly before end of May 2017
38.925,00 € per year
Mainly Delft (The Netherlands) and Milano (Italy)
Flight simulators are extensively used in engineering design, development and flight training, and are an essential tool in the conceive‐design‐build and qualification processes of helicopters. There is, however, a fundamental flaw with any simulation device: despite the complexity and use of state-of-the-art components in modern simulators, they are not yet able to provide a fully coherent representation of reality. This is especially true for helicopter flight simulators: our understanding on the relationship between the settings of the simulator cueing environment (motion, visual, control loading) and the behavior of the pilot is still far from being mature. There are myriad examples of negative transfer in helicopter simulators that can lead to safety problems on the actual vehicle. In this negative transfer, the training on a flight simulator leads pilots to conduct incorrect responses and/or understanding of the behavior of the helicopter in real flight.
The main objective of this project is to define objective criteria for helicopter flight simulators giving the combination of mathematical model fidelity and control loading characteristics needed for a “sufficiently realistic” illusion of flight to the pilot. How strong this “illusion” is acts as an indicator of the “fitness for purpose” of a simulator for a given use. In this project the ESR will learn the meaning of simulation fidelity in its complexity. The expected results consist of a substantiation of the criteria and procedures used to assess helicopter simulators with respect to e.g., the relationship between helicopter flight dynamics model fidelity and the control loading. The project builds on the expertise available at TU Delft and POLIMI in the area of model fidelity and simulator cueing environment. The project uses the SIMONA Research Simulator (SRS) facility at TU Delft and other simulator facilities available to the NITROS project.
This researcher will be working with TU Delft (The Netherlands) and POLIMI (Italy) towards a dual doctorate degree. Secondments to research institutes will be performed at the Max Planck Institute (Germany) for developing control loading algorithms, and at Finmeccanica (Italy) for industrial experience on simulator testing.
• Simulation modeling
• Flight test planning, pilot evaluation
• Modelling and Simulation
• Flight dynamics
• Handling qualities
• Frequency domain analysis
• MSc degree in aerospace engineering (preferred)
• Experience with human control and automation
• Ability to program in Matlab and/or C
• Solid background in flight dynamics and control
Type of contract
The candidates will be offered a fully-funded 4-year PhD program jointly between Delft University of Technology and POLIMI.
Additional Eligibility criteria
English language (IELTS overall score 6.5; no sub-test less than 6.0)